New $25.7 Million Marine Conservation Facility to be Built at SIO


A rendering of the new facility. Photo courtesy of Safdie Rabines Architects.

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UC San Diego is planning to construct a new $25.7 million marine science building at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO).

The Marine Conservation Facility will compose of eight new teaching and research labs as well as a multi-purpose outdoor space, rooftop cafe, and two large-stepped terraces for special events. The building is designed by the award-winning wife and husband architecture team, Safdie Rabines Architects, who also designed and planned Eleanor Roosevelt College. The construction is expected to be completed by fall 2019, if approved by the California Coastal Commision.

The new building will create more space for the Marine Biodiversity and Conservation program at SIO.

“Researchers and students at the new facility will focus on developing technology-driven solutions to improve marine biodiversity in the most varied and threatened ecosystems,” representatives from Scripps told The San Diego Union Tribune.

The planned building faced backlash from the La Jolla Community Planning Association in March, with some board members expressing concern about losing the ocean view. As a result, the firm updated the plan to include the board’s input, promising to reduce building and canopy size and clear non-native trees.

The facility is an additional part of UC San Diego’s $1.6 billion expansion plan, which primarily aims to deal with the increasing number of students attending the university. This includes the construction of the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, the Biological and Physical Sciences Building, the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Building, and the Design and Innovation Building.

Cynthia Leung is a contributing writer for The Triton.