SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

SF State unveils designs for Mashouf Performing Arts Center

Feb. 24, 2011 -- San Francisco State University today unveiled designs for the Mashouf Performing Arts Center, a 242,150 square foot state-of-the-art facility that will transform creative arts education and performing arts at SF State and throughout the region. The new performing arts center will house SF State's nationally renowned programs in theatre, music, dance and broadcast and electronic communication arts, while keeping SF State on the forefront of creative education and the performing arts. 

A photo of the planned performing arts center and link to interview with Kurt Daw, dean of the College of Creative Arts

Click on picture to watch an interview with Kurt Daw, dean of the College of Creative Arts.

The Mashouf Performing Arts Center, made possible with a mix of private and public funding, will be constructed at the corner of Lake Merced and Font Boulevards. The new facility is designed to both continue and expand upon the decades of educational achievement that has taken place inside the existing Creative Arts Building. Built in the mid-1950s, the Creative Arts Building has proven to be a powerful incubator for creative talent, with SF State alums having gone on to the highest levels of the entertainment industry, garnering 11 Oscars, 11 Grammys, 12 Tonys and 47 Emmys.

"If we want to have a facility that will serve the next 50 years it needs to be as far-reaching and advanced thinking as the building we currently occupy was 50 years ago," said Kurt Daw, dean of the College of Creative Arts. "We want to be the technical innovators that we always have been. And this building is going to open doors to the next five decades in the way that the current building moved us to the forefront."

The new facility, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, aims to inspire continued artistic creativity and promote collaboration among the programs through expanded performance and education spaces for students as well as offering a venue for the region’s top performing arts organizations. The building will anchor the southwestern edge of the SF State campus, establishing for the University an iconic presence within the city and larger cultural community.

In designing the Mashouf Performing Arts Center, Michael Maltzan sought to capture the inventive spirit that characterizes the University's College of Creative Arts, designing a complex that facilitates connection and interaction among theatregoers, performers, students and faculty.  

"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 -- strong and dynamic, with an optimistic view to the future."

The building, to be constructed in three phases, features expanded performance, practice and academic spaces, including:

  • 1,200-seat Theatre: Provides a venue for a range of performances including music, theatre, opera and dance as well as serving as a space for public debates and panel discussions. 
  • 350-seat Music Recital Hall: A dynamic performance space for soloists and quartets to a full orchestra, with the audience surrounding the performers on all sides.
  • 450-seat Little Theatre: An intimate setting, where performer and audience share a single space bounded by the arced seating rising from the stage floor.
  • 250-seat Black Box Theatre: Provides a highly flexible and configurable space supporting experimental and cutting-edge work.
  • 60-seat Brown Bag Theatre: The "Theatre in the Mound" located beneath a public courtyard in the center of the building. 
  • State-of-the-art Broadcast Facilities: includes two high-definition television studios, electronic journalism studio, music recording studio and radio station.

The building's architecture is defined by an expansive horizontal form and is punctuated by the performance spaces rising above. A distinctive wave design flows along both Lake Merced and Font Boulevards, creating a feeling of movement and reflecting the creative energy housed within. The building will shape SF State's public face along Lake Merced Boulevard and encourage pedestrian activity through interconnected arcades and walkways. 

Maltzan has earned a reputation for innovative and functional designs that engage their context and community. He has extensive experience designing for the arts and education, including the Billy Wilder Theater at the UCLA Hammer Museum and the Harvard-Westlake Feldman-Horn Center for the Arts. Maltzan's work mirrors the University's commitment to social justice, having designed several affordable housing projects in Los Angeles and an arts complex that serves more than 10,000 at-risk youth each year.

The building will be designed and constructed to a LEED Gold level standard, a measure of sustainability established by the U.S. Green Building Council. The new Mashouf Performing Arts Center will incorporate numerous sustainability features including natural ventilation and daylighting in non-performance spaces, and rainwater capture and reuse.

SF State alumni Manny Mashouf and Neda Nobari made a $10 million gift to SF State in 2007 towards the building, the largest private donation in SF State history.

-- University Communications


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