best little building in oakland

Returning to Oakland, CA recently reminded me of one of the best pieces of architecture I know of in the area. On the campus of California College of the Arts (formally California College of Arts & Crafts, so named at the turn of the century for the Arts & Crafts movement) sits this glass block and concrete structure that houses the glass blowing studio designed by architect and faculty member, Jim Jennings.

It’s form is simple. Strongly rooted to the ground with its poured concrete base, a layer of ventilation louvers, topped by a grid of glass block walls that glow from inside — a result of the interior glass blowing flame and energy of students at work well into the wee hours. A quiet masterpiece from a man who’s work I have long admired.

photos courtesy Jim Jennings Architecture

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