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UC Law San Francisco’s newest building provides student housing at below-market rental rates

Student Housing

UC Law San Francisco’s newest building provides student housing at below-market rental rates

The Academe at 198 offers 656 residential units as well as study rooms, classrooms, and two courtrooms where students can practice law.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | February 19, 2024
The 656-unit Academe at 198 is the newest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will
The texture of the façade recalls the verticality and relief of the columns of a courthouse, an echo of the legacy of the college and the law, as well as a gesture toward the future and innovation, according to design architect Perkins&Will. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will

Located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods, UC Law SF’s newest building helps address the city’s housing crisis by providing student housing at below-market rental rates. The $282 million, 365,000-sf facility at 198 McAllister Street enables students to live on campus while also helping to regenerate the neighborhood.

Designed by Perkins&Will’s San Francisco and Boston studios and developed by Greystar, the 656-unit Academe at 198 is the latest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. The student apartments are mostly efficiencies and studios, while group study rooms allow students to come together outside their own rooms.

In addition to residences for graduate students and faculty, the Academe at 198 offers common spaces, academic classrooms, and food and retail options. The student housing building also has two courtrooms for students to practice law in the same physical layout they’ll find in the real world.

The building façade’s texture suggests the verticality and relief of the columns of a courthouse. The residential block’s organization exposes the interior life to sunlight and sky, while at the same time sharing the building’s activity with the surrounding neighborhood. 

Student housing development offers ‘calm oasis’ 

As a counterpoint to the urban lobby, the courtyard provides students a calm oasis that’s isolated from the street. The courtyard’s blue shades transition from darker at the top to lighter at the bottom, which makes the garden feel brighter.

The LexLab, an innovation hub for connecting with local tech companies, overlooks the lobby atrium.
The LexLab, an innovation hub for connecting with local tech companies, overlooks the lobby atrium. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will  

The LexLab, an innovation hub for connecting with local tech companies, is both a workspace and event space and overlooks the lobby atrium. On the seventh floor, the Skyline Lounge is open to both residents and the larger academic community. The lounge and terrace are situated at the roof level of the neighboring buildings. 

Perkins&Will describes the project as “a multi-disciplinary hub for education and community living in the heart of San Francisco. The project embodies an innovative approach to housing for multi-disciplinary learners with intentional placemaking, and is a transformative investment intended to catalyze growth by providing an affordable place to live in an economically challenged community.”

On the Building Team:  
Owner: UC Law SF  
Developer: Greystar  
Architect: Perkins&Will  
Civil engineering: Langan  
MEP engineering: Taylor Engineers / The Engineering Enterprise  
Structural engineering: Rutherford + Chekene  
Contractor: Build Group

The 656-unit Academe at 198 is the newest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will
Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will 
The 656-unit Academe at 198 is the newest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will
The LexLab, a hub for connecting with local tech companies, is both a work space and an event space. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will 
The 656-unit Academe at 198 is the newest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will
The courtyard offers a counterpoint to the urban lobby, offering students an oasis of calm that is isolated from the street. Shades of blue are used to draw in the sky, transitioning from darker at the top to a lighter value at the bottom, a technique that makes the garden feel brighter by comparison. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will 
The 656-unit Academe at 198 is the newest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will
Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will 
The 656-unit Academe at 198 is the newest addition to UC Law’s Academic Village. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will
The Appellate and Trial (pictured) moot courtrooms provide space for students to practice law in the physical layout that they will encounter in the real world. Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy Perkins&Will 

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