California College of the Arts

San Francisco, CA

In design

California College of the Arts

Cultural, Educational

90,000 sf new construction; 146,000 sf renovation

Targeting carbon neutrality
Energy microgrid and waste water reuse


Studio Gang’s design for CCA’s new, unified campus unlocks the potential of art and design education in the twenty-first century. The architecture connects disciplines in new ways through a vibrant indoor-outdoor environment, offering a highly sustainable model for the future of creative practices.

Axonometric Diagram

Founded during the Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the twentieth century, CCA has grown to encompass a broad spectrum of art and design disciplines working across two campuses—its curriculum and facilities united by the exploration of art and design as vehicles for positive social, cultural, and environmental impact.

Conceived as a creative ecosystem that strengthens relationships between people, ideas, and practices, the design extends the main academic building of the existing San Francisco campus into a new campus yard framed by a layered “double ground” of art-making facilities and landscapes. The ground plane serves as a hub of indoor-outdoor maker spaces supporting more physically intensive practices. Its flexible plan makes the different programs more visible to one another, promoting interdisciplinary interactions and providing adaptability as new needs, uses, and technologies develop. Above, a second “ground” offers additional art-making spaces, outdoor classrooms, and informal social spaces—all visually and physically connected to the spaces below by a robust terraced landscape.

An early model shows the double ground concept.

Together, this layered environment functions as a laboratory where students and faculty can explore materials, processes, and tools. Incorporating passive strategies and sustainable systems allows the campus to function as a closed-loop, net-positive system, supporting healthy, progressive spaces for art making and ensuring resiliency for the future. Tied into the city’s design and innovation district, the campus provides public amenities and green spaces for the greater community benefit, seeking to be an exemplary neighbor during the continued growth of its neighborhood.




San Francisco Chronicle — "Timber! SF’s next architectural trend could be eco-friendly buildings made of wood"

California College of the Arts, a new campus designed by Studio Gang

"Touted by boosters as an eco-friendly alternative to concrete and steel, with a tactile warmth that theoretically makes for a more nurturing workplace, large buildings of structural timber have developed a cult following. . . The most visually striking of the projects will be the one at California College of the Arts."


California College of the Arts Wins Mass Timber Building Competition

California College of the Arts, a new campus designed by Studio Gang

The Governor’s Forest Management Task Force and the Office of Planning and Research announced California College of the Arts as a winner of a first-ever competition designed to highlight a category of engineered wood products known as mass timber.