|Program||Convert prior conservatory of music landmark building into middle & high school for approx. 400 students|
This 44,000sf San Francisco landmark building was originally constructed in 1927 and operated as an orphanage until 1956 when sold to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and used as such for the following 50 years. Its conversion into a middle/high school saved the building from demolition and maintains its consistent identity with youth and education.
Three major challenges had to be overcome for this extensive remodeling project: keeping the historical character of the original structure, changing the occupancy use of the building from secondary education to middle / high-school, and working on a tight schedule (18 months from acquisition to final occupancy) to open on time for class.
A school committee composed of parents & staff developed the design program and participated through the Design Development phase. A project website with extensive 3D modeling was developed to facilitate understanding and input from the community.
One general design intent was to replace many of the original small music practice rooms and long, dark corridors, with large classrooms served by day-lit corridors. This was achieved by the removal of eleven original 10 ft concrete walls without shoring or underpinning. Another design strategy was to move the original music library to a more central and accessible location. The new library is now located on the second floor to access the old roof terrace, daylight and views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands beyond. Existing steel roof trusses above the ceiling were coated with intumescent fireproofing and exposed to create a large and voluminous reading room. The main entry was also relocated to the south side of the building to accommodate the number of students. This entailed having to construct a new major stairway to the second floor. The old parking lot was resurfaced and converted into a new multi play court for the children.
Other key elements of the remodeling include: