UCSF has released a new rendering for its proposed 15-story hospital addition at its revamped Parnassus campus, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, and it's quite pretty.
The University of California has big, ambitious plans to expand and renovate the entire Parnassus campus, which includes constructing a new 15-story hospital building on the campus's east end — which will ultimately supplement the existing Moffitt and Long hospital buildings, which are both going to being renovated. With the new building, the hospital's capacity will grow from 475 to 682 beds, when the projects are expected to be complete in 2030.
As the Chronicle reports, the new renderings from the same architects who designed the deYoung Museum, Herzog and de Meuron, come along with the release of the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the project. There is now a 60-day public comment period, and neighborhood and community groups have already been vociferous in their opposition to what they say is too dense and too large of a project.
The new hospital, with tiered levels that give it a sort of pyramid shape from the Parnassus Avenue elevation, will wrap around and attach to the existing Moffitt and Long hospital structures. And one middle tier will be planted with trees and greenery on its terraces.
"In designing this hospital, we are re-imagining the space around it, connecting park to peak to make a positive impact in people’s lives," said Jason Frantzen, senior partner at Herzog & de Meuron, in a statement.
Also as part of the project, the historic UC Hall, the original hospital on this site built in 1917, will be demolished. And the university has pledged to build 1,260 new housing units on the campus, with around 40% of them set aside as affordable.
There will be a public hearing about the project on January 19, and the public has until February 14 to make comment.
Former Mayor Art Agnos is part of the pushback against the new campus plans, and he helped several community groups file a lawsuit last February over the assessment process for the EIR. As Agnos told the Examiner at the time, "The aim of the lawsuits is not to stop this project, but to make it work for all of us."
One of the groups that was a party to the lawsuit, San Franciscans for Balanced and Livable Communities, said in a statement, "The hospital will add close to the square footage of two Transamerica buildings to an already overbuilt campus situated between two mature neighborhoods. Over four decades the university has repeatedly promised the community that it would take steps to decompress the Parnassus Campus."
The primary objection of these groups is that the UC Regents appears to be reneging on a "space ceiling" that it committed to in the 1970s when other portions of this campus were being built out. Including the new housing plans, the opponents say the project will add more than 6 million square feet of new building space. They also have concerns about how traffic will be impacted.
Per the lawsuit, "members of the public feel betrayed by the actions of UCSF, which will result in buildings that overwhelm the neighborhood and campus environs."
It's not clear where that lawsuit stands, but it has not yet succeeded in overturning the UC Board of Regents decision that has allowed the project to move forward this far.
The university has committed to $20 million in transportation improvements, which would likely be put toward expanding capacity on the N-Judah Muni line.
Below is a computer animation that depicts some of the other improvements planned to the outdoor space on the campus.
Stay tuned for more hubbub about this project in the new year.