THE MAP of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla™

THE MAP of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla® is a site-specific artwork located on the boardwalk at La Jolla Shores. This new community asset expands traditional boundaries of art and design to include scientific research, education, and environmental and ocean stewardship. The plaza serves as a public amenity and gathering place for millions of visitors, providing a glimpse into an underwater world usually reserved for scuba divers.

Artists Robin Brailsford and Wick Alexander designed and fabricated the 2,350 square foot educational plaza with 123 life-size images of marine species set in a vibrant mosaic depicting the depths of the underwater canyons. THE MAP® is overlaid with a diagram of local wave refraction patterns presented in a 1947 paper by famed SIO oceanographer Walter Munk. The fabrication technique is a monolithic mosaic process (LithoMosaic), pioneered by Brailsford, which embeds tiles, glass, stones, and shells directly into a concrete matrix.

The project was commissioned and managed by Walter and Mary Munk, and sponsored by Friends of La Jolla Shores and the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans. We are indebted to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Kumeyaay tribal members, and the many generous donors and volunteers who helped make THE MAP® a reality.

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  • Project Awarded

    Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    2100 Vallecitos, at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores

    Project Owner/Developer:

    Mary Munk / Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Mary Munk / mary@waltermunkfoundation.org

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Artist: Robin Brailsford and Wick Alexander / Concrete: Shaw & Sons / Landscape Architect: Leslie Ryan / Project Manager: Mary Munk

    Image Credit:

    Peter Gotfredson, Wick Alexander


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

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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.

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