Rock Health is a nonprofit seed fund that supports the entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of technologies transforming healthcare. Flanked by the UCSF Mission Bay research campus, the new UCSF Medical Center and a host of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and venture capital firms, their new location sits at the epicenter of ground-breaking clinical care and translational research. This proximity lends itself to Rock Health’s vision of solving healthcare’s biggest problems through collaboration and disruptive innovation.
Located on the busy 3rd Street corridor, the ground-level office is positioned as a community center for technology innovation in healthcare; the expansive floor-to-ceiling glass storefront puts the interior on full display to passersby. “It’s great advertising and really lends to a feeling of activity in the neighborhood,” says CEO Halle Tecco.
The design concept establishes a sense of a single universal space, making it appear much larger. By utilizing transparent dividers, such as a glass garage door, the 110’ long space can be acoustically separated into three functional zones—work, public assembly, and social—without sacrificing visual continuity.
Two dozen angular wood ceiling ribs march the length of the office to reinforce the sense of one unified space. This ceiling array dips down along the west-facing windows to support a continuous perforated screen for sunshading. From the exterior, this linear plane acts as a reflector for an adjustable color LED fixture, simulating retail liveliness on the active street after hours. The ceiling ribs are assembled from two layers of stock Douglas Fir lumber, bolted together with standard framing hardware. The gap between the wood members nests functional lighting for the interior and creates a visual accent to the ceiling shape. The concrete floor and rugged wood ceiling gives Rock Health an image of earthiness within the slick new neighborhood. These coarse architectural elements are contrasted with the custom white marble bench work desks.
The program includes:
• Bench work areas for up to 14 teams of 2-4 people
• Assembly area for seminars and public events with flexible seating (minimum 24 seats)
• Four glass-fronted breakout rooms, each with unique furnishings, for acoustic privacy and team collaboration
• Conference room for formal meetings with venture capitalists
• Lounge/dining area with rolling group dining tables and bean bag chairs—an alternative place to either work, socialize or relax