there was a grand opening party for the new ucsd price center east expansion project yesterday, which has been going on for a couple of years behind the existing student center. it’s supposed to be the new community center for what can be a fairly isolated campus, and includes new restaurants (not open yet; burger king, tapioca, indian, greek), a performance space, new offices/study areas, lots of computer terminals, and a large staircase that can act as a gathering place.
the interior is centered around a large open atrium, and it was full of students lining up for the free food samples being given out. lots of stairs leading to nooks and crannies ideal for hanging out, studying or napping.
credit should be given for going with an award winning, inventive architectural design, conjured up by mehrdad yazdani, who has some impressive work on his website. he was there but i didn’t get a chance to see him. i really like the rectangular block design used, incorporating narrow lines and windows. the north side, pictured above, has its entrance between the two large structures:
the south side of the building features the spacious staircase, which was fenced off – guess they didn’t get that done in time for the grand opening party. to the right are the most interesting block buildings, in my opinion:
not bad for a mostly-bland campus, and the students get a long-overdue new place to hang out. will downtown’s planners take notice and realize that innovative civic architecture doesn’t have to be limited to san diego’s universities?