Reception & Ceremony
October 4, 2018
The US Grant


UC San Diego Health – La Jolla Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion

Isn’t the point of a medical facility outpatient pavilion to at first provide some sense of healing and comfort to a patient? The recently completed Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion at UC San Diego Health-La Jolla completely misses the mark. The exterior is cold and foreboding. The interior is equally abysmal. There is no sense of warmth and welcome in this behemoth that is adorned to look more like an industrial park tilt-up office building. UCSD has endeavored for many years to attain architectural excellence having received numerous orchids for architecture, but something went terribly awry in the design and implementation process with this project. UCSD has a Design Review Board too…they must have been asleep at the wheel on this one? It is too bad that the excellence of UC San Diego Health is not embodied with the excellence of architecture on this project.

Total 44 Votes

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  • Onion Nominee

  • Project Address:

    9400 Campus Point Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

    Project Owner/Developer:

    UC San Diego Health

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Joel King/

    Project Architect/Designer:

    CO Architects/Paul Zajfen


  • Charles

    I call it the prison. Cold and foreboding on the outside. Sterile and anonymous on the inside. No personality permitted according to the staff: no pictures, plants or human images.

  • JC Howell

    I also was going to nominate the Koman Outpatient Pavillion for an onion. The grey, metal-like exterior and tall, narrow windows make it look like a prison. From the exterior, the building has several different sections, none of which seem to tie together with the others particularly well. There is no continuity or nicely designed tie-in to the Pearlman building, though they abut. On the the interior, the use of minimalist grey and white flooring and walls (with some color in the lighting soffits), the high ceilings with narrow, flourescent-looking lighting, the gray furnishings and minimal artwork, make the interior and waiting rooms an uncomfortable, exposed-feeling place to be. There is nothing comforting, soothing or promoting health and well-being in these stark surroundings. Having grown up in a mid-century modern, fairly minimalist home, even simple, minimalist space and furnishings can be comfortable and welcoming. Pearlman’s old offices are positively enjoyable compared to the Koman spaces.

    • wo isme

      Not just any prison – a maximum security federal prison. Nice prison yard out front though. Shout-out to Landscaping!

  • Samantha K.

    Calling it a prison is just asinine. It’s an outpatient facility not a museum! People go there to see a doctor not to critique the art on the wall. I agree the entry is a bit plain, but as a patient I thought both the waiting room and exam room were quite nice.

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