River Center at Grant Park

The San Diego River Discovery Center’s story begins with a grassroots effort to restore and
preserve a 52-mile wildlife river corridor through San Diego County with a final segment
passing through the city’s urbanized Mission Valley. The river has a long cultural history, yet
previous development and mining resulted in neglect, threatening the integrity of the river and
its wildlife.
A master plan to save the river was born, centered around a belief that a healthy river equals
healthy community. To do this, a center was needed to educate and inspire future generations
to act as stewards. The Discovery Center is the crowning feature of the master plan and is
designed as a “cathedral” for river educational and serves as the river’s front door, inspire
stewardship, and reactivate the river’s presence by promoting community activities adjacent to
the river.
The project consists of a new energy net zero 9,000 square foot educational, meeting and community
facility, a new outdoor classroom amphitheater, volunteer staging areas, an interpretive water
feature for kids, landscape restoration, site improvements, and a raised boardwalk through
river habitat. Due to the protected habitat boundaries, the project utilizes strategies to
experience the river without impacting it.
The project will be a sustainable example for future development along the river and utilizes
less than 20% of its 17-acre site. The project will focus on appropriate treatment of urban
runoff and is designed with passive solar strategies, such as optimizing solar orientation,
Implementing the use of thermal mass and thermal chimneys to heat and cool interior spaces,
utilizing high-performance and/or recycled building materials.

Total 0 Votes

Tell us how can we improve this post?


Verify Human or Spambot ?

  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    2350 Camino Del Rio North, San Diego

    Project Owner/Developer:

    San Diego River Park Foundation

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Rob Hutsel, Executive Director / rhutsel@sandiegoriver.org

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Kotaro Nakamura, AIA, LEED AP (Architect) / Rick Espana, AICP (Planner)

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