SDSU Tula Conference Center and Tenochca Hall

SDSU Tula Conference Center and Tenochca Hall

Project details

San Diego State University (SDSU) Tula Conference Center and Tenochca Hall

Delawie teamed with C.W. Driver and KTU+A Planning and Landscape Architecture on this RFQ for San Diego State University. Our Tula Conference Center design reoriented the entry to the south side of the site. With a large number of people coming to use the conference center from the two parking structures located to the east, and the two main entries for Zura Hall and Tenochca Hall located to the south and west, we felt the south entry was a more natural connection point to the surrounding pedestrian and traffic patterns. The other added benefit of having the entry of the conference center on the south is the natural sunlight that bathes the open air courtyard adjacent to the entry. We have also suggested trellis elements along the courtyard to provide shade and protection from the south sun, so people can enjoy the outdoors even when the outdoor temperature might be a bit warm. We chose to keep conditioned corridor space for access to the meeting rooms as we believe it is important to provide conditioned space for people queuing to enter conference facilities as well as providing a protected space for multipurpose uses such as displays, silent auction events, receptions, etc.


From a functionality standpoint, we relocated the prep kitchen towards the northeast corner of the site adjacent to the exterior trash enclosure. This helps with trash disposal and pickup as well as keeping unwanted smells away from the main entry. We have also reorganized all meeting room storage to be accessed from the back wall of each space, providing more consistent and convenient storage throughout the building. From a sustainability perspective, we designed the main circulation corridor and meeting rooms to have the capability to be naturally ventilated when weather permits. All clerestory windows in the meeting rooms would be operable as well as windows located in the main lobby and circulation corridors. With respect to the architectural style of the building, we designed the conference center to pay homage to the Mission Revival style of the original SDSU campus core buildings while also incorporating some elements of Prairie style architecture. Key elements of the Mission Revival and Prairie style we have incorporated include the following:


Special consideration was given to exterior pedestrian circulation. The existing diagonal circulation pattern coming from the parking garage was preserved, guiding pedestrians to Cuicacalli Walk thru an enhanced feature on the Northeast corner of the building. We also created a straight circulation pattern coming from the parking garage that takes pedestrians by the conference pavilion’s exterior courtyard and main entry to a convergence point where you are visually and physically connected to Zura and Tenochca Hall’s building entries.

  • Year: 2016
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Program: Renovation, Conference Center, Student Housing