Submitted by Gonsalves & Stronck

The Marine Mammal Center is a 24-hour animal rescue and rehabilitation facility located on four acres of Fort Cronkhite in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The project’s design was inspired by environmental responsibility and the adaptive re-use of a decommissioned NIKE Air Missile launch site.

The Marine Mammal Center

When the center was founded in 1975, it was merely a collection of bathtubs, children’s wading pools and chicken wire that acted as makeshift pens for stranded seals. Today, the facility boasts a modernized water treatment system that nearly quadruples the center’s water-holding and treatment capacity (from 47,000 gallons to 200,000 gallons), while reducing its annual consumption.

The $32-million center is the largest purpose-built animal facility of its kind. In a typical year, the center treats up to 1,200 marine mammals.

Phased construction included six new buildings housing a retail and education center, administrative offices, and a mechanical shop and locker room, as well as a veterinary hospital that includes a food prep kitchen, a research lab, specimen storage, and a necropsy. There are also 39 outdoor pens and pools that house animal patients.

Project Team

Owner: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
General Contractor: Vance Brown Builders, Palo Alto
Architect: Jensen Architects, San Francisco
Project Manager: Pro PM, Lafayette
Structural Engineer: Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc., San Francisco
MEP Engineers: Guttman & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers, San Francisco