San Diego’s Catherine Deneuve

San Diego’s Catherine Deneuve When the first words you hear from an architect describing a project in the making are “This is a different cat,” you sense that you are about to be entertained. Such was my impression at a private preview of downtown’s Pacific Gate residential high-rise. “This could have been a solid-profile building, as many buildings are that are functional,” said New York-based architect James von Klemperer of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates as he stood by a model of the building his firm is creating for Bosa Development.* “There’s something about tall buildings we remember in skylines; it’s always the ones that come to some sort of peak. They’re aspirational.” The 41-story, 450-foot tower (scheduled for completion in September 2017) is “sculptural, but not a wacky form,” he continued. “It’s quiet. It’s Catherine Deneuve — poised and self-confident.” When I asked him which of KPF’s multiple high-rises Pacific Gate would most resemble, the president of a firm with six offices around the world didn’t pause to reflect — perhaps because what popped immediately to mind is a current project: a 123-floor (1,800+ feet) combination of offices, hotel, retail and residences in Seoul. Pacific Gate, he said, would have “the same DNA.” Set between Broadway and West E Street along North Harbor Drive, the building will be “kind of a gateway,

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