Cate Leger, principal (with Karl Wanaselja) of Berkeley's Leger Wanaselja Architecture, has over the past 20 years aimed to create beautiful and enduring buildings while reducing their environmental impact. She's are best known for their innovative use of materials including used shipping containers, salvaged street signs and junked car parts. Looking at recent projects, including the McGee Salvage House and The Dwight Way, both in Berkeley, she will deﬁne green architecture and discuss its challenges and how they achieve their goals.
This is part of the Berkeley Hillside Club's monthly Ladies Lunch Series. It is not cohousing-focused, but we're cross-listing it because (a) we're club members, (b) we've been impressed by the firm's projects, including one (pictured below) right up the street from us, with some cohousing potential/similarities and (c) many EBCOHO members have expressed an interest in alternative/green building methods. Plus it's a lovely building and community, with people interested in both aging-in-community and neighborhood organizing. All genders are welcome at this event.
Since its inception in 1991, Leger Wanaselja Architecture has been a leader in green design. The firm has won numerous awards and been featured in many books, periodicals and other media, highlighting our exploration of green architecture.
The goal for every project is to shrink the ecological footprint while creating lyrical and enduring buildings. Integrating our clients’ needs with the specifics of a site, our projects emerge naturally from their surroundings and use energy and material resources efficiently. Light filled indoor-outdoor spaces often figure prominently. To reinforce the relationship of project to place we incorporate local materials, reuse existing materials and mark sunlight’s patterns in our work. Nature is always carefully considered and celebrated, even in an urban setting.
The firm writes on its website: We work closely with clients and builders in order to achieve the best possible design. Since we are also green builders and developers we bring a keen understanding of construction methods and budgets to all of our projects, as well as the hands-on ability to innovate and experiment. In addition, we regularly review new and alternative materials and construction methods to improve upon aesthetics and performance, and to reduce the ecological impacts of architecture. Our work includes ground-up construction, renovation, and interior design—commercial, residential and institutional.
Image below: The Dwight Way (Dwight & Milvia)
After graduating with a master’s in architecture from UC Berkeley, she worked for pioneering green architects William McDonough and Sim Van Der Ryn before joining her husband, Karl Wanaselja, in their own firm in 1996. In an earlier life, Cate spent five years in our nation’s capitol as an environmental advocate for the EPA and Congress, where she specialized in pollution prevention and water quality protection.
Lunch is potluck so bring some tasty morsels to share: a salad, hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, grains, or dessert. Our host Sylvia Paull will supply the main course. Be prepared to talk about your New Year’s resolutions (last year’s resolutions included) while we enjoy the fare.