Client Spotlight: California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts

LCI has recently been working with California College of the Arts (CCA) to help lay the groundwork for the unification of the institution’s two campuses into a single location in San Francisco.

Past, present and future

CCA was founded by Frederick Meyer in Berkeley in 1907. It offers majors in art, design, architecture and writing to 2,000 students, across two sites – one in Oakland and one in San Francisco. In 2006, CCA embarked on a journey to define its future with a singular goal in mind—enriching and enhancing the student experience. With physical growth opportunities in Oakland severely limited, San Francisco became the logical, necessary and desirable location for campus unification, and the commitment was made to unify the two campuses in the city.

The new campus is envisioned as a living and learning laboratory, a model of sustainable design and operation and a catalyst for creativity and change-making in San Francisco’s burgeoning art and design district. For this watershed project, CCA is working with MacArthur Award-winning architect Jeanne Gang and her team at Studio Gang.

All 34 existing programs at CCA will have a home on the new SF campus. The Oakland campus will be redeveloped as a neighborhood-enhancing mix of below-market-rate artist housing and work spaces, public gathering spaces, and ample (and much-needed) market-rate housing.

A home away from home

As part of its vision, CCA has also been working to reduce the housing burden on students. For the more than 80,000 students studying at San Francisco’s 30 institutions of higher learning, there is currently school-provided housing for roughly 10,000. This means that those who come to study in the Bay Area compete with families and young professionals in an already overcrowded, overpriced rental marketplace.

CCA has been a trailblazer in creating student housing in the city. Along with a handful of other institutions, CCA worked with the city to establish as special student housing ordinance that recognized this urgent need. This effort resulted in the construction of the Panoramic (in conjunction with the SF Conservatory of Music) and Blattner Hall.

At the start of 2019, CCA worked with LCI to unveil its third student housing project – 188 Hooper Street. The 280 single and double occupancy rooms are CCA’s first on-campus housing in San Francisco and are positioned at the center of the school’s expanding campus. Designed by Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects, the five-story building is designed to be visually cohesive with the current campus building. Upon its completion in fall 2020, CCA will be able to offer housing to roughly 50% of its students.

Plans for the campus expansion and unification will be unveiled in the near future, so watch this space.

Want to know more about CCA? Check out its website or leave your question below.

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6 Comments

  1. CRAIG MACLELLAN Reply

    It’s been great working with the CCA team over recent months – look forward to more exciting news soon!

  2. David Landis Reply

    Craig, thanks for the primer on CCA. And, this isn’t the first time LCI has worked with CCA. We worked with them to open their first San Francisco campus many years ago and on several projects in the interim as well. We’re delighted to be associated with such a prestigious academic institution. Cheers, David

  3. Brianne Miller Reply

    Housing in and around SF is a big issue for everyone – students are in a real pickle! I’m pleased to see that arts education is addressing the need for safe, nearby student housing.

  4. Sean Dowdall Reply

    Housing for artists, students and creative folks is so important. I’m so happy CCA is doing this.

  5. Ashley Boarman Reply

    On-campus housing is so important for helping first and second-year student assimilate into college. I’m so glad CCA is addressing this challenge.

  6. David Cumpston Reply

    I’m so happy that CCA is making such an important investment in San Francisco. Though housing will always be a challenge, efforts made by organizations like CCA are improving the situation.