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Wednesday, September 14, 2022


Geisel Library is the main library building of the University of California, San Diego. It is named in honor of major cash donors Audrey and Theodor Geisel. 

The building's distinctive architecture, described as occupying "a fascinating nexus between brutalism and futurism", has resulted in its being featured in the UC San Diego logo and becoming the most recognizable building on campus. 

The library was designed by William Pereira and opened in 1970 as the Central Library. It was renovated in 1993 and rededicated as the University Library Building, and renamed Geisel Library in 1995. Pereira’s distinctive original building was designed to sit at the head of a canyon. 

The building's arches, in combination with the design of the individual floors, are intended to look like hands holding up a stack of books. William Pereira & Associates prepared a detailed report in 1969. Pereira originally conceived a steel-framed building, but this was changed to reinforced concrete to save on construction and maintenance costs. 

This change of material presented an opportunity for a more sculptural design, as well as opening up interior spaces that would have been bisected by steel trusses. Prior to construction, a 1/2-scale model of one of the outer columns was built and subjected to various tests. 

It was envisioned that future additions to the original building would form terraced levels around the tower base descending into the canyon. In keeping with the original master plan, these are "deliberately designed to be subordinated to the strong, geometrical form of the existing library." 

Within its two subterranean levels are the other library sections as well as study spaces and computer labs. The building has been described by Architecture Daily as occupying "a fascinating nexus between brutalism and futurism". Its tower rises 8 stories to a height of 110 ft (33.5 m). The five upper stories of the tower house collections, individual study space, and group study rooms. –Wikipedia.  

Other major works associated with William Pereira 

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

Disneyland Hotel 

5900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 

Los Angeles Times 1973 Annex 

CBS Television City, Los Angeles 

Marineland of the Pacific, Palos Verdes 

Prudential Tower, Boston 

LAX Theme Building 

General Atomic, La Jolla 

Grossmont Hospital, San Diego County 

San Diego International Airport 

San Francisco International Airport 1972 

St. Francis Hotel, Westin Expansion 

San Diego Naval Hospital Expansion 

JPL, Pasadena 

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