This facility is located between Kempton Street Elementary School and La Presa Middle School in Spring Valley. The main focus of the project is a 15,000 square foot library. In addition to the library, the project includes a 15,000 square foot gymnasium and a 2,000 square foot teen center. The facilities is used by students from both the elementary and the middle school.
The project was built by the County of San Diego Department of General Services in cooperation with the La Mesa/Spring Valley School District.
Martinez + Cutri Corporation was responsible for the Master Planning and Architecture/Engineering of this project.
This 27,000 square foot facility in-cludes a Chapel, Social Hall, Class-rooms, and related support activities. Built in the midst of family housing on the Base, the Blinder Center was designed to be the focal point of this military community. The design for the Center provides a sense of spirituality through the creation of spaces and places for worship, without the use of typical religious elements. The non-denomi-national aspect of the complex was a primary factor in the design. The buildings define a central court-yard and are connected by a series of semi-covered breezeways. Building materials of concrete and masonry provide the sense of stability and permanence so essential to this par-ticular program type.
A multi-agency, energy-efficient office building, characterized by courtyards, daylighting and passive cooling, this building was part of a state-wide office building program sponsored by the State of California.
The 125,000 square foot building was completed in 1983, at a cost of $10 million, and received a PA Award in 1984. Mr. Cutri was a principal/project designer with Sol-Arc from concept design through construction and occupancy.
The project is an urban facility with pedestrian presence, which is a match with the San Diego Police Department's community policing program. The Police Substation was sited and programmed to have a strong visual presence on the City Heights Urban Village, with large windows, “eyes on the street,” looking out from the detective spaces onto the open spaces and public facilities. In addition to the full service SDPD substation, the facility includes community meeting space, vehicle maintenance facilities and a community gymnasium.
The design parti is an eclectic assemblage of ordering principles derived from the indigenous people of the Americas and infused with neighborhood aspirations as well as emerging bi-national/bi-cultural determinants.
Architecturally, important individual program elements have been articulated on a monumental scale. In particular, the Centro Cultural is a 35-foot cube supported by a single column, and clad on its exterior in a checkerboard pattern of gold granite reminiscent of the stone construction of the Incas, Aztecs and Anasazi. In turn, the composition draws reference to the tapestry of the Incas and Pueblo pottery. Its precision also recalls the exactness of ancient construction and the Mayan mathematical understanding of zero.
The complex that incorporates the library, day care center, and multi-purpose theatre is at the heart of the City Heights Urban Village. Anchored by the library, these interconnected buildings provide educational, social, and cultural services. The library's main entrance is situated at an important intersection to create a public open space that is active and inviting.
A curved screen wall serves as a portico to the library and features permanent, site-specific installations of public art representing the community's cultural diversity. This curved element is continued on all four corners of the intersection creating the focal point of the Urban Village.
As an urban facility that include a multi-purpose building, a swim center, tennis courts, recreational fields for softball and soccer and a passive park area, the center has a strong street presence. Its design focuses on its orientation and massing, affording the facilities views from the police station, continuing education center and library, and thereby creating a safe and pedestrian-friendly center. Similarly, passive and active uses within the facility are visually connected, allowing parents to supervise their children and therefore encouraging family use.
Finally, the center's main structures incorporate color as well playful volumes and angles in a composition that is inviting and user-friendly for all ages.
Built on an old gunpowder factory site, and inspired by the idea of an old boathouse, the Nature Center is strategically positioned on Chula Vista's bay front. From the center, visitors can view and experience the full watershed: mountains, river, tidelands, bay, and ocean. The estuary, upon which the center is situated, provides a unique opportunity for children to learn aquatic biology first hand. The project includes indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits, classrooms, library, auditorium, bookstore, administrative offices, maintenance facilities, maintenance facilities, interpretive nature trails, and laboratories.
These community-based facilities are sited on important neighborhood intersections, as well as near public transportation (trolley station), to create connections within the community and a strong street presence. The entries of both facilities are placed directly on the corners of main thoroughfares as “beacons and welcoming signs”, and symbols of community based policing. Inside, the arrangements of the rooms and windows establish a dialogue with the outside.
The police substation successfully incorporates mission style architecture with modern lines, contributing to the site's aesthetic value. The building includes a plaza and traditional tower element, which defines the entrance and is reminiscent of the original station. The community services center is a fun, contemporary building, accentuated with a curved wall that addresses the intersection and an inviting functional public space. A vertical element that includes a clock tower visible to pedestrians and trolley riders marks the center's entrance.