SAN DIEGO LIBRARIES: YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW
Since 1977, Manuel Oncina has been enhancing the built environment of San Diego through his architectural vision. He believes that “society benefits from and is inspired by high quality architectural design.”
Manuel has a passion for design. In each project his approach entails the excitement of new discoveries, fresh creativity, and the challenges that are realized in the accomplishment of the established goals. He is committed to providing functional, sustainable, economical and stimulating design. Manuel Oncina’s work has been enthusiastically accepted and acclaimed by both the clients and the communities in which his designs serve.
The expertise of Manuel Oncina is extensive, and includes commercial master planning, office facilities. space planning, municipal facilities, mixed-use buildings, bus rapid transit, and in particular, public libraries. A small sampling of his numerous designs are at Mission Trails Regional Park, Miramar Water Treatment Plant, Downtown Trolley Stations, Sweetwater Parks, Tecolote Nature Center, and also notably his many award-winning libraries. The Alpine Library won the Award of Honor for Superior Achievement & Professional Design Excellence (SARA) in 2015 as did the Fallbrook, Encinitas, and Ramona Libraries in earlier years; the Carlsbad and Cardiff-by-the-Sea libraries both won the SARA National Awards; the Earl & Birdie Taylor Library received an AIA Orchid for lighting and another SARA; and the Malcolm X Library won another SARA and the AIA Orchid for Architecture, Planning, Interior Design, Environmental Solutions, Landscape Architecture, and Graphic Design & Signage. These are but a minor listing of all the awards conferred on the designs of Manuel Oncina. Residential awards were given for the Madigan Loft, the Blauin-Ito Residence, and the Palmer Residence.
Manuel Oncina was educated at the the Universite de Luminy, Marseilles, France, California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and in Florence, Italy. After completion of study for his architecture degree in 1977, he spent seven years gaining experience at major architectural firms in San Diego. In 1983 he became licensed in California and the following year, established the firm Manuel Oncina Architects/MOAinc.
Another passion of Manuel Oncina is sketching. For him, sketching is like speaking. He quotes LeCorbusier saying, “I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.” His sketchbook is filled with designs and ideas that reveal his passion for crisp, clean lines combined with a variety of shapes and forms. A selection from his Sketchbook and more about his projects, publications, and awards can be found at: www.oncinaarc.com.
Christa Vragel, Writer