Photo by Maggie Beasley.

New student housing for CCA opens at 75 Arkansas Street with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Below-market-rate housing for over 200 students is a model of environmental sustainability.

Building named Blattner Hall to recognize CCA Trustee and property developer Simon Blattner

Opening marks major milestone for CCA’s expansion in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA — September 24, 2018 — Leaders from California College of the Arts (CCA), Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Equity Community Builders, Oliver & Company, the City of San Francisco, including President of the Board of Supervisors Malia Cohen, and community partners gathered today for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of a new California College of the Arts student housing building. It features apartment-style units for over 200 students, a multipurpose room, outdoor courtyards, and neighborhood retail space, all within walking distance of the college's San Francisco campus.

At the ceremony, CCA President Stephen Beal announced the building name as Blattner Hall to honor the vision, leadership, and generosity of property owner, developer, and longtime CCA Trustee Simon Blattner. Addressing the critical unmet need for student housing in San Francisco, Blattner developed the property specifically to provide below-market-rate housing to CCA students who otherwise would compete in San Francisco’s housing market.

“We recognize the pressing need for student housing in the Bay Area, and today I am proud to be part of CCA’s efforts to offer below-market-rate housing to its students,” says Simon Blattner. “Located at the center of the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Mission neighborhoods, Blattner Hall will bring young creative talent to this area of San Francisco while helping to alleviate housing shortages for college students.”

The building was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, with Equity Community Builders as development manager, Oliver & Company as contractor, and Capstone Management as property manager. The opening marks the next major milestone within CCA’s plans to unify its two campuses in San Francisco and provide more student housing than ever before, with the goal of adding housing for nearly 1,000 students on or within walking distance of the campus.

“Thanks to the creativity and foresight of Simon Blattner and his wife, Kimberly, CCA takes a big step today toward our goal of creating a new living and learning educational experience for our students. The building is a vital cornerstone of our vision for an expanded campus in San Francisco that will inspire our students through environmentally sustainable design and strengthen connections with the larger community,” says CCA President Stephen Beal. “We also thank our Trustee Steve Oliver, president of Oliver & Company, who served as contractor for the facility, the talented team of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Equity Community Builders, Capstone Management, our dedicated staff at CCA, the Potrero Hill neighborhood, and other project partners who made the opening of this building possible.”

Less than three blocks from CCA’s main campus at 1111 Eighth Street, Blattner Hall can accommodate over 200 students, including continuing, transfer, and graduate students. In a series of wings, the apartments are organized around a central lobby, common room, laundry room, and vertical stair. Airy, light-filled hallways with views of San Francisco connect the spaces. The three upper residential floors are designed as apartment-style student housing: Each unit includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a central eat-in kitchen and a living room with full-height windows, views of the surrounding city, and modern amenities. Study nooks outside of the bedrooms provide creative use of the hallway space, maximizing the generous layouts.

The mixed-use ground floor is designed to enhance the surrounding Potrero Hill neighborhood. Four street-level commercial spaces will be leased to businesses that support student and community needs. In addition, a spacious multipurpose area flanked by two connecting garden courtyards will provide room for campus and student life activities.

In keeping with CCA’s commitment to sustainability both within its curriculum and in its physical spaces, the building’s design is expected to attain a Platinum level rating under the GreenPoint rating system. Special attention was given to resource conservation and achieving a healthy living environment. The building’s roof is covered with solar panels for both renewable electricity and hot water production. Performance models predict that the building will use approximately 73 percent less energy to operate compared to the national average for a college dormitory.

The contemporary design of the facade reflects the architectural rhythms of the surrounding community and celebrates California’s natural landscape. The building’s clean lines, large windows, and metal geometries are balanced with the warm tones of rapidly renewable bamboo woodwork, natural landscaping, and rust-colored exterior detailing that nods to the iconic mullions of CCA’s main academic building.

“At Blattner Hall, our mission was to inextricably combine great design, affordability, community integration, and environmental sustainability to achieve a high standard for CCA’s evolving campus,” said Richard Stacy, principal at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.