The results are for the ENR California Best Projects 2013. The team of Whiting Turner & Clark Nexsen working with NAVFAC Southwest and partnering facilitated by Jim Eisenhart of VCG has won the Best Project in Government Buildings for the Edson and Chappo Dining Facilities, located in Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
On this project the Whiting-Turner design-build team was challenged to design and build two, identical – at least on the concept drawings – dining facilities. During the partnering workshop Major Cava, the Marine officer overseeing these facilities, mentioned that the two facilities were for different users. As the Major put it “one was for recruits who are learning to become Marines and the other is for real Marines”. With that Clark Nexsen, the DB team’s lead designer said, “what if the recruit facility actually helped recruits learn how to become Marines?” With that the floodgates opened. Murals of past battles; portraits and bio’s of heroes; the specialties Marines can go into; mockups of weaponry; the code of conduct and so forth. “Who”, Clark said, “do we need to talk with to find out what recruits need to learn?”. “That easy”, Major Cava said, “the drill instructors”. So there was a meeting between DI’s and architects with the architects subsequently being flown to Washington DC to capture images from the Marine museum. The resulting facility blew the base commander away – not literally, of course.