Saturday, July 3, 2010

Barry Elbasani, 1941-2010

Barry Elbasani, FAIA, a founder of ELS, the Berkeley-based architecture firm that designed the Recreational Sports Facility at UC Berkeley and renovated a building on Berkeley Way below Oxford to house UC Press, died of brain cancer on 29 June. A North Berkeley resident, he was first hospitalized over the Christmas holidays. ELS employed a number of my friends. (One of them, Kenneth Caldwell, just published an interview he did with Elbasani in 2009.) The RSF has held up well, and the UC Press renovation is a model for how to do a lot with not much of a budget at all. Alan Oshima, a wonderful designer, did the color work on both buildings. The poster here is by David Goines, a wonderful designer himself. Goines, whose studio is on MLK, has long been in demand to capture and commemorate local prominence.(Update: attended Elbasani's memorial on Sunday, 18 July 2010, and learned much more about this remarkable man, best known locally for the Berkeley Repertory Theater, where the memorial was held.)

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