San Dieguito River Park Headquarters
San Dieguito River Park Headquarters is a remarkable response to a tragedy of nature. A simple budget, with simple architectural solutions, results in complex relationships between the built environments and natural surroundings. This architecture is filled with purposeful incongruities, yet it somehow accomplishes seamless architectural togetherness. It is nicely restrained and elegant, but also striking with an occasional flourish. There are simple little details such as the setting of the storefront, the ways in which the walls meet the roof and the use of the old foundation as a courtyard that belie the limited budget and results in an architecture that is both proud of itself and comfortable for its users. San Dieguito Park should be proud to have this faceted, white gem as their new headquarters. When added to the landscape restoration, trials and the new pedestrian bridge this entire project serves as a shining and lasting example of how to execute publically financed infrastructure.
- Project Address: 18372 Sycamore Creek Road, Escondido, CA 92025
- Project Owner/ Developer: San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Dick Bobertz email@example.com
- Project Architect/ Designer: Rinehart Herbst
In October, 2007, the 1920's ranch house that served as headquarters for the San Dieguito River Park was destroyed in the Witch Creek fire. The environmental agency contracted with architects Rinehart Herbst to design, process, and coordinate a replacement structure to accomodate five administrative employees and five rangers. The project was completed in three years for a construction cost of $633,000. Staff moved in on the anniversary of the Witch Creek fire in October 2010. The new building's angular form and multi-sloped roof stretches the visual impact to contextualize with the large residential neighbors at a rural edge to a natural regional watershed. The offices are aligned to optimize daylighting while the southern roof is lifted to accomodate the winter sun. Overhangs and vertical fins are used to mitigate summer heat gain and edit out views of neighboring structures. The building mass is broken into two volumes that frame a south facing courtyard. The restrooms are split between interior and exterior to accommodate volunteers who staff out of building on weekends. The project is conventionally heated and cooled with a high SEER forced air unit that is tucked between the floor and the ground on the north side. Water is heated by an electric heat pump water heater. To foster greater environmental awareness and appreciation of the agency's mission, Rinehart Herbst designed to decrease the distance between the staff and environment they steward by narrowing and stretching the program to increase interfaces.