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The Tranquility of Louis Kahn's Salk Institute

Watching the sunrise over Louis Kahn's Salk Institute for Biological Sciences is arguably one of architecture's most transformative experiences. The famous building has become an emblem of tranquility in architecture thanks to its tremendous location in San Diego, California, a quality enhanced by the carefully planned symmetrical vistas overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1962 and declared a national historic landmark in 1991, Kahn designed the complex to express an underlying sense of spiritualism, fusing influences from both the International Style and Brutalism anchored by a gently flowing river through the center of the design. Filmmaker-photographer Chang Kim explored the Salk Institute as a part of his series on influential Californian architecture, providing an opportunity to virtually experience the iconic institute.

Sofia Lofts / Nakhshab Development and Design

© Paul Body © Paul Body © Paul Body © Paul Body

Populous Unveils New Football Stadium for San Diego

Populous has unveiled plans for a new Chargers football stadium that is meant to capture the "essence of San Diego," California. The 68,000-seat stadium, planned to be built on the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley, will feature a "kinetic skin" that will mimic the sound of the ocean as it sways in the wind.

"We wanted to make sure as a team that we were making this a really authentic place and people who see it will say, 'That represents our city - that represents where the Chargers should be. They've been here over 50 years and they should stay here.' This stadium represents that. This is an expression of San Diego," Populous senior principal Scott Radecic told the San Diego Union Tribune.

9 Projects Selected for AIA Education Facility Design Awards

William Rawn Associates / The Berklee Tower. Image © Robert Benson Photography
William Rawn Associates / The Berklee Tower. Image © Robert Benson Photography

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of its CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

A variety of project designs, such as public elementary and high schools, charter schools, and higher education facilities, were submitted to the Committee, many of which incorporated “informal and flexible spaces for collaboration and social interaction adjacent to teaching spaces,” as well as staircases with amphitheater or forum designs.

Find out which projects received awards, after the break.

San Diego's Idea District Takes the Best of Urban Planning and Puts It in One Place

A group of architects, designers and urban planners are working together in San Diego's Upper East Village to produce the Idea District. Started over four years ago, the project was introduced by Pete Garcia and David Malmuth as a way of revitalizing the area and creating a place for the convergence of innovative people. The Idea District, comprising an area surrounded by 11th St, C Street, Market St and Interstate-5, was originally an undeveloped parcel of land, “the last of its kind” in San Diego. Creators began gathering, seeing this no-man’s land as an opportunity to develop good urban planning. 

Video: RNT Architects' "New Gateway" to San Diego City College

Watch RNT Architects discuss The Quad, their new Business, Arts & Humanities building for San Diego City College in this short video from Breadtruck Films. The result of seven years of "doing the drawings...watching the construction... building the volumes and the spaces," The Quad brings together two faculties that are "different in purpose and function differently" to create a "place for learning and social interaction." 

Video: Architect Rob Quigley on the 35-Year Struggle to Build the San Diego Library

"Big things don't happen overnight," says architect Rob Quigley, speaking to Breadtruck Films, "and civic buildings certainly don't happen overnight." The words ring true in the context of Quigley's San Diego New Central Library, which opened in 2013 following a protracted 17 year period of design and construction. After conceiving of the design in 1996, Quigley's plans for the library were "put on the back burner" when planning authorities chose to halt construction on the project in favor of a new ballpark. Construction eventually recommenced years later, in what has since been described as "absolutely a surreal experience."

In this video Quigley describes the driving force of "creating an architecture that responds honestly and authentically to who we are," and how the library has come to be a "symbol of [San Diego]'s commitment to learning and literacy." 

Video: The Northparker / Jonathan Segal

"The beauty of [architecture] is the payoff. That building has created a better place for people to live and a better lifestyle for people." A mixed use building that brings together craft beer, street tacos and modern housing, California developer Jonathan Segal's "The Northparker" has helped transform the once blighted area Northpark into one of San Diego's most up-and-coming neighborhoods. Breadtruck Films shares just how a single building created community and changed a city in the video above. 

