Small Bridges at Warren College UCSD / Kevin deFreitas Architects

Small Bridges at Warren College UCSD / Kevin deFreitas Architects

© Darren Bradley © Darren Bradley © Darren Bradley © Darren Bradley + 19

Dorms  · 
San Diego, United States
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Kevin deFreitas Architects
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    C.R. Laurence, Hess Lighting, Tucci Umbrella
© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

Text description provided by the architects. Douglas Hall and its 3 identical sister buildings at UC San Diego epitomize the repetitive, institutional, and aging soulless student housing found on many university campus’ that simply lack any “there”, there. So when a stack of concrete bridges spanning over the main pedestrian/bike path connecting this residence hall to the main campus became structurally compromised, the University seized the opportunity to implement this modest initial refresh as a test case for some exciting new ideas to be implemented as part of the entire Warren College residential neighborhood update already on the books.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

The problem:
As a counterpoint to the boxy, beige, and boring six story structure they serve, the replacement bridges and associated landscaped courtyard were reimagined to address the shortcomings of the original tired design, specifically the physical constriction (only 7′-4″ of clearance beneath the bottom bridge), lack of identity, non-existent exterior social spaces, and very poor nighttime lighting a significant safety issue for students coming home at night.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

The solution:
The first move was to literally and figuratively open things up and improve sight lines.  A vibrant yellow double height portal was created by eliminating the bottom bridge altogether and adding a new access stair.  To establish identity, the res hall’s namesake (Supreme Court Justice John Douglas) was perforated into the portal side wall along with one of his inspirational quotes.  Speaking to the dynamic and diverse youth culture on campus, the design language is intentionally modern, engaging, and transparent.  Place-making is addressed in a material palette that includes natural Ipe wood decking, colorfully abstract glass guardrails, a crisp white metal skin, and individual seats added to each level encourage residents to stop for a moment in transit to enjoy the views or a conversation.  Once sketchy and foreboding after dark, the bridges, path, and courtyard are completely transformed by an integrated and thoughtful lighting design into something quite extraordinary once the sun sets. Douglas Hall is now easily distinguishable from its 3 drab neighbors.

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

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Project location

Address: 3350 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92161, United States

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Small Bridges at Warren College UCSD / Kevin deFreitas Architects" 03 Aug 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
© Darren Bradley

加州大学圣地亚哥分校沃伦学院新桥梁/ Kevin deFreitas Architects

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