Campus Planning

Update on Campus Planning April 2017

posted Apr 18, 2017, 2:37 PM by   [ updated Aug 17, 2017, 11:12 AM ]

The following was sent in an email to the CCA community on April 18, 2017.

Campus Unification

After a three-year planning process and an international search, award-winning firm Studio Gang was selected to design the expanded, re-imagined San Francisco campus. The team, led by principal Jeanne Gang, has been hard at work the last few months during the “discovery phase” of the project. The project team visited CCA several times this spring; toured both campuses; met with faculty, trustees, students, and staff; and organized a sustainability workshop that convened members of the CCA community and experts from the
Rocky Mountain Institute and Atelier Ten.

Jeanne Gang and the team will be back in San Francisco April 20–21. Plans call for more engagement with students, alumni, faculty, trustees, and the deans.

Looking ahead, Studio Gang will present the results of its discovery phase to CCA’s Board of Trustees in early June. CCA expects to have a master plan for the SF campus by the end of the calendar year, which will be shared broadly. The overarching goal is to bring together all the academic programs—including all the Oakland-based programs—on the new SF campus by academic year 2021–22.

Follow the process on the campus planning blog.

Oakland Campus

The future of the Oakland campus remains a top priority. With input from alumni, faculty, staff, and trustees, the college has partnered with Equity Community Builders/Emerald Fund to identify a range of options that celebrate CCA’s legacy and truly benefit the community. Options could include partnerships with mission-aligned organizations—coupled with alternative uses such as housing—and other uses that honor the arts and historic aspects of CCA’s Oakland campus. We anticipate a collaborative process, wherein CCA will guide, structure, and approve future uses. This first, exploratory stage of the project will take place over the summer months. Options will be presented to the CCA Board of Trustees in the fall and then shared with the community for further input.

Equity Community Builders (ECB) has a strong track record of working with local cultural, educational, and nonprofit institutions, including the American Conservatory Theater, the David Brower Center, The Bay School, Cavallo Point, San Francisco LGBT Center, and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. ECB also has extensive experience with the preservation and adaptive re-uses of historic structures. For a list of projects, visit the ECB website. Emerald Fund has been one of the leading residential developers in the Bay Area over the past 39 years. During that time, Emerald has developed many award-winning, transit-oriented projects in San Francisco and Oakland. For a list of projects, visit the website.

New Student Housing in San Francisco

An important step in our campus unification plan is to provide affordable student housing in San Francisco. A new student residence is underway at 75 Arkansas Street—just two blocks from the campus. The facility will feature three stories of apartment-style housing over ground-floor retail space. The plan is for students to occupy the building in fall 2018. Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA), winners of the 2017 AIA Architectural Firm Award and the firm that designed CCA’s main SF campus building, is designing the project.

The college is grateful to longtime CCA trustee Simon Blattner, who owns the property and is developing it for CCA students. As in the past, no tuition dollars will be used for campus building/expansion efforts.

Questions or concerns about campus planning?

We appreciate your interest and support as we move forward with these exciting plans for CCA’s future. For more information, visit the blog or email

Studio Gang Team Visits CCA

posted Mar 22, 2017, 3:09 PM by   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 2:09 PM ]

Plans to create a unified and redesigned campus in San Francisco are becoming more concrete with each passing day.

As we reported earlier, the college selected Chicago-based Studio Gang to design the expanded campus. (Read more.)

In early March the team, led by Jeanne Gang, made a visit to CCA, which involved extensive tours of both campuses; meetings with faculty and staff; a presentation to the Board of Trustees; and a sustainability workshop that brought together trustees, alumni, faculty, students, and experts from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Atelier Ten.  

A video crew from Spirit of Space was also on hand to document the process and interview key participants. (See photo.)

The next few months will be exciting as we continue our engagement with Studio Gang. Their process has been open, creative, collaborative, thoughtful, and thorough. The team will return in April as they continue their "discovery phase."


Faculty Retreat Workshop with Studio Gang

posted Feb 14, 2017, 10:58 AM by   [ updated Feb 14, 2017, 11:04 AM ]

The following is a message that was sent to all faculty from Emily McVarish, president of the Faculty Senate

Thanks to all of you who contributed your thoughts, experiences, and ideas to last Saturday’s [January 28, 2017] retreat with Studio Gang. The architects have said that what they gathered from you will be extremely useful.

About 125 faculty attended the event. For those who were not able to be there, here is a summary of what we did:

In the morning, Studio Gang led a series of interactions that began with faculty presenting objects that embodied for them CCA as it currently exists and CCA as they would like to see it in the future. 

In the next exercise, faculty produced diagrams mapping flows "of materials, work products, people, energy, and ideas” on campus and beyond. These diagrams were collected by the architects, along with annotated images of the objects people brought. 

Finally, Studio Gang presented a matrix made up of criteria that might go into a design decision for CCA’s new campus. This was a mock-up intended to prompt us to think about what realities and goals should be factored into the evaluation of design possibilities.

