UC San Diego is building itself a front door. The Pepper Canyon Amphitheater and Public Realm project, spearheaded by current chancellor Pradeep Khosla, is a restructuring of the physical campus, nestled between the Pacific coastline and Interstate 5. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the top 10 research university aims to become more welcoming to visitors and to better interact with neighbors. The university has added over 11,000 students in the past decade despite a statewide slashing of funds to the UC school system. The master plan includes building a grand entrance to the campus that organizes circulation while also creating a visually striking first impression. The "doorway" is expected to include a new 3,000 seat pavilion and amphitheater, a sculptural “walkway of words,” and an interactive swing set by visual artist Ann Hamilton. Additionally, a projected $761 million worth of new buildings will surround it, from a design and innovation center to a freestanding tower for alumni gatherings. These new projects seek to create what students and faculty feel that the campus has always lacked: an energetic downtown, connecting students to the campus as well as to the surrounding community. At the center of the design philosophy is the use of public transportation for both students and visitors. There are consistent complaints about parking availability on campus, with some commuter students arriving at school by 5:00 a.m. just to get a spot and then sleeping in their cars until class. The development of San Diego’s Blue Line, a trolley system connecting the university with the city, has the potential to alleviate some of this commuter stress as the campus grows. With its expected completion by 2021, new buildings and plazas are being planned adjacent to the trolley, encouraging alternative transit while also inviting visual interaction between the campus and riders. The new building designs boast large windows overlooking the trolley so commuters are able to see inside workshops and labs, observing students creating and researching. The projects intentionally define a whole new meaning to the word transparency. Chancellor Khosla told the Union-Tribune he hopes that this focus will help eliminate the “urban island” syndrome that UCSD has acquired, existing on a geographic site that was always meant to be isolated. The La Jolla site of UCSD was historically occupied by a Marine Corps training base called Camp Matthews. The site is situated between the ocean’s coastal cliffs and a major highway, Interstate 5, with increasing pressure in the surrounding areas from tech company campuses and residential sprawl each year. However, Khosla is the first of the school’s chancellors to actively advocate for community interaction on campus, welcoming in neighbors and visitors rather than pushing them out. “Anybody who comes to San Diego should have this campus as a destination in addition to Balboa Park or the Gaslamp district,” he said to the Union-Tribune. Critics of his open campus plan point out potential distraction on campus for students or security issues arising from homeless populations on public transit. But Khosla and his supporters see the public transport and tourism opportunities as a natural evolution for an increasingly urban campus. “We can’t be afraid of that and close the campus to everybody," he said. "That would be a disaster.”
Posts tagged with "UCSD":
The Jacobs Medical Center at the University of California, San Diego campus—a sinuous hospital tower complex by the Yazdani Studio at CannonDesign—is out to change the future of architecture for patient-centered medical care facilities. The new 509,500-square-foot medical complex was created, according to Mehrdad Yazdani, design principal for the studio, to meet a trifecta of needs: improving patient and family care, adapting to technological innovation, and providing an intimate relationship between interior spaces and the outdoors. The curvilinear, fritted glass–wrapped 245-bed hospital tower works to unify these concerns by merging three specialty centers— high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care, cancer care, and advanced surgical care—into a vertically integrated campus that preserves open ground-floor areas as therapeutic gardens. According to Yazdani, the complex was designed with an eye toward the “impact nature can have on the healing process,” and, as a result, many of the ten-story tower’s interior spaces—including surgery rooms—connect directly to exterior views via porous and blob-shaped floor plates. Each level connects directly to either planted terraces or internal courtyards as well, with each floor wrapped in a continuous band of ribbon windows overlooking the landscape. The landscape architecture was designed by Pamela Burton & Company as a set of wide-open paths that thread together outdoor garden rooms to create “wellness walks” that can be integrated into the recovery process. These areas feature an olive grove, a collection of linear gardens, and water-retention basins lined with drought-tolerant plantings. Though verdantly focused in nature, the Jacobs Medical Center also pushes the envelope in terms of technological integration. The complex comes outfitted with a state-of-the-art air filtration system that allows transplant patients to leave their recovery rooms to visit the hospital’s dedicated inpatient gym, an arrangement that, according to the architects, can improve recovery times. Unlike other gargantuan medical facilities, the complex is “much more than a $943 million exercise in resolving technical challenges,” Carlos Amato, project architect at CannonDesign, explained. Instead, the design teams opted to unify pragmatic and visionary concerns around the healing process. That explains the building’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls, which come fritted with parametrically calibrated patterns designed to optimize solar infiltration while minimizing glare. The thinking also guided the design of ground-floor areas, which weave in and out of the landscape to create a generous and visually porous 8,000-square-foot entry lobby containing a gym, yoga studio, and demonstration kitchen as well as receiving areas and an auditorium. The entry level spreads out along two lobes that open up onto healing gardens, with administration areas and an imaging wing located to one side where the tower’s four internal courtyards reach the ground. These courtyards connect down to a basement-level research lab, bringing light as well as views into what would typically be a hospital’s deepest and darkest recesses, Yazdani explained before adding, “Isn’t it great when you can see the sky from inside a building?”
