SF State News {University Communications}

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Architect chosen for Creative Arts Center

June 11, 2008 -- A new center for the College of Creative Arts will ensure SF State's place as a hub of creativity for the future. Now it's Michael Maltzan Architecture's job to decide how that future will look.

Maltzan's firm has been selected to design the new building that will house SF State's acclaimed College of Creative Arts -- the first new construction project in the University's Master Plan, which will transform the campus by 2020.

A black and white photo of architect Michael Maltzan.

Michael Maltzan

"The Creative Arts Center will set the bar for design quality and sustainability for the campus," said Simon Lam, associate vice president for capital planning, design and construction. "Michael Maltzan brings to the project an artful, inventive, integrative approach to design, befitting a building dedicated to the performing and broadcast arts, and one that will serve as an icon for the campus."

Maltzan said his challenge is to design a space that is both iconic and captures the creativity of the arts. The new building will sit on the southwest corner of campus along Lake Merced Boulevard and house SF State's programs in broadcast and electronic communication arts, music, dance and theatre while serving as an important center for performing arts in the region.

The new design will include a 1,200 seat theatre, little theatre, black box theatre, music recital hall and choral and orchestral rehearsal spaces. Groundbreaking on the first of three construction phases is scheduled to take place in 2010.

"This building is meant to be a gateway, both physically and culturally," Maltzan said. "The exciting challenge is to create a building that expresses the spirit of creativity in this special context. Those are hallmarks of our architecture, creating strong, dynamic, and optimistic ideas of our future."

A photo of a rendering of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum

A rendering of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum.

Maltzan has developed a reputation in the architecture world for innovative and functional design that plays into a building's surroundings. He also has extensive experience designing creative arts spaces and theatres, having designed the Billy Wilder Theater and Hammer Museum, both at UCLA. The award-winning architect also worked on the renowned Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles when he worked with Gehry Partners. Maltzan also designed the MoMA QNS, the temporary home for New York's Museum of Modern Art, fashioned by renovating a 154,000 square foot Swingline Staples factory in the borough of Queens.

"I'm personally interested in creative and performing arts spaces," Maltzan said. "Those are the spaces where community gets built and where we represent the best of our culture. That's a fantastic space for architecture to occupy and enable. We have been very fortunate that it has been a big part of our portfolio of work."

A photo looking at the ceiling of the Billy Wilder Theatre at UCLA.

The Maltzan-designed Billy Wilder Theatre at UCLA.

For the SF State project, Maltzan has assembled a team that will ensure a top-notch facility. Theatre consultants Fisher Dachs Associates Inc., have completed more than 500 projects around the world, including the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and renovation work at Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

Also on the team is Nagata Acoustics, Japan's leading acoustical consulting firm that has worked on some of the most famous concert halls around the globe. Maltzan worked with Nagata on the design of the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

"We're delighted one of the brightest young architects today has been selected to produce an important, cornerstone building on campus," said Ron Compesi, interim dean of the College of Creative Arts.

The facility will be financed through a partnership of private and public funds. A $10 million gift from alumni Manny Mashouf and Neda Mashouf has enabled the University to move forward in hiring Maltzan. The University expects to raise another $40 million toward the project from alumni and friends.

For more information about the SF State Master Plan, visit www.sfsumasterplan.org

For more information about Michael Maltzan Architecture, visit www.mmaltzan.com

-- Michael Bruntz


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