By DELLE WILLETT | Downtown News
In early October, the San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) recognized this year’s best and “not so best” projects throughout San Diego County at the 43rd Annual Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony held at the historic U.S. Grant Hotel. The ceremony was emceed by state Assembly member Todd Gloria.
The projects awarded Orchids and Onions were nominated by the design community and the public. A jury made up of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, a historic preservation architect, a developer, a visual artist, an architecture professor and a student conducted a daylong tour of short-listed projects, followed by deliberations. This process resulted in this year’s awards.
Along with the jury-selected awards, there were three people’s choice awards selected by the public through an online voting process.
A total of 14 projects were awarded Orchids or Onions in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, public art, place making and architectural detail.
The following are in the Downtown area:
Makers Quarter Block D (office building), 15th St. Orchid for Architecture. The owner/developer is L2HP and the architect is: BNIM Architects. The jury felt from the beautiful exposed concrete structure and street-level activation to the clever perforated movable panels on the façade, Maker’s Quarter Block D is a “demonstrable example of great design.”
Miller Hull San Diego Studio, N. Harbor Drive, won an Orchid for Interior Design. The owner/developer and architects are Miller Hull Partnership. The jurors felt this office is as environmentally sensitive as it is beautiful, a calming space with a simple design that highlights the beautiful shell of the building and the bay just beyond the windows.
Shift Apartments on Island won an Onion for Architecture and People’s Choice Onion. The owner/developer is LMC Communities (Lennar Corp.); the architect is Carrier Johnson + Culture.
The jury felt this project was an architectural miss, lacking cohesiveness. They agreed that both the choice of color and the building’s execution left a lot to be desired.
The complete list of 2019 Orchids & Onions awards is at orchidsandonions.org/archive/2019-awards/
Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to educate and promote outstanding architecture, landscape, interior, and urban design to improve the quality of life for all San Diegans.
SDAF sponsors public programs throughout the year, including youth programs, architectural tours, and community events. Orchids & Onions has been one of SDAF’s most successful and longest-standing programs for more than four decades. It serves to raise awareness and encourage practical discourse about the built environment, thereby effecting positive change and more thoughtful design. To learn more about SDAF and Orchids & Onions, visit sdarchitecture.org.
— Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at email@example.com.