Near Petco Park in San Diego, a new indoor skydiving facility is doing more than helping people learn to fly: It's also turning heads. And it’s bringing neighbors together, too.
Designed by Carrier Johnson + CULTURE — a global leader in architecture, interior design, and branding — the new venue Airborne San Diego is designed as "a celebration of flight,” says design principal Ray Varela. “We drew inspiration for many of its striking architectural features from the way skydivers maneuver their bodies as they soar, drift and plummet through the air."
Just as important, says Varela, the new facility also draws inspiration from its bayfront location and proximity to the downtown stadium, creating a dynamic relationship with its tourist-friendly neighborhood.
The design team worked closely with owner-client Airborne America to create a sunny, bright interior with ample views from the street to the cathedral-like space inside, drawing the attention of neighbors and passersby. The facility also features stadium seating, lounge areas, a café and bar, military-style briefing rooms, and practice areas and training rooms.
"We want to provide visitors with a unique, unforgettable experience," says Anna Calisse, general manager of Airborne San Diego. "Everything from the interaction with our staff and instructors to the design and layout of our facility, to the process in which first-time flyers are guided through training, all has been developed with great attention to detail.
The design team from Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, which excels at creating imaginative branded venues, also brought the technical expertise needed to create Airborne San Diego's unique facade of aerospace-inspired curved metal mesh. The firm also created the architectural setting for its complex infrastructure, including Airborne America’s signature wind tunnels: towering 30-feet high and spanning 14-feet in diameter, the dual flight tunnels are massive, with nearly three stories of floor-to-ceiling glass.
Spectators have a completely unobstructed view of the tunnels from almost any angle, making the facility ideal for indoor skydiving team competitions, corporate events, and private parties.
Airborne San Diego's grand opening is scheduled for later this December.