Oakland, CA

Mills College | Music Building Renovation


Structural Engineering


23,000 sf

Key Info

18 months to complete concert hall renovation


2009 California Preservation Design Award winner

2009 Merit Award: Excellence in Architecture for Restoration and Preservation, SPUR/AIA

The award-winning renovation of the 1928 Spanish Colonial-style Mills College Music Building included new additions, ADA upgrades, refurbished classrooms, new A/V and performance space, and, perhaps most noticeably, the upgrade of the Littlefield Concert Hall. The rehabilitated hall includes upgraded acoustics, seating and orchestra space enhancements, stage expansion, and restoration of the Raymond Boynton mural. The project was completed within a limited budget and an ambitious one-year schedule. Rutherford + Chekene served as structural engineer for the renovation. R+C provided structural engineering services previously for the building's partial upgrade. The renovation of the building's gem, the Jeannik Mequet Littlefield concert hall, took the design and construction team 18 months to complete.

Highlights of the renovation included:

Expanded stage for larger performances

New seats and improved layout for a enhanced and more comfortable audience experience

New acoustic panels for enhanced sound quality

Soundproofing for performance and recording quality

Restoration of the Raymond Boynton frescoes and choir loft murals within the venue

Higher Education
Civic | Cultural

Leavening peerless structural engineering skill with humor, philosophy, people skills and, above all, a consummate understanding of San Francisco's permitting process, [Alan] saw this project through.