San Diego City Guide: 12 Projects to Explore in the 2024 World Design Capital

San Diego City Guide: 12 Projects to Explore in the 2024 World Design Capital

Nestled along the coast of Southern California, San Diego has emerged as a vibrant hub for architectural innovation, shaped by the confluence of different cultures, from its early Spanish colonial heritage to the cutting-edge modernist masterpieces that define its urban fabric. For this reason, the city was chosen as one half of the World Design Capital 2024, alongside its cross-border counterpart, Tijuana, celebrating the intercultural collaborations and influences of the two cities.

Throughout history, San Diego has been a canvas for visionary architects who have left enduring legacies on its built environment. From iconic landmarks like the Geisel Library and the Salk Institute to the dynamic spaces of the San Diego Central Library and the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, each piece of architecture reveals hidden aspects of the layered history and the spirit of exploration of San Diego.

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Read on to discover 12 of San Diego’s architectural attractions, from the iconic Geisel Library to Louis Kahn's awe-inspiring Salk Institute, and beyond.


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Geisel Library / William L. Pereira & Associates

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Geisel Library / William L. Pereira & Associates. Image Courtesy of University of California San Diego

Salk Institute / Louis Kahn

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Salk Institute / Louis Kahn. Image © Shawn Kashou via Shutterstock

San Diego Convention Center / Arthur Erickson

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San Diego Convention Center / Arthur Erickson. Image © Scott Murphy

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park / Tucker Sadler Architects

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The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park / Tucker Sadler Architects. Image © Gary Payne

San Diego Central Library / Rob Quigley

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San Diego Central Library / Rob Quigley. Image © Mzedp via Wikipedia under license CC0

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego / Selldorf Architects

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Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego / Selldorf Architects. Image © Nicholas Venezia

Point Loma Nazarene Science Complex / Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

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Point Loma Nazarene Science Complex / Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. Image Courtesy of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

The Superior Court of California – San Diego / SOM

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The Superior Court of California – San Diego / SOM. Image © Bruce Damonte

Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects

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Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects

Machine in a Box / Luce Et Studio

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Machine in a Box / Luce Et Studio. Image © Paul Rivera

Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment / Safdie Rabines Architects

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Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment / Safdie Rabines Architects. Image © Anne Garrison, David Hewitt Anne Garrison Architectural Photography

San Diego California Temple / William S. Lewis, Jr., Dennis Hyndman, Shelly Hyndman

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San Diego California Temple / William S. Lewis, Jr., Dennis Hyndman, Shelly Hyndman. Image © Beyond My Ken via WIkipedia under license CC BY-SA 4.0

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Cite: Maria-Cristina Florian. "San Diego City Guide: 12 Projects to Explore in the 2024 World Design Capital" 15 Feb 2024. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/137692/architecture-city-guide-san-diego> ISSN 0719-8884

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