Tower 180 seeks to reflect the vitality and sophistication of San Diego as a regional/international economic hub and also aims to contribute to the viability of the urban commercial core and add to the vibrancy of the overall downtown experience. The new tower design embraces the notion of preserving the best characteristics of the original building – its unique architectural elements reflective of the Mid-Century and International styles that were popular at the time – while creating a progressive forward-thinking design. Building upgrades have been extensive including all new building façades, completely revamped and relocated entry sequence including main lobby and elevator lobbies, a large rooftop amenity deck that provides a place to work, meet and relax, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows providing both stunning views of the city and a welcome infusion of daylighting into the workspaces.
The design team embraced a holistic approach to the building’s exterior and interior architectural design, collaboratively establishing the design goals and developing the central design vision for the rebranding and revival of this Class A building. As a result, the new design feel cohesive, striking a balance between establishing a sense of connectivity and delivering contrasting elements that achieve a pleasing dynamic tension.
For instance, the exterior angled vertical metal wall that defines the building’s entry continues into the main lobby. The metal wall comprises the entirety of the lobby’s west wall, creating a central spine. The interior columns are sheathed in a similar metal cladding as the wall, reinforcing the architectural vernacular that defines the exterior structure.
Where this exterior finish reflects the precision of industrialized processes – the sleek metal with smooth machined corners conveying strength and uniformity – the interior finish treatments for the main lobby and elevator lobby embrace the elements of nature for inspiration, using contrasting forms and textures to define the large open space and to create an elevated yet ethereal atmosphere.
The term “elemental modernism” encapsulates this design aesthetic, representing the earth, air, fire and water. These elements are powerful because they are foundational to our understanding of the world and likely embedded in the psyche of humankind since the dawn of time. With a sophisticated approach to finish selection and design detailing, we attempt to leverage the foundational elements’ ability to actively engage our emotional processing centers, to evoke a sense of wonder and delight while one moves through the space. A successful orchestration will deliver an experience that feels unique, original and unexpected.
At the lobby entry, guests discover a sophisticated interpretation of fire and earth: A linear fire feature embedded in the metal cladding wall provides a dramatic backdrop for the custom designed monolithic marble slab reception desk.
Covering a vast stretch of the main circulation paths from the main entry to the main elevator lobby is a custom designed feature wall that channels the visceral and raw beauty of a pre-civilization era natural rock formation. The feature wall is one of a kind, hand-made with cast concrete, consisting of a single pattern design with no repeats then fabricated piece by piece like a puzzle and installed in a series of floor to ceiling sections to ensure that the seams of precise pattern aligned throughout. It took a team of experienced craftsmen about 3 months to fabricate and install the wall. At night, the wall is showered with light to emphasize its textural qualities and earthen beauty. The earthen stone inspired large format tiles on the floors and accent walls mirror the ruggedness of the feature wall.
With the addition of marble patterns in contrasting color on vertical surfaces, the notion of earth is softened and refined into a more sophisticated form. Museum-like lighting design further emphasized the sophisticated atmosphere and introduced the potential for future art gallery displays within the space.
Custom made furniture includes a series of statement chairs paired with volcanic-rock inspired coffee tables and a statement bench that evokes the fluidity of water, its functional yet graceful design conveys movement with an expressive organic gesture paired with a linear orientation and sharply defined edges.
The design of the executive suites levels are also informed by this approach, creating an elevated Class A experience. We redefine the working lifestyle by employing bold modern design to deliver workspaces that are as inspirational as they are purposeful and providing flair to an exciting mix of amenities that support the ever evolving character of work life.