Regents OK 2 UCSD Buildings, New School

Times Staff Writer

UC San Diego had a bonanza day at the Board of Regents meeting Friday as the panel approved three major initiatives to add a school of architecture and two buildings on the campus.

Meeting in San Francisco, the regents approved the designs for a new Scripps aquarium on the east side of La Jolla Shores Drive, across the street from the existing site, as well as for a Clinical Sciences Building in the School of Medicine complex.

Adding the architecture school, which will begin accepting students in 1991, will make UCSD the third University of California campus to train architects. UC Berkeley and UCLA already have such programs.

"The search for a dean will begin promptly, and we expect to recruit a faculty that will make this one of the top architectural schools in the world," Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson said.

A 14-member steering committee of UCSD officials, architects and construction-industry executives has helped plan the school and looks forward to it becoming a center for innovative approaches to design.

"What we have seen in many schools of architecture is the polarization of the practical and technical on the one side, and the aesthetic and idealistic on the other side," said a panel member, Barry McComic, chairman of the building firm R. B. McComic. "What we visualize this school to be is a coming together of both of those poles."

A Search for Identity

Architect Robert Mosher said he expects the school to have a major impact on the city.

"San Diego has suffered a great deal in the past, and even now is struggling, with the notion of what its real vision is, of our image of what kind of city we should be," Mosher said. "The school at UCSD will ultimately have a very profound effect on San Diego in the search for its identity."

The school will offer a bachelor's degree, a professional master's program, a small doctoral program, and continuing education for practicing architects. Research also can be expected in such areas as planning in coastal communities, designing buildings to withstand earthquakes, computer-aided design and urban design issues, the steering committee determined.

The new aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, more than two decades in the planning, is scheduled to open in the spring of 1991 on a wooded bluff that overlooks the institution and the scenic La Jolla coastline.

At 28,000 square feet, the two-level aquarium will be about 2 1/2 times the size of the existing one. However, the exterior of the building will have varying heights, to give the effect of a cluster of smaller buildings.

Included in the plan is parking for 230 cars, intended to relieve a perennial problem. There also will be an access road to it from Torrey Pines Road.

About $7.6 million of the building's $8.2-million cost has been raised so far, most of it from a $6-million donation from the Delaware-based Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation. The new museum will be named the Stephen Birch Aquarium-Museum.

Architect for Project

Architect for the project is the San Diego firm of Wheeler-Wimer-Blackman & Associates.

Approval of the design for a Clinical Sciences Building, on the main UCSD campus, will add 60,000 square feet of research and office space to the School of Medicine. Completion is scheduled for July, 1991.

The $25-million building will be designed as two rectangular wings of four stories and three stories, connected by a round tower. It will be situated between the existing medical-school buildings and the Veterans Administration Hospital.

The building will house basic research programs as well as the UCSD Institute for Research on Aging. Funding will come from private donations, chancellor's and president's discretionary funds, and external financing.

Designer of the building is Arthur Erickson Architects.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World