<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Project Details

University of California, Davis, CA

UC Davis Office of Architects & Engineers

Renovation & Seismic Upgrade

$10 million


“The Memorial Union tower was a significant challenge to design and reconstruct with a tight site, a tight budget and constant campus activity surrounding it. Your firm did a good job handling the difficult job constraints…The project is well liked by the students and the general campus community.”

Allen Lowry
Project Manager, University of California, Davis


Memorial Union is the student union for this thirty thousand student campus. It is one of the three buildings at Davis for which we designed seismic reinforcement and life safety upgrades. This work also provided the opportunity to make major improvements to the appearance of the building, which was considered the ‘ugly duckling’ of its neighborhood.

Major visual improvements were made utilizing 1) exterior seismic bracing in the form of a five-story brace on the south side of the building, which also adds 7,364 s.f. of usable office space; 2) an exterior elevator tower providing handi-capped access to all levels of the building and a landmark campanile on the north side; 3) a new roof structure providing sun protection to the existing roof deck while also visually unifying the whole building; and 4) new canopy structures at the entrances to memorial Union and the adjacent Freeborn Hall. The latter replaces, in a new more attractive form, an existing canopy structure which was seismically unsafe.

The major materials chosen for these improvements, brick and steel, are intended to blend the additions into the existing structure and pull the whole composition of the building together so that it will be safe and visually appealing as a center of student activity.

Muller & Caulfield Architects provided unique solutions to major seismic, life safety and accessibility concerns which yielded badly needed aesthetic improvements welcomed and unanticipated by the owner.