Project profile: Charles David Keeling Apartments

Apr 30, 2013

The Charles David Keeling Apartments are located on the southwestern edge of the UC San Diego campus overlooking the coastal cliffs of La Jolla. The apartments employ a suite of tactics to address Southern California’s pressing environmental challenges of stormwater management, water scarcity, and carbon emissions.

The location offers remarkable views to residents as well as access to refreshing onshore breezes. The apartments are situated to provide expansive views of the ocean and mountains from all interior spaces, and from exterior walkways and the large roof terrace, which have become popular gathering spaces. The buildings and landscape promote the active use of exterior spaces, encouraging interaction among students with outdoor circulation that leads to chance encounters, convenient spaces for individual and group activity, and spaces conducive to congregating.

The apartments are instrumental in the revitalization of Revelle College, the founding college at UC San Diego, by bringing students closer to their core academic buildings. The goal was to provide each student with a distinctive, human-scaled home within a large research institution, at a location where they can more fully engage the academic community. This community was created out of the College’s existing components, building on its heritage, and establishing a new gateway at the west edge of the campus.

Three apartment buildings are arranged in a C-shape around a courtyard that creates a new social zone and unites it with the existing 1960s Fleet Residences to the east. They adopt elements from the classic campus buildings; exterior walkways, repetitive sun control elements, and a warm color palette, but are firmly rooted in a 21st century aesthetic that unites form and performance. Great lengths were taken to construct the buildings with high quality, cast-in-place white concrete to visually tie them to the existing architecture.
(2013 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects recipient)

AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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