Cedar & Kettner DEVELOPMENT, Little Italy Parking STRUCTURE

Cedar & Kettner Development Parking Structure is located in downtown San Diego and features a Zahner-manufactured CloudWall facade system. is  is a The striking new parking garage anchors the corner of Cedar Street and Kettner Boulevard in the Little Italy area of downtown San Diego.

The series of vertical facade fins were made using the Zahner-patented CloudWall system. These fins were installed using custom extruded channel embeds which were set in concrete. Zahner worked with McCarthy to coordinate the location for each embed. Bassett Construction was the installer, and came to the project with experience on several other Zahner jobs.

The 240,000 SF design-build garage provides 650 spaces with three levels below grade and six levels above, serving as both a work garage for employees of the County of San Diego, as well as night parking for events in the downtown area.

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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.

The design team visited Zahner's Headquarters prior to working on the job, and experienced the CloudWall system installed on the building's facade. The project was led by IPD, who served as the architect of record. The team worked with construction manager McCarthy Builders in San Diego, and Bassett in San Diego led the install team. 

The CloudWall fins were designed and shaped using 3-D computer-generated studies which resulted in an undulating façade that visually changes based on the point of view and sun angle. This new structure promises more than just additional spaces to park. 

The Cedar & Kettner Parking Structure improves the commuter experience, offering a canopy over the adjacent trolley platform. The hope is that by offering more space for visitors, the already vibrant tourism within Little Italy will have room to increase. The new parking building is a key structure towards bringing more construction for additional projects in San Diego.

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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.

Completed in 2015, this new building provides much needed parking for visitors in a bustling area of tourism. 645 new spaces to park give the county the ability to accommodate greater amounts of tourism, bolster the local economy, and look great while doing so.

Reminiscent of ripples in the San Diego Bay, the CloudWall™ surface follows the recently completed waterfront park. The facade encompasses the building's seven above-ground levels. Three additional levels exist underground.

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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.

Switching from Phenolic Plastic to Aluminum Plate

The wave-like fins were originally designed as a phenolic plank system. Design authorities determined some environmental and combustion concerns with the phenolic material. In the interest of public safety and longevity of the surface, all parties agreed that the design needed to be revisited in another material.

Following initial discussions with the group, Zahner visited onsite with the city and county officials, architects, and general contractors. The team reviewed the design and determined the specifics for providing the desired aesthetic.

Clear anodized aluminum was selected for both the fins and the cross bracing. The aluminum’s light material weight allowed for the phenolic system to easily be replaced with metal, without any structural redesign. The economical cost of aluminum also helped to lighten any budgetary concerns.

Scaling the CloudWall™ System

Prior to the Cedar Kettner project, the CloudWall system was limited to one or two-story buildings. This was due to limitations of material lengths for the aluminum hardware. The CloudWall system was modified and custom-engineered for the project to span the six-story Cedar Ketter building. This was accomplished by dividing the metal components into two lengths.

Zahner built a mockup to test how the new components would fit together, and also to test lighting and color options for the client.

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Mockup showing the connection between two vertical fins for Cedar Kettner.
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Mockup for Cedar Kettner Parking Structure.
Cedar kettner mockup
Mockup for Cedar Kettner Parking Structure.
Multi color mockup
Mockup with varying color palettes for Cedar Kettner.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.
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Cedar Kettner Parking Structure in San Diego, California.