After the architect-led morning session, the deans of the four divisions offered references and frameworks for the faculty-led discussions that followed. For these, we broke in groups of 10–12 and talked first about the types of spaces and adjacencies we hoped to see in the new campus, and then about our curricular goals for campus unification.

These discussions were reported out to the full group. Outlines and sketches documenting these conversations were given to the architects, who were present throughout the afternoon. Notes taken from audio recordings of these breakout sessions will also be given to the architects.

Currently in a discovery phase and listening mode, Studio Gang will be back on campus several times over the next few months. Stay tuned for opportunities to engage with them. 

If you have suggestions about integrating faculty perspectives into the design process, please contact me at or Allison Smith and Brian Price, co-chairs of the Faculty Campus Planning Committee, at

Studio Gang Selected to Design Expanded SF Campus

posted Nov 17, 2016, 10:35 AM by   [ updated Nov 17, 2016, 10:37 AM ]

The Board of Trustees of California College of the Arts (CCA) has selected Studio Gang (led by Jeanne Gang, pictured) to design our expanded campus in San Francisco. The decision follows an international architect search and a two-year planning process to address the future of the college.

In collaboration with Studio Gang over the next five years, the college aims to create a campus that will be a model of sustainable construction and practice and will unite our 2,000 students, 600 faculty members, 250 staff members, and 34 academic programs on one campus in San Francisco.

CCA's new, reimagined San Francisco campus will reshape art and design education and practice while strengthening the arts and cultural ecosystem of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Our community of artists will enrich and invigorate the region while helping to reclaim the city's artistic history and contribute to its future.

At a special meeting on November 15, the trustees enthusiastically supported the architect selection advisory group's recommendation of Studio Gang from among the three short-listed firms announced in October. The other firms were Allied Works and Michael Maltzan Architects.

The architect selection process was thorough, involving significant input from CCA faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

Read more about the project and Studio Gang.

For more information on CCA's campus planning efforts, visit the blog or email

Feedback on Architect Presentations

posted Oct 25, 2016, 3:23 PM by   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:01 AM by Jim Norrena ]

We want your feedback on the presentations by the three finalist architecture firms. One of these firms will partner with CCA to design a new expanded San Francisco campus. The presentations take place:
  • October 26 at noon to 1:30 p.m.: Studio Gang
  • October 28 at noon to 1:30 p.m.: Allied Works
  • November 1 at noon to 1:30 p.m.: Michael Maltzan Architecture

Please give us your feedback about the presentations by completing the following forms:

Deadline to receive feedback is November 4, 2016.

Architect Finalists Named

posted Oct 20, 2016, 11:40 AM by

Nearing the final stage of an international search for an architectural firm, CCA has selected Allied Works Architecture, Michael Maltzan Architecture, and Studio Gang as finalists to design a new, ground-breaking art school that will redefine 21st century arts education. The goal is to unify our two campuses into one vibrant institution in San Francisco. 

Collaborating with the firm over the next five years, CCA aims to create a campus that will be a model of sustainable construction and practice at our current location in San Francisco. The expanded and reimagined campus will allow us to house all our programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions while developing yet-to-be-discovered modes of making. The primary project site is the Back Lot, the 2.4-acre lot bordering the main SF campus building.

Read more about the project and the three firms.

An architect selection advisory group composed of trustees, faculty, and staff reviewed the list of more than 75 architecture firms nominated by the CCA community and narrowed the search to a smaller selection that were invited to submit proposals. Three finalists were chosen from this group. Representatives from the three finalist firms will give 90-minute presentations, open to the public, in Timken Lecture Hall on the San Francisco campus.

The schedule is as follows:

  • October 26, noon: Studio Gang
  • October 28, noon: Allied Works
  • November 1, noon: Michael Maltzan Architects

We hope as many community members as possible will be able to attend the presentation, which will be recorded and made available on

Following further research, discussion, and input from the community, the advisory group will make a recommendation to CCA's Board of Trustees in mid-November.

The architecture community is enthusiastic about the three finalist firms. Read the article by San Francisco Chronicle Architecture Critic John King. 

For more information on CCA's campus planning efforts, visit the blog or email

President Beal's Update on Campus Planning

posted Oct 6, 2016, 3:49 PM by   [ updated Oct 6, 2016, 3:52 PM ]

In his fall 2016 letter to the community on October 6, President Beal gave an update on the plans for CCA's future unified campus.

Framing the Future: Campus Planning Update
In my last letter I wrote to you about CCA's exciting plans to unify and reshape our campuses in the next five years. This bold step toward the future aims to significantly strengthen the educational experience of our students and dramatically expand our impact on the fields of art, architecture, design, and writing—and beyond.

In June 2015 we completed the first phase of the project with Gensler and MKThink to produce a strategic framework for planning (Framing the Future). In May 2016 Jensen Architects finished their work to develop the next phase of the plan, which was delineating requirements for the space types outlined in Gensler's report. More than 300 faculty, staff, students, and alumni were involved in this phase of the project.

