Not So Mundane: Geisel Library, UCSD, San Diego, CA

Geisel Library is an amazing, yet surprisingly little known work of modern architecture, located in the center of campus at the University of California, San Diego. It was designed in the late 1960s by the prolific architect William Pereira, who designed many major landmarks on the West Coast including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco and the Theme Building at the Los Angeles Airport.


Pereira was interested in pyramids and science fiction and this is reflected in the design of many of his buildings, including Geisel Library. The building rises eight stories in height and consists of a two-story concrete base with a stepped pyramid resting within that and rising to the full-height. The library was named for Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, in the 1990s.


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1 Response to Not So Mundane: Geisel Library, UCSD, San Diego, CA

  1. Douglas Stanley Jr. says:

    Not So Mundane is putting it lightly. Many people put this one in the brutalist category (and with all of the ugly, exposed, stained concrete, yeah, I see why). But the design always struck me as more futurism. The building looks very different at night with all of the windows lit up (and you don’t really notice the concrete), and I always thought that it looked like the kind of building George Lucas would use as a Star Wars set under the right conditions. Paint the darn concrete, and I could easily see it as part of a “city of the future”.

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