Sitting vacant for several years, the old Cabrillo Hospital in Point Loma is now owned by EF, which has transformed the building into an international education mixed-use campus with classrooms, residences and community spaces.
Brooke Whalen, a senior associate and landscape architect at KTUA, managed the project through completion. “We were really excited to work on this project from the very beginning,” Whalen said. “This was a great opportunity to participate in an urban-infill project that has enhanced the neighborhood.
“Prior to the project, it was an underutilized facility that sat vacant for a very long time, but now it is bustling with students,” said Whalen.
KTUA was involved at the conception of the project and attended several community planning group meetings while preparing exhibits that assisted the client in gaining community support for the project.
“EF was always very mindful of their neighbors,” Whalen said. “They did everything in their power to ensure that their project fits into the community and always kept them apprised of what they were proposing to do with the site.”
“On behalf of the entire EF team, we were pleased to work with KTUA to conceptualize and construct a landscaped environment that will continue to inspire our students’ learning for years to come,” said Meghan Conway, vice president, EF Properties. “We are thankful for the support of the KTUA team as they assisted us in completing this project on time and on budget.”
Following the public outreach process, the team conducted interior renovations of the existing hospital building as well as some exterior site work to activate the street side of the property with new, landscaped green space and outdoor gathering and community areas.
The landscaped spaces feature sand volleyball courts, a speed soccer field with a shaded viewing area, a pool and pool deck, and upgraded planting, hardscape, and parking facilities.
Because the students rely so much on public transportation, 100 bike parking spaces were incorporated into the site and a portion of the existing parking lot was transformed into usable outdoor landscape spaces.
The site program really stemmed from thinking about what types of experiences students would expect to have coming from a different country to San Diego. “You cannot say San Diego without conjuring up images of sun, water, and sand which translates to a great pool and pool deck and sand volleyball courts,” Whalen said.
A patio outside of the student center building includes a trellis, fire pit with cast-in-place benches, and outdoor concrete table tennis that allows for a great area for students to hang out and socialize.
The indoor dining area on the first floor, with large roll-up doors, connects the indoor and outdoor space and encourages students to spill out into the landscape. The entry of the building was also enhanced to welcome students.
KTUA has a large portfolio of campus work that includes UCSD’s Coastal Meander, Rita Atkinson Residences, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Study; SDSU’s softball/tennis complex, Aquaplex, Tony Gwynn Stadium, student recreation field, and bike and skateboard master plan; Grossmont College’s conversion of lawn areas to native gardens; and USD’s Colachis Plaza, a work in progress.
EF Education First is an international education company focusing on language learning, academics, and cultural exchange. Its mission is to open the world through education, and since 1965, the company has helped millions of people become citizens of the world.
EF has 43,500 team members working from 500 schools and offices in more than 50 countries, and through partnerships it has a presence in 107 countries.
For more than ten years, the EF International Language Center’s San Diego school was located on Alliant University's campus. EF relocated and expanded its campus thanks to the City’s popularity with international students and the Cabrillo Hospital site’s convenient location to downtown, the beaches, and area attractions.