San Diego Convention Center San Diego, California, USA Designed 1981, with Francisco Kripacz Associated firms- Deems Lewis McKinley and Loschky Marquardt Nesholm A competition-winning scheme for the San Diego Convention Center combines a highly efficient, simple plan, with dynamic soaring spaces, tranquil, passive gardens and festive tent structures. It creates a new urban place on the waterfront, providing constant delight and enjoyment for the community and visitors alike. Its strong organizational concept creates a simple plan of maximum efficiency, flexibility and economy with minimum demands on construction. The design develops a clear pattern of access and circulation and provides a strong identity of its primary function, while offsetting the extraordinary size of the building and giving interest and excitement to the body of the center. The highest intensity use and largest program element, the Exhibition Hall is located at the street level allowing direct public access to the lobby from Harbor Drive and efficient on-grade truck access from Fifth Avenue. A system of glazed vaults, which begins over the lobby, slopes up and over the vertical circulation and culminates in a great transverse vaulted concourse connecting the active city view side of the complex with the more passive, terraced harbor view side, expresses the horizontal circulation of the building. This system gives the building a transparency and lightness and provides partial exposure for the activities within. The massing of the Exhibition Hall is reduced by the glazed linear lobby along Harbor Drive and by a series of pedestrian and landscaped terrace elements creating a strong horizontal base. Above this landscaped base, the upper level accommodates meeting rooms and a large roof terrace slated for a future exhibit hall. The roof terrace is semi-enclosed by a colorful tent and windscreen, making it usable as an outdoor exhibition, reception and concert space. The vertical punctuation of masts and banners and the sail-like tents on the outdoor exhibit area reflect the nautical nature of the site, adding sparkle and life to the complex, celebrating the major gatherings and exhibitions which occur there.