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BART to remove Berkeley station rotunda in August

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Classic structure going in favor of new glass canopy

Photo by Angelo DeSantis

The instantly recognizable icositegragonal rotunda that’s sheltered the Downtown Berkeley BART station since 1973 will be a thing of the past come August, as a long-planned renovation nixes the classic structure in favor of an entirely contemporary design.

The ongoing $7.6 million renovation of the downtown transit center was supposed to close up the rotunda entrance in July, but Berkeleyside notes that the project is running behind and that closing time now comes August 7.

In place of the 44-year-old rotunda, a glass canopy and skylight will go up, similar to the one the agency recently installed at the southeast entrance of Berkeley BART station.

A rendering of a curved glass canopy over the BART entrance in Berkeley. Rendering courtesy of BART

For whatever reason, BART renders the new structure in the smallest possible dimensions on the plaza project page. However, it appears that, based on the designs, the intent is to create something that doesn’t obstruct sight lines or crowd the sidewalk as much as the present structure.

This canopy design with the smoothly curved roof replaces an earlier concept very similar in most respects, but which featured a sharply wedge-shaped structure instead.

Note that the red bricks around the station entrance are on the way out too.

BART’s board of directors approved the redesign in 2016 and planned to have "a dramatic new look designed to improve both safety and walkability by fall 2017," but the agency now says that the roughly six-month street-level overhaul will last some six months and bleed over into 2018.

An older design, since replaced.