In Defense of La Pensione Hotel

Although I am not always in concert in thought with Dirk Sutro's architecture column, I do find it a source for making some kind of connection with what is occurring in our San Diego built environment.

I find myself especially at odds with his recent column, "When Old and New Mix Like Oil and Water," (Oct. 3). I have not always subscribed to Rob Wellington Quigley's relatively eccentric imagery, but in the case of his recently completed La Pensione project, Rob Quigley has created his best piece of architecture to date. Recognizing the site constraints and the particular project budget, I think Quigley has created a project with a comfortable sense of fit within the Little Italy community of the India Street district. Although an entirely new structure, this relatively dense development feels as though the structure has been there for years. La Pensione has a human scale at the street level while attempting to break up the bulkiness of the building mass as the building touches the sky with its cupolas, tower and trellises.

This time I think architect Rob Quigley should be applauded as well as the commitment of his client for creating architecture with a sense of adding to the existing fabric of an important, already charming, historic district of San Diego.

Dirk Sutro would better serve architecture and the San Diego built community, if he chose to focus his energies of criticism on the real culprits who continue to create eyesore, out-of-scale, out-of-context buildings.

CHARLES SLERT

San Diego

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