Best Western Bayside Inn, San Diego
Architect: Joseph Wong Design Associates (JWDA), San Diego, Joseph O. Wong, FAIA Paul Chelminiak
RA Interior Design: JWDA Faith Harrison, CID, ASID, IIDA Heather Geraghty, CID
Structural Engineer: BWE, San Diego
HVAC Engineer: Marino Design Consulting Inc., San Diego
Electrical Engineer: Misean Electrical Engineering, San Diego
Construction: BYCOR General Contractors, San Diego
City-sponsored design guidelines for downtown San Diego require the use of clear glass at ground-level retail and commercial space. The goal is to utilize private retail and commercial activity to help energize the city’s public ways. A high-performance window wall system was custom-designed to meet the required design and energy performance criteria set by the city and owners.
In addition, new interior finishes and artwork were selected to showcase sustainable and recycled materials. The new linear wood ceiling system marks the renovated lobby seating area as a special activity zone and provides a natural and inviting contrast to the hard urban landscape at the street. Linear lighting and HVAC diffusers are incorporated seamlessly into the ceiling system. Custom light fixtures provide an organic counterpoint to the tailored architectural finishes and complement the bark-edge recycled wood plank wall sculpture that is a central feature of the repurposed lobby space.
Little had been done to this business-class hotel since its original construction in the early 1980s. Its well-maintained but dated glass-enclosed lobby featured the quarter-round glass termination typical of many storefront and curtainwall designs of that time. The system was outdated in terms of design, inefficient in terms of energy use, and becoming a bit dilapidated and difficult to repair and maintain. Existing steel columns bisected an already narrow lobby space and made spatial definition and furniture layout difficult.
The owners wanted a modern new look that would reposition their property in terms of appeal to a new and younger class of business traveler. They wanted to make a design statement that would be a significant contribution to the gentrification and modernization of the surrounding Little Italy neighborhood, one of San Diego’s most vibrant and popular urban communities and a virtual laboratory of leading-edge design vocabulary.
Existing steel columns were removed to open up the lobby space and provide a series of activity areas that would energize the space. HVAC systems were upgraded to increase system efficiencies and improve guest comfort levels. Electrical and data systems were brought into step with current codes, modes and connectivity requirements.
Owners and guests are very pleased with the newly energized lobby space. Previously a kind of transitional space between the guestrooms and registration desk, the renovated lobby has become a major gathering space that contributes to enhanced guest comfort and experiences for neighbors and passersby on the streets of Little Italy.
PHOTO: Jim Brady, Brady Architectural Photography