SDSU Storm and Nasatir Halls

San Diego, California

Campus renovation project demonstrates sustainable approach to adaptive reuse

The LEED Gold Storm and Nasatir Halls transformed a previously underused corner of campus into a rich destination of active exterior and interior spaces. Consisting of 100,000 square feet of renovated space plus a 35,000-square-foot addition, the project serves as a model example of how a sustainable approach to adaptive reuse can extend the life of an existing built environment.

The two outdated buildings lacked accessible routes and had minimal floor-to-floor heights, which suggested demolition rather than renovation. However, after careful analysis, the design team developed a plan to retain the existing structures. The solution not only saved replacement costs, it avoided disposing of a hundred tons of concrete and rebar in local landfills. This budget relief also allowed funds to be put to better use on high-quality systems, materials and new outdoor amenities.

Located at the edge of campus, existing bar-shaped Storm and Nasatir Halls are both oriented along the north-south axis and separated by a courtyard. The new lecture halls are located parallel to the existing buildings, strategically placed to allow for views and natural daylight. The tiered 250- and 500-seat lecture halls were designed to fit the site’s natural slope, which reduced excavation costs.

Entry to the complex is marked by a new student convenience store that features a dramatic steel trellis. From the entry, an open-air breezeway, common to other buildings on campus, passes by Nasatir Hall and reinforces flow to Storm Hall. Outdoor improvements include a courtyard renovation, two new student plazas and a rooftop overlook with architectural shade structures that support PV panels, putting the project’s renewable energy source on full display.

In addition to high-performance window systems, the exterior skin uses terracotta cladding and smooth white plaster; both materials were selected to blend with the established campus vernacular. Located closest to campus center, Nasatir Hall was redesigned and renovated to complement the original mission-style building. The central building, Storm Hall, presents a neutral façade with rich terracotta tile portals that define the breezeway. At the site’s edge, the two lecture hall buildings were designed with a progressive, modern and transparent design aesthetic that reflects the era in which they were built.

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