The 1981 scheme for the San Diego Convention Center combines a highly efficient, simple plan, with dynamic soaring spaces, tranquil, passive gardens and festive tent structures. It creates a new urban place on the waterfront...Its strong organizational concept creates a simple plan of maximum efficiency, flexibility and economy with minimum demands on construction. The design develops a clear pattern of access and circulation and provides a strong identity of its primary function, while offsetting the extraordinary size of the building and giving interest and excitement to the body of the center.
After the expansion in 2001, the new and the original sections of the convention center extend nearly half a mile, forming a single 2.6 million-square-foot colossus on the bay. The expansion, coupled with the 90,000-square-foot Sails Pavilion now enclosed behind a glass curtain, has given the San Diego Convention Center 615,000 square feet of exhibit space.