Raphael Viñoly’s serpentine-shaped building snakes up San Francisco hillside

May 18, 2011 |

The hillside location for the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine building at the University of California, San Francisco, presented a challenge to the Building Team of Raphael Viñoly, SmithGroup, DPR Construction, and Forell/Elsesser Engineers. The 660-foot-long serpentine-shaped building sits on a structural framework 40 to 70 feet off the ground to accommodate the hillside’s steep 60-degree slope, while custom earthquake isolation devices will keep tremor damage at bay by allowing 23 inches of lateral movement. To accommodate a strict schedule and budget, the Building Team saved money and streamlined construction by moving a mechanical level, originally designed to hang below the structure, to the office level to avoid construction conflicts. They also reclassified the 80,000-sf building from hazardous occupancy to business, utilizing new building codes. The $123 million project is targeting LEED Gold.

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