The San Francisco Conservatory of Music has announced that they’re breaking ground in July for a building made possible by a $46.4 million donation – the largest single gift ever made to a conservatory or music school for such a project. SFCM president David Stull says the 12-story Ute and William K. Bowes, Jr. Center for Performing Arts will be located right across the street from Davies Symphony Hall at 200 Van Ness Avenue.
There’s more information about the building at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music website.
“The building was designed with the thought of it being really a microcosm for San Francisco. Be open, welcoming, unique, and very forward thinking.” Architect Mark Cavagnero says one of the concert halls in the building will be on the top floor, taking full advantage of the location. “We’re going to have a performing arts space, with a view of San Francisco, and a view of City Hall. And we’re going to have 200 performances a year up there that are free and open to the public. And we want this to feel like the city takes ownership of this space… The terrace looks out at City Hall, it also looks at the whole Civic Center, and I think importantly, the whole city beyond. It’s this real love affair with San Francisco that’s inherent in the vision of this building.” President David Still says the Conservatory has come a long way since it began a century ago: “Founders Ada Clement and Lillian Hodgehead imagined a great school of the future, and never hesitated to seize an opportunity to advance that dream. This spirit of adventure is manifested itself into an institution that has migrated from a house on Sacramento Street, to a place in the Avenues, to a home on Oak Street, and now a full campus at the Civic Center.” And even though it’s just a few blocks closer, Mark Cavagnero says the proximity to the other cultural institutions in the Civic Center, and its visibility here will raise the profile of the institution. “The [ground floor] corner recital space is going to be looking right out at the street. And be completely acoustically isolated, be very high-quality performance space. But you’ll see Davies Hall across the street, and you’ll watch the vibrancy of the city going on around, and the city will look back in.”