Jazz clubs are known for their cozy intimacy, while concert halls convey gravitas. For the first permanent home of SFJAZZ in its 35-year history, organization founder and executive artistic director Randall Kline sought to bridge that dichotomy. 'You get wonderful experiences in 'found' houses that are not intended to be performance spaces, but we also wanted the focus of a concert hall,' he says.

Kline approached San Francisco'based Mark Cavagnero Associates in 2004 to figure out this combination; it would take almost a decade and an anonymous gift of $25 million to realize the $64 million project. Today, the only American building devoted to jazz fully embodies the genre. Like a bossa nova, the exterior features a rhythmic facade layered atop rigorous structure. And, just as a great performance brings listeners together, the 700-seat concert venue fosters community by arranging steeply raked seating around a thrust stage. 'When you're there, you don't see a rear wall'you see people's faces'and no one is more than 45 feet from the stage,' Cavagnero says of this auditorium. 'It highlights the collective experience.'

Inside the hall, board-formed-concrete walls possess an elegance. They are also covertly practical, by providing acoustic isolation and buttressing the delicate surrounding spaces. 'The concrete box carries all shear forces, so we could use lightweight steel construction with 12-inch-diameter columns,' Cavagnero explains. Consequently, glass walls create the perception that the sidewalk dissolves into the ground-floor lobby, and a similarly transparent 80-seat performance room makes its energy visible to passersby. SFJAZZ hoped to attract new audiences with these gestures.

It worked. According to Kline, the 36,500-square-foot building has met or exceeded all of its projected benchmarks for success. In the two years since the new cultural institution opened its doors, membership has nearly quadrupled, from 3,000 to 11,000. Performances have tripled to 300 a year, and newcomers make up about half of attendees at each show. 'The team nailed it,' says Kline. 'The theater is set up so that the audience can really be with the performers, and vice versa'and that transcendent moment can happen more often.'


Client/Owner: SFJAZZ

Mark Cavagnero Associates
1045 Sansome Street, San Francisco
Phone 415-398-6944
Fax 415-398-6943

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Mark Cavagnero, FAIA, Design Principal
Kang Kiang, AIA, Principal-in-Charge
Goetz Frank, Project Architect
Cameron Cooper, Job Captain
Larry Biggs, Construction Coordinator
Paul Loeffler
Jon McNeal
Paul Davison, RIBA
Charlotte Hofstetter

160 Pine Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111

MEP/Lighting:WSP Group
405 Howard Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94105

Theater Consulting/ Video Consulting:AUERBACH POLLOCK FRIEDLANDER
225 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Acoustics/ Audio Consulting:SIA-ACOUSTICS
3575 Cahuenga Blvd
Suite #254
Los Angeles, CA 90068

Architectural Lighting:
WSP Group  
405 Howard Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94105

Monica Viarengo Landscape Design
148 Townsend Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Civil: KCA Engineers, Inc.
318 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Façade Consulting:
Maurya McClintock Façade Consulting
895 Autumn Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Emily Borland Specifications
380 Campbell Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94134

Code Consulting:
560 Mission Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94105

Vertical Transportation:
Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.
425 California Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94104

TEECOM Design Group
1333 Broadway
Suite 601
Oakland, CA 94612

Guidepost Solutions
Technology Design Consulting Practice
388 17th Street, Suite 230
Oakland, CA 94612

PROPP + GUERIN                                           
550 15th Street, Penthouse                                 
San Francisco, CA 94103

General contractor:
Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company
275 Battery St #300
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tim Griffith, 415-640-1419
Credit:  © Tim Griffith, 2013

Kyle Jeffers, 415-690-3586
Credit:  © Kyle Jeffers, 2013

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Autocad, Sketchup. 



Structural system
Steel and Concrete

Exterior cladding
Metal Panels: Aluminum

Metal/glass curtain wall: Zetian

Rainscreen: Swiss Pearl

Other cladding unique to this project:
Architectural Concrete Wall sealed with Protectosil Antigraffiti Chem Trete BSm 400

Membrane: W.R. Grace Bituthene system 4000

Custom design and fabricated by Zetian

Shade: Nysan Green Screen Eco 500

Custom design and fabricated by Zetian

Entrances: PRL Glass Systems with Dorma USA floor closers

Special doors: Ambico Acoustic doors

Locksets: PRL Glass System

Closers: Dorma USA auto opener & Rixon

Exit devices: PRL Glass System

Pulls: PRL Glass System

Other special hardware: SEDCO ADA push button

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: ARMSTRONG - Optima Plank Tegular

Metal Mesh Ceiling: custom design and fabricated by Devco Engineering Inc. Flynn & Enslow metal mesh. Owens Corning QuiteR Rotary Duct Liner

Suspension grid: ARMSTRONG – Grid Sys – Prelude XL 15/16”

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Commercial Casework, Inc.

Paints and stains:
Wood floor: Sherwin Williams Wood Classic Interiors Stain
Paint: Kelly Moore

Wall coverings:
Knoll Textiles: “Allegory”
Carnegie: “Xorel Meteor”
Walltalkers: “Tac-wall”

Paneling: Wall and Ceiling acoustic panels: custom design white oak slat panel 

Plastic laminate:

Solid surfacing:
Pental “Chroma Quartz”

Floor and wall tile:
Crossville: “Retroactive” + “ColorBlox Mosaic” porcelain tile

Resilient flooring:
ARMSTRONG –Static Dissipative Tile
EXPANKO – “XCR cork rubber” tile
ARTIGO  -- “Multifloor ND-Uni” tile
BURKE – Rubber Base
JOHNSONITE – Treads & Riser

Bentley: “Domestic Alchemy” + “Pure Element”

Raised flooring:
Concrete Floor; Kinetics Roll out Floor Isolation System
Acoustically isolated wood floor: Connor RetroFlex Floor System
Adjustable Platforms: Novoflex Platforms

Special interior finishes unique to this project:
Acoustically isolated wood floor: Connor RetroFlex Floor System
Acoustic Banners:  ACOUSTACORP – 26oz DFR WOOL SERGE
Room Reduction Banners: ThermoVeil -  2100 Series

Office furniture: Knoll

Reception furniture:
Custom design by Mark Cavagnero Associates; Fabricated by Dfm

Fixed seating: Mobel Opus Chairs at Auditorium

Chairs: Knoll, Emeco

Tables: Knoll

Upholstery: Bensen

Interior ambient lighting:
Zumtobel, Elliptipar, Litelab,

Downlights: Kurt Versen, Belfer

Exterior: Bega, BK

Dimming System or other lighting controls:
ETC, Lutron

Elevator: Kone

Water Closet - Toto
Urinal - Toto
Lavatory –Just and Sloan
Lavatory –American Standard and Sloan:
Sink –Just, American Standard and ISE:
Drinking Fountain –Haws

Energy management or building automation system: Lutron