As string trios played and wait staff served up wine and munchies Friday evening, a hundred or so Berkeley business and political leaders got their first look at Patrick Kennedy’s newest additions to the downtown.
The tour, organized by the developer’s Panoramic Interests and Panoramic Management corporations and the Downtown Berkeley Association, took in the Bachenheimer, Touriel and Fine Arts buildings, which opened in time for the fall semester at UC Berkeley.
Among the officials in attendance were City Councilperson Betty Olds, Zoning Adjustment Board members Bob Allen and Deborah Matthews and Civic Arts Commission Chair David Snippen.
All the schmoozing occurred on the rooftop expanses where musicians played and food and drink awaited, but tour participants also viewed the unfurnished apartment available for inspection in each building.
The unit that drew the most attention was the two-bedroom fifth floor apartment on the Shattuck Avenue side of the Fine Arts Building, where architect Daniel Solomon’s oddly angled walls prompted comments.
The Fine Arts apartments, at 2471 Shattuck, were the most spacious of the three structures.
The Fine Arts Building also offered the most unusual deck.
Though the building appears a solid mass from the Shattuck Avenue side, the structure is U-shaped, with the roof of the parking area in the center of the U serving as the floor of a deck.
The Touriel Building at 2004 University Ave. offered the most unusual hallways, with lines of poetry painted on the walls a foot or so above the floor and unusual art works adorning the hallway ends of and the walls of staircases.
The most distinguishing feature of the roof garden at the Touriel is a section toward the rear marked by heavy gauge square wire fencing stretched between upright boards, which spurred one of the tour members to quip that it reminded her of a jail exercise yard.
The courtyard atop the Bachenheimer Building at 2119 University Ave. offered the most spectacular views, taking in the downtown streetscape, the UC Berkeley campus and the hills above, all bathed in the golden hues of twilight.