The SFJAZZ Center is the first freestanding venue in the country purposely designed for the performance and appreciation of jazz. Serving as the organization’s first permanent home in its 30-year history, the three-story, 35,000 square-foot Center comprises an ensemble room, 700-seat auditorium, rehearsal spaces, digital learning lab, café, box office, and administrative offices.
Located on the edge of the city’s Civic Center Performing Arts District, SFJAZZ joins a constellation of established cultural venues including the Opera, the Symphony, and the Ballet. The glass and concrete structure establishes a contemporary and dynamic counterpoint to these venerable neighbors, embodying the vibrancy of jazz and actively engaging its urban surroundings.
Wrapping the ground floor public spaces, a transparent glass façade reveals the excitement within, allowing the lobby, café and ensemble room to activate the urban streetscape and invite the public inside. The acoustically-isolated ensemble room—the Joe Henderson Lab—places artists within feet of street onlookers, enhancing the sense of accessibility and connection. The upper stories employ a rhythmic façade of opaque and clear glass and street-facing balconies, underscoring the Center’s civic spirit.
Conversely, the Robert N. Miner auditorium is an intimate and focused space, providing a range of viewing experiences. This flexible, state-of-the-art space accommodates audiences from 350 to 700 and has a reconfigurable stage that supports a wide variety of performance types. Raked seating establishes an intimacy that allows the audience to be part of the performance, contributing to a more dynamic experience.
Underpinning the spatial and visual design priorities is the goal of creating performance spaces with superior acoustic qualities. Every design detail ensures an optimal live jazz experience - from the custom seats to the delicate wood slats wrapping the auditorium’s interior. Expected to achieve LEED Gold certification, the Center also incorporates next-generation technologies for recording, broadcasting and production.