Category: Municipal
Location: Ocean Beach, CA
Size: 1100 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: 65% of the exterior enclosure is a combination of single face and double faced glazed cmu units.
Submitted by: Sillman Wright Architects

Project Description

Building a durable public restroom or “comfort station” at the beach that can withstand abuse, vandalism, exposure to the marine elements with little or no maintenance is a challenge for any city. But creating a facility that looks great, is sustainable and reflects the values and the character of the local community is a real challenge. The City of San Diego took this challenge and with the help of a talented Design Build Team was able to deliver an outstanding facility for the community just in time for the summer beach crowds.

The extensive use of glazed CMU block both inside and out was a key element in the success of this project. The angled exterior enclosure is composed of over 65% glazed CMU, combined with cast in place concrete walls. A random mosaic of 4 different color Glazed CMU blocks mimics the colors of ocean and sky at the beach. The integral glazed finish on the CMU is resistant to vandalism which is critical for public facilities.

The Design Build Team worked hand in hand to ensure the process was well thought out ahead of time to avoid issues in the field later. Clean detailing by the Design Team and exquisite installation by the Contractor and Masonry Subcontractor delivered a superior project to withstand the harsh marine environment. Tapered walls were carefully cut to match the angle of the striking metal roof.

Meeting the schedule was critical, and using Glazed CMU made it possible to meet the aggressive timeline. Since the blocks are prefinished no additional finishing was required reducing the installation time.

The comfort station is a sustainable project and gets more that 60% of its energy from Building Integrated Photovoltaic Panels on the roof. The ”v” shaped metal roof floats above the walls allowing for ocean breezes to naturally ventilate it. The materials used on the project were also selected for sustainability and the Glazed CMU has a 40% pre-consumer recycled content.

This dynamic building combines utilitarian function with artistic flair that makes it a truly unique building. The building also includes a mural installation on the bottom of the roof, which when the sun sets, and the lights go on, creates a spectacular and unexpected image.

Even though it is small, this building will likely see more visitors over time than any other building we have designed.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Kevin deFreitas (DOR) / Brett Tullis (AOR)
Company: Kevin deFreitas Architects (Designer of Record) / Sillman Wright Architects (Architect of Record)
Phone: (619) 294-7515

Structural Engineer' s Name: Charlie Colvin
Company: Burkett & Wong Engineers
Phone: (619) 299-5550

General Contractor's Name: Dominic Coates
Company: Prava Construction Services, Inc.
Phone: (760) 929-9787

Masonry Contractor's Name: Kyle Cleavneger
Company: Cleavneger Masonry
Phone: (619) 390-7997

Masonry Supplier's Name: Tom Divelbiss
Company: Trenwyth Block
Phone: (213) 200-1839

Masonry Supplier's Name: Gina Adams
Company: RCP Block & Brick
Phone: (619) 460-7250