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Development to Project 'Classicism'

April 06, 1986

Aventine, one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built, will live again in the form of a $190-million mixed-use commercial community in La Jolla.

The site is on 12 acres fronting Interstate 5 and La Jolla Village Drive in the coastal foothills two miles east of the Pacific Ocean.

Designed by architect Michael Graves, a professor at Princeton University, the project is being developed by Jack Naiman, who expects construction to begin by Sept. 1.

When completed, it will have a 400-room Hyatt Regency Hotel and more than 250,000 square feet of office space and 23,000 square feet of health and fitness facilities, which will be operated as the Sporting Club, a division of The Naiman Co. All will be set in gardens reminiscent of early Greece and Renaissance Italy.

Graves was chosen to design the project through a competition. The architect will also design the hotel's furniture and fixtures.

Graves said that the project will reflect his efforts to "continue classicism," which he explained produces a metaphor of man and nature. The metaphor for modernism is man and machine, he added.

Building materials and colors, the gardens and the siting of the buildings were all selected with the Southern California setting in mind. The natural elements used in the buildings will weather well, he said, and with the gardens, will create "a humanistic environment that will grow stronger with age."

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