The Hamlin School

  • Prize
    Winner in Architectural Design - Educational
  • Company/Firm
    Mark Cavagnero Associates
  • Lead Designer
    Mark Cavagnero
  • Design Team
    Felicia Dunham, Christopher Agosta, Tammy LePham, Anna de Anguera
  • Architect
    Mark Cavagnero Associates
  • Interior Designer
    Mark Cavagnero Associates
  • Const. Company
    Herrero Builders
  • Photo Credit
    Mike Kelley
  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Client
    The Hamlin School
  • Project Date
    February 2022

The Hamlin School has focused on their mission of educating girls to “meet the challenges of their time” for over 127 years. The campus was comprised of three separate buildings stepping 65’ down a steep hillside, creating profound circulation challenges.

The three disconnected buildings, each with its own elevator and stairs, were constructed during three different eras and were not designed to support the school’s modern pedagogy. A 40’ high retaining wall in the center of campus created a barrier between the middle school and the lower school, fundamentally dividing the campus. The gymnasium was undersized and shared with the performing arts department, compromising both the athletics and arts programs.

The renovation and expansion project clarified the circulation to unify the campus. Work was concentrated in the interior of the site to minimize impact to the stunning bay views from the campus and neighboring residences. The resulting approach stacks a large double-height gymnasium above a multipurpose arts space deep in the center of the site, allowing the new classrooms to be consolidated on the north side of the building with large windows, soft light, and views.

Mark Cavagnero Associates is a San Francisco-based architecture firm built on a foundation of serving civic, cultural and institutional clients. We approach each project with a focus on the immediate and greater community it will serve. The firm has completed a wide range of architectural and master planning projects based on this ideal, including large and small scale institutional, non-profit, and commercial projects. The firm provides a full range of services, from programming, master planning, site planning and conceptual design, through construction documents and administration.

Other prizes
In addition to being well-received by users and the community, our work has garnered more than 100 design awards from local, state, national and international organizations. Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects was honored with the AIA California Council’s 2012 Firm of the Year Award, the highest honor that the organization bestows upon a firm, recognizing distinguished architecture and a culture of mentoring the next generation of architects. The firm ranks in Architect magazine’s 2015 The Architect 50, the ranking of the top 50 architectural firms in the country. Mark Cavagnero was personally honored with the AIA California Council’s 2015 Maybeck Award, a lifetime achievement award often referred to as the “Gold Medal of California.” In every project we design we strive for logic, strength, functional excellence, clarity, sustainability, economical use of materials, and, of course, beauty. Ultimately, the challenge of our work is to build something that authentically represents our core values and innate beliefs: fairness, stability, strength, and openness.