25 for 25: Local Buildings We Love

Last week, in celebration of Studio E Architects‘ 25th anniversary, we kicked off “25 for 25” – a series of carefully-curated lists of twenty-five, sharing the things about San Diego that have made it a great place for us to work and call home over the last twenty-five years. In the first installment, we covered twenty-five local restaurants that get our mouths watering like Pavlov’s dogs come chowtime. If these places help to fuel our bodies, what then feeds our collective Muses, you might be asking? Where do we look to get the creative juices flowing? What buildings consistently inspire, surprise, and delight us as architects and San Diego residents? With all this in mind, we present (in roughly chronological order) “25 for 25: Local Buildings We Love”!

1. Casa de Estudillo by José María Estudillo,  Old Town

2. Hotel del Coronado by Reid & Reid, Coronado – Because there is only one.     -John

3. Mary Cossit Residence by William S. Hebbard & Irving Gill, Hillcrest – Old world craft and nascent modern forms in harmony; the best of both worlds.      -Josh

4. Samuel Fox Lofts by William Templeton Johnson, Gaslamp Quarter

5. Botanical Building by Carleton Winslow Sr. for Bertram Goodhue, Balboa Park – Romantic, ephemeral, inspiring, wistful, perfect.     -John

6. La Jolla Women’s Club by Irving Gill, La Jolla – The model for a public space that simultaneously engages the street and the garden.  The powerful simplicity of the building is a perfect foil for the spaces ingeniously woven into the composition.      -Eric

7. Bungalow Courts, San Diego – The classic Southern California archetype and an inspiration for our work. Identity, community and a garden: it is no wonder that these are still so well loved.      -Eric

8. Pueblo Ribera by Rudolf Schindler, La Jolla

9. Carousel Building by the Herschell-Spillman Co., Balboa Park – This simple barn-like building demonstrates just how easy it is to open up inside to outside.  I admire its straightforward and yet elegant expression.  While there go for a ride.  It is one of the few carousels left where you can grab the brass ring.     -Eric

10. IGPP at Scripps Institution of Oceanography by Lloyd Ruocco, La Jolla –  Iconic Modernist Lloyd Ruocco wrestles a masterpiece out of a modest budget – breathtaking.     -John

11. Design Center by Lloyd Ruocco, Hillcrest – Crisp of line and plane,  a redwood and glass pavilion that elegantly addresses the bustling urbanity of 5th Avenue at its front, and an ethereal treehouse from which to view a lush canyon world beyond.  Also the home of the Futuro.     -Josh

12. Salk Institute by Louis Kahn, La Jolla

13. Salomon Apartments by Henry Hester, Banker’s Hill – Are these really from the 50’s? The look and feel is so modern, with cantilevered balconies framing views of neighboring Balboa Park.     -Maxine

14. Sayer Beach House by Rob Quigley, Mission Beach –  This house completely redefined what a San Diego home could be.  It was serious and fun all at once and is still relevant more than thirty years later.      -Eric

15. Go Homes by Ted Smith, Del Mar Terrace – Funky in the best possible way and a social experiment to boot.     -John

16. 202 Island Inn by Rob Quigley, Downtown

17. Neurosciences Institute, La Jolla by Williams/Tsien, La Jolla –  Artful and cerebral yes, but also attuned to experience and the site. Brilliant.      -Eric

18. Merrimac Building by Ted Smith, Little Italy –  Exceptional urban mixed-use architecture by a local legend.  A San Diego “must-see.”      -Gavin

19. Essex Building by Ted Smith, Little Italy

20. Petco Park by Antoine Predock/HOK Sport, East Village – A prime example of reuse, you don’t even have to like baseball to love this group of buildings and the space they create.     -Tilly

21. R3 Triangle Building by Lloyd Russell, Little Italy –  Tactile, handmade modernism – a bounty of texture and light.     -Josh

22. Housing Dining Hospitality Building by Studio E Architects, UCSD – Well of course we had to have one of our own on the list. We collectively chose this one because it is very much about the coast and our place and says it better than we have ever said it before.     -Eric

Full disclosure: I work for Studio E.  I’m a UCSD grad.  I’m biased and I don’t care – I love it anyway, and am very proud to have been a part of it.     –Josh

23. Scripps Seaside Forum by Safdie Rabines, La Jolla – Every architecture student’s dream project made a reality. Beautifully scaled and sited on the bluff just above the beach. Interior and exterior gathering spaces work in concert to create a unique conference center at one with its natural environment.     -Maxine

24. MXD830 by Foundation for Form, Golden Hill –  Beautiful design and fun details highlight this fantastic mixed-use project in the Golden Hill neighborhood.     -Gavin

25.  New Central Library by Rob Quigley, East Village 

What are your thoughts?  Add your favorite buildings to the comments below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page, and stay tuned to this space for more of our San Diego faves in the next installment of “25 for 25”!

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