The Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society, and the Environment is a breathtaking oceanfront conference center that was meant to inspire, playing hosts to scientists from all around the world. Located on top of an ocean bluff, designers Safdie Rabines Architects had to take into consideration the strong winds, western sun, the existing grove of palms, and an ever-changing ocean providing the natural backdrop to the center settings. They felt it was important to create a building that played homage to its natural site and the research of the scientist who come to visit.
The design conception for the entirely gift-funded project was carried and completed prior to the University of California San Diego’s establishment of its LEED certification goals. Despite the timing, it project’s instinctive design decisions taken into account regarding the building envelope, materials, energy use, daylighting and passive cooling still enabled the project to achieve LEED certification even after the completion of construction. Floor to ceiling sliding doors allows meeting rooms to take full advantage of the local climate while enjoying natural light throughout the day.