Ken Cardwell recalls Bernard Maybeck

Daniella Thompson

11 June 2005

The closing lecture in our Hidden Lodges of Berkeley and Beyond series took place in the Maybeck-designed Great Hall at the Faculty Club on Thursday, 9 June 2005. Ken Cardwell, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at U.C. Berkeley, who knew Maybeck and wrote the first definitive book about his work, reminisced about meetings and conversations he had conducted with the eccentric architect.

The lecture was co-sponsored by The Faculty Club, which donated its facilities for the evening. Faculty Club Board Member and Chair of the Club’s House Committee Phyllis Brooks preceded Ken Cardwell’s talk with a brief description of the origins and history of the Club. The evening began with cocktails on the back patio followed by dinner in the Heyns Room.

Photographs by Andy Liu.

  Cardwell’s backdrop was Maybeck’s massive fireplace with its matte-glazed tile surround. The Great Hall’s interior framing is suggestive of Gothic timbering. Eight built-up columns of rough two-by-tens support a system of timbers framed as a half-truss for the low-pitched gabled roof. Note the beam ends projecting into the room under the sharply pitched ceiling. The characteristic dragon heads are a tribute to Maybeck’s father, who was a master wood carver.

Maybeck designed a low-pitched gable roof for the Faculty Club, in keeping with the Mediterranean climate of Berkeley. Cardwell demonstrates how Maybeck achieved a steeply pitched ceiling inside the Great Hall without using cross-beam trusses.

The back half of the Great Hall. Note two of the stained-glass collegiate shields set in the clerestory windows on the left.

Anthony & Stepahnie command the check-in table.

Phyllis Brooks expounds on the history of the Faculty Club.

Dinner in the Heyns Room. To the right, Mary and Ken Cardwell with BAHA president Wendy Markel (standing).

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