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Orchids & Onions: San Diego's Best and Worst Architecture

Photo © Bruce Damonte

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

If you are an architect in San Diego, you do not want to get an Onion.

San Diego County’s annual Orchids and Onions competition was celebrated Thursday night with mostly happy faces. Just four projects got an Onion award for what judges thought was bad design, but most awards, 16, were given Orchids for examples of great architecture.

The competition is now in its 42nd year. It was started by the local American Institute of Architects — with the goal to make the city a better place to live — and eventually transferred to the San Diego Architectural Organization in 2006.


Superior Court of California [Architecture] (220 West Broadway, San Diego) — Juror Roxanna Kreisler said the entire jury toured the facility and was very impressed. “A lot of times civic architecture can be described as cold,” she said. “I think there was a general impression from the jury group about the fact that a lot of respect was given to the materials and detailing throughout the entire building.” The owner is the Judicial Council of California and the architect was Javier Arizmendi, design director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

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