Meet and Greet with Do Ho Suh

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Let me first apologize for the lackluster photo quality and funky lighting. It’s the result of my htc Incredible cameraphone and a spur-of-the-moment decision to check out the meet and greet with artist Do Ho Suh of UCSD’s newest Stuart Art collection piece, Fallen Star, just recently constructed within the past few months.

This project has generated lots of media publicity and excitement, because it visually looks like a giant blue house tilted on top of the Jacobs Hall at the Jacobs School of Engineering in the Warren Mall. The artist is originally from Korea, and meant for this house (modeled off a cottage he remembers in Rhode Island, where he attended RISD), to metaphorically serve as a home for those students who were transported to UCSD and experienced a sort of cultural displacement so to speak.

Today, the 18th piece to the Stuart collection opened its doors to the public with a special meet and greet with Suh. I took the elevators up to the 7th floor of Jacobs Hall, to find a crowd of people standing closely to one another in quite a small space. There were older members of the community, families, and curious students present. A man served as gatekeeper to prevent too many people from trampling over each to see the house at the same time. Once past the red velvet rope, I waited a bit longer to get a first-hand opportunity to actually go inside the charming cottage. Mary Beebe, the director of the Stuart Art collection, stood at the door in a bright orange tunic helping folks up and down the steps.

As my luck would have it, I actually did trip as I walked into this slanted house. Immediately, I was disoriented. The world outside remained at a steady, flat level, but everything in this living room was tilted. The attention to detail was insane. A miniature version of the New York Times sat on the coffee table, personal framed photographs on the side table, and worn-in furniture scattered around the room, which all added a cozy, homey element. Despite the aesthetically pleasing surroundings, my mind was messing with me. I think I had a moment of vertigo, but I was only able to stay in the house for 2 minutes or so. Regardless, it was worth it. As I left, I happened to see the artist outside, taking pictures of the people waiting in line, and I kindly asked him to autograph a poster of his work, and he shared with me his inspiration for the architecture of the house.

If you have an opportunity, I’d recommend checking out Fallen Star. The art piece will be open regularly to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few hours during midday.

Odd Architecture of UCSD’s Geisel Library Lends Itself to Popular Culture


Is it an alien spaceship headquarters? What about a snow fortress? Why not all of the above? What’s undeniable is the fact that this main library of UCSD, is so unique in its use of angular architecture. This eight-story high building was constructed by William L. Pereira & Associates. It first opened its doors in 1970 and is constructed of reinforced concrete and glass.

Geisel Library has been called a ‘lantern-like library held aloft on concrete fingers’ (Britton, AIA). I’ve also heard a religious myth weaved into the story of its visual representation from an aerial view. Apparently, one interpretation of its architecture calls for Geisel as representative of an apple from above, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden from Genesis. The mosaic snake path on the east side of the library metaphorically represents temptation.


Regardless of one’s personal interpretation of Geisel’s external architecture, it’s popped up commonly in mainstream media. UCSD students have most commonly seen the Snow Fortress of the popular 2010 film, Inception based upon none other than our home library at UCSD. But Geisel Library and Warren Mall have also made an appearance in the once-popular television show, Veronica Mars. It’s also been seen in some more popular films such as Mission Impossible, as well as some lesser-known works, such as Simon & Simon, The Citadel, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Funky Monkey, The Proud American, and Kaboom.

Most of us UCSD students take the Geisel Library’s architecture for granted – we study in this place for hours on end during midterms and finals week. We groan when we have to wait a few agonizing minutes for its two elevators to creak up and down the six floors of the Geisel Library tower. This building is definitely one of the most unique I’ve seen in recent years, and is widely known. But when it’s seen in popular culture, perhaps no one gets as excited to see it than the students of UCSD, who generally take our home library for granted.

Construction in Costa Verde

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The Costa Verde apartment complex, located at the corner of La Jolla Village and Regents Road, a mere 1 mile from campus, houses many UCSD college students, amongst some young families, as well as elderly residents. I personally have been living here in Costa Verde North since August 2011, and find it quite pleasant, despite its 2.5/5 star rating on Most of the complaints come from terrible service at the Leasing Office, or poor maintenance turnover time on common appliance breakdowns. I live in a two bedroom apartment on the first floor and despite some rowdy individuals roaming the complex at odd hours of the night, it’s not too shabby living here.

