Architect unveils model for new performing arts center

Michael Maltzan, founder and principal of Michael Maltzan Architecture, unveils the designs for the Mashouf Performing Arts Center at SF State on Thursday, Feb. 24th. The new 242,150 square foot state-of-the-art facility will be built at the corner of Lake Merced and Font Boulevards. Henry Nguyen / staff photographer

Plans for the new creative arts building at SF State were unveiled today in the first public showcase of the University’s vision.

Michael Maltzan, principal architect of the project, appeared as a giant next to a miniature model of the new building as he explained its main features and functions.

“It’s a microcosm of the culture that exists on campus,” Maltzan said.  “This college is one of the most dynamic places I’ve ever been.  I tried to imagine a form that would speak to that.”

Maltzan said that his goal was to design a building that would further connect the various disciplines within the College of Creative Arts.

The new building, which has been named the Mashouf Performing Arts Center, will sit at the west end of campus, at the corner of Font and Lake Merced Boulevard.

From a bird’s-eye-view, the building sprawls out in a narrow triangle.  On the face, a curvy hallway steadily inclines from one end to the other.  The hallway is walled with glass, opening the inside of the white structure to outside viewers.  A large block protrudes from the top.

That block will house a 1200-seat auditorium with balconies that mimic an opera theater.  Also housed within the building are a 350-seat music recital theater and a 450-seat theater.

The 260,000 square foot project will cost $260 million, and Maltzan predicts completion will take a little over a decade.  Currently softball fields, basketball courts and tennis courts occupy the area.

The new building is almost 100,000 square feet bigger than the current creative arts building, which will be demolished and replaced with new academic buildings, Associate Vice President for Capital Planning Design and Construction, Simon Lam said.

“I think it’s the most incredible vision for art’s education unfolding in the U.S. right now,” said Dean of the College of Creative Arts, Kurt Daw.  “(Maltzan) delivered beyond our wildest expectations.”