Earth Hour Benefit for Japan

On March 26, 2011 San Diego Architectural Foundation, San Diego's official host chapter of the Tokyo-based PechaKucha Night, will partner with Starwood San Diego, the San Diego Japanese Consulate, NBC San Diego, Sophie 103.7 and Discover SD to honor the recent tragedy in Japan as part of a very special “Earth Hour” ceremony. “Earth Hour” is an annual sustainability initiative that encourages people to drastically decrease energy usage for one full hour. This year’s “Earth Hour” carries with it a theme of global preservation, and a deep compassion for the recent tragedy in Japan.

Earth Hour Benefit for Japan will feature fun drink specials, wonderful performances and special guests. Click here for details about what is sure to be an exceptional evening. SDAF is honored to take part in this significant event - we hope to see you there!printable flyer available below

Plans for a friendlier Friendship Park

Friendship Park“Upon a solid basis relations of peace and friendship, which shall confer reciprocal benefits upon the citizens of both, and assure the concord, harmony, and mutual confidence wherein the two people should live, as good neighbors…."  the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed February 2, 1848

The Friends of Friendship Park have submitted a proposal to San Diego Border Patrol enabling increased access and providing a more park-like feel for Friendship Circle Monument Park located between the U.S., Mexico and Pacific Ocean. Designed by heralded San Diego architect James Brown of Public Architecture and Planning, the design restores much of the original feel of Friendship Park during the park’s open hours by allowing for full access to three locations on the international boundary: the historic monument at the center of the park, the bi-national garden located to the east of the monument, and the beach below the monument to the west.

In 2009, an Onion-awarded second fence was constructed some 100’away from the existing border fence, severely restricting pedestrian access to the Monument. The meeting spot is historically and culturally significant to U.S. and Mexican citizens alike. The proposal aims to reestablish use of the park by all.

With a desire to unite rather than rather than divide further, the proposal offers some thoughtful commentary along with a comprehensive plan, including security and options for the future.

view the proposal here

Friendship Park from Kaley Hearnsberger on Vimeo.

Our Friends are your Friends

Our friends at the Friends of San Diego Architecture have launched a new website which includes a collection of almost 10,000 photographs of architecture in San Diego and beyond. The images were donated by Ned Paynter (1935-2007) a local historian and educator with a passion for travelling and architecture.

Paynter's photographs were taken over a period of 40 years as he traveled around the world with his camera in hand, ready to capture the great architecture of the world. Well organized into searchable categories, the collection focuses on the work of well-known modern American, British and European architects, in addition to urban landscapes from Medieval to Modern times.
Not forgetting his local stomping grounds, included in the San Diego gallery are nearly 500 photos, some of buildings which no longer exist including the one shown at right of the Tower Bowl, a 28-lane bowling alley built in 1940 and designed by prolific architect S. Charles Lee. Paynter entitled the shot "The Streamline Moderne by a West Coast Master". Sadly the Tower Bowl was demolished along with another Lee-designed gem just across the street, the Tower Theater. We're pleased to have access to the images providing these rich bits of San Diego design history. Thank you, Friends!

More about "West Coast Master" Lee's work here.

"Calm Yet Complex"

Ann Jarmusch recently wrote a piece for the San Diego Union Tribune about one of our region's architectural gems, the Neurosciences Institute. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Joseph Wong Design Associates and completed in 1995, it has served as the venue for two of SDAF's  Inside the Design Studio series. If you've not yet made some time to drink this stunning local structure in, we highly recommend it.

Click here
to read Jarmusch's SDUT piece.Neurosciences InstituteCredit: Michael Moran

Pecha Kucha Night SDV10

Cover story in Wednesday's Reader! Featured on Stepping Out With Barbarella on NBC Morning News this Thursday! Drink specials, door prizes, thinking, drinking and presentations at Quality Social on January 20! All in all, PechaKucha Nights rock!
Thank you, San Diego, for making PechaKucha Nights so successful. As part of an International 'family' of chapters, we are very proud to represent this region, and offer up such awesome presenters. Cheers!

click here to RSVP on Facebook

Plaza de Panama - To Park or Not to Park?

