University of San Francisco – Harney Science Center Innovation Hive

  • area / size 7,600 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • Flad Architects completed the thoughtful space for the Harney Science Center Innovation Hive at the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California.

    Flad Architects designed the Innovation Hive, a new 7,600-square-foot makerspace within the University of San Francisco’s historic Harney Science Center, marking the first phase of a full renovation of Harney.

    The Hive provides students from different academic disciplines a space to test their thinking through making in an invigorating environment modeled after the R&D centers they will join as professionals.

    The learning space incorporates a prototyping suite, a materials lab, and advanced fabrication labs, knitting these spaces together with direct physical and visual connections through glass walls and windows. In this multifunctional environment students can engage with their work while collaborating with faculty and, most importantly, with each other.

    The Hive also launches USF’s engineering program, enabling the creation of new engineering degree programs within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The design team initially assessed the existing building to understand its ability to accommodate new uses and programs. The renovation honors the original structure while reinventing and right-sizing collaborative space to strengthen CAS identity and the dynamic relationship between teacher and student. All materials and fixtures selected for the design are compatible with a future goal of WELL certification for the entire building.

    The space was designed to support as many learning styles as possible, with a diversity of collaboration features acting as the catalyst: AV/IT support, connectivity, and technology are complemented by marker boards, flexible seating configurations, and a variety of space types that support student energy levels throughout the day. Different types of seating options allow for many student uses, including an adjustable, standing-height bar top adjacent to glass marker boards and bench and banquette seating. Lounges for quiet study and collaborative work provide settings for different group interaction needs.

    Positioned on the building’s entry level, the Innovation Hive invites visitors into the space and develops a sense of community for students, staff, and faculty to work together on shared endeavors in a hands-on learning environment.

    Design: Flad Architects
    Photography: Bill Timmerman