Panhandle Bandshell

San Francisco, CA

A temporary stage constructed almost entirely out of repurposed materials, designed for community-building and activating a section of the Golden Gate Panhandle.

The project was funded by an arts grant won through the Department of the Environment to create unique tools that educate the public about the importance of recycling, reusing, and composting material. The program’s ultimate goal is to change residents’ behaviors around trash in San Francisco.

The design was inspired by the iconic form of bandshells that populated small town parks, civic greens, and large urban venues from the 19th through the 20th century, the most popular of which is LA’s Hollywood Bowl. The goal was to be forthright in the reuse of materials, but to play with a vaudevillian, theatrical, almost baroque effect. For instance, the undersides of the car hoods were all painted to give a tin-ceiling effect.

The novel repurposing of common materials coupled with the bandshell’s success as a sculpture and local event space makes this project a model for collaboration between artists, landscape architects, environmental advocates, and neighborhood residents. A team of several groups and organizations, including CMG, were a part of the bandshell ideation, site selection, community process and design, fabrication, permitting, installation, and programming. CMG coordinated the design and documentation of the bandshell and directed its fabrication and installation. 

The bandshell was programmed via an open online calendar that individuals or groups could book for both impromptu and scheduled performances, which continued for four months over the summer in 2007.