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Bowes Center Honored with Coveted Architecture Award

Latest SFCM News

The International Architecture Awards recognize the most significant and inspirational building and urban planning projects around the world, this year selecting SFCM’s Bowes Center, designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates.

August 26, 2022 by Mark Taylor

By Mark Taylor

If it could, the Bowes Center should take a bow itself. The 12-story building was selected as one winner of the prestigious 2022 International Architecture Awards in the category for Museums and Cultural Buildings.   

Designed by Mark Cavagnero, of Mark Cavegnero Associates, the team designed The Ute and William K. Bowes Center for Performing Arts (The Bowes Center) as a “vertical campus” that emphasizes openness, engagement, and light through its exterior of white and glass. In a statement on social media, Cavagnero wrote, “It's an honor to receive the 2022 International Architecture Award.” The building’s groundbreaking began back in 2018.


The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies select more than 150 winners every year to recognize the biggest and best in urban planning urban planning projects across the globe. The jury is made up of four decorated international designers. 

“Our design of the Bowes Center prioritizes transparency to allow passersby to witness the commitment and diligence involved in the careers of these young professionals, which in turn energizes the surrounding street life,” said Mark Cavagnero during the building's inauguration.


The new building, which was inaugurated in 2021 in a special ceremony including San Francisco Mayor London Breed and iconic cellist Yo-Yo Ma, was lauded by designers for how it incorporates student housing, rent-stabilized apartment housing, dining, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, three major performances spaces, faculty offices, and a radio station under one roof. 


In 2018, The William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation donated $46.4 million to the Conservatory, the largest single gift ever made to a conservatory at the time. The name of the building is in honor and recognition of this gift. 

Designers also commended the building for its proximity in the San Francisco Civic Civic Center cultural and arts district, calling it a dynamic social and cultural destination that melds musical education, performance, and public experience.

Learn more about the Bowes Center at SFCM.