San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Housing, Theater, Support Spaces
MEP Engineer: Meyers+
Structural Engineer: Tipping Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Luk and Associates
Landscape Architect: GLS Landscape/Architecture
Lighting Consultant: Auerbach Glasow French
Theater Consultant: The Shalleck Collaborative
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is expanding their facility with a new, unique, state-of-the-art theater and student housing tower at 200 Van Ness Avenue within San Francisco’s Civic Center performing arts district.
The project has two acoustically special performance halls: Each are designed specifically to isolate the space from exterior noise. A 600 square foot flexible space will be located on the top floor to be used as a small ensemble room, technology lab, or venue for private events. It is prominently positioned at the top of the building slightly hovering over the building’s edge and glazed on the West and North facades viewing the Davies Symphony Hall and San Francisco’s City Hall iconic dome.
The skin is made of clear low iron glass and offers outstanding views for the audience and performers.
The design addresses the thermal comfort needs through mechanical and passive methods; exterior sunshades, radiant floor cooling, vented wall cavities and mechanized vertical roller blinds are employed to maintain temperature comfort and manage western sunlight glare. The “box in a box” double glass acoustical isolation strategy functions as a theater combined with shaped sound transparent wood ceilings, theatrical lighting, sound attractive absorptive materials. The recital hall at the street level conquers the acoustical challenges with similar engineering muscle.
West solar gain is less the concern however street traffic and wind loads are mitigated through double glass insulated sealed wall and a jacked floor system. The Audio visual systems will be adaptive to allow for all varieties of musical and entertainment uses.
The ground level along Van Ness and Hayes will be highly transparent and visible both to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It will feature a lobby, a café/bar program, and a flexible space at the Van Ness and Hayes intersection which can serve as an extension of the lobby or small ensemble/performance space. A glass enclosed theater will be located on the ground floor at the street level conquers the acoustical challenges in a very similar fashion.
The project has a public and community draw at multiple levels. Concerts are offered free of charge to the public. The Conservatory of Music is ultimately providing housing for its student population but another key crossover into the urban fabric by placing housing units in the building for the tenants living in the existing removed and replaced building. Working with the city and the community was an integral measure in the making a welcome additional to the City’s Music culture.