The NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center was recently completed by a Gould Evans-led design team, creating a world-class facility that will help recruit talented scientists and support ongoing research for the conservation and management of the region’s living marine resources. The LEED Gold certified building represents a site-specific approach to sustainable design, with architectural features that set a local benchmark for energy efficiency and connect scientists to the environment they are so dedicated to preserving. Challenged to relocate an existing facility threatened by coastal erosion, the team designed a stunning new research environment that appears to grow from the surrounding bluffs. The building is perched at the head of the La Jolla Canyon, a bathymetric feature that provides researchers with access to the deep Pacific Ocean. The architecture reacts to this topography, utilizing massing anomalies to create outdoor gathering spaces, rooftop terraces, and courtyards that reinterpret the beloved “courtyard culture” of NOAA’s former facility.
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