The University of California at San Diego's campus is widely admired for its compelling and functional modern architecture. Three projects that promise to further enhance this image include the recently completed Computer Science and Engineering building, the ongoing renovation of the Canyonview Recreation Center, and the new Student Academic Affairs Facility now under construction.
Engineering school continues to grow
Located at the Jacobs School of Engineering, the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) building will be dedicated on Sept. 30. In addition to providing space for the CSE department to grow, the 148,000-square-foot building is home to the administrative offices of Earl Warren College. The new facility will also help the Jacobs School expand the scope and focus of its research efforts.
"There are more opportunities for synergistic activity that come from having our computer scientists and computer engineers located closer to other engineering disciplines such as bioengineering," said Jeanne Ferrante, associate dean, UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering and professor of Computer Science and Engineering. "Almost every other scientific discipline relies on computer science as an enabling technology, and the CSE building was designed to facilitate these interactions."
The $41 million building was designed by the architectural firm of Bohlin, Cywinski and Jackson to help create a sense of community among faculty, students and visitors.
"There are spaces designed to encourage collaboration and team engineering," Ferrante said. "The CSE building will also have a dedicated lactation room for nursing mothers, designed in cooperation with the student group 'Women in Computing.'"
The building will also provide students with large new laboratories, world-class equipment, and videoconferencing facilities that will give them access to experts around the world.
Canyonview renovation set to make a splash
Students and others who enjoy watching or participating in aquatic sports will soon have plenty to cheer about. A $5.7 million expansion and renovation of the university's Canyonview Recreation Center is under way and expected to be finished before the end of the year. The expanded facility will boast a unique feature - two side-by-side Olympic-sized pools. A new state-of-the-art "fast" pool ideally suited for competitive swimming and water polo will join the existing pool.
"The new facility will meet the increasing demand for swimming and aquatics activities from the campus community," said Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Joseph Watson. "It will also provide a world class venue for intercollegiate swimming, water polo and other aquatic competitions."
Hanna Gabriel Wells, a San Diego architectural firm, is handling the project's overall design and management. Carlsbad-based Aquatic Design Group (ADG) is managing the design, programming, planning and engineering of the new pool facilities.
According to Randy Mendioroz, a principal with ADG, design elements such as the pool's uniform depth of 7 feet and a special gutter system will mitigate waves and to help make competitive swimmers move faster.
"Some systems allow waves to roll through the pool and back which can slow swimmers down," he explained. "But the gutter system we designed for the Canyonview pool is especially wide and deep. When a wave hits it - boom - it's gone."
The Canyonview project also includes the renovation and expansion of two existing recreation and administrative buildings. In addition, a new 2,496-square-foot structure to house mechanical equipment and a maintenance workshop for the new pool is being constructed.
One-stop shopping for student services
Located in the heart of campus next to the Student Union, a new $35 million Student Academic Services Facility is under construction. The five-story, 100,000-square-foot building will provide students with convenient access to an array of services under one roof. Construction is expected to be finished by spring of 2007.
"The Student Academic Services Facility will enable a number of critical student services to relocate from several World War II era buildings into a modern facility designed to provide 'one-stop' services to current and potential students, their families and campus visitors," Watson said. "The housing of student service units in a single modern facility will foster better communications, faster delivery of current services, and the development of new services."
The Student Academic Services Facility will also be an integral part of the new "urban neighborhood" UCSD is creating on this part of the campus. Designed by award-winning architect Rob Quigley, it will serve as "background" architecture. Instead of drawing attention to itself, the building is designed to connect, enhance and define the three major quads adjacent to it so that they - and the campus activities happening on them - will be the focal point of the neighborhood.
"This world has too many foreground buildings and not enough background buildings," Quigley said. "There is a lot more background architecture in Europe. This new urban neighborhood the university is developing has a chance to be that way."
The L-shaped building includes a courtyard that functions as an outdoor lobby for Mathews Quad. Retail space on the ground floor and a second floor café will help bring the building to life. Designed to allow pedestrians to look through it to a park in the quad, a 300-seat multipurpose room will feature all glass walls. Further enhancing the building's transparent, open feel, stairs and walkways leading to various parts of it will be exposed and visible for easy navigation.
"There's a much higher level of transparency in this building than you find in normal university buildings," Quigley said. "The idea of clarity is very central to its design. This is the first large building being constructed in this neighborhood, so in a sense it's role a model. Hopefully, other buildings will follow suit."
O'Donnell is a San Diego-based freelance writer.
Computer Science and Engineering Building Developer: UCSD Architect: Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson General Contractor: Rudolph & Sletten Sub-contractors: Southland Industries (mechanical/plumbing); Valley Crest Landscape (landscape and irrigation)
Canyonview Recreation Center Developer: UCSD Architects: Hanna Gabriel Wells; Aquatic Design Group General Contractor: Taylor Frager Sub-contractors: Mission Pools of Escondido (pool concrete); Neal Electric (electrical); Certified Concrete (concrete); A.O. Reed (HVAC); Zolla Plumbing (plumbing), Markey Masonry (masonry)
Student Academic Services Facility Developer: UCSD Architect: Rob Wellington Quigley, FAIA General Contractor: McCarthy Sub-contractors: KPFF Consulting Engineers (structural engineering); Bechard Associates (MEP); Wallace Roberts & Todd, Inc. (landscape architecture); Boyle Engineering (civil engineering); Patrick Quigley & Associates (lighting design)