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08-03-20 | Department

Multi-functional Courtyard Brings Life to Hooper Street

San Francisco's Hooper Campus

The Alley at Hooper Campus in San Francisco, California is a multi-functional courtyard. Surfacedesign's directives included runoff remediation and delivery-truck access to the ground-floor units.
The White Claw Sculpture by Jon Krawczyk fits well in a vibrant campus populated by clothing companies, jewelry designers, print-makers, distillers, and other businesses. Surfacedesign worked with the client to position the art in a central planter, reflecting how the landscape design melds industrial craftsmanship with restorative softscape.
Benches were created from concrete salvaged from the site demolition. Sandwiching slabs in pairs allowed bench seating surfaces to be leveled by mortar shadow lines.
An amphitheater area features benches made from sustainable composite-bamboo material. They frame the gardens and encourage artisan engagement. Concrete planter retaining walls were poured to complement the pavers and benches. Shade trees include ginko biloba and marina strawberry.
An amphitheater area features benches made from sustainable composite-bamboo material. They frame the gardens and encourage artisan engagement. Concrete planter retaining walls were poured to complement the pavers and benches. Shade trees include ginko biloba and marina strawberry.

Located in San Francisco's Design District and adjacent to California College of the Arts, 100-150 Hooper Street was formerly a large parking lot. It is now a 400,000-square-foot multi-use facility known as Hooper Campus. Surfacedesign was hired by developer Kilroy Realty to create a multi-functional courtyard between the development's four-story buildings.

Planning
The site sits on former baylands and is located directly on the outflow to Mission Creek, a feeder to Mission Bay. This requires the Hooper Campus landscape to be both functional and performative. In addition to managing stormwater, the courtyard serves as a service corridor for large trucks to deliver to makers' workshops. Surfacedesign's plan combined the functional compulsories with aesthetics inspired by modern industrial innovation to complement the site's building architecture.

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Design
The programmatic requirements for The Alley, as the 35,000-square-foot Hooper Campus courtyard is known, limited the number of landscape maneuvers possible at the site. Surfacedesign responded by developing a strong, linear gesture that complements the creative core of the development and pays homage to the historical ecological processes, which occurred on the site.

Surfacedesign used permeable pavers to channel runoff into a network of bio-remediation planters, which retain and filter stormwater. To meet public-utility specifications, the landscape architects used interlocking 4x8-inch permeable concrete pavers. Using standard colors, Surfacedesign created motion and depth by designing an ombre pattern-darker pavers near the planters where water collects, fanning out to lighter colors.

Surfacedesign adopted the overall development's industrial-innovation attitude by re-claiming concrete from site demolition. Sawn and polished, the re-purposed concrete slabs were stacked to create benches.
Larger seating areas were constructed of composite material made from sustainably harvested bamboo and arranged to frame the plaza's planters. They are positioned for uninhibited runoff permeability and to maximize delivery access to the 50,000 square feet of active campus PDR (production, distribution, and repair) space.

A series of breaks in the linear planters keep the main plaza area permeable while framing lush perennial garden views from the interior workshops. Clear visual access is critical to the design because of the correlation between innovation and proximity to nature which, the team felt strongly about due to research into the role of green space in creative performance.

For the plantings, Surfacedesign selected pollinator-friendly vegetation. The planters evoke California riparian meadow ecology, creating a resilient stormwater landscape. Grasses, notably autumn moor grass and deer grass, form the foundation for the drought-resistant plantings. Ornamental perennial drift accents, such as Cleveland's sage, showcase seasonal plants. Surfacedesign's softscape juxtaposes the natural and the industrial, giving The Alley a serene, creative atmosphere.

Summary
The Alley at Hooper Campus draws influences from the buildings' industrial architecture and hands-on craftsmanship. Surfacedesign's landscape is functional on multiple levels and offers an informal environment for creative collaborations among campus tenants and visitors from the Design District and California College for the Arts. The landscape also pays homage to the site with the re-purposed chunks of the former parking lot and stormwater bioremediation. The Alley's environmental attributes complement the Hooper Campus' LEED Platinum buildings.

Filed Under: HARDSCAPE, DESIGN, CAMPUS, LANDSCAPE
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