The Scripps Institute for Oceanography is a remarkable facility set on the bluffs overlooking the La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. The institute recently received a new LEED certified conference and multi-purpose facility, the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment designed by Safdie Rabines Architects. The building's gorgeous day-lit meeting rooms, flexible auditorium space, terrace restaurant are sure to inspire the desire to learn a lot more about oceanography.
The Scripps facility was built to provide a forum to help advance the study of the oceans, earth, and marine life sciences. It includes a 300-person flexible auditorium space, four oceanfront meeting rooms of varying sizes, a graduate student lounge, a catering kitchen, and a restaurant. The facility’s design was inspired by the site’s beautiful views, topography, existing landscaping and micro-climate. The meeting rooms and auditorium minimize disturbance to the site, retaining the existing grove of palm trees, and some of the buildings are tucked back into the hillside to minimize massing.
Sliding doors open to the outdoors and allow the meeting rooms to take advantage of cooling ocean breezes. All of the rooms enjoy natural daylighting and are connected by a trellised walkway, creating a porous structure that preserves ocean views and breezes for the rest of the campus. This exterior circulation reduces the need for lighting and mechanical systems. Drought-tolerant native and naturalized San Diego plants were used around the facilities, and certified plantation teak wood is used along with low-VOC paints, sealants, and carpets.
The 15,000 sq foot facility was completed in January of 2009, but design work by Safdie Rabines began long beforehand and even before the University initiated their policy for all new construction to achieve LEED certification. Through the use of natural ventilation, environmentally friendly materials, water efficient landscaping and daylighting, the facility was awarded LEED certification post construction.
MEP Engineer: Integrated Engineering
Structural Engineer: Flores Lund Consultants
Civil Engineer: Fuscoe Engineering
Landscape Architect: Aerea Studio
Acoustic Consultant: Dohn and Associates
Contractor/Builder: Jaynes Corporation, General Contractors
Images: © David Hewitt/Anne Garrison