News at Forell

UC Berkeley BAMPFA All Over the News

Some of the Forell/Elsesser BAMPFA team at the Opening Gala (David Friedman, Mason Walters, Geoff Bomba)

A few of the Forell/Elsesser BAMPFA team at the Opening Gala (David Friedman, Mason Walters, Geoff Bomba)

The UC Berkeley, Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) has been receiving continuous news coverage over the past month. This highly anticipated cultural landmark in downtown Berkeley is giving everyone in the community much to be excited about! Please visit F | E’s BAMPFA page for information on F | E’s scope of work.

Coverage includes:

ARCHITECT Magazine: UC Berkeley BAMPFA

Architectural Record: Cinematic Overhaul: Diller Scofidio + Renfro revamps a former printing plant as the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Fast Company: The Berkeley Art Museum Gets a Pristine New Home Inside a 1930s Printing Press

designboom: BAMPFA Arts Complex by Diller Scofidio + Renfro Opens in California

7×7: Stunning New BAMPFA Opens Downtown

LA Times: The New Berkeley Art Museum is a Study in Extremes

NY Times: A Reborn Museum in Berkeley Offers Form as an Essential Fact of Existence

NY Times: Art Museums Seek a Green Palette

NY Times: An Alice Waters Recipe, to Celebrate an Ambitious New Museum

Berkeley News: Major New Effort to Elevate Berkeley’s Creative Culture

SF Chronicle: New Home Elevates BAMPFA Status

SF Chronicle: Pacific Film Archive Gets Front-Door Access

SF Chronicle: A Trip ‘Underground’ to the New BAMPFA

SF Chronicle: Campus, Downtown Merging in Berkeley

San Jose Mercury News: Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive Finally Reunited in Gorgeous New Digs

East Bay Express: BAMPFA is Back

The Daily Californian: A Fresh, Rejuvenated Home for the BAMPFA

San Jose Mercury News: Review: ‘Architecture of Life’ — Opening Show at New BAMPFA

Berkeleyside: BAMPFA’s Inaugural Exhibition, ‘Architecture of Life,’ is an Eloquent Survey

KQED: ‘Architecture of Life’ an Optimistic Start for New BAMPFA

SF Chronicle: BAMPFA Gala Raises the Roof – and Arts Education Funds

SF Chronicle: An Expansive Show to Christen New BAMPFA Home

SF Weekly: BAMPFA Reopens Jan. 31 With New Theaters and Greatly Expanded Programming

Berkeley News: New BAMPFA Draws Thousands on Opening Day

Berkeley News: Four-Day Fête Celebrates New BAMPFA

SF Chronicle: BAMPFA: Halfway Point for Berkeley Art, Film Center

Posted February 2016

F | E’s UC Berkeley BAMPFA to Open January 2016

UC Berkeley's BAMPFA

UC Berkeley’s BAMPFA

Forell | Elsesser is excited to announce the opening of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) on January 31, 2016! Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and EHDD Architecture, the new $112 million BAMPFA will provide exhibition and film screening spaces as well as access to BAMPFA’s historic and contemporary collections of art and film. BAMPFA integrated a historic 48,000 sf Art Deco-style former UC Berkeley printing plant with a new 35,000 sf structure.

The Forell | Elsesser team included David FriedmanMason Walters, Geoff Bomba, and Masume Dana. Please visit F/E’s BAMPFA page for information on F/E’s scope of work.

For more information from UC Berkeley on the Opening, visit BAMPFA’s official blog.
Reserve your free ticket to BAMPFA’s opening by visiting the Community Page.

Posted January 2016

Tightening Earthquake Safety Regulations for SF Private Schools

San Francisco Friends School

San Francisco Friends School

Forell | Elsesser’s CEO, Simin Naaseh, was recently interviewed by NBC Bay Area about tightening of Earthquake Safety Regulations for Private Schools. San Francisco recently put into place the first law of its kind in California- that Private Schools have to evaluate the seismic safety of their buildings within the next 2 years.

Unlike public schools, that have been subjected to different regulations since the 1930s, private schools have never been required to evaluate the seismic performance of their buildings. Of the 113 private schools in San Francisco, approximately 43% of the school buildings are likely to perform well in earthquakes but 33% could perform poorly.

The retrofitted Private School project referenced in NBC’s article is Forell | Elsesser’s San Francisco Friends School, originally built in 1906. This adaptive re-use and seismic retrofit project was completed in 2009.

Posted October 2015

SEAONC August Dinner Meeting Featuring Facebook West

Facebook West

Facebook West

Steve Marusich and Susan LaFore will be presenting our Facebook West project, designed by Gehry Partners, at the SEAONC August Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, August 4 from 5:30-9:00PM. This 420,000 s.f. project was designed to house approximately 5,000 employees in “One Big Room” in Menlo Park. Designed and constructed under an accelerated schedule, the project opened Spring 2015.

Our SEAONC August Dinner Meeting will highlight the unique design challenges we faced in executing this exciting project, from schematic design through construction administration. To purchase tickets for the event, please visit SEAONC’s event page.

For more photos of the project, please visit Architectural Record from August 2015 or from April 2015.

