University of California, Hastings Law

UC Hastings

Project Facts
Project Facts

University of California, Hastings Law has historically operated in multiple, disconnected buildings in San Francisco’s Civic Center area, with some facilities separated by busy thoroughfares such as Hyde Street. The university’s Long Range Campus Plan 3.0 calls for a phased approach to developing an improved, more cohesive campus for the 21st century. The first building project in this plan is a new, state-of-the-art academic facility at 333 Golden Gate Avenue.

The SOM-designed building fills an open space between two of the school’s existing buildings on Golden Gate Avenue to create a new heart of the campus. It will replace the school’s current academic facility at 198 McAllister Street, which is located a couple blocks away on the opposite side of Hyde Street, and is slated for eventual renovation and development into additional student housing.

333 Golden Gate Avenue features smart classrooms, conference rooms, and shared community spaces, such as a lounge and hub on the main floor for students, faculty, and alumni. It will serve as a home to the school’s more than 15 legal clinics, which combine theory and practice to provide a well-rounded, experiential education. A new outdoor quad is directly adjacent to the ground-floor hub, allowing interior and exterior spaces to serve complementary functions. Students can enter the building from the quad and from Golden Gate Avenue.

The building’s main floor and lobby are designed to be comfortable and welcoming, to encourage chance encounters and focused collaboration, and to strengthen the school’s sense of community. The rooftop floor of 333 Golden Gate Avenue is a premier community event space with views of City Hall and the San Francisco skyline. The 333 Golden Gate Avenue project is aligned with UC Hastings’ educational mission, addresses a variety of short- and long- term needs, and builds upon a landmark institution in the city.

Graphics + Brand

The Cotchett Law Center is the new heart of campus at UC Hastings, located within San Francisco’s bustling Civic Center neighborhood. Paired with SOM-designed environmental graphics and a new visual identity, the building offers a vibrant setting for academic innovation and collaboration.

The airy, light-filled lobby prominently displays the university’s new academic seal—a debossed logo rendered in white—which makes an understated counterpoint to a colorful, six-story graphic wall. This bold visual element follows the height of the main stair, transforming as one ascends, with wayfinding cues woven into the graphic.

The palette melds the school’s new colors with those derived from an abstracted cross-section of San Francisco. These 600 unique colors reflect the visual strata of the city, beginning with the vivid blues of the UC Hastings brand and the surrounding bay on lower floors, before transitioning to the vibrant colors of the neighborhood. On level three, the palette changes to reflect the hues of the city’s architecture, before shifting at the top two levels to shades of light gray and blue, evoking the tones of sky and fog overhead.

The heart of the new identity is the Hastings “H”—built on a 7×7 grid, representing San Francisco’s 49 square miles. A seal and shield complete the identity, along with an updated typeface. The graphic wall’s influence extends beyond the physical space: it also appears on newly created merchandise such as tote bags and notebooks.

UC Hastings