Today, California College of the Arts (CCA) breaks ground on new student housing in San Francisco at 188 Hooper Street. Designed by leading architecture firm Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc., the five-story building will provide much-needed, below-market-rate housing for more than 500 students – roughly 25% of CCA’s student body – upon its completion in 2020. 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. Located at the confluence of Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Mission neighborhoods (also known as the DoReMi Arts District), 188 Hooper will bring young creative talent to a vibrant, emerging area of San Francisco, while helping to alleviate housing difficulties for college students.
“San Francisco draws creative visionaries from all over the world and CCA is lucky to call the dynamic Bay Area home,” said CCA President Stephen Beal. “However, the well-documented housing crisis in San Francisco can be a major barrier for many of our students and prospective applicants. In breaking ground here today, CCA is helping to provide the next generation of creative professionals with an affordable place to call home, right at the heart of our expanding campus.”
A home away from home
The building at 188 Hooper Street will primarily provide housing to the school’s first- and second-year students. It will include single- and multiple-occupancy units and more than 12,000 square feet of common areas, along with social and study spaces. An inviting, sunlit café on the ground floor of the building will be surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
At the ground level, the facility includes 10,000+ additional square feet of outdoor space with landscaped, interconnected courtyards. The building also features a 400-square-foot outdoor deck on the fifth floor. The sidewalk outside the building will expand to accommodate an increase in foot traffic and landscaping. Crosswalks will be added, giving the neighborhood a more residential feel and creating improved traffic flow at the intersection of Hooper and 8th Streets.
The façade of 188 Hooper extends the color palette and architectural rhythms of the Golden Gate-colored mullions of CCA’s current main academic building. CCA’s original building is a former Greyhound bus station that was converted for academic and artistic use in 1996.
“The student housing project on Hooper Street gave us the opportunity to work with CCA to develop its San Francisco site from a stand-alone building to a full-formed, lively campus,” said Stanley Saitowitz principal and founder of Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc. “From the outset, we worked with groups of students to fully understand what they wanted from campus living. We’ve also ensured that the building connects with the wider neighborhood, to position CCA as an active and open part of the community.”
188 Hooper builds upon CCA’s commitment to sustainability, with rooftop photovoltaic arrays and solar water heating systems, 167 indoor bike parking spaces and high-performance floor-to-ceiling windows that provide natural lighting in all rooms. The building infrastructure has also been designed to enable the eventual linkage of campus energy systems to a microgrid that will manage supply and demand and store energy. This system will operate independently from the city grid. All rooms will be ADA accessible.
“188 Hooper Street is an important piece in the jigsaw puzzle of unifying CCA into one campus,” said David Meckel, director of campus planning. “The most recent figures show that for the 80,000 students studying at San Francisco’s 30 institutions of higher learning, fewer than 10,000 beds are available. This means that those who come to study in the Bay Area must compete with families and young professionals in an already overcrowded rental marketplace. Having access to on-campus housing will allow students to focus on their studies, as well as free up housing for other San Franciscans. We also believe our unified campus will turn this area into a bustling community space, anchoring CCA in its new home.”
Looking to CCA’s future
Since 2010, CCA has been a trailblazing institution in its quest to provide affordable student housing in San Francisco. CCA worked with the city to pass a groundbreaking ordinance permitting student housing construction in the city. Soon thereafter, CCA opened The Panoramic, at Mission and 9th Streets, which houses 200 CCA students. The launch of 188 Hooper follows the August 2018 opening of Blattner Hall at 75 Arkansas Street, which provides accommodations for more than 200 students less than three blocks from CCA’s main academic building. The project has recently been certified Platinum for its sustainability properties, which is the highest score achievable in the GPR rating system.
CCA’s ambitious plans to unify its two campuses in San Francisco in the coming years includes an expansion of the school’s current San Francisco footprint. Spearheaded by award-winning architecture firm Studio Gang, the new campus is envisioned as a living and learning laboratory and will be a model of sustainable design and operation.
The 188 Hooper project is being financed with tax-exempt debt underwritten by George K. Baum & Company. The site is on campus land, structured around a ground lease, by a public-private partnership (P3) with National Campus and Community Development Corporation (NCCD), a 501(c)(3) entity. This structure allows for tax-exempt debt financing with no recourse to the college.
188 Hooper Student Housing
Architects: Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects, Inc.
Contractor: Nibbi Brothers General Contractors
Developer: Daniel Murphy (Owner and Principal of UrbanGreen Devco LLC)
Size: 133,634 gross square feet
Proposed opening: 2020-21