Studio E Architects' design for the UCSD Housing & Dining Services building resolves a sequence of specific responses to the project's program and coastal setting. The 43,400-square-foot building has three distinct identities: it serves as an active 13,000-square-foot main catering kitchen, a prominent and welcoming home for the campus' staff, and a series of inviting rentable meeting and event spaces.
In consideration of the building's multiple purposes, as well as its location, our design expresses varied degrees of transparency and opacity. The catering kitchen, requiring service yard access on the north, is concealed along the western public frontage and the southern campus-connecting ramp; the Housing and Dining offices, in contrast, are positioned to achieve necessary visibility and direct campus- and public access.
Our design references the project's coastal location through rough board-formed concrete walls at the lowest level, a sheltering overlook pier above a grotto-like entrance, a west-facing site stair whose zigzagging form echoes local bluff-climbing beach flights, and an ocean-colored glass wall. Meeting, conference, and event spaces are raised to upper levels, where the west-facing glass screen wall affords ocean and sunset views while confronting intense solar gain.
Orchid for Architecture from San Diego Architectural Foundation
Divine Detail Award from American Institute of Architects, San Diego