The design for the San Francisco House of Music and its surrounding landscape are based upon a set of paradoxical experiences embedded between the physical context and the nature of opera house: subtle and iconic, open and enclosed, individual and collective, seeing and being seen.
The SFHM is composed of a theatrical mass hovering within a pentagonal volume. The in-between spaces, both above and beneath the theater, serve as community spaces that allow people to encounter music outside typical performances. The community spaces in the lower levels feature a continuous pathway with grand stairs and ramps that connects educational spaces, small lecture room, shop and cafe, as well as opera lobby altogether and encourage people to enter from multiple sides.
The SFHM is situates at the center of the site and divides the park into five different landscapes that reflects different activities inside the pentagonal volume. Wrapped with transparent curtain wall, the building creates a blurred boundary between the outside and the in-between spaces. The SFHM does not make another iconic opera house through expressive form; it does it through revealing the vivid activities within and around.