HKS Wins 2023 COTE Top Ten Award for UC San Diego Living and Learning Neighborhood
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that HKS has won a 2023 COTE Top Ten Award for the design of the University of California (UC) at San Diego North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood. The design-build project team members included HKS, Clark Construction, Safdie Rabines Architects and OJB Landscape Architecture. HKS also worked with UC San Diego and the Center for Advanced Design Research (CADRE) to form a research coalition for the project.
Established in 1997 by the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE), the annual award celebrates 10 projects that exemplify the integration of design excellence and environmental performance. Entrants to the COTE Top Ten Awards are evaluated against AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, which comprises 10 principles to help architects achieve projects that are zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy.
“This honor is more important to us than I can say,” says Dan Noble, President and CEO of HKS. “For years we have worked with our clients and partners to put into practice the principles we hold as fundamental and foundational in our pursuit to merge performance with beauty. This project is the realization of how through purpose, knowledge and relationships we can create places that are good for the people who use them and good for the planet.”
This landmark construction project at UC San Diego, the largest in the university’s 62-year history, includes eight general assignment classrooms, three residence halls, two academic buildings, administration offices, underground parking and public amenities.
While expanding their facilities within the context of a state-wide housing crisis, increasingly extreme heat and rising sea levels, UC San Diego chose to prioritize sustainability and well-being. Today, the North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood (NTPLLN) is the largest higher education project in California to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
“North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood is a shining example of UC San Diego’s commitment to sustainable design in the built environment,” said UC San Diego Senior Director of Project Quality Management Walt Kanzler. “This spectacular LEED Platinum project is the new home for Sixth College and the School of Social Sciences and the School of Arts and Humanities. With open spaces, art, dining, the new Craft Center and residential space for 2,000 undergraduate students, it embodies our values and welcomes everyone to live, learn and play in an exceptional, inspiring environment. Many thanks to the amazing team that developed this once-in-a-lifetime project!”
Data from the first year of occupancy show that NTPLLN has reduced its measured EUI by a whopping 81% while realizing an 8.2% reduction in students’ self-reported depression rates. This decrease occurred at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when mental health was in crisis.