Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture was invited to participate in a competition to design a new exterior treatment on the east and south sides of an existing parking garage on 3rd Street at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco. As UCSF is a top-rated research University, our façade concept fosters the feeling of discovery through ever-changing views that obscure and show colored horizontal fins threading in-between the verticals. Each vertical fin represents an individual EKG reading of a heartbeat rhythm, representing the many doctors and researchers who have participated in the University’s extensive history of scientific advancement.
Forty-nine split-v prefinished aluminum vertical fins project up-to three feet from the existing structure. The varying texture of the CNC-cut fins obscure the colored horizontal louvers from the north and south approaches. As the viewer passes, the louvers begin to reveal an undulating pattern that appears to grow like a vine from a seed. Inspired from medical and scientific discovery, the louvers represent the impact of a single discovery – the smallest of fins start singularly at the upper left corner and grow with increased number and size across the facade.