Opera House | Bayview Hunter's Point


Constructed in 1888 by the Masons, the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre (known affectionately as "the Opera House") is located at 4705 Third Street in the heart of the Bayview Hunters Point district - San Francisco's most ethnically diverse community.

The Opera House is San Francisco's oldest theater and a registered historical landmark. However, the Opera House is more than just a building. Operated as a community cultural and arts center by the nonprofit Bayview Opera House, Inc., with funding from the San Francisco Arts Commission and other public and private donations, Bayview Opera House is a vital community institution for Bayview residents and holds a significant place in the history and culture of Bayview Hunters Point.

The opera house - the oldest wood structure in San Francisco - houses a wide-ranging community focused program, but the exterior area didn’t provide the correct spaces or accessibility to allow the programs to spill into exterior. To address the accessibility limitations, a floating walkway of glass, steel and wood is introduced, embracing the exterior of the building, connecting the existing entries and porches to a new stage and outdoor theater in the southern gardens. This walkway is both a functional accessibility device to address the large grade changes on site, as well as providing an iconic gesture toward the neighborhood streets. In addition to the theater area, a new children’s gardens and stormwater retention areas are sculpted into the existing ground to provide much needed program space while achieving the ambitions stormwater goals for the project.

Historic Timeline

Site Context

Site Context Photos: Existing Conditions

Gestalt Diagram

Plan Zoning Diagram

Concept Diagrams and Design Elements

Entry and Floating Walkway Alternatives

Theater Curtain

Floating Walkway Material Alternatives

Design Process

1) History Research > 2) Site-Specific Analysis > 3) Elicit neighborhood feedback > 4) Community Engagement > 5) Design Proposals

Design Tools

Rhino > Grasshopper > CNC routing >

Media:  Historical research, site and context research
Type: Landscape urban design
Dimension: Building and surrounding renovation
Budget: 5.7 Million
Proposal Location: Bayview Opera House, Hunter's point, San Francisco
Project Manager: Shivang Patwa
Project Team: Hood Design

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