SF Mime Troupe - Facilities Renovation

San Francisco , California
Project Description

BAR Architects provided a feasibility study to assist San Francisco Mime Troupe (SFMT) in determining a plan to renovate and /or add to their facilities and encourage the transformation of their location into even more of an asset to the community and particularly to the city’s cost challenged and increasingly displaced artists. The study included a needs assessment, program of spaces, and analysis of existing conditions and options for growth.

The troupe’s current two-story buildings include a theater, costume storage, wood workshop, offices, kitchen, bathrooms, studio, outdoor terrace and storage. Although not a historically designated structure, there is a rich history associated with the buildings, particularly the original 1947 structure, that needs to be respected and preserved while providing a new contemporary space that reflects their current needs.

The study considered a variety of factors including site environmental analysis, transportation and parking, planning and zoning, and incorporated passive energy systems, functional energy independence, and sustainable green practices. The primary building was designed to use less equipment and energy to obtain an affordable, sustainable, and durable installation. Building power, heating, cooling, water, and use of recycled materials were all factored into the designs.
Design for the SFMT project was phased into four parts to allow development of the project to proceed as funding becomes available.

Phase I:
- The first phase of the project will focus on the existing building’s original first floor. Upgrades to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing will occur at this time. ADA improvements will be achieved.

Phase 2:
- A new building will be constructed to the south of the original, containing parking for the troupe vehicles, theater support spaces, and public restrooms on the ground floor. Level 2 will provide additional theater support spaces, and level 3 will contain accommodations for artists-in-residence. Elevator access will be included.

Phase 3:
- The third phase will add the black box theater to the east of the original building. The second floor will hold a music room and additional spaces for artists-in-residence.

Phase 4:
- The final phase consists of a second floor renovation of the original building, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing upgrades, and the addition of a common room and kitchen. An enclosed connector space will be added between the north and south buildings, linking them and completing circulation within the complex.


SFMT has currently received funds from SF Arts Commission to move forward with the Phase 1 planning and permitting process. Further fundraising efforts are in development to proceed with the renovation and eventual completion of all 4 Phases.