© Tim Griffith
© Tim Griffith
© Matthew Millman
© Joseph Driste


San Francisco, California

The SFJAZZ Center is the first stand-alone facility on the West Coast dedicated to jazz and one of only two in the United States. Located in Hayes Valley near the Civic Center performing arts district, the Center is a modern, three story building made of glass, steel and concrete with lobbies visible from the street.

The 30-year-old organization now has a permanent home to foster its renowned reputation of presenting the finest jazz musicians and develop an education program of the highest quality. Born of extensive research of other jazz venues and discussions with the client, the design team created a unique venue that reflects the spirit of the SFJAZZ organization and its mission.

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre design and video consulting for the study and design of the Robert N. Miner Auditorium, Joe Henderson Lab, a digital learning lab, practice rooms, offices, retail store and café. The individual performance, public and administrative areas were conceived to function to specific needs of SFJAZZ unifying the daily activity and broad range of performances.

The Robert N. Miner Auditorium can be formatted with as many as eight configurations from 350 to 700 seats; designed with intimacy in mind with steeply raked seating, all patrons feel close to the performance necessary to the music genre – from concert to club.

The multi-purpose Joe Henderson Lab is located directly off the lower lobby providing rehearsal, education and intimate performances. This ensemble room is situated on the corner of the building with glass walls on two sides creating a visual connection of the activities to the surrounding area.

The SFJAZZ Center is LEED Gold.

Architect: Mark Cavagnero Associates
Acoustics: SIA Acoustics
Size: 35,000 SF
Cost: $65,000,000
Completion: 2013