As architectural design professionals, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is, 'what is your favorite building?'
Having gone to school in San Luis Obispo and made several trips since, I must have driven up and down highway 101 from the Bay Area at least 50 times by now. One of my favorite buildings happens to be visible from this route in a little town called Chualar.
Located along the old El Camino Real / 101, the Chualar Substation is a retired Pacific Gas and Electric Company building. Inscribed with old world spellings using "v" instead of "u," it's truly a relic of a building that I've had a hard time finding additional information on. Chualar itself is a tiny little town out in the boonies! Getting back to the building, it's symmetric in nature, decorated with very simple details, it's very Californian in my eyes. I love the very people friendly scale and massing – it's quite inviting actually! The double door entry despite it being a utilities structure adds to its ironic grandeur. I'm glad it's stuck around, and continues to light my fancy as I head up and down the highway.
What are some of your own favorite buildings?