University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography – La Jolla, CA

The Miller Hull Partnership 

General Contractor:
PCL Construction

Chipper Hatter

La Jolla, CA

Exterior Cladding:
reSAWN TIMBER co. – MARTELL – shou sugi ban charred Western Red Cedar
FSC® Certified: FSC® Mix Credit Species: Thuja plicata
CVG (Clear Vertical Grain)
Burnt on face only, sealed all 4 sides (exterior)
Solid +/- 3/4” thick x +/- 5-1/2” wide x 6′-16′ random lengths

Located at the base of the iconic Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, the Charles and Beano Scripps Center for Coastal Studies, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, provides the ideal location for research on coastal processes. This revitalized facility allows scientists to mentor students and to inform society about critical issues of sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and shoreline pollutant transport. The modernization of the building creates a collaborative setting for students, staff, and faculty in one of the most energy-efficient buildings on campus, with opening windows to provide light, natural air circulation, and views of the ocean and pier throughout the building.

The first two floors were originally a large World War II era, concrete tank before the building was converted to house scientists studying coastal physical oceanography in 1963. The new design elevates the existing storage tank’s concrete structure through careful interventions that re-order the facades and improve occupant connection to the stunning surroundings. In response to the environmentally sensitive beachfront site, the project team worked with Scripps researchers to understand the potential impacts of climate change, confirming the worst-case sea-level rise will not overtop the existing seawall for the next 70 to 80 years.

Wood is a major part of the historic Scripps campus vernacular, however, with proximity to the ocean, maintenance is an issue. By utilizing resilient materials, such as reSAWN TIMBER co’s durable, clear vertical grain MARTELL charred Western Red Cedar, which is resistant to rot, insects, and sun damage, the building will weather gracefully within the harsh coastal environment.

MARTELL by reSAWN TIMBER co. features Charred Western Red Cedar burnt in the Japanese style of shou sugi ban. MARTELL can be used for interior or exterior wall cladding and is standardly clear vertical grain grade. MARTELL is carefully charred, misted with water, cooled, brushed, and then stained/sealed. The burning process accentuates the wood grain and creates varying colors when viewed from different angles and in different light.

Charred Cedar features shou sugi ban charred Western Red Cedar in a range of colors from a stark, vertical grain black to a knotty natural brown. Western Red Cedar has been used as a consistent and high-performing exterior wood siding for hundreds of years.

The Miller Hull Partnership was founded in 1977 by David Miller and Robert Hill, partners with a defining background in the Peace Corps. As designers, they were profoundly influenced by the powerful landscape of the Pacific Northwest, which led to the firm’s enduring perspective on architecture that is intimately rooted in the human impact and context of the buildings they design. Miller Hull began by designing many award-winning earth sheltered and solar buildings in the early 1980s. Today, David and Robert’s passion for and tradition of creating dynamic and environmentally sensitive buildings represents the essence of our identity and continues to push their work forward.

Chapel Hill Residence :: SAMITTO Charred Accoya®
Main Line Residence :: BASTILLE European White Oak