A team consisting of HKS Architects, Safdie Rabines Architects, and landscape architects OJB was recently selected by the University of California, San Diego to design the university’s new Living and Learning Neighborhood at North Torrey Pines, a forthcoming campus expansion modeled after traditional mixed-use urban forms. The project will provide housing for 2,000 undergraduate students as well as new educational spaces and administrative offices, among other uses. The campus extension will consist of seven new structures ranging between two and ten stories in height. Those new buildings, according to renderings released for the project, will feature blocky, articulated massing with various building geometries clad in traditional materials, including brick and wood panels. A pair of the structures will be 10-stories tall and joined at the midsection by a series of multi-level skybridges. Other structures will be composed of similarly hybridized masses, with traditional housing blocks stacked above office and educational podium structures. The buildings feature a relatively high ratio of exterior glazing, with large swaths of glass curtain walls and punched openings populating each expanse. The buildings will also feature multi-story cutouts and loggia spaces along their facades. Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, SOM, Kevin Daly Architects, and Kieran Timberlake are currently at work on a multi-phase housing expansion at California State University, Santa Barbara while Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects are working to overhaul and expand the Moore Turnbull Page-designed Kresge College housing complex at University of California, Santa Cruz. University of California, Davis is also planning a large-scale campus expansion. The project at UC San Diego is currently preparing to enter construction this summer and is expected to be completed sometime in 2020.
At first glance, visitors might think that the house from Disney’s Up managed to crash land atop UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering building. What they’re actually staring at, however, is Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s latest installation, Fallen Star, a 15-by-18-foot New England cottage suspended off the edge of the seven-story Jacobs building at a disconcerting 10-degree tilt from the building’s flat roof. Suh said that the installation recalls his own experience of moving to the U.S. to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. He felt “as if he was dropped from the sky.” Opened to the public on June 7th, seven years after the artist’s initial sketch, the home has a garden, plum trees, wisteria vines, tomatoes, and more. Inside, the white-trimmed blue cottage (its interior floor set on a gentler five degree tilt) is furnished with a living room set, bookcase, and even a chimney that blows off steam to simulate smoke. Picture frames display baby pictures of former Jacobs School of Engineering deans. Except for the chandelier, which hangs plumb due to gravity, everything is slightly askew, just as the artist envisioned. Fallen Star was built in the Fall of 2011 and hoisted onto Jacobs Hall on November 15. Despite its unusual siting, the home didn't escape from building regulators' grasp. It adheres to California’s earthquake building codes and can withstand 100 mph winds. The project is the 18th installation of UCSD's Stuart Collection, which engages international artists to create site-specific work on campus. The $1.3 million budget for the project came from private donations except for a $90,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant. Fallen Star is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The University of California Board of Regents yesterday approved the second phase of the rehabilitation of UC San Diego’s University House. Located on seven acres in La Jolla Farms, the eccentric 1952 structure was designed by noted Santa Fe architect William Lumpkins. It has been closed since 2004 when it was pronounced uninhabitable because of seismic and system deficiencies. Here's the best part: the house will be renamed the Audrey Geisel University House, in honor of the widow of author Theodor ‘Dr. Seuss’ Geisel, a longtime philanthropic supporter of the campus. Mrs. Geisel has donated more than 8,000 of her husband’s original drawings, sketches, books, and other memorabilia to the university libraries and donated more than $20 million to UCSD. The entire cost of the Geisel House renovation, estimated at $10.5 million, will be covered by gift funds including $1.5 million gifted from the UC Office of the President.