The Hamlin School

Mark Cavagnero Associates

The Hamlin School, a K-8 school in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, has focused on their mission of educating girls to “meet the challenges of their time”* for over 127 years. Comprised of 3 separate buildings stepping 65 feet down a steep hillside, the campus suffered from profound circulation challenges.

Constructed during 3 different eras, the 3 buildings were disconnected from one another and not designed to support the school’s modern pedagogy. A 40’ high retaining wall in the center of the campus created a barrier between the middle school and the lower school, fundamentally dividing the campus. Each building had a separate elevator and stairs obscuring the connections between them. The gymnasium on the top floor was undersized in every direction and was shared with the performing arts department, compromising both the athletics and arts programs. The renovation and expansion project clarified the circulation to unify the campus. Work was concentrated in the interior of the site to minimize impact to the stunning bay views from the campus and neighboring residences. The resulting approach stacks a large double-height gymnasium above a multipurpose arts space deep in the center of the site, allowing the re-envisioned classrooms to be consolidated on the north side of the building with large windows, soft light, and views. The project, completed in February 2022, is transformative for the school, supporting the educators who inspire their students to become “extraordinary thinkers and innovators, courageous leaders, and individuals of integrity.”* * Hamlin School Mission Statement