Now we are actively seeking an architectural firm to design CCA's future unified campus. Over 100 CCA community members responded to our request for nominations, and more than 75 unique firms were identified. A committee of trustees, faculty, and staff reviewed the nominations and sent requests for qualifications (RFQ) to 14 of the firms. The committee will meet again this month to review the responses and select three finalists. Representatives from the finalist firms will give one-hour presentations on October 21, 25, and 28. All presentations begin at 12:30 p.m. in Timken Lecture Hall and are open to the entire CCA community. (The sessions will be recorded and posted on This is an exciting moment for CCA, and we want you to be part of it!

You'll be hearing more from us on this topic in the near future. For the latest updates, visit the campus planning blog.

Update on Architect Selection Process

posted Aug 26, 2016, 3:47 PM by   [ updated Aug 26, 2016, 3:48 PM ]

This summer we announced the search for an architectural firm to help create CCA's future unified campus.

More than 100 CCA community members (faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees) responded to our request for campus architect nominations and more than 75 unique firms were nominated. A committee of trustees, faculty, and staff reviewed the nominations and sent requests for qualifications (RFQ) to 14 of the firms.

The committee will meet again in early fall to review the responses and select finalists. Representatives from those finalist firms will give presentations open to the entire CCA community in October. We will alert you to the dates, times, and locations of the presentations once they are confirmed. 


Call for Campus Architect Nominations

posted Jun 2, 2016, 10:23 AM by   [ updated Jun 2, 2016, 10:31 AM ]

David Meckel, director of campus planning, recently put out a call for nominations for campus architect. Below is the text from an email he sent to the CCA community.

After two years of extensive planning and internal community engagement, we are ready to select an architect to help us shape a new campus for a unified CCA. Based on the themes that have emerged during the work by Gensler/MK Think and Jensen Architects, we have a list of preferred qualifications that we would like our campus architect to possess.

I invite you to review these criteria and offer any nominations for campus architecture firm that you feel should be considered.

1.0 Firm Qualifications

Design Lead

This is a qualification process for a lead design firm only. It is not necessary to propose any consultants, joint venture partners, or executive architect. Qualified firms selected to receive the RFP will have the opportunity to structure their teams in their response.

Preferred Experience

The architecture form should have achievement of design excellence attested by awards and critical recognition, as well as demonstrated experience in:
  • Establishing strong relationships with nonprofit, arts, and education clients
  • Designing inspiring as well as functional art- and design-related production and/or exhibition spaces
  • Creating innovative learning environments
  • Repurposing existing buildings in relation to new construction
  • Delivering proven advanced sustainable energy systems
  • Designing for net-zero buildings and holistic triple­-bottom­-line sustainability
  • Navigating complex code, environmental, seismic, zoning, and land use regulations
  • Partnering with clients to assist in their capital campaigns
  • Completing projects on or ahead of schedule and on or under budget
Preferred Portfolio of Built Work
  • Urban projects that demonstrate the firm’s ability to design for complex programs
  • One or more projects with construction budgets over $100M
  • Three additional projects that show relevant experience
Preferred Practice Infrastructure
  • Ability to use CCA’s version of AIA contract document B101–2007
  • Existing office location in the US or a history of working with a US partner to execute built work
2.0  Selection Process

In May 2016 a working group of staff, faculty, and trustees will be formed to review architecture firm nominations in order to produce a list of 10–15 names. Those firms will receive the RFP. A selection committee of trustees, faculty, and staff will be formed in August; this committee will review the proposals and narrow down the list to three or four finalists. The finalists will be invited to campus for public presentations and other meetings In September and October. After gathering feedback from the CCA community, the selection committee will rank the finalists and make a recommendation to the CCA Board of Trustees in November. The board will discuss and call for a vote at the December 2016 board meeting.

3.0  How to Submit Campus Architect Nominations

Please submit the following for any firm you wish to have considered:
  • Name of Firm
  • Office location(s)
  • URL of firm website
  • Completed project that you think is comparable to our opportunity
Submit via email to

Put CAMPUS ARCHITECT NOMINATION in the subject field

Submission deadline: July 1, 2016

President Beal Outlines Vision for CCA

posted Apr 6, 2016, 12:00 PM by   [ updated Apr 6, 2016, 12:17 PM ]

Photo of Stephen Beal

In a recent letter to the CCA community, President Stephen Beal outlined some of the steps the college is taking toward the future. He also gave an update on the progress being made in campus planning.

Here is a snippet:

”Over the next five years, we will be working to unify and reshape our two campuses into one vibrant and innovative institution. We will dramatically expand the college’s role as a wellspring of creative talent, producing the trailblazers of tomorrow who can solve the seemingly intractable problems of today’s society. CCA will set a new standard for art and design education in the 21st century.”

Read the spring 2016 Letter from the President ...

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