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KQED Headquarters to be Redesigned to Better Serve the Bay Area

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Designed by the award-winning architectural team at EHDD, the new building will showcase KQED’s inclusive, community-minded and ambitious vision for the future of public media. (Rendering courtesy of EHDD Architects.)

Community, transparency, collaboration and innovation are at the heart of the design by EHDD Architects.

KQED’s Board of Directors announced that KQED will be embarking on a major two-year renovation project of its headquarters at 2601 Mariposa Street in San Francisco. The redesigned building is the essential next step in KQED’s transformation to meet the changing needs of the Bay Area community now, and for generations to come. Designed by the award-winning architectural team at EHDD, the new building will showcase KQED’s inclusive, community-minded and ambitious vision for the future of public media.

“Over the past five years, KQED has undergone a dramatic transformation from a traditional broadcaster to a digital multimedia journalism and education service aligned to the 21st century needs of the people of the Bay Area,” says KQED President and CEO John Boland. “As a result, we have experienced tremendous growth in both the number of people we serve and our staff size. Our headquarters building in San Francisco was built for the KQED of 25 years ago, so we must transform the facility for the KQED of today.”

Community has always been at the center of KQED’s mission, and is the guiding principle of the new design, which envisions an accessible building that mirrors the innovative spirit of the Bay Area. The dynamic glass facade of the new headquarters reflects KQED’s commitment to transparency. The lifted corner entry, the expanded new lobby and new programming spaces, including a rooftop event space, create a vibrant and welcoming place to convene, connect and engage with all that KQED does. “KQED has emerged as an important convener of community dialogue and our renovated building will include new spaces where the Bay Area community can come in to connect with our journalists, civic and cultural thought leaders and with each other,” says Boland.

The reenvisioned lobby with an entrance on the corner of Bryant and Mariposa Streets is one of the many new community spaces at the KQED Headquarters designed by EHDD Architects. (Rendering courtesy of EHDD Architects.)

EHDD Principal Rebecca Sharkey adds: “It‘s an honor to create a new building for a thriving media organization that plays such an important role in the Bay Area and beyond. We know that the new building will not only help support KQED’s transformation, but also become an important community space for the neighborhood, the city and the region.”


2601 Mariposa has been KQED’s home since 1992 when KQED was primarily a television and radio station with 200 employees. The current building reflects the industrial nature of broadcast production at that time. A quarter of a century later, KQED has more than 450 employees with a transformed organizational structure built on cross-platform collaboration, community engagement and innovation. At a time when trust in media is at an all-time low, 2.5 million people — almost half of Bay Area adults — use a KQED service each week. The current building cannot support KQED as it operates now, and as it continues to grow in the future. Reimagined office and production spaces will create an open and bright 21st-century workplace with maximum flexibility. The new layout will be more conducive to collaboration and innovation, and can accommodate up to 40 percent further growth.

Reimagined office and production spaces, including the newsroom, will create an open and bright 21st-century workplace with maximum flexibility conducive to collaboration and innovation. (Rendering courtesy of EHDD Architects.)

The project is expected to cost $91 million, which includes construction hard costs and soft costs, as well as transition costs and a budget for contingencies. The renovation project will be supported by funds from Campaign 21, KQED’s ongoing campaign to transform the organization by increasing content-creation capacity and funding internal innovation. The Campaign 21 Chair Anne Avis says: “I am proud that KQED is committed to factual reporting, serving the community and embracing innovation. Campaign 21 is allowing KQED to grow faster and smarter to meet the challenges of our new media landscape. Our new headquarters will unleash KQED's potential as a trusted community resource. We are grateful and excited for this opportunity to join the Bay Area community to invest in KQED's future."

The KQED Board of Directors voted to renovate the current headquarters, which KQED owns, after a year-long due diligence process. Working with real estate consultant David Polatnick of Polatnick Properties, they explored more than 40 purchase or lease options for buildings and land in San Francisco, Oakland and the northern Peninsula. The board concluded that renovation was the best and most cost-effective option. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2019 with KQED staff relocating to a temporary office location at 50 Beale Street. The new headquarters will be open in the winter of 2021. All of KQED’s broadcast and digital services will continue uninterrupted during the transition.

Architectural fact sheet for the planned design (PDF)

Peter Cavagnaro, Manager, Marketing & Communications
pcavagnaro@kqed.org, 415.553.8451

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org


Founded in 1946, EHDD's appreciation for the past and compelling interest in what lies ahead is evidenced in their work - EHDD is designing a collectively greater future for their clients, society and the environment. Valuing collaboration and mutualism, they champion the missions of their clients. They seek to understand and design in harmony with client’s vision because - like their clients - they are keenly attuned to how the space will be experienced. EHDD seeks to create built environments that enhance our culture, honor the natural environment, and respect and delight the people who use them. Headquartered in San Francisco, EHDD serves clients around the world in Civic and Workplace, Higher Education, Museums, Science Centers, Aquariums, K-12, Science & Technology, Multi-family Residential. EHDD is a Top 10 AIA COTE honoree, and featured in "The Habits of High-Performance Firms, Lessons from frequent winners of the AIA COTE Top Ten Award, 1997-2016". www.ehdd.com

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