Industrial Facility Turns to the Arts
To provide spatial flexibility, the architects created both large open studios and acoustically isolated shops. A variety of paths and overlooks offer opportunities for casual, daily interaction among students. The student cafe and entry court serve as common gathering spaces for the school, as well as the surrounding community.
The adaptation of this space respects its unique character, fostering a dialogue between its past and present uses, and clearly distinguishing new construction from old. Light, steel frames sit within the massive concrete structure but respect its rhythm and organization. Circulation paths move around and under the massive concrete columns.
And relics of the former garage are incorporated in the new spaces. These include explosion-proof light fixtures and a small crane in the student cafe. The monumental concrete structure is left unpainted in contrast to the new elements of construction, preserving a patina of use.
The architects worked with engineers from Ove Arup & Partners, winning awards for their achievements.
To preserve the large expanses of existing industrial glazing, reduce the cost of shell upgrades, and minimize ongoing energy consumption, the 55,000 square-foot (5100 square-meter) open studio is heated entirely by the sun. Roof-mounted, high-efficiency solar collectors deliver hot water to a new radiant floor slab. This slab offers the further benefit of encapsulating the former garage floor to isolate any residual toxic material. A 30-foot (nine meter) tall hot-water storage tank located in the center of the student cafe retains solar energy for nighttime distribution.
The architects applied sustainable building materials throughout. These include sprayed cellulose acoustical treatment at the ceilings (100 percent recycled paper products), cellulose tack panels, formaldehyde-free fiberboard panels, and nontoxic paint.
Unstable toxic soils below the building called for creative structural solutions. Light seismic frames brace the existing concrete structure with minimal disruption of the original space or the soil below. The new second-floor structure rests on existing pier footings, reducing foundation costs.
In recognition of these achievements, the project has received an Honor Award from the California Council of the American Institute of Architects, a design award for adaptive reuse from the California Preservation Foundation, and a "Savings by Design" Energy Efficiency Integration Award from the Pacific Energy Center, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.
This last is awarded to architects who have integrated energy efficiency and sustainability into building design and achieved "superlative results in the areas of architectural design, energy performance, innovative treatment of energy related elements and technologies, environmentally sensitive design, and creativity."
Project: Montgomery Campus of the California College of Arts and Crafts
Location: San Francisco, California
Architect: Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy; principals in charge: Bill Leddy and Marsha Maytum
Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Photographer: Richard Barnes