Snøhetta & HGA to Design Parnassus Research & Academic Building
The University of California San Francisco has selected Snøhetta and HGA to design the new Parnassus Research and Academic Building in San Francisco in California. Forming a collaborative partnership, Snøhetta will lead overall conceptual design for the building and surrounding public realm, including landscape and site improvements, while HGA will serve as the Executive Architect and Architect of Record, leading programming, planning, and project management, as well as the design of research lab and technical program spaces. One phase of a comprehensive planning process that is underway for a major renovation and expansion of the campus over the next decade, the PRAB project will anchor a redesigned west end of the campus and create a new public realm for the Cole Valley and Inner Sunset neighborhoods.
A San Francisco institution for more than a century, UCSF’s Parnassus Heights campus is renowned for innovation in research and education. Bringing together scientists, students, and clinicians, the new PRAB project will replace UC Hall, UCSF’s oldest building at Parnassus Heights, which was built as the University of California’s first hospital in 1917. UCSF, assisted by Snøhetta and HGA, will be assembling the Design-Build team with local partners to carry out the project. Both firms will work with a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary design-build team from UCSF in an integrated design and construction center to support collaboration, public engagement, and the development of a holistic design.
Renovating the campus is a top priority for UCSF to drive innovations in scientific research, health sciences education, and health care delivery. One key component at PRAB will be UCSF’s CoLabs, a concept that will bring together several previously separate core laboratories into a new model for research collaboration. Preliminary plans for the PRAB envision an approximately 270,000-square-foot building with wet labs, computational labs, modern classrooms, and a nursing school, all supported by open spaces and other public realm improvements. Enhancements to the neighborhood also will include improving pedestrian access to the campus and reducing vehicular traffic along Parnassus Avenue.
While the bulk of the PRAB will be for researchers, an estimated 12,000 square feet will be designed for education. Graduate students will be able to work in labs and attend classes under one roof. To enable telepresence and build on recent advancements in virtual and hybrid learning, classrooms will be designed with accessibility and flexibility in mind.
The Parnassus Research and Academic Building is expected to open in 2026. For more information on UCSF and the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan, visit ucsf.edu/cphp