A major renovation of the San Francisco Symphony Hall has been proposed

A major renovation of the San Francisco Symphony Hall has been proposed

The San Francisco Symphony has begun the due process of renovating Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall at 201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco’s Civic Center. While plans are preliminary, Symphony has hired local firm Mark Cavagnero Associates and world-renowned Gehry Partners to produce the dramatic reimagining of the interior and exterior. The construction cost is expected to reach at least $100 million.

Existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) along the east elevation, illustration by Cavagnero and Gehry

Existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) along the east elevation, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The current Symphony Hall was built in 1980 with a postmodern design by SOM and Pietro Belluschi. The project shows inspiration, reflecting the neighboring neoclassical icons, the City Hall and the Opera House, with their pitched copper roofs and formal exterior organisation. Future details include two balconies extending from the third floor. In a public statement, the symphony wrote that it is “exploring ways to enhance the physical space to make the building more accessible to the public, more transparent, and operationally efficient.”

Mark Cavagnero Associates is responsible for the design of the project’s lobby, exterior envelope and new concert hall. Gehry Partners will oversee the interior design of the concert hall, drawing on the firm’s long experience in designing numerous concert hall interiors, most famously the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Preliminary elevation plans show much of the original precast facade, and a portion of the copper roof will be replaced with a curtain wall glass skin and patterned shading trim.

Existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) along the south elevation, illustration by Cavagnero and Gehry

Existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) along the south elevation, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) to the north elevation, illustration by Cavagnero and Gehry

Existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) to the north elevation, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) to the concert hall interior, cross-section illustration by Cavagnero and Gehry

The existing San Francisco Symphony Hall (top) and proposed changes (bottom) to the concert hall interior, cross-section illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The project will expand Symphony Hall from 210,200 square feet to 247,780 square feet, including a new 400-seat concert hall at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Hayes Street. The indoor auditorium will expand by 5,000 square feet, although total seating capacity will decrease from 2,700 to 2,100. Parking will be increased to accommodate 76 cars and 133 bicycles, shifting capacity from a parking lot along Franklin Street to a two-story basement garage. An outdoor performance terrace and event space will replace surface parking. Zellerbach Hall, located at the corner of Franklin Street and Hayes Street, will remain as it is during construction.

The San Francisco Symphony Hall proposed a map of the ground floor, drawn by Cavagnero and Gehry

San Francisco Symphony Hall suggested ground floor map, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The San Francisco Symphony Hall proposed a plan for the orchestra floor, with an illustration by Cavagnero and Gehry

The San Francisco Symphony Hall proposed a plan for the orchestra floor, drawn by Mark Cavagnero Associates

Top view of San Francisco Symphony Hall, illustration by Cavagnero and Gehry

An overhead view of the San Francisco Symphony Hall, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

OJB will be responsible for landscape architecture. The plans will reduce the public space available along the streets by expanding the ground floor area, although this will be offset by widened sidewalks along Grove Street, Franklin Street and Hayes Street. For visitors, though, the proposal could result in a noticeable expansion of open space, from 4,600 square feet to 39,000 square feet across several outdoor terraces. Most significant is the orchestra-level balcony above the atrium, which provides a 10,500-square-foot balcony facing City Hall and punctuated by skylights.

San Francisco Symphony Hall, photo by Google Street View

San Francisco Symphony Hall, photo by Google Street View

Arup is a consultancy in the field of engineering. The estimated construction schedule has not yet been determined. In a closing statement, the symphony said they “excitedly look forward to sharing details about the plans as they develop in the future.”

Participate To YIMBY’s daily email

He follows YIMBYgram for real-time photo updates
Likes Yambi on Facebook
He follows YIMBY’s Twitter for the latest YIMBY news

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *