California College of the Arts

Location
San Francisco

Status
In design

Client
California College of the Arts

Type
Cultural, Educational

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

Sustainability
Targeting closed-loop, net-positive, carbon-neutral, zero water waste

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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.

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.

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.

An early model shows the double ground concept.

Axonometric Diagram

Section

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