UCSF Joan and Sanford I. Weill Neurosciences Building

SmithGroup with Mark Cavagnero Associates

Client: University of California, San Francisco

The first center to integrate the research and treatment of neurology and psychiatry at UCSF, the Weill Neurosciences Building challenges the traditional boundaries of these disciplines through a program that fuels connectivity and collaboration.

From the outset of the project, the integrated project team drew inspiration from the incredible scientific research and innovative patient treatments that the scientists and doctors are doing already and that this building will support. The team understood that this will be a building of hope for many, and it should express its potential as a catalyst for progress.

Architecturally the building is conceived as a pair of programmatically driven wings, united around a public atrium which includes the public and social spaces. Wrapped with an architectural screen expressive of the precise science within, the four-story research volume is lifted above a transparent two-story clinical volume wherein natural materials seek to create a warm, serene space conducive to care. This clear and concise massing is enlivened through powerful articulation of the forms that are informed by the campus to create a dynamic and welcoming environment that is illuminated and connected to nature.

Delivered through a collaborative Big Room cross-discipline teaming approach and ongoing collaboration, the team was able to develop and refine the design and facilitate decision making. The team achieved a high level of design aspiration on this high performing and complex building, including ~68,000SF Wet Research, ~70,000SF of Dry Research, 60,000 SF of Clinical Space, including two 3T MRIs, and ~15,000SF of Shared/Support Program.