John King, the architecture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle recently described the YMCA-PG&E Teen Center as “the most dynamic new building in Berkeley.”
King, who writes a weekly column called Place, took note of building’s details as well as the its lime-green exterior paint.
“That color was the kids’ idea,” Janet Tam of the firm Noll & Tam, architects for the project, told King. The facility opened in January.
King wrote: “The transformation of this former Pacific Gas & Electric Co. office isn’t historic preservation. Think of it in different terms: as a case study in how buildings can be reused in ways that not only draw on the past but also signal the future.”
The building opened in 1964; it was “straightforward and strong,” King wrote. In 2007, PG&E donated the building that was no longer in use to the YMCA of the Central Bay Area. The donation of the 8,000-square-foot, $2.1 million building was the largest charitable contribution ever made by PG&E.