The Epstein Family Amphitheater is a multi-functional performance venue for students and professionals, which serves as a welcoming gateway to the UC San Diego campus. The extension of the Mid-Coast Trolley line to UC San Diego created the opportunity for an active and inclusive public realm to welcome students and the greater community to the campus.
The 2,650-seat amphitheater’s orientation make use of the natural land contours to maximize views towards the stage within a park-like setting. A custom-designed audio system integrates with the stage canopy to provide amplified sound throughout the outdoor venue, providing a flexible multi-purpose venue for a wide variety of performance types. The stage shell is made up of a structure steel arch supporting an inflated Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) stage canopy. The canopy itself provides sun protection for the performers and enhances the user experience as the translucent backlit panels add an ambiance of drama to performances. Back of house and support spaces have all been nestled into the landforms with green roofs to reduce the impact of the buildings within the landscaped performance venue.
This project includes the newest Stuart Collection commission, an 800-foot-long engraved stone path of words, Kahnop – To Tell A Story, which is a major pedestrian thoroughfare between the Mid-Coast Trolley line plaza and the heart of the main campus. The text for the walkway draws from the writing of authors and scholars with ties to the University and its history as well a regular cadence of a feminist Kumeyaay narrative.
The Epstein Family Amphitheater is a state-of-the-art performance venue in the heart of UC San Diego. The first in a series of transformational developments designed to create a grand entrance to the campus, the amphitheater invites all San Diegans to experience the unique interdisciplinary integration of art and entertainment, research and education that embodies the campus culture.
Photography credited to Philip Scholtz Rittermann by the nominator.
UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093
UC San Diego
Safdie Rabines Architects