San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Rendering of housing facility at Bowes Center

San Francisco Conservatory of Music is building performing arts center and student residence

Dec. 18, 2018
The $185 million Ute and William K. Bowes, Jr. Center for Performing Arts is slated to open in fall 2020

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music has broken ground on $185 million performing arts center and residential tower

The Ute and William K. Bowes, Jr. Center for Performing Arts is slated to open in fall 2020.

“This place has become a hub for artists everywhere, and now that the San Francisco Conservatory of Music has decided to take it even a step further, to come up with this innovative plan to produce 420 units of housing for their students—it’s absolutely amazing,” says San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

The building is named in honor of a gift of $46.4 million from the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation to help pay for the new facility. The existing conservatory building at 50 Oak Street will remain in use through the construction of the new building and after it is completed.

“This project will fuel the unlimited potential of this institution and serve as a beacon for the innovative artists who will lead the next generation,” says Conservatory President David H. Stull. “Bill Bowes believed that music and beauty are essential to life and that education offers the best promise for tomorrow.”

The 12-story building will provide housing for 420 students and accommodate two concert halls, a restaurant with a live performance space, multiple classrooms and rehearsal spaces for ensembles, practice rooms, a recording studio and technology hall, a large observation deck and garden, conference facilities, a student center, and several apartments for visiting artists and faculty.

The student housing suites are laid out in two- and three-bedroom configurations. They will occupy nine of the 12 above-ground floors of the building. Each suite contains a full bathroom, kitchenette, and living area, and is designed to accommodate small ensemble rehearsals and individual practice.

The 12th floor will have several guest suites to provide housing for visiting faculty, guest artists, and others hosted by the Conservatory.

In addition, the new building will have 27 apartments to replace the rent-stabilized residential units now on the site.

The architect is Mark Cavagnero Associates.

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