San Francisco Conservatory of Music

50 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is expanding its campus to include a new performing arts center and residential tower in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center. The new building, designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates, is being constructed at 200 Van Ness Avenue and is slated to open in the Fall of 2020. The new construction will include classrooms, two concert halls, housing for visiting faculty, guest artists and others hosted by the conservatory, plus student housing units to accommodate 420 individuals.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music / Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects

The project location is Van Ness Avenue, also known as US-101, a California State highway. The construction plan involved demolition of existing structures and construction of two underground floors for education and building services spaces. The preferred method for shoring the underground floors employed the use of temporary tiebacks. The tiebacks encroached into the State’s right of way and the State’s interpretation of such encroachments is that it is a private use of public right of way, without compensation to the State. Encroachments for temporary tiebacks in state right of way are only allowed by exception and require approvals by Caltrans District, Caltrans Headquarters and in some cases the Federal Highway Administration. In addition, the project required the use a tower crane that weathervaned over the State’s right of way, which also requires an exception by Caltrans. Gray-Bowen-Scott was retained to act as the SFCM’s agent with Caltrans. Through our communication and partnership with Caltrans Gray-Bowen-Scott succeeded in securing both exceptions and the required permits to keep the project on schedule.

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