Marin Gertler is leading the effort to design several of the biggest developments on the San Diego waterfront. These proposals, totaling about 70 acres (28 ha), are redefining San Diego’s public and private realms.
“I firmly believe that the quality of the fabric that ties the neighborhoods and defining landmarks together defines the success of a place,” he says.
For example, his design for the proposed Fifth Avenue Landing would do more than create a new, iconic tower adjacent to the city’s convention center. It would also create an elevated two-acre (0.8 ha) plaza that bridges over to the convention center and mends a connection from the heart of the city to the bay that was separated by loading docks stretching 1,000 feet (305 m). The plan is moving through the entitlement process.
Marin has lectured at the University of San Diego for its Urban Development Strategies course. As an adjunct professor at the New School of Architecture, he co-taught a design studio on analyzing and repurposing structures. He also writes for San Diego UrbDeZine, a national blog for urban design.
He cofounded LDG Landscape Architects with his wife, landscape architect Rocio Lastras de Gertler. Their thriving, seven-person, boutique landscape architecture firm focuses on innovative urban spaces. The couple also worked with the Downtown San Diego Partnership on E Street Live, a strategy to activate a pedestrian street in the heart of downtown.
When Marin was five years old, his family relocated to Switzerland and then France. “My multicultural background and upbringing, combined with being at the apex of the millennial age bracket, have helped me relate to a wide cross section of the current workforce,” he says.