The Campus

The University of California, San Diego campus, covering 1,200 acres along the Pacific Ocean, was started in 1960 from the consolidation of two military bases. With at least five Master Plans in its history, and with varying degrees of ambition and budgetary constraints, it is not surprising that the campus is home to considerable diversity, architecturally speaking. The University buildings range from the spartan barracks of the old military installations to the high-profile Modernist showpiece of the Geisel Library tower. Landscape projects such as Library Walk have been created in an attempt to unify some of this diversity, as well as rationalize movement across the sprawling campus. Also, the site-specific sculptures of the Stuart Collection, positioned around the University by the artists themselves, lend an air of critical awareness, self-consciousness, and sophistication uncharacteristic of the campus in general. Perhaps the most enduring feature of the University landscape, the remaining groves of eucalyptus trees, screen or at least distract from the less successful architectural attempts, and offer a connection with the early use of the area as a lumber plantation.