Makers Quarter Block D Breaks Ground

Makers Quarter Block D Breaks Ground

BNIM designs an “extroverted” office building for a downtown San Diego district


San Diego, May 23, 2017 – Ground breaking is about to begin on Block D of Makers Quarter, a six-block work/live/play district in San Diego’s downtown East Village. The BNIM-designed Block D is a six-story collaborative office hub with retail and restaurant on the ground floor, inspired by the neighborhood’s maker spirit.


Most office buildings are focused inward, but the BNIM team wanted Block Dthe first step toward the one million square feet of downtown office space that will comprise Makers Quarter to transform that convention to create dynamic office space inside a building actively engaged in its community. The team pulled service core and amenities to one side to allow for flexible spaces, cross ventilation, daylight, and views. A concrete frame allows the structure to be exposed for thermal mass, providing optimum thermal comfort. Operable windows and garage doors provide fresh air and permeability. The south and west facades have a motorized screen system (this is the first such active facade in downtown San Diego) that adjusts to time of day and time of year. Additional screen panels are manually operated; those who work here will be engaged with their building, which is designed for their comfort and wellness, as well as their interaction with site and neighborhood.

The result of this human-focused design strategy is a highly efficient and resource-effective building that will retain its value.


Optimizing available energy is a driving theme. “At Makers Quarter, we sought to tap the creative energy of this place,” says Matthew Porreca, BNIM Principal and lead architect. “The character of what’s taking shape here will appeal to the young and the entrepreneurial. It will accelerate the recognition of the city as a tech center, spurring economic development through urban revitalization.”


Makers Quarter is a project of development team L2HP (Lankford & Associates, HP Investors and Hensel Phelps). BNIM was one of the key design firms that created the master plan for Makers Quarter, which broke ground on its first phase in April 2016.


Makers Quarter urban planner Stacey Pennington, Principal of SLP Urban Planning, says the development team has been most impressed with the BNIM team’s holistic approach. “By intertwining public realm and open space, they’ve helped us to create an environment that appeals competitively to prospective tenants and our ethos of future workplace.”



BNIM delivers beautiful, integrated, living environments that inspire change and enhance the human condition. The architecture and design firm is an innovative leader in designing high performance environments. Through an integrated process of collaborative discovery, BNIM teams create transformative, living designs that help organizations and communities thrive. As early pioneers of sustainability in the building industry, BNIM continues to shape the national and global design conversation on design excellence and delivering transformational results for clients. The firm received the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award for their work.



Inspired by the maker movement, Makers Quarter will be a neighborhood within downtown San Diego’s East Village, distinguished by its creative ethos, local artists and makers. It is currently home to the popular outdoor community venues, SILO and SMARTS Farm, and leaders of San Diego’s innovation economy, including FabLab San Diego, Urban Discovery Academy, and Fuse Integration. Makers Quarter, created by the development team L2HP (Lankford & Associates, HP Investors and Hensel Phelps), will offer a creative environment that inspires entrepreneurs to challenge convention and achieve new heights.