UCSF Kirkham Childcare Center
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UCSF Kirkham Childcare Center

November 20, 2014
Located on the southwest side of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Parnassus campus, the new Kirkham Childcare Center accommodates 75-90 children of UCSF employees. The facility’s programmatic and design vision was developed after careful study of numerous day care centers around the Bay Area and incorporates the latest models in child-centered learning environments.

Sited on a steep hillside, the building is entered from the uppermost area of the site where level parking and protected parent access to the facility is provided.  A welcoming entry court and reception spaces promote a sense of community among staff, students, and parents. Classrooms for the younger children are located on the main level, near the front entry for ease of access, while spaces for the older children are located on the lower level.  Through successful collaboration with neighborhood groups, the building is designed with varied residentially-scaled materials appropriate to the neighborhood.

Significant to the overall design solution, the project utilizes prefabricated modular unit construction, ultimately reducing the overall construction costs all the while maintaining a contextual design aesthetic, fulfilling the unique programmatic space requirements, and mitigating the complex site conditions.

Location / year

San Francisco, CA / 2010

Project Type



Peter Pfau, FAIA, LEED AP

Project Scope


Project Manager

Michael Jak, LEED AP

Photographic Credit

Pfau Long Architecture

Square footage

9,000 GSF

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