Balboa Park has been long adored by San Diego locals and visitors alike. Much of the park’s original design and construction was completed in 1919, by architect Bertram Goodhue and later his assistant, Carleton Winslow, for the World’s Fair Exposition. Throughout the last century, JCJ Architecture (formerly Wheeler Wimer Blackman & Associates) has been commissioned by the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department to restore and reconstruct multiple historical landmarks within the park: Casa De Balboa, Casa Del Prado, East and West Arcades (Promenades and Plazas), The House of Charm, City of San Diego Palisades Building, Fire Alarm Building, Balboa Park Club, and the Lowell Davies Theatre.
After the successful completion of several historic restorations and restorations, JCJ was selected to design the Balboa Park Activity Center, a ground up construction completed in the early 2000’s. The activity center was a truly collaborative effort between community members, the Park and Recreation Department and the design team. Understanding the revered significance of Balboa Park, the design team first studied historic photographs and documents of the existing structures and garden spaces which encouraged the development and implementation of appropriate rhythms and patterns. From these studies, the design of the Activity Center was inspired by a Beaux-Arts mathematical proportion, the ‘Golden Section’, and as such, encompasses the enchanting nature of the World’s Fair Exposition.
The Activity Center, a large warehouse size, features 38,000 square feet that has been scaled to human proportions and crafted with details to define it’s intimate spaces. The facility includes a large multi-use gymnasium, multipurpose meeting room, kitchen, storage rooms, public restrooms and additional office spaces. The landscape, plantings and flowered arcades were designed to be integrated, informal and exuberant in contrast to the orderly symmetry of the structure.
As we look into the next century of Design and Construction, JCJ Architecture remains dedicated to the City of San Diego and the Parks and Recreation Department, and is committed to improving our community through architecture and design services at Balboa Park and beyond.