SOM's renovation of The Strand – American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco has won an Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2016 Global Award for Excellence. The program is widely recognized as one of the land-use industry’s most prestigious awards. This year’s winners—representing projects in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America—are being honored at the ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, October 27th.
Established in 1979, the Global Awards for Excellence recognizes projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning, and management. Open to the entire industry, the program is viewed as the centerpiece of ULI’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of development.
SOM's transformation of an abandoned, century-old movie theater into a highly visible, alternative, experimental performance space for San Francisco’s preeminent nonprofit theater company is a major milestone in the regeneration the Mid-Market neighborhood.
In order to support A.C.T.’s mission to nurture the art of live theater through dynamic productions, intensive actor training in its conservatory, and an ongoing engagement with its community, The Strand has provided the nonprofit theater with a highly visible, easily accessible space to permanently house its education and community programs, and expand its performance repertoire to include more small-scale, contemporary works.
The project also represents a watershed for the economic regeneration of San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood and serves as an anchor for the ongoing effort by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Planning Department, and the Office of the City Administrator to relocate or expand cultural organizations into the neighborhood. With The Strand, A.C.T. becomes the largest arts organization to call this neighborhood home, reinforcing the adjacent historic theater district on Market Street. The project’s location makes it a crucial lynchpin between an ongoing tech and residential boom to the southwest, existing cultural and civic institutions in the Civic Center, and thriving retail and tourism destinations to the northeast.
Since opening in May 2015, the Strand has received overwhelming acceptance for the design of its architecture, structure, and graphic identity. Garnering over 20 awards to date, including the American Institute of Architects’ National Honor Award for Interior Architecture and the inaugural Revitalization Award of the American Institute of Architects’ San Francisco chapter for community impact. The project was also declared one of the ten best new arts centers worldwide by Architectural Record.
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world, with an 80-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Abu Dhabi.