Plaza de Panama
In August of 2010 Mayor Jerry Sanders and Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs announced a plan to eliminate vehicular traffic from Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. The estimated $33 million project is intended to restore the Plaza to its original 1915 state by allowing only East-bound traffic across the Cabrillo Bridge and then directing it to a 900-space parking garage to the South of Spreckels Organ Pavilion via a new bypass. Diagrams of the plan can be seen here and here.   Plaza de Panama
Though many have expressed their support for getting rid of the approximately 70 parking spaces within the Plaza, opposition to the proposed plan has continued to gain momentum since the Park Committee held a public discussion on the matter January 8th. At the head of this opposition is the Save our Heritage Organization, arguing that while restoring it to its intended purpose is a good idea, this plan would require dramatically altering other areas of the park, and damaging landscapes and views of the park from the South.
What are your thoughts? We encourage you to check out both sides of the issue and tell us what you think.
Related stories:
Ban cars from park bridge, public says; Roger Showley, SignOnSanDiego 1/8/11
Zoo questions parking solution for Plaza de Panama; Roger Showley, SignOnSanDiego 12/22/10
Plaza Plan for Park Unveiled; Roger Showley, SignOnSanDiego, 8/31/10


Our friends at Rebuild Global, a local non-profit, ProjectFind Extendedare giving designers an opportunity to give back to their community. The 2nd annual ProjectFIND Design Competition is asking all socially responsible designers to return to the drawing board and take a stand for something that is important to you and submit a design for anything worth doing in your community and Rebuild will make it happen. Last year's winner submitted a network of school gardens across San Diego county. Rebuild has already built out the first garden in Little Italy and Architect Kevin deFreitas has volunteered his time to assist in the design of the second garden in Sherman Heights.
After the success of the competition’s first completion in November of last year, Rebuild Global continues with the effort to create a shift in the way designers collectively think about and act upon the challenges in the communities they live, love and grow in. The organization is once again seeking the talents of individuals in San Diego to be the voice that will educate and inspire others to seek out creative solutions. For more info visit

Due to the level of excitement over this project and to accommodate those entrants who have been busy studying and preparing for and taking finals, Rebuild Global has extended the competition through the holidays. The new deadline to register and submit will be January 15th, 2011 with the winner announced on February 1st. They  have also added up to $500 cash prize for first place. They are anxious to see all of your inspiring proposals, so keep them coming!

Four Architects. Two Cities. One Word: WOW!

Guggenhein Abu Dhabi National Museum, Abu DhabiMuseum of Islamic Art Louvre Abu Dhabi
(clockwise: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (Gehry), National Museum Abu Dhabi (Foster), Museum of Islamic Art (Pei), Louvre Abu Dhabi (Nouvel)


In "Blueprints for the Mideast," New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff explores two cities on the Persian Gulf, Doha and Abu Dhabi; the settings for vast construction projects, including major new museums designed by some of the world’s most celebrated architects. Have a look at these fascinating interviews with the architects, conducted by Ouroussoff.
Related articles include Ouroussoff's Critic's Notebook entries, "Building Museums, and a Fresh Arab Identity", and "In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises"

Happy Thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving

Members, Supporters and Friends -

At this time of Thanksgiving celebration our thoughts turn to you with deep appreciation. May the beautiful things of life be yours in abundance on Thanksgiving and throughout the coming year.

Enjoy a warm and wonderful holiday. Cheers!

What's in a name?

Sinatra School of the Arts
The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York City by Ennead Architects, the Firm Formerly Known as Polshek Partnership.

On June 24 Polshek Partnership, a prestigious 50-year-old architecture practice,  changed their name and are now known as Ennead.

Check out Robin Progrebin's interesting 9/29 New York Times piece, Architecture Now Building New Names, discussing the evolution of architects' approach to identifying themselves and their firms, and the various reasoning behind it.

More reading about Polshek's name change may be found here.


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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organziation dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
619.232.1385 Phone
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