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ASLA-NCC

Awards

2013 Awards

Design: Commercial and Institutional

Honor Award

Smith Cardiovascular Research Building
San Francisco, CA
Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architect/Principal-in-Charge: Andrea Cochran
Landscape Architects: Elaine Shaw and Eric Sirois
Client: University of California, San Francisco

Grasses of varying heights define pathways and gathering areas within the one-acre courtyard. Swathes of native, no-mow sod meadow provide areas for informal recreation and lounging.
A non-occupied green roof planting creates a safe habitat for wildlife and filters stormwater.
Circulation paths with pockets of seating allow researchers from the two adjacent buildings to occupy the interstitial spaces and promote chance encounters.
The courtyard’s planting scheme transforms circulation through the space into a rich experience of texture, movement, and light.
The landscape architects designed a long custom table and seats to accommodate groups of different sizes. A large specimen California Pepper tree at the northeast corner of the courtyard anchors the space.
Roof garden and courtyard plantings filter stormwater which then is captured by a permeable paving system draining into a 6,000 sf detention basin below.
The landscape team coordinated the design around complex subsurface conditions on this brownfield site—including a dense fabric of subsurface pipes, access vaults and areas of projected differential soil settlement.
Gingko trees frame the southern building entrance, bringing down the scale of the architecture and reinforcing a major circulation axis.
The paving pattern continues from the lobby out into the courtyard. In-grade lights subtly illuminate pathways.
A bosque of palm trees connects the campus gateway landscape to the main entrance of the Smith Cardiovascular Research Building and complements the height of the building facade.
A perforated, corrugated aluminum screen, lighting and planting create a dramatic new entrance to the UCSF campus.
Site Plan

The landscape design for this laboratory research facility at the University of California, San Francisco includes a bold new campus entrance and an intimate, one-acre courtyard.  The project provides a significant amenity to both the University and the larger community, fostering interaction among researchers and forging strong connections between the rest of campus and the city beyond. The courtyard design draws on the qualities of the former salt marsh that once occupied the site in both character and function. Native grasses filter and absorb stormwater runoff, while buffering winds from the nearby bay. The bands of linear planting break down the plaza’s scale and define areas for group meetings, informal recreation, lounging and more intimate seating. A planted green roof adds habitat for native wildlife and helps filter stormwater.  A below-grade retention area, permeable paving, native plantings and an efficient irrigation system helped earn the project LEED Gold certification.