When KDFC, San Francisco’s classical music radio station, needed a new home, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music happily made space for them on the second floor of the Bowes Center, their beautiful new building across from Davies Symphony Hall. The result is an elegant, high-profile studio, with “just right” isolation to the broadcast spaces, light-filled offices, and a reception area that can double as an informal performance space.
High-performance glass walls keep the main broadcast studio quiet while preserving a view across Van Ness Avenue. A production studio and two interview rooms are well isolated from each other and treated to sound as similar as possible, so recordings made in different spaces sound consistent. The sound isolation design took advantage of the Bowes Center’s heavy concrete structure to protect the most sensitive rooms from the many surrounding noise sources: elevators, a busy lobby, multiple practice rooms; a restaurant and kitchen below; residences above; and Van Ness Avenue itself. Kirkegaard worked with the users to find the levels of isolation that allow KDFC to do everything they want without overbuilding.