The New Sixth College and North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood is Open


Niloufar Shahbandi

UC San Diego debuted three new residential halls as part of the new Sixth College, marking it the first year that students are living in the new Sixth College dorms. The buildings are part of the larger North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, which is still under construction and expected to be completed in 2021.

As of Fall 2020, only three out of the four residential halls –– Catalyst, Kaleidoscope, and Tapestry –– have been completed, while Mosaic is expected to be completed in 2021. In accordance with the Sixth College theme of Culture, Art, and Technology, the new residential halls each have their own name based on symbols from La Jolla’s natural landscape.

“The buildings are nice; they give off the new feeling,” Earl Warren College sophomore Nick Hale said. “I like the feel of the new buildings and enjoy the location of the complex. From where I am, I haven’t heard the construction, but I know it’s a problem for other people and they can hear the construction at night sometimes. Overall it’s pretty active and has a friendly atmosphere.”

Students like Thurgood Marshall College sophomore Jenayah Shaheed made positive comments on the location and new design of the buildings. 

“It’s more modern,” Shaheed said. “They try to make it more “community” like because of how they set up the floors. So when you enter it is the common room. It’s more in the middle of campus and it has better views of the ocean. The people are still the same, everyone is kind and nice and great to be around. It would be so much better if we weren’t in a pandemic, because then I could hold socials in the common space. But right now I can’t use the kitchen, I can’t use the fridge, can’t sit on common space furniture. It would be a lot more helpful and a lot more interactive, because those buildings are made for community-building.” 

The four buildings will house 2,000 undergraduate students, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic Housing Dining Hospitality has reduced undergraduate housing to 50 percent of its typical density. 

Construction of NTPLLN began in 2018 and the complex is part of a $1.6 billion expansion, one of the biggest in campus history. The new residential buildings will provide affordable housing for many UCSD students while also helping the university increase its enrollment. UCSD hopes to enroll approximately 40,000 students by 2021.

The NTPLLN complex, which is located between John Muir and Marshall Colleges, is more than 10 acres in size and will include the Arts and Humanities building, the Craft Center, and the Social Sciences Public Engagement Building. The Arts and Humanities building will house the history, literature, and philosophy departments as well as other programs such the Analytical Writing Program. The Craft Center will include classrooms, dedicated studios, and specialized facilities to provide “community members chances for self-expression and skill-building practice.”

NTPLLN is designed to provide more open space and seating areas. “There will be plenty of places to socialize and relax as well as pedestrian and bike-friendly pathways and elements,” said Matthew Smith, project manager and architect with UCSD Capital Program Management. “Enhancing movement of people and bikes through the campus core rather than on to the surrounding streets is an ongoing goal for the university, which development of this neighborhood will help us achieve.”

Six new restaurants are coming to NTPLLN in 2021 — the restaurants will represent the “San Diego experience” on campus and will include Asian fusion, Japanese, plant-based diets, and Middle Eastern street food. You can learn more about these restaurants at the Eater article.

NTPLLN is only one of UCSD’s construction projects at the moment. These building projects contribute to UCSD’s rise as the fifth largest research university in the country. The university has many other facilities currently being built or planned to be built in order to meet the vision of having a total of 12 colleges.

Photo courtesy of Ellie Wang for the UCSD Guardian.