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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

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

Manhattan Court Residence / Hanna Gabriel Wells Architects

  • Architects: Hanna Gabriel Wells Architects
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA
  • Design Team: James Gabriel, Chris Johns, Adrienne Gabriel
  • Client/Owner: Miyo and Mitchell Reff
  • General Contractor: RGB Group Inc.
  • Structural Engineer: Mike Suprenant & Associates
  • Landscape Architect: Jaime Lievers
  • Area: 4320.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Larry Stanley

© Larry Stanley © Larry Stanley © Larry Stanley © Larry Stanley

Challenged Athletes Foundation / Colkitt & Co

  • Architects: Colkitt & Co
  • Location: 9591 Waples Street, San Diego, CA 92121, USA
  • Graphics, Branding, Interactive Exhibits And Signage: Hollis Brand Culture
  • Client: Challenged Athletes Foundation
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Cheryl Ramsay

© Cheryl Ramsay © Cheryl Ramsay © Cheryl Ramsay © Cheryl Ramsay

Juan Pablo Corvalan Hochberger, Supersudaca Lecture

Taking place tomorrow, April 11th, at 6:00pm, Woodbury University's School of Architecture will be hosting the Juan Pablo Corvalan Hochberger, Supersudaca lectureSupersudaca's main driving motto has been to connect the usually disconnected Latinamerica architectural arena with projects directly related to the public perception such as recreation spaces, public spaces, installations etc in various locations such as Caracas, Lima, Tokyo, Talca, Buenos Aires. They continuously use the workshop format with students from various universities worldwide to launch campaigns for such projects. For more information, please visit here.

Winy Maas to Deliver Lecture on “What’s Next?” at NSAD

Taking place this coming Wednesday, February 20th, Winy Maas, a Netherlands-based architect, urbanist and co-founder of the internationally-recognized firm MVRDV, is scheduled to speak at NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) at 9:00am PST on the topic of “What’s Next?”. The free lecture includes a discussion on the recent works of MVRDV and the research institute The Why Factory, a think tank directed by Maas in collaboration with Delft University of Technology that develops scenarios and models of the city of the future. For more information, please visit here.

Mexican Architect Fernando Romero to Speak at NewSchool of Architecture and Design

Mexican architect Fernando Romero will be speaking tomorrow evening, January 16, at NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego on the topic of “You are the Context” as part of the school’s lecture series. Free and open to the public, the event focuses on how we must reconsider the definition of context as it pertains to architecture as the global reach of projects increases through digital communication. Named to Fast Company’s Co.Design “Designers Shaping the Future” 2012, his recent Soumaya Museum in Mexico City is described by CNN’s Great Buildings series as “jaw-dropping.” For more information, please visit here.