San Francisco State To Get a $146 Million Performing Arts Center



Stark white against the mercurial skies of San Francisco, the Mashouf Performing Arts Center will be a dramatic addition to the San Francisco State University campus. The contemporary building will house five performance spaces, including a 1,200-seat opera theater for large performances, and dozens of studios and classrooms for music, theater, dance and broadcast journalism. It was designed by Los Angeles’ Michael Maltzan Architecture, which is best known for projects as diverse as UCLA’s Hammer Museum and Skid Row Housing Trust’s New Carver Apartments.

“This building is meant to be a gateway, both physically and culturally,” says Maltzan, who hopes the center will create connections among students, faculty and the community, as well as the arts themselves. “It’s not about being isolated anymore. The center was designed so that students of different disciplines could collaborate and cross-pollinate to generate a more dynamic, creativity on campus,” says project director Peter Erni.

Situated on an awkward triangular lot at the southwestern corner of the university grounds, the 242,000-square-foot facility will be dominated by a box housing the opera theater and a long wavelike entry ramp lined with floor-to-ceiling glass.

The Mashouf Performing Arts Center will cost a whopping $146 million, all of which is being funded by state bonds and private donations. The building’s namesake, Manny Mashouf, founder of the women’s clothing brand Bebe (and an SFSU alum), donated $10 million to the university in 2005 for a new performing arts center. Construction is planned in three phases over nine years, and is set to begin in 2013. 


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