1906 Shattuck Avenue

1906 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA

  • Architect: Fernau & Hartman Architects
  • Contractor: Oliver and Company
  • Developer: Steven Tipping
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Tipping Building Street View

Tipping’s home since 1995 embodies the firm’s commitment to collaboration, design, and engineering innovation. An addition, currently on the boards, will advance these ideals even further.

Founding principal Steven Tipping wanted to build a permanent home for his firm—one that offered the benefits of a downtown Berkeley location.

In addition to meeting the state’s stringent earthquake and energy-consumption laws, city zoning laws for the site on the edge of downtown mandated that the project incorporate a dwelling unit, office, parking, and commercial space within one structure. Hence, the post-tensioned concrete base incorporates a corner café and parking, while the wood-framed upper story houses an apartment and the Tipping Mar offices.

The modest three-story building elegantly yet subtly expresses its structural composition. Nearly every element, from the queen post trusses overhead to the rain gutters that run through the open space, is exposed. A passive solar design, radiant heating, and natural ventilation help to reduce energy costs and meet code requirements.

The new addition, which will allow the firm to double in size, incorporates lessons learned over the past twelve years and expands the inherent educational quality of the offices. The base-isolated design reflects current thinking about sustainable design and business continuity, allowing for quick business resumption and preserving the building’s functional life following a major seismic event.