Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is it an Orchid or an Onion?

Ocean Beach Comfort Station
2012 Orchid Winner, the Ocean Beach Comfort Station, by Kevin deFreitas. Photo ©Darren Bradley
It's coming up to that time of year again, when an esteemed jury of local architects, designers, and community leaders gathers together - along with the city as a whole - to take a look at the best and worst of new buildings, public art, and community planning in San Diego.
Orchids & Onions is a great opportunity to have a dialog between architects, developers, designers, and the general public about the state of our built environment in our community.
San Diego Gas & Electric Innovation Center
2012 Orchid winner, the SDG&E Innovation Center, by Hanna Gabriel Wells. Photo ©Darren Bradley

It's also a nice chance to recognize some great work...

2012 Orchid winner, CAR2GO Storefront and Office, by Paul Basile. Photo ©Darren Bradley
...and suggest improvements for projects that don't.
Sherman Elementary School
2011 Grand Onion recipient, Sherman Elementary School, by HMC Architects. Photo ©Darren Bradley
The contest, which was run by the local AIA chapter for many years, is now managed by a group of intrepid volunteers from the San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF).

Last year's event was co-chaired by Pauly de Bartolo and Ivana Vinski.

The 2012 O&O Jury included (L to R) Nathan Lee ColkittRobin Wilson CarrierMarcie HarrisCatherine Herbst, Christopher Puzio, and Gregory Strangman. Photo ©Darren Bradley 
I've participated for the past couple of years, taking part in both the planning and the photography (imagine that).
UCSD Medical Education and Telemedicine Building
2012 Orchid winner, the UCSD Medical Education and Telemedicine Building by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Photo ©Darren Bradley

So if you're local to San Diego and have seen any recent buildings or public art around town (must be within the last three years) that you feel are worth a mention as something worthy of an Orchid or an Onion, then I would encourage you to nominate it! You can do so here.
Conrad Prebys Music Center
2010 Grand Orchid winner, the UCSD Conrad Prebys Music Center by LMN Architects + Cyril Harris.
Photo ©Darren Bradley

Personally speaking, several come to mind for both categories...

And don't forgot to comment on other nominations, and to vote for your favorites when the time comes!

Chicano Park
2012 Grand Orchid winner, the restoration of the murals at Chicano Park by various artists. Photo ©Darren Bradley

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