The San Francisco Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has honored SOM’s renovation of the Strand Theater with its award for Outstanding Architectural Engineering Project of the Year. The award recognizes projects that are driven by significant innovation in engineering, and which produce a substantial public benefit for the city of San Francisco. Representing the project team, SOM Structural Engineering Associates Jeffrey Keileh and Joanna Zhang received the award at a ceremony on August 17, 2015, during the Annual ASCE San Francisco Section Meeting at the City Club.
SOM applied the expertise of its architects and structural engineers to design this renovation and adaptive reuse project, which transformed an abandoned 100-year-old cinema into an intimate performance venue and bustling education center for the city’s preeminent theater company, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.).
Further, the renovation strategy preserved or rehabilitated as much of the building’s original structure and ornamentation as possible. Over 80 percent of the building’s existing superstructure, including the steel frame, exterior walls, ceiling, and roof, was reused and reinforced. Historically sensitive seismic upgrades were also made, particularly to protect the theater from any pounding from the neighboring building that might occur during earthquakes. Also, in order to reduce foundation loads in the zone that impacts underground transit infrastructure, SOM selectively demolished some of the original concrete floors to create the grand lobby entryway.