Posted July 2015

F | E Hosts Pathways for Kids / CARE 2015

Pathways for Kids / CARE April 2015 Visit

Pathways for Kids / CARE April 2015 Visit

F | E hosted Flex Academy through Pathways for Kids and CARE, programs designed to expose students to a variety of career possibilities. Simin Naaseh, Carolynn Smith, Christopher Tung, Dwight Evans, Yousif Yousif, Mei Kuen Liu and Keith Chung spoke to the Flex Academy to expose the students to an education and a career in the structural engineering field.

“The presenters spoke at length about the importance of structural engineering in building bridges and buildings that are able to withstand the erratic shaking of powerful earthquakes. Such a discussion helped students to understand just what being a structural engineer entailed. Students were fascinated to hear about the equipment, materials and building techniques it takes to make buildings and bridges safe during devastating earthquakes and other natural disasters… The staff were extremely supportive in helping us expose the underserved students to various careers in engineering.”

“I was able to learn the difference between a Bachelors’ and Masters’ degree. I was able to learn how I can set in motion the steps of what I want to be.” – Steven Quincy O’lbel, a Pathways for Kids participant.

To read the full article Pathways for Kids June 2015 article, visit this page.

If you’re interested in sponsoring Pathways for Kids, please visit their website.

Posted July 2015

F | E Speaking at Multiple Local Events

Simin Naaseh, CEO/President of Forell/Elsesser and AIASF Public Board Member

Simin Naaseh, CEO/President, Presenting at AIASF/DBIA on 6/2

F | E engineers attended multiple events in the San Francisco area. I hope you were able to join us! Events include:

6/2/2015, 6:00-8:00PM AIASF/DBIA “Design/Build… In the Eye of the Beholder”
Our CEO, Simin Naaseh, moderated this event. Speakers included Michael Bade (UCSF), LeRoy Ginn (ACCO Engineered Systems), Rich Henry (McCarthy), Teri Jones (Sundt), Geoff Neumayr (SFO), Marianne O’Brien (SmithGroupJJR), and Mark Rothman (Fentress).
Please visit AIASF‘s and DBIA‘s websites for more information on these organizations.

5/19/2015 AEBL “Women in Leadership in the AEC Industry”
F/E’s David Friedman was a speaker sharing his knowledge about how to foster an AEC work environment which is inclusive and supportive of women. Associate, Lindsey Maclise, moderated the event.
Please visit AEBL‘s website for more information on this organization.

5/7/2015  AIASF/DBIA “Design/Build Basics”
Our COO, Paul Rodler, spoke about his experience with design/build and with working on D/B projects with Overaa Construction and WRNS Studio. Speakers included Andrée Blais (Nossaman), Carl Overaa (Overaa Construction), and John Ruffo (WRNS).
Please visit AIASF‘s and DBIA‘s websites for more information on these organizations.

Posted June 2015

F | E is Hiring Multiple Positions – Join Us!

Apply to Join Forell/Elsesser!

Apply to Join Forell/Elsesser!

Would you like to work with a collaborative, fun group of engineers in a dynamic downtown San Francisco office on some of the most challenging and exciting structural and seismic projects in California and around the world?  Do you want to be part of real team in a work environment that actively encourages and supports individual professional growth through ongoing education, training, and mentoring.  If so, let’s talk!

Forell | Elsesser is trying to fill two roles varying from entry level to experienced. If you’re interested, please forward your resume and cover letter to We look forward to hearing from you!

Napa 2014 M6.0 Earthquake Shaking Demands

Napa Earthquake 8/24/2014 (click to expand)

Napa Earthquake 8/24/2014 (click to expand)

The shaking demands experienced during the Napa M6.0 earthquake are approximately 60-90% of the demands used for the design of new buildings. The chart to the right includes the shaking demands expected for earthquakes that occur on average every 475 and 2475 years. New buildings are generally designed for an earthquake corresponding to the 475-year level.

If you have questions about the shaking demands corresponding to your building’s location or the shaking intensity of your area, please contact Russell Berkowitz.

Posted August 2014

Memorial Stadium Showcased at the National Building Museum

California Memorial Stadium

California Memorial Stadium

Forell | Elsesser is honored to have one of our structural solutions for the UC Berkeley California Memorial Stadium project featured at the National Building Museum’s “Designing for Disaster” exhibit in Washington D.C.

For a case study on our innovative seismic solutions, please visit the Memorial Stadium Case Study page. For general information on the project, visit our Memorial Stadium Project page. For awards won on this project, visit our What’s New page.

Foothill PSEC Wins ENR 2013 Award

Foothill PSEC, ENR California's Best Higher Education/Research Project Award Recipient

Foothill PSEC, ENR California’s Best Higher Education/Research Project Award Recipient

Forell’s Foothill Community College Physical Sciences & Engineering Center project is the recipient of ENR California’s 2013 Best Higher Education/Research Project, Award of Merit. PSEC was featured in the December 2nd issue of ENR California. This project also received the Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) Award of Merit while the project was in design.

Congratulations to our design and construction team including Ratcliff Architects, Gayner Engineers, Gilbane, and Hathaway Dinwiddie. The Forell/Elsesser team included Paul Rodler, Russell Berkowitz, and Susan LaFore. We hope Foothill College will enjoy this facility for many years to come.