Sep 21, 2023
In September, the San Francisco Symphony submitted a proposal to the San Francisco Planning Department to begin the entitlement process for potential future renovations to Davies Symphony Hall. The project exploration contemplates changes to both the inside and outside of Davies Symphony Hall with the goal of making the San Francisco Symphony’s home base more publicly accessible, transparent, and inviting.
At this point, the San Francisco Symphony is still in an early, exploratory stage of this process, and is not yet filing any building permit applications or embarking on or announcing any major renovation projects. Drawings submitted with the entitlement proposal are schematic and conceptual.
What is the entitlement process, and why is the Symphony submitting this proposal now?
The entitlement process is a process with the City’s Planning Department that’s required for any potential modernization project to proceed with a development proposal, and it’s expected to take approximately two years.
Davies Symphony Hall opened in 1980 and, as it approaches 50, the Symphony is exploring ways to enhance the physical space to make the building more publicly accessible, transparent, and operationally efficient. By submitting an application with the San Francisco Planning Department now, the Symphony is taking the necessary steps to start the public planning process and technical analysis for a potential renovation project in the coming years.
Why is the San Francisco Symphony exploring renovation options?
The San Francisco Symphony is exploring ways to strategically and thoughtfully expand the kinds of concerts and content it presents and enhance the ways that the San Francisco and Bay Area communities engage with the Symphony and Davies Symphony Hall.
Rethinking and reimagining how Davies Symphony Hall connects and communicates with the San Francisco Symphony’s local community, audiences, and musicians is one way in which the Organization seeks to reflect the flexible and collaborative nature of orchestral music itself to create more unique and captivating experiences that reach a broader audience.
The Symphony is looking at many different possibilities with the intention to better serve the Organization’s artistic, educational, audience development, and financial goals in the future.
Who are the architects involved?
The Symphony has been working with two acclaimed architecture firms on the proposals that were submitted to the Planning Department: San Francisco-based firm Mark Cavagnero Associates, who are responsible for designing the overall renovation and addition of the lobbies, exterior envelop, new recital hall, an outdoor performance venue, and backstage support spaces of Davies Symphony Hall; and architect Frank Gehry and his firm, Gehry Partners, LLP, who are creating new designs for the interior of Davies Symphony Hall’s concert hall.
What is the timeline?
The San Francisco Symphony is in an early, exploratory stage of this process, and is not yet filing any building permit applications or embarking on or announcing any major renovation projects. The Symphony enthusiastically looks forward to sharing details about the plans as they evolve in the future.