The sweeping Hooper Street entrance welcomes students and visitors to the expanded campus. Rendering courtesy of Studio Gang.

The state-of-the-art campus for today’s makers has arrived

Picture what it’s like to explore the newly expanded California College of the Arts.

Imagine it’s back-to-school season: It's the end of a breezy, festive San Francisco summer, fall is just around the corner, and new and returning students have just moved into their dorms at Founders Hall on campus at CCA. But it’s not like any back-to-school California College of the Arts has seen before.

This time, a whole new expanded CCA in the heart of San Francisco is welcoming students to learn and create in state-of-the-art shops and studios, to present their work in new exhibition spaces, and to gather together outside in calming green spaces.

This picture is now a reality for the incoming class of new students to CCA as well as continuing graduate and undergraduate students this fall.

What can you expect to see and experience at this all-new CCA?

The future of art and design education opens fall 2024.

A grand (and convenient) new campus entrance

After grabbing a morning coffee at Makers Cafe on the ground floor of our main residence hall, hop across the street to enter the campus’s new Hooper Street entrance, an expansive and welcoming open plaza allowing easy access to the main parts of the college.

Turn left to head into the ground level of the campus expansion where you’ll find the central Resource Hub, a special information and equipment check-out center. Continue straight to find light-filled, open-air Maker Yards that connect the Machine Shop, Metal Shop, Ceramics Labs, as well as the Digital Craft Lab.

Architectural rendering of a contemporary hallway with bright lighting

From the Hooper Street entrance, turn left and head into the central Resource Hub. Rendering courtesy of Studio Gang.

Exhibition and green spaces

Rather than turn left, you can head straight on up a contemporary amphitheater-inspired staircase that leads to the main upper level with open green spaces, trees, and access to exhibition spaces. Among these are the new CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts pavilion, which has moved to the heart of campus allowing for increased opportunities to connect the campus community with visiting artists, curators, and more.

Special gardens are also in the works so the Textiles program can grow their own dye-making plants.

Breathtaking views

Anchoring the Hooper Street entrance is a four-story pavilion that includes the MFA studios on the third and fourth floors. If you happen to stop by here, take in the stunning views of the city skyline to the northeast and the classic San Francisco vista of dramatic hilltops toward the south and west. From here you can enjoy a serene Bay Area sunset.

Many ways to move across campus

Photo of a sweeping light-filled concourse filled with students and their work.

The heart of CCA: the Nave. You can now easily enter this part of campus from Hooper Street, just across the street from Founders Hall.

The heart of campus is still the large central concourse called the Nave which is abuzz with making, class activity, critiques, and presentations. You can get there by making a right, just ahead of the amphitheater staircase from Hooper Street. You can also cross a special bridge on the upper level of the new campus connecting the second floor of the main building and onward to the Nave.

The new entrance and campus expansion combine to make it easy to navigate all sections of our sprawling campus quickly and efficiently so you’ll always be on time to the next item in your calendar.

After a busy day of classes, making, designing, and creating, head back across Hooper Street for a pick-me-up at Makers Cafe or take a well-deserved nap in your home away from home.

Published on March 7, 2024