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Civic Center Design:
Architects Take Note
To the People of Del Mar, May 6, 2015 from the Miller Hull Team

Photo Courtesy Kathy Garcia
Click on image to enlarge.

Our team would like to thank you for the warm welcome you gave us Monday, May 4, 2014 at the Meet & Greet barbeque. So many of you came out to share your visions for what a new Town Hall/City Hall and Civic Plaza could mean for Del Mar. This level of engagement shows us that this project is a critically important endeavor for this City and our team is keenly aware of the need to maintain the momentum you’ve built to make this vision a reality. We’re off to a strong start but we still have a long way to go together.

We learned a great deal from you in a short time on Monday. The idea tags you are hanging on the wall of City Hall are an ongoing artifact of the great potential this project holds. Please continue to drop by to add more tags and read through your neighbors’ ideas. Our team has spent time reading the tags each time we visit the site and we’ll record all of them to be able to take them with us as we dive into the design process.

We heard some major themes begin to emerge from the conversations we had with you:

  • The Civic Center can be at the heart of the civic life of Del Mar.
  • The public spaces should be welcoming, not a fortress to City government.
  • Provide a range of gathering opportunities to create a community “Commons” for civic and recreational gatherings.
  • Town Hall/City Hall and Civic Plaza can be a catalyst to extend the zone of Village activity south, strengthening businesses in between 15th and 10th and beyond to Shores Park in the future.
  • Farmers Market continues to top the list of priorities for this site. We were asked to increase the visibility of the market from Camino Del Mar and establish this place as the permanent home of the market.
  • Look for opportunities to create spaces that flow from indoor to outdoor to accommodate a wide range of gatherings.
  • Consider the impact on the immediate neighborhood in terms of noise, light, traffic and trash.
  • Civic Plaza and the outdoor spaces should include gardens with native and low-irrigation plantings to provide a respite for passive enjoyment along Camino Del Mar.
  • Outdoor spaces should also accommodate large events and performances and be of a size that complements the other outdoor spaces that already exist in Del Mar.
  • It is critical to get the parking and traffic circulation to fit within the context that includes a residential neighborhood to the west.
  • Plan for many future possibilities for more public amenities on this property including a potential future home for the Alvarado House to return to 10th Street - its original street.
  • The design should be sensitive to the privacy and views from the residential neighborhood to the west.
  • The buildings should be carefully crafted with human scale in mind; not an institutional fortress.
  • Sustainable design should be part of the design from the beginning and serve as a demonstration of Del Mar’s commitment to a sustainable future. Consider rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse.
  • Incorporate public art.
  • The TV Studios are an important facility for creative public expression.
  • There are so many community groups that want to get involved in the design and programming of this site. We encourage you to continue to look for ways to contribute.

This is just a small portion of what we heard and will continue to absorb in the weeks to come. We encourage you to continue to participate in the design process with us. The next major milestone will be a Concept Design Open House on June 1st from 5:00-6:00. At this event, our team will present our initial ideas for different ways the buildings can be arranged on the site. Come provide feedback and express your preferences. The Open House will be followed by a discussion at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting that evening. Based upon the input, a preferred direction will be discussed at the June 15, 2015 City Council meeting.

Keep in touch! You can always email your thoughts anytime to CityHallArchitects@delmar.ca.us

Sincerely, Mike Jobes, Caroline Kreiser and Kurt Stolle

 

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