Skip to main content

Parking Magazine: UC San Diego Parking Offers Gateway to Campus

Original Source:  "Facilities Spotlight: UC San Diego Parking Offers Gateway to Campus" by Michael Nielson for Parking Magazine, February 2019

Image for Parking Magazine: UC San Diego Parking Offers Gateway to Campus

For the design of the Osler Parking Structure & Visitor’s Center, University of California, San Diego was looking for something that went beyond the number of stalls, structural efficiency, and gross square footage associated with the typical parking structure. Envisioning a step beyond, the university sought a gateway to enrich the campus experience.

Emphasis On Campus Connectivity

The Swinerton | Watry Design | Gensler team’s design-build solution enhances the route to UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and provides connectivity to the campus. A new pedestrian plaza offers a welcoming front porch, while the reimagined Visitor’s Center serves as an all-inclusive transportation hub and information center. A pedestrian bridge connects the parking structure to the Visitor’s Center. 

Natural Approach To Architectural Continuity

Shaped by its naturalistic, rustic character on the edges to a more highly designed discrete character within the campus neighborhood, UC San Diego is knitted into its landscape. To reflect this in the parking structure, the western and southern facades use a multilayered facade system that captures and transforms the shadows of the adjacent trees onto a curving concrete mass.

A panel system of angled, perforated metal planks form abstract trees that physically screen the structure. The northern and eastern faces of the building present a refined character to respond to the discrete characteristics of the School of Medicine.

Letting The Light In

Since the structure sits in a deep, natural hollow, the design team went to great lengths to provide natural light and ventilation even on the lowest levels. A retaining wall was pushed back to allow as much light into the structure as possible. Using moment frame construction, instead of shearwalls as the seismic resisting system, created an open and airy building. Light wells widen in the direction pedestrians need to flow, allowing access to daylight deep within the structure. 

Enhanced Wayfinding

A parking guidance system counts individual parking spaces and provides real-time parking information. Fourth-level users traverse a pedestrian bridge to access the main thoroughfare leading to the rest of the campus.

Location: La Jolla, San Diego

Parking Spaces: 1,345

Levels: 6

Opened: 2018

Owner: University of California, San Diego

Architect, Structural Engineer & Parking Planner: Watry Design, Inc. 

Design Architect: Gensler

Design Builder: Swinerton 

About the Author

Michael Nielson has over 25 years of experience in architecture and is licensed in two states. A proven project leader, Michael has extensive experience building strong client relationships and working with them to achieve project goals. He has successfully delivered over 50 projects to satisfied clients, including the San Diego Airport Terminal 2 Parking Plaza and the UC San Diego Osler Parking Structure & Visitor’s Center.

Read More