UCSF Parking Structure

UCSF Mission Bay Medical Center Parking Structure

The new parking structure for the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) enhances the design aesthetic of both the UCSF Campus and the surrounding Mission Bay neighborhood. The ten-story parking facility was completed in September 2012 with WRNS Studio Architects and Rudolph & Sletten as a design build competition winner.

Like many of the facades Zahner has produced, the project's budget was restrictive and required intelligent design maneuvering to meet the architects' unique and compelling vision. The preset price per square foot was based on competition restrictions, so the elaborate design had to be streamlined to efficiently fabricate, ship, and install the facade. Zahner met this challenge without compromising the design.

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Details of the perforated surface of the UCSF Mission Bay Garage.
Photo credit © Tim Griffith.

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UCSF Mission Bay Medical Garage at dusk.
Photo credit © Tim Griffith.

How Zahner provided Facade Design for WRNS

When WRNS first approached Zahner, the architects had only completed the schematic design phase, and they needed a facade supplier who could commit to the design and budget prior to contract. This is unusual, but Zahner had worked with WRNS on two successful projects (Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Block 27 Parking Structure) prior to the UCSF Garage, so the team had established mutual trust and respect. The Design Assist Group (DAG) at Zahner agreed to sketch preliminary designs and worked out a design plan with the architects to meet their budget.

The unconventional design approach meant that Zahner was preselected for the project when WRNS won the design competition. By definition, Zahner became part of the architect's team. There was no bidding process to determine the facade installers, and their winning entry was contingent on the supply and install by Zahner at the predetermined price per square foot.

The design solution for the UCSF Parking Garage

The architect's design posed particular challenges in coordination with steel and installation of extruding vertical fins around the structure as well as the layout and coordination of perforated patterns. Zahner's solution made use of a common part, an anodized aluminum louver blade which was placed at variating angles to achieve visual vibrancy.

Determining the angles required consideration of design aesthetic, functionality, and economy. The architects selected angles that would bounce the sun's light the garage to provide natural lighting. The team determined that the design could achieve a sophisticated look requiring the use of only five repeating panels throughout the structure.

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Drawing shows the five repeating assemblies for the UCSF Parking Garage.

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Photograph of the storage facility, which shows the 4,400 fins used for UCSF.

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Crated panels for the UCSF Mission Bay Medical Garage.

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UCSF Mission Bay Medical Garage in Construction.

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UCSF design process imagery for the bay assemblies.

These five unique but repeating panels were optimized by the DAG Team for production and installation. Zahner was able to automate the changing angle of the blades using CNC production, resulting in a series of 8' bays.

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Upward view of the UCSF louvers.
Photo credit © Tim Griffith.

These were engineered with the help of Zahner’s Design Assist Group (DAG), whose collaborative approach with WRNS Studio influenced the design's functionality as it evolved, steering the engineering towards greater efficiency and lowered cost.

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USCF Mission Bay Medical Garage.
Photo credit © Tim Griffith.

Because of DAG's relationship with the architect, Zahner had the confidence to a commit to a very aggressive budget well before construction documents existed. This arrangement resulted in a tremendous value to the client. The architects’ design intent was fully maintained; and in some cases enhanced, while a strict budget and schedule were kept. Every project begins with the DAG Team, which ensures that each job reaches its full potential and maximum efficiency.

Zahner is committed to the design's integrity, and it shows.

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