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Del Mar: Civic Center and Town Hall

Orchid Icon  Orchid

A seaside oasis of unhurried, yet civilized living, the city of Del Mar is known for its laid-back charm. The Del Mar City Hall expands the lush and walkable village center south along Camino Del Mar, providing important indoor and outdoor public gathering spaces in a civic heart that fits the spirit of the place.

Perched on a steep westerly slope on the west side of Camino Del Mar, Del Mar City Hall offers views of the Pacific Ocean from well-scaled garden terraces flowing directly into Town Hall and City Council Chambers, as well as City Hall public spaces. An entry garden, Town Hall Commons and Ocean View Terrace link outdoor spaces designed to accommodate Del Mar’s Farmers Market. The outdoor spaces can be accessed directly by pedestrians arriving from the village center along Camino Del Mar with parking below and out of sight. An all-season breezeway with large operable doors accommodates covered outdoor gathering or enclosed Town Hall overflow for large events.

Located at the highest corner of the block, Town Hall is capped by an iconic glass and wood cupola supported by a Torrey Pine-inspired truss and forming a gateway beacon from the southern approach to the city. Natural ventilation strategies are employed through the cupola at Town Hall and a clerestory of operable windows at City Hall, taking advantage of the Pacific breezes to reduce energy costs and create a pleasant workspace for visitors and city staff.

The architectural character of the buildings and site is drawn from inspiration throughout Del Mar, highlighting the human-scaled spaces and textures found in its most well-loved public spaces and gardens. An expressed wood structure throughout the main public spaces with wooden trusses and wood exterior cladding, is congruous with the Coastal Craftsman style of the Del Mar Library, and the historic Powerhouse Park Community Center and St. Peter’s Parish.

1050 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

Project Owner/Developer:
City of Del Mar

Contact Name/Email:
Kristen Crane, Assistant City Manager, kcrane@delmar.ca.us

Project Architect/Designer:
The Miller Hull Partnership

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  1. Dwight Worden, Mayor City of D

    Decades in the planning, our new civic center is an architectural and community marvel. Our Council Chambers is convertible to a state of the art concert venue. sustainability pervades everywhere–solar, ventilation, water management and more. All presented in an understated, but elegant, architectural design befitting to the uniqueness that is Del Mar. This one is a home run for sure!

  2. Lynn Gaylord

    It is so very exciting to see our beautiful new Civic Center and Town Hall finally completed! It sits so harmoniously on Camino del Mar, blending into the downtown and surroundings with exquisite charm. I especially love the outdoor patios with tables & chairs for chatting and lounge chairs to look out at the beautiful ocean! It is a long overdue dream come true to have our very own town hall built especially for its purpose. From our earliest beginnings (1959) in a billiard room at the old Hotel Del Mar to above the Speedee Mart to Rusty’s Surf Shop to the re-purposed St. James School to Southfair. Our town finally has a Town Hall and gorgeous Civic Center to boot. Congratulations Del Mar! And thanks to all who worked so hard to make it possible!

  3. J Nehai

    Not a fan of the Del Mar Civic center architecture. It looks to many of us neighbors like it was designed in the 70’s. Come to find out that’s when the project was first proposed.

  4. Bertha Leone

    I cannot say enough good things about Del Mar’s new civic center. I love the space. It is low profile yet spacious, tranquil and welcoming, attractive and purposeful. Most of all, its natural ventilation and future solar energy features, among others, will contribute to its sustainability for years to come. It is most definitely worthy of an Orchid Award. Congratulations to all who made it happen.

  5. Ashley

    My favorite part about the Civic Center is the automated environmental features; the windows automatically open and close to create just the right amount of natural venting for air cooling! So futuristic. I work for a Del Mar nonprofit, and the City of DM really worked with the community to ensure a space that could be used by as many people as possible, for the benefit of as many as possible.

  6. Joanne Sharp

    I love the way the architecture of the Civic Center reflects the natural environment of Del Mar and is sited so as to not block sight lines to the ocean. Low key, yet makes a statement. The space is thoughtfully planned for multiple uses and the acoustics are wonderful. The underground parking is a special treat. I am so thrilled to see this project come into being after many many years of effort, and then to be realized on time and on budget is amazing.

  7. Jeffrey Barnouw

    A creative use of the space which preserves the virtues of its natural situation, harmonizes with most of the rest of the ‘village’ and what we hope the village will be, and provides a flexible public venue and city offices. It is a joy to be there. I look forward to many events throughout the year, from city meetings to committee meetings to concerts, lectures and galas.

  8. Phyllis Mirsky

    The Del Mar Civic Center is a great addition to the community. Its architecture blends well with the site and reflects the sustainability values of Del Mar residents.

  9. Sean

    What a beautiful project, great for the community!

  10. Sherryl Parks, City Council Me

    Our new civic center is all about the views. Sitting right in the center of the business community this handsome yet modest city hall also offers over 100 parking spaces to the visiting public. At long last I am proud to welcome folks to our meetings.

  11. Susan Resnik

    How fortunate we are to live in our seaside village paradise,Del Mar. Our new civic center harmonizes beautifully with our natural environment and downtown architecture. It will serve as a magnet, resonating with Del Mar’s participatory history makers’ voices, for years to come.Bravo Del Mar!!!

  12. Kim Schaeffer

    I routinely drive and walk by this structure. It is amazing how the architect was able to blend the building into the shape and color of the terrain of Del Mar. It is one of those architectural delights that you just pause and become amazed at the creativity and thoughtfulness of the structure.

  13. K. Garcia

    Thank you to the Del Mar community for providing such a wonderful place to work!

  14. al corti

    It is said that it is difficult to design by committee but the Del Mar Civic Center is an example that it can and does work with a common objective, transparency of the process and listening to the community.
    The final product succeeded in all respects. The best part it fits perfectly in it’s environment, functions beautifully and the constituents are pleased with the outcome…and to do so within budget and schedule is icing on the cake.

  15. Rachel B.

    It is so nice to see the community enjoying the beautiful space everyday.


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