The Q

Mixing Modernity and Victorian Gothic: Engineering a new mixed-use building next to Little Italy’s oldest home

With a unique sculptural design, The Q is a breathtaking concrete marvel, in the beautiful Little Italy area of San Diego, California. At approximately 67,000-sf, the building includes seven floors and two levels of below grade parking as well as 7,000-sf of residential space. The building's defining feature, the stacked concrete overhangs, modulates the sun's rays on the south and west. Inside, cross-ventilated floor plans and corridors capture natural light and cooling San Diego Bay breezes. Given the city's temperate climate, the building is designed to be energy neutral. With its cost-efficient layout, the elevator and stairs run along the building's north side instead of through the middle, taking up just nine percent of each unit's core space, compared with the typical 25 percent.

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San Diego, California
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Commercial, Multi-Family Residential, Sustainable Design
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Project Highlights

  • Lateral resistance is provided by 12" thick concrete shear walls, several of which are non-stacking requiring columns to take overturning and ground level diaphragm to take shear.
  • This building incorporates the rehabilitation of Little Italy’s oldest home built in 1889.
  • Volatile organic compounds where almost practically eradicated in this structure due to the heavy use of concrete.
  • Unique sculptural design intended to promote a healthy living.
  • The Q’s roof is covered with photovoltaic panels that cover all of the buildings general use area conditions.

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