Arts & Events

Press Release: Women Speak: Four Architects on Design and Urbanism

Tuesday September 06, 2016 - 10:24:00 AM

In a world facing global warming and worsening problems of urban transportation and affordable housing, are architects still relevant? The Berkeley City Club Conservancy is presenting an exciting lecture series featuring Bay Area design leaders whose work promotes sustainability, historic revitalization and urban planning. All are women in a field still dominated by men. All are leaders in their field. All have exciting and insightful stories to tell about how architects respond to today’s environmental and social challenges 

The first lecture by Ellen Lou, on September 22. will focus on cities in Asia. Lou, who grew up in Singapore, will describe the ways ancient cities in China and entirely newly created cities are responding to the challenges of a sustainable future. Lou is the Director of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Urban Design and Practice in San Francisco. 

The second lecture by Laura Hartman, on October 13, is titled “Inside/Out, Outside/In and will describe the interactions with landscape in the work of her firm Fernau & Hartman Architects in Berkeley. Hartman has worked closely in long-term relationships with diverse client groups--Co-Housing f or the Cheesecake Consortium, San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, and CuriOdyssey at Coyote Point in San Mateo-- skillfully accommodating and mediating the multiple voices of her clients. 

The third lecture by Marsha Maytum, on October 27, wll describe her firm’s work in architecture as a catalyst for change. Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco has designed new buildings and the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of existing structures. Projects include the Sweetwater Spectrum Community a housing project for adults with autism; the conversion of an historic army fort into a resort at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, and the conversion of a former army hospital at the Presidio into the Thoreau Center for Sustainability. 

The last lecture by Allison Williams is titled Design Intent. Williams is design director for AECOM’s Bay Area Metro Region. Her projects include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Computational Research Facility; the August Wilson Center, a performing arts center in Pittsburgh PA; and the Princess Nora Abdulrahman University Health Sciences and Research Campus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (for 40,000 Islamic Women). 

All lectures will be presented at the Berkeley City Club, designed by Julia Morgan, the first woman licensed as an architect in California. Proceeds from the lectures will go the rehabilitation and restoration of this beautiful and historic building. 

Series tickets are available for $50, through, Individual tickets can be purchased or at the door for $15 each. All lectures begin at 7:30PM at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. 

(510) 883-9710. For further information go to