The lead article in San Diego Metropolitan's Daily Business Report today was the unveiling of the 700 West Broadway (Pei Cobb-designed Irvine tower) project to the CCDC. I've pasted the full text below.
Coincidental with this announcement is the launch of the project's website (http://www.700westbroadway.com)
, which includes a number of photos and videos about the project.
The building itself is growing on me as a "foundation" structure in the skyline, but the city really needs a building with much more aggressive architecture to truly complete the waterfront. Problem is, we will soon be reaching a point where there will simply not be any more land to build on...
At any rate, I am overjoyed that there will finally be more commercial office construction downtown. Hopefully the growth in office space will fuel residential demand and create a more diverse and ultimately sustainable downtown.
Daily Business Report
May 16, 2007
Internationally known architect Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed has designed a 34-story modern travertine and glass office tower for The Irvine Co. that will sit at the western gateway to Downtown's central business district. Michael Bischoff, associate partner at Pei Cobb Freed, presented the tower design Tuesday (May 15) to a design subcommittee of the Centre City Development Corp., which must approve it.
The office tower will be built by The Irvine Co. at the northeast corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway. The address is 700 West Broadway. The property is adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot and across the street from the former site of Lane Field. Construction could start as early as mid-2008 with completion about two and a half years later. The land was previously owned by Catellus Development for an office high-rise, but the property was later sold to Bosa Development, which considered building residential condominiums. Bosa sold the land to The Irvine Co., Downtown's largest landlord, earlier this year.
The building will be LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
This site in San Diego has great importance to the city because of its relationship to the bay and its prominent landmark location at the western entrance to Downtown said Cobb in a prepared statement. The site demands and deserves a tower with great presence and integrity. I believe that 700 West Broadway will be elegant, characterized by calm, timeless and classic architecture that will be fresh and functional in 100 years. It will stand with quiet authority and be a pause in the visual landscape, a cornerstone.
Cobb has said that the most important elements of a high-rise building are how it meets the sky and how it meets the ground. He drew inspiration from the Monadnock building in Chicago, which was designed by Burnham & Root and Holabird & Roche, and was completed in 1893. The building is still standing and functional today.
The top of 700 West Broadway, said Cobb, will be shaped by a flared crown that will give it a sophisticated, understated flourish where it meets the sky. At street level the building will have four front porches. On the east side, for example, the building will relate well to the adjacent entry pavilions at the Santa Fe Depot, said Cobb. The tower will have a restaurant facing Broadway that will offer indoor and outdoor seating. A long, low fountain will run the length of the restaurant between its outdoor patio and the Broadway sidewalk.
Cobb has served as the principal design partner on more three dozen major commissions, either completed or underway in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. The list includes the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, the World Trade Center and Grand Marina Hotel in Barcelona and the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. Cobb is one of three founding principals of Pei Cobb Freed (formerly I.M. Pei & Partners), based in New York.
From the outset, we have been committed to building an exceptional building that will make a significant contribution to the beauty and impact of the San Diego skyline, says Robert Elliott, group senior v.p. of urban planning and design at The Irvine Co. Henry has far exceeded our expectations, producing a design that reflects lessons learning during a long and distinguished career. We will be proud to make his vision a reality, and our hope is that this building will attract new business to Downtown, a current priority of the city and the CCDC.
The unveiling of the building also is the most amazing online presentation in the history of Downtown development. You can check it out yourself here: http://www.700westbroadway.com/