Friday, July 16, 2010

Economical & Cheerful

We recently completed a color project for UCSF at the Parnassus Campus in San Francisco. The facility built on land donated to the University by Adolph Sutro was constructed in stages. The Clinical Sciences Building went up in 1934, The Moffit Hospital designed by Timothy Pflueger and the Medical Sciences building opened in 1955. The School of Nursing was completed in 1972, and the Health Sciences East and West opened in 1975. The buildings have been added to, reconfigured, and linked over 30 years. Students and visitors find navigating the Campus challenging.

Parnassus Campus Map

Facing extremely tight budgets for improvements and maintenence, the Facilities department commissioned Colour Studio to create a color palette for the 10 plus miles of corridors linking Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences and the Health Sciences East and West.

Our mission was to aid way finding, create a palette to differentiate buildings, and appeal to a broad number of personal tastes.

Upon completion of the painting, we received several emails from the users. In fact the first compliments that came in were addressing one of the most challenged spaces, the windowless, basement hallways of the Medical Sciences.

Subject: RE: MSB Basement Paint

“It really opens up the basement and makes it look bigger than ever. Nice and soothing.”

“We love the new paint colors in the basement level of MSB!”

The UCSF Corridor Project had no architectural improvements, and no lighting enhancements. The application of a sunny color palette did radically change the experience of the hallway.

You can’t afford to ignore the value add of color – it can transform a users experience.




  1. Wow, I am a Timothy Pflueger fan and had no idea that he had his hand in this campus back in the day! What a great project to work on and such an improvement to those barren white hallways.

  2. nice! i would love to see more from this project. guess i'll have to pop on over to the UCSF campus and roam the hallways...

    (btw, we should get together for lunch soon and catch up- it's been ages!)

  3. Wonderful transformation! So simple, yet so impactful.

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