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UC San Diego projects win prizes in design competition

The annual Design Awards on Oct. 29 from the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored 29 projects across the region — including two entries at UC San Diego in La Jolla — for their innovative design, with an emphasis on sustainability.

This year more than 100 entries were judged by a five-person jury from the Washington, D.C., branch of the architecture institute. Local jurors selected Tijuana project winners and student awards. Prizes sometimes went to projects outside the area, but the work came from local architects.

The award competition, which started in 1960, has been annual since 1982. The nonprofit institute held the event virtually for the first time this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the winners at UCSD:

Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood

A rendering depicts UC San Diego's planned Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood.
A rendering depicts UC San Diego’s planned Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, a 2020 Merit Award winner from the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
(Courtesy)

The planned Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, designed by HKS Architects and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney (EYRC) Architects, won a Merit Award in the urban design category.

The project, planned for La Jolla Village Drive at North Torrey Pines Road, seeks to add five buildings ranging from nine to 21 stories tall and include housing for 2,000 students, a conference center, hotel rooms, retail spaces and a 1,200-space underground parking garage.

The La Jolla Shores Association and the homeowners association of the Blackhorse Farms gated residential community filed a lawsuit Oct. 10 to fight the development, arguing that it violates the California Environmental Quality Act.

After months of opposing the project, the La Jolla Shores Association has joined with a local homeowners group and filed a lawsuit to fight UC San Diego’s planned Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood.

Geisel Library

UC San Diego's Geisel Library
UC San Diego’s Geisel Library won a Legacy Award in the 2020 Design Awards of the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
(Courtesy)

Geisel Library, designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, turned 50 years old in September. It won a Legacy honor in the design awards.

The eight-floor library bears the name of the late Theodor Geisel, the La Jolla author-illustrator best known as Dr. Seuss.

— Phillip Molnar is a staff writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Rob Vardon is editor of the La Jolla Light.