Cowell Theater, Pier Two, Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, California
Repurposed in 1972 as home to 35 of San Francisco’s non-profit arts foundations, Fort Mason Center was a former 13-acre US Navy installation and is now a key historic and cultural site in the total 75,000-acre Golden Gate National Parks. The Cowell Theatre and Herbst Pavilion occupy the entirety of the historic Pier 2 Building, once a staging and embarkation center for sailors headed to the South Pacific in WWII. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre consulting for the adaptive reuse of the pier space when the original 437-seat Cowell Theatre was built in the late 1980s. Over the course of time, studies have been completed to expand the Cowell and upgrade its production systems. With over 25 years of experience working on Pier 2, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander is now involved in the adaptive reuse of the Herbst Pavilion which will become the new MFA studio facilities for the San Francisco Art Institute. The repurposing of the Herbst will also stabilize the aging historic pier structure, while interior upgrades to public areas and infrastructure should further improve the functional relationship between the Cowell and the Art Institute.
Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy
Acoustics: Charles M. Salter Associates
Size: approximately 50,000 SF