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08 Nov 2018

Renzo Piano-designed civic centre opens in California
BY Andrew Manns

In a statement, BAR Architects described the property as a

In a statement, BAR Architects described the property as a "civic asset and community-gathering place".
photo: Courtesy of RPBW/BAR Architects

The City Centre Bishop Ranch (CCBR) – a retail hub and civic attraction designed by architect Renzo Piano – has opened in San Ramon, California.

Comprised of two three-storey structures, the US$300m (€262.2m, £229m) complex draws influence both from Renaissance-era piazzas and the meandering hills of the nearby Diablo mountain range.

"You can see how nature melts with the architecture," said Antonio Belvedere, a partner at Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW).

In a statement, the company pointed to the site’s use of transparent and walkways to create a "friendly pedestrian experience", explaining that certain areas would seem to "float".

The sprawling 300,000sq ft shopping district has several restaurants on-site as well as a bowling alley, a 10-screen multiplex – dubbed "The Lot" – and an Equinox spa and fitness facility.

Described by San Francisco’s Urban Land Institute as "a modern public square for the Bay Area’s Tri-Valley region", the CCBR development – erstwhile known as Norris Ranch – has been in the works since 2013 and forms part of the expansive Bishop Ranch business park.

To bring it to life, planners at Sunset Development recruited RPBW and BAR Architects; the team was later joined by landscape specialists Burton Landscape Architecture Studio and structural engineering advisers Magnusson Klemencic Associates.



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