After some impressive public restroom buildings designed recently in San Diego, notably the comfort station in Ocean Beach (by Kevin deFreitas) in 2013 and the one in Waterfront Park that is adjacent the San Diego County Administrative Building (by Davis Davis Architects) in 2014, the recently completed restroom building in Chicano Park is a huge disappointment, especially in the light of Chicano Park’s recent inclusion by the U.S. Interior Department as a National Historic Landmark.
The architecture of the restroom building unfortunately conveys a fortress like bunker, which is located in the previously decayed restroom building located directly under the bare concrete belly of the Coronado Bridge freeway roads. Apparently, the unadorned CMU walls of the restroom building are now used as canvas for additional art, which I guess is a nice way to cover up the banality of the building.
Always conscience that costs, durability and safety are factors in the design outcome, this restroom building however remains a huge let down and a lost opportunity that could have been a wonderful addition or even a complement to this unique park. Nor does it represent the artistic talent and the cultural diversity that has made Chicano Park a National Historic Landmark.
Chicano Park, National Avenue, San Diego CA 92113