UC San Diego’s Geisel Library located in La Jolla, California has a futuristic otherworldly, look. It is done in a mix of the brutalist and modernist architectural styles. Interestingly, the whole college campus utilizes more modernist architecture instead of the historical-revival style which is most commonly seen.
Its name comes from Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. It was renamed after the university received a $20 million dollar donation from the Geisels and about 8,500 pieces of art, writing, and other artifacts from Dr. Seuss’ work. The Geisels were long-time residents of La Jolla.
The building was designed by renowned architect, William Pereira. He is known for several of his unique designs, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.
Pereira’s original design was for a spherical building made entirely from steel and glass. The spherical shape was later abandoned and the current look was adopted to preserve the original concept. The shape was created intentionally to maximize daylight and allow for a flexible floorplan. Glass helps the building blend in with its surroundings and also seems to change color depending on the time of day. Although steel was planned to be used, a steep price increase in the material lead to concrete being used instead.
2 floors are located below ground and 6 floors are above. The open forum area at ground level acts as an unofficial floor. The Library is 110 feet high above ground and 210 feet wide at its widest point above ground. The project cost $5.4 million in total.
Its collection contains about 2.7 million print volumes. The oldest of which, a treatise on spelling called “Incipit Orthographia,” is from 1296 and is bound in goatskin.