Recently, I noticed that they are doing construction in Costa Verde South, on the side of the complex facing Costa Verde Blvd. After curiously asking the leasing office agent what they plan on doing with the construction, I discovered that they are trying to remodel their leasing offices there and rebuild more apartments. However, I remember also seeing a notice on my door a couple months ago about Costa Verde apartments transitioning into condominiums in the near future. Could this be a test run? As you can see, the building side is completely tore out, thus leaving the kid’s playground also an unsafe space for children at this time. It’s also loud and noisy, with construction trucks abound. After a couple of weeks, I’ve noticed barely any changes to the building.

I guess only time will tell in telling us what’s really going on with the construction in Costa Verde.

Chancellor’s Casa

If you’re a UCSD student and you check your email and/or keep up on current UC news, you would know that UC President Mark Yudof announced last Friday the next chancellor of UCSD, Pradeep K. Khosla, from Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Engineering. Beginning August 2012, Khosla will become the eighth chancellor of this prestigious university. (Goodbye Chancellor Fox…)

You might be thinking why this would be in my “Constructing La Jolla” blog.

This weaves with the vision of my blog because I work as an Alumni Discovery Ambassador with UCSD Alumni, and today I had an exciting work meeting in which we received the May issue of the UCSD Alumni Magazine. I read a blurb on the Chancellor’s house, and about how a $10.5 million renovation was budgeted (all from private funds, don’t worry students!) to fix-up this seven acre house of La Jolla Farms. The new name for the newly renovated house will be called “Geisel House” to reflect the generous supporter of UCSD, Audrey Geisel, the wife of Mr. Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) himself. (Sidenote: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her at Celebrate 50, UCSD’s 50th anniversary gala in 2010 and she is the sweetest!)

These are some exciting times for UCSD in hiring a new chancellor who will bring new life and energy back to this campus with his vision. I can’t wait to see what UCSD will have in store for itself in the coming years. Though I’m a graduating senior, I know I’ll be back to visit the campus at the very least, if not decide to reside in San Diego for some time after I graduate. Hopefully one day, I can persuade a friend or two to hunt for the Chancellor’s house with me, because it looks beautiful and I would love to see the newly renovated historical house.

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Construction Continues at the UTC Mall

Construction Continues at the UTC Mall

The UTC mall in La Jolla is undergoing major renovations in an attempt to spice up the outdoor mall. New architecture, walkways, and ambiance will serve the community in a different way. Also, new additions such as the ArcLight movie theater, and over 15 dining options, will give some much-needed life to this family friendly area.

*Click the image above for more updates on other types of construction projects at the UTC Mall

Balboa Park

Today, I went to Balboa Park with a couple friends early in the morning, just to explore and take some pictures of cool architecture.

The first photo is of the Balboa Botanical Garden Conservatory. While I was photographing it, a fine mist of water sprayed out from the slits in the domed roof. The soft lines of the building create a soothing, calm atmosphere, especially with the lily pond in front of it.

The second photo is of Casa de Balboa, which houses the main museums that compose Balboa Park. The architecture is reminiscent of old Spanish style buildings. These buildings were originally constructed in the early 1900s, but were restored in the early 1970s. I especially love this photo because it shows a reflection of the building and surrounding trees in the lily pond.

For a more detailed account of Balboa Park’s architecture history, check out their website.


Hi all,

Welcome to my blog. I am a senior at UC San Diego with a double major in communication and political science. This is my blog on construction projects and architecture in La Jolla. The blog is primarily served for the purposes of my Communication and Media Methods course on Digital Journalism, but I love blogging and I find this topic extremely interesting and so, I hope you will enjoy reading it.

I hope to provide you, the reader, with more information of ongoing construction projects and interesting pieces of architecture I stumble upon in the area. Photos, videos, interviews & information to come.

Thanks for reading!