Announcements November 5, 2020

New Campus Housing at UC Hastings Law Breaks Ground

Project leaders from our Boston, San Francisco, and Washington DC studios share how this project signals a bright future for the University and the neighborhood.

UC Hastings Law announced the groundbreaking of a new, mixed-use project at 198 McAllister Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. In partnership with UC Hastings and developer Greystar, our Boston and San Francisco studios are collaborating on this transformative redevelopment. Spanning the majority of a city block—redeveloping 198 McAllister and renovating the heritage 100 McAllister tower—the Academic Village will ultimately provide a new destination for students to learn, work, socialize, and live affordably.

“Great law schools contribute positively to the environment and communities surrounding them,” says David Faigman, Chancellor and Dean at UC Hastings Law. “We are excited to be moving forward with our vibrant Academic Village in the heart of San Francisco, a hub of innovation commingling professional and graduate students in law, medicine, and business.”

An Academic Village in the Heart of the Tenderloin

Slated to welcome students in June 2023, this 356,000 square foot project at 198 McAllister will offer a rich mix of space types designed to fuel student success and entrepreneurship. Anchored by more than 650 beds for graduate students, each tower will feature distinct amenities, including office and academic space, a community auditorium, courtrooms, and retail. Residential spaces sit atop ground-floor public and community areas, with expansive windows that visually connect the building’s inhabitants to the neighborhood beyond—contributing to a vibrant, rejuvenated pedestrian experience. Open spaces throughout will provide moments of respite for residents—an indispensable asset now, in particular.

“As we’ve seen from this pandemic, outdoor space has never been more valuable,” says John Long, Principal. “Carving out space for gardens, terraces, and courtyards integrate fresh air and nature and will improve the overall well-being of students.”

A ribbon of transparent public spaces winds its way across the buildings via a series of windows. The transparency provides a connection between the inner workings of 198 McAllister and the public realm, ascending to show a number of study rooms before culminating at a skyline lounge and terrace.
Affordability, livability and maintainability were top concerns. The team also sought to create a technological and sustainable building that would serve as activation for not just 198 McAllister, but the surrounding community.

Community Engagement, Access to Justice

Within the project’s 80,000 square feet of academic space, it’s diverse programs, learning spaces, and emphasis on community outreach will serve as a leading educational environment and offer amazing opportunities to students. 198 McAllister will house a specialized mix of functions, including the Cotchett Advocacy Center, housing state-of-the-art trial and appellate courtrooms, and the well-regarded Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. Additionally, it will be home to ten student journals, like the Environmental Law Journal and the Race and Poverty Law Journal, along with facilities for the Moot Court and Legal Writing Resource Center where students will participate in competitive moot court competitions and faculty & staff can work closely with them on practice skills—writing, research, presentation, etc. Lastly, 198 McAlister will include a large multipurpose space for a wide variety of events and activities.

One element unique to UC Hastings is the LexLab. The LexLab is a think tank for entrepreneurs, creating innovative legal technologies to broaden access to justice. This space is a way to engage the legal industry and connect entrepreneurs with students, alumni, and investors.

“Access to justice is part of a current movement in legal education,” says Tom Butcavage, Principal. “There is a need to serve the underserved and this project’s mission is to engage with the Tenderloin neighborhood & community to expand access to justice.”

The building will include 650 beds for graduate students, as well as a community auditorium, courtrooms and retail. 80,000 square feet will be specifically dedicated to academic spaces, and about 35 percent of the residential units will be reserved for UC Hastings learners and employees.

Meeting the Demand for San Francisco Students

As UC Hasting works to build a community within its urban setting, this $282M mixed-use building will help Hastings address San Francisco’s housing crisis. As students have been priced out of the rental market in San Francisco—and around the country—residences will be rented at below-market rates. And, they won’t be exclusive to UC Hastings Law students; Partnerships with UCSF and other nearby institutions will open residential access to an expanded pool of graduate students

The Power of Public-Private Partnerships (P3)

This project is being delivered using the increasingly popular Public-Private Partnerships (P3) model, an innovative method of project delivery between a public institution and a private entity that overcomes otherwise limited funding sources and higher risks. Especially now, with normal revenue streams being challenged or depleted, more and more universities are turning to public-private partnerships to help finance student housing projects. The Academic Village will be the result of a partnership between UC Hastings, developer Greystar, and general contractor Build Group.

“Managing the balance of revenue in the project was a team effort that led to creativity in both the design and the proforma,” says David Damon, Principal. “P3 projects depend on much more than just meeting the budget.”

The Future of Law

The College of Law sits at the center of San Francisco’s civic heart, surrounded by City Hall, federal and state courts, the public library, and several museums. 198 McAllister takes inspiration from familiar elements of civic architecture and reinterprets that language in creative and unexpected ways. The building’s residential façade is composed of custom concave aluminum panels that are an abstraction of the depth and texture of the fluted classical columns found in traditional judicial design. Slicing through this façade is a continuous ribbon of transparency and activity that organizes the building’s public spaces in a bold and recognizable gesture. At street level it connects the academic village by bridging Golden Gate Avenue and McAllister Street with an active Hyde Street storefront. On the corner of McAllister, it forms a grand entry and then rises to create a skyline terrace.

“This bold and unique approach honors the legacy of legal practice while expressing Hasting’s commitment to innovation and its unique situation within San Francisco’s hub of technology and entrepreneurship,” says Matthew Pierce, Senior Project Designer.

The main body of the residential façade will be inspired by San Francisco’s public buildings, utilizing concave aluminum panels and fluted surfaces that resemble the columns that often adorn the exterior of civic structures and judicial courts.