Till O&O!

October 26, 2017
Reception & Ceremony
The US Grant
Tickets Available Now!


North Park Post Office

Working with a sound concrete and steel structure built in 1951, FoundationForForm Architecture & Development created the North Park Post Office Lofts with a vision of homage to the local landmark, while complementing widespread revitalization of the area.

Closed by the postal service in 2010, the adaptive re-use of the structure incorporates local-serving retail, restaurant and creative office spaces along with 33 market rate and affordable housing units. The new residential building ‘hugs’ the original structure, creating an urban pocket park in the site’s core; inviting residents as well as the passersby.

Distinct design approaches intended to maintain the public, shared space sensibilities of the building’s past include two welcoming and connecting courtyards; one accessed from North Park Way between commercial spaces features 2-story glass walls that open the retail and restaurant uses to their patrons. The second courtyard, accessed from Grim Avenue, is lush with drought tolerant landscaping, a meandering pedestrian path and features “front porches” designed for neighborhood interaction and the enjoyment of San Diego’s near-perfect climate.

Each unit has large private balconies with bright interior finishes. No two units are identical, with careful consideration given to views, sunlight, natural ventilation, privacy and lifestyle of the user.

Most units boast 20-foot tall ceilings with upper loft areas, custom staircases and large kitchen islands perfect for entertaining.

Patterning of the exterior steel railings, the water-jet cutouts of balcony enclosures and the custom-raked stucco take design cues from parcel scanner barcodes used by mail sorting devices.

Two huge diaphanous, corrugated and perforated solar screens add dimension and reduce solar heat gain of the afternoon sun, while additional passive energy-saving design features include exterior open circulation for pedestrians and automobiles, draught tolerant landscaping, energy star appliances, recycled flooring and countertops, LED lighting and floor to ceiling operable windows that allow deep penetration of natural light and fresh ocean breezes.

While dynamic in its design, the new building’s deliberately subtle color scheme of whites, grays and pink allows the original structure to stand out. For almost 60 years, the North Park Post Office represented a universal mail system and community hub – within its walls the bonds of communication, friendship, family, and community were strengthened, and national and world business entrusted. The legacy lives on with the North Park Post Office Lofts.

  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    3077 North Park Way, San Diego

    Project Owner/Developer:

    FoundationForForm Architecture & Development

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Mike Burnett / mike@foundationforform.com

    Project Architect/Designer:

    FoundationForForm Architecture & Development


  • Narmey

    This is a project that reflects what used to be called “kitchen sink” design. Throw everything you have into it including… It is out of scale for the neighborhood, contains layers upon layers of what appear to be fixes to a bad design to start with. Maybe the pepto bismol pink rails were too much, so they added the mesh screens? If this gets an orchid, the jury is crazy.

  • Lisa

    Okay, who the hell nominates these projects? And what are they smoking? This should be up for an Onion, if anything. This eyesore of a building doesn’t fit into the neighborhood and it is vastly oversized. As far as aesthetics go, it’s way, way too busy with complicated lines and no rhyme or reason for them. The pale pink railings angled in every which way are what really make me wonder what is considered good taste–there is just no color theory that justifies what they have going on there. I’m with Narmey on this one. If the jury seriously considers this property, they should be discredited. The historic post office authenticity was not done any justice in the execution of the concept. The above write up on this property is such a stretch in flattery that it’s hilarious.

  • Rene Peralta

    Interesting work! great to see something else beside the overwhelming amount of bland SD architecture! The Revival styles are getting old!

  • edd


  • johnthurston

    Simply atrocious and deserves an Onion for its NORAD Radar screen like camouflage to hide the ugliest boxiest most dense hipster dorm in North Park.

  • Andrew Towne


Contact Us

Contact Us



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

Sign Up

Stay on top of your Architectural news

Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to education and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

Get in the Mix