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Imperial Beach Library Wins "Orchid'" Award in San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2017 Orchids & Onions Awards!

Oct 29, 2017 02:25PM ● By Paul Spear

Imperial Beach Is Honored as Imperial Beach Library Wins "Orchid'" Award in San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2017 Orchids & Onions Awards! 

The award was announced by the San Diego Architectural Foundation on Thursday October 26th at a reception and ceremony at the US Grant Hotel.

Imperial Beach is making big strides in getting noticed by the real estate world as two of the big projects that just completed in Imperial Beach in 2017 were nominated for the very prestigious awards by the San Diego Architectural Foundation and their annual awards they do. A project that is honored for its beauty is known as a "Orchid Award" while a project that scores poorly is known as an "Onion".

Said the San Diego Tribune in their article on the award, "810 Imperial Beach Blvd.; Imperial Beach; developer/owner, County of San Diego; architects, Jeff Katz Architecture and Domus Studio; interior design, Delawie.

“The building is layered with sustainable design practices, certified at the LEED Gold level and designed as a zero net-energy project. “The library’s interior incorporates natural motifs and a custom carpet design simulates a bird’s eye view of the native beachscape.”

Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to education and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.
Orchids & Onions will be had their ceremony to announce the winners on Thursday October 26th at a reception and ceremony at the US Grant Hotel. 



Imperial Beach Library Wins Orchid Award

The Imperial Beach Library is the Civic Center of Imperial Beach, located across the street from City Hall in historically significant Veteran’s Park. The 14,830 SF facility is a state of the art, Zero Net Energy learning center that provides resources to a diverse group of people while serving as a welcoming community gathering place.

The meandering board formed concrete “boardwalk” at the entrance to the building creates a connection between the existing park and 8thstreet. The building itself is clad in a combination of stucco and eye-catching, brightly colored porcelain wood-look tile, reminiscent of beach cottages. The massing of the spaces is broken up to resemble these cottages, adding interest and definition to the unique attributes of each. A large central wave shaped roof runs the length of the building creating an expansive amount of glazing along north and southern faces and clerestory windows along the east side for daylighting. The interior of this roof structure is exposed acoustical decking, creating an open voluminous space for the main artery of the building.

The relaxed, coastal vibe carries from the entrance through the interior with materials such as the decorative sealed concrete with cast silvery shell aggregate that transitions to a sandy ceramic tile through to a durable carpet tile that ranges from the beach sand through greens and teals to eventually dark blue in the children’s sea themed area.

High impact resistant gypsum board with accents of decorative and colorful wood-look tile carry the cottage theme indoors. Clerestory windows allow for soft, filtered light to enter the main spaces and the ocean discovery theme continues through the rooms.

Roof mounted photovoltaics provide 100% energy offset for the building usage, making it ZNE. The building has also been certified at the LEED Gold level by the USGBC and GBCI.


Orchid Winner

  • Project Address:

810 Imperial Beach Blvd., Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Project Owner/Developer:

County of San Diego

Owner Contact Name/Email:

Mark Zabonik |

Project Architect/Designer:

JKA | domusstudio architecture | delawie


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Paul Spear, Publisher, and Editor of Dig Imperial Beach 

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