AD Classics: Geisel Library / William L. Pereira & Associates

The alien form of the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego seems befitting of a backdrop from a science fiction movie. The building occupies a fascinating nexus between brutalism and futurism that its architect, William Pereira, intrepidly pursued throughout his career. With its strong concrete piers and hovering glassy enclosures, the library beautifully occupies an ambiguous state between massiveness and levitation, as if the upper stories have only just been set into their base and can be lifted back out at any moment. The tension between these two conditions gives the library an otherworldly appearance and provides a startling statement about the generative and imaginative power of the architect.

© Flickr user domc © Darren Bradley © Flickr user 3n Sixth Floor Plan

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center / Gould Evans

  • Architects: Gould Evans
  • Location: 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
  • Associate Architect: Delawie
  • Area: 124000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Assassi Productions, Ace Aerial Photography

© Assassi Productions © Assassi Productions © Assassi Productions © Assassi Productions

Machine in a Box / Luce Et Studio

  • Architects: Luce Et Studio
  • Location: 9800 Campus Point Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA
  • Architect in Charge: Jennifer Luce Principal
  • Design Team: Jennifer Luce, Ann Worth, Adam Grove
  • Area: 5000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Paul Rivera

© Paul Rivera © Paul Rivera © Paul Rivera © Paul Rivera

TED Talk: How Architectural Innovations Migrate Across Borders / Teddy Cruz

In this TED talk, architect and urbanist Teddy Cruz urges us to rethink urban growth. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz denounces the “stupid” and consumption-driven ways in which our cities have been expanding and declares that the future depends on the reorganization of social economic relations. 

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Taps Selldorf to Design Expansion

New York-based Selldorf Architects has been summoned to the West Coast to design an expansion that will triple the size of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s (MCASD) campus in La Jolla. Chosen after a competitive country-wide search, Selldorf is expected to add an addition 20,000 square feet of exhibition space, which will provide opportunities for temporary exhibitions and large scale installations, as well as house the museum’s 4,571-piece permanent collection. 

North City Campus / JWDA

© Brady Architectural Photography © Brady Architectural Photography © Brady Architectural Photography © Brady Architectural Photography

The Cresta / Jonathan Segal FAIA

  • Architects: Jonathan Segal FAIA
  • Location: La Jolla, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Project Managers: Matthew Segal, Guillermo Tomaszewski
  • Engineer: DCI Engineers
  • Area: 5300.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Matthew Segal

© Matthew Segal © Matthew Segal © Matthew Segal © Matthew Segal

San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Innovation Center / Architects Hanna Gabriel Wells

  • Architects: Architects Hanna Gabriel Wells
  • Location: 4760 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Diane Village Shopping Center, San Diego, CA 92117, USA
  • Architect in Charge: Matthew Wells
  • Design Team: Sean Chen, Kristin Shultz, Frank Sanchez
  • Consultants: Snipes Dye, Spurlock Poirier, Hope Engineering, Turpin & Rattan,
  • Contractor : Johnson & Jennings
  • Area: 25000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: John Durant

© John Durant © John Durant © John Durant © John Durant

Ocean Beach Comfort Station / Kevin de Freitas Architects

  • Architects: Kevin de Freitas Architects
  • Location: Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Design Architect : Kevin de Freitas, Manish Desai
  • Architect of Record: Sillman Wright Architects
  • General Contractor: PRAVA Construction Service Inc.
  • Public Artist: Shinpei Takeda
  • Photographs: Darren Bradley , Tim Mantoani

© Tim Mantoani © Tim Mantoani © Tim Mantoani © Tim Mantoani

W Hotel, San Diego / Mr. Important Design

  • Architects: Mr. Important Design
  • Location: 421 West B Street, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
  • Area: 772.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Jeff Dow

© Jeff Dow © Jeff Dow © Jeff Dow © Jeff Dow