Rios Clementi Hale Studios is a Los Angeles-based architecture, landscape, and urban design firm. Recently, it won two honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Southern California chapter, at the 2007 Quality for Life Design Awards.
The firm garnered the Institutional Design Honor Award for “The California Endowment Campus Landscape,” and the Communications Design Honor Award for its creation of the “Civic Park Workshop Toolkits.”
The California Endowment is located on a 6.5-acre campus at
the junction of Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles.
Designed to express community, health, partnership, diversity, and
transparency, the campus creates strong connections to the vibrant
cultural enclaves that surround the site, captures the healthy
indoor-outdoor California lifestyle, and weaves together flora and
stonework that are iconic to regions across the state. The idyllic,
contemporary courtyard was influenced by the state’s rustic way of
life, historic Mission courtyards, and Japanese gardens from nearby
Little Tokyo. Light and airy, the courtyard features bands of colored
concrete that extend into the interior spaces, creating a continuity
between the indoors and outdoors.
Before working on the schematic design of downtown’s Civic
Park, Rios Clementi Hale Studios created the Civic Park Workshop
Toolkits to encourage input from residents, stakeholders, and
interested members of the public during an open workshop.
design issues—renovation, placemaking, programming, and movement—were
addressed, based on research of existing park examples and the initial
design criteria for Civic Park, part of the wide-reaching “Reimagining
Grand Avenue” plan. Similar to a chessboard, the “toolkits” consist of
moveable pieces—reflecting elements such as parking ramps, fountains,
art exhibits, and seasonal events—that participants arranged to
represent the park layout.
Not only did the toolkits refine community
concerns for the designers, but they fostered dialogue between people
who hadn’t previously met, bringing forth ideas about the planning and
design of the park.
Rios Clementi Hale Studios encompasses myriad talents in one firm.
Established in 1985, this extraordinary practice has developed an
international reputation for its collaborative and multi-disciplinary
approach, establishing an award-winning tradition across an
unprecedented range of design disciplines. Acknowledging the firm’s
varied body of work, the American Institute of Architects California
Council gave Rios Clementi Hale Studios its 2007 Firm Award, the
organization’s highest honor. The architecture, landscape
architecture, planning, urban, interior, exhibit, graphic, and product
designers at Rios Clementi Hale Studios create buildings, places, and
products that are thoughtful, effective, and beautiful.