The Best of LA Architecture Applauded
From the first LEED Platinum museum in the world to an inner-city public library, the projects awarded by the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles (AIA/LA), reveal a wealth of superlative design talent.
Water + Life Museums and Campus, Hemet, CA ; Lehrer + Gangi Design + Build
Twenty-five awards were given to Los Angeles-based architects for both built and un-built projects during a ceremony at the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) at Los Angeles County Art Museum (LACMA), held on June 4, 2008. In addition, the AIA/LA Presidential Honors, as well as the Cultural Affairs Commission Architecture Awards were announced.
Known to be one of the most competitive in the country, the annual AIA/LA awards program includes the Design Awards for built projects by Los Angeles architects, and the NEXT LA Awards for work that is unbuilt.
The Design Awards
The Design Awards jury—Craig Dykers, Snøhetta, Oslo, Norway, and New York City; David Lake, FAIA, Lake/Flato Architects, Austin, TX; and Michael Palladino, FAIA, Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Los Angeles—selected (in no particular order) the following projects (jurors comments follow):
· Water + Life Museums and Campus, Hemet, CA ; Lehrer + Gangi Design + Build
“To get LEED Platinum is a remarkable accomplishment in itself, and then in a very handsome building of this scale in this location is quite a feat. This is a 100-year building.”
· Art Center College of Design South Campus, Pasadena, CA; Daly Genik
“To do adaptive reuse with this much artistry is remarkable. The quality of light used is spectacular.”
· NOAA Satellite Operations Facility, Suitland, MD; Morphosis
“The building integrates science and mythology in the architectural expression, giving a sense that there is important work about the planet going on here.”
· Dark Side of the Moon, Los Angeles, CA; Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc.
“This is not just a big gesture, but is socially active and intriguing geometrically. I’m sure I would have fun here!”
· Hypo-Alpe-Adria Bank Headquarters, Udine, Italy; Morphosis
“A well detailed project that impresses by organizing the space through orthogonal forms while activating the center.”
· Ennis House Rehabilitation, Los Angeles, CA; Eric Lloyd Wright and Wiehle-Carr, Associated Architects
“A beautifully done, impeccable restoration that was extraordinary in scope, given its disastrous condition.”
· Camino Nuevo High School, Los Angeles, CA; Daly Genik
“The building creates an interactive environment protected from a highly trafficked neighborhood.”
· 26th Street Low-Income Housing, Santa Monica, CA; Kanner Architects
“You can’t do low-income housing better than this. We need a lot more projects like this.”
· Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure, Santa Monica, CA; Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners
“This is a powerful and simple presentation. How often do you get to celebrate a garage?”
· Ahmanson Founders Room, Los Angeles, CA; Belzberg Architects
“This space demonstrates a new methodology for creating interior spaces.”
· The Disney Store Headquarters, Pasadena, CA; Clive Wilkinson Architects
“It’s a smart project, with the existing building left alone and new forms inserted in a crafty way.”
· Off-Grid iT House, Pioneertown, CA; Taalman Koch
“It’s innovative in its use of materials, and deals with construction in a very direct way.”
· Canyon House, Los Angeles, CA; Office of Hadley + Peter Arnold LLC
“There are nuances to the restoration work that are very well described in a clear and powerful—albeit gentle and subtle—way.”
· Hyde Park Miriam Matthews Branch Library, Los Angeles, CA; Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture
“The building creates civic identity in a struggling area. This is the type of project that LA is desperate for.”
· The Children’s Center at Caltech, Outdoor Science Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; (M)Arch.branded architecture
“Domestic and institutional scales are hard to combine, and this single pavilion has a character all its own.”
· The Lofts @ Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood, CA; Killefer Flammang Architects
“There are important social issues at work here—creating housing from existing office structures.”
· Tigertail, Los Angeles, CA; Patrick Tighe Architecture
“This has a sense of grandeur to it—it has a big ego for a small house.”
Hyde Park Miriam Matthews Branch Library, Los Angeles, CA; Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture
The Next LA Awards
The Next LA Awards were established to acknowledge work that is not yet built. Reviewing the projects this year were Los Angeles-based jurors Paul Danna, AIA, DMJM H&N; Julie Eizenberg, AIA, Koning Eizenberg Architecture; and Hraztan S. Zeitlian, AIA, Leo A Daly, who awarded (in no particular order) the following projects (jurors comments follow):
· HL23, New York, NY; Neil M. Denari Architects, Inc.
“This is an extremely elegant solution for such a unique location.”
· Art Center College of Design Housing Complex, Pasadena, CA; Daly Genik
“The level of analysis and thinking is very high in this project, everything is thought about.”
· Mira International Trade Center, Santa Ana, CA; John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
“There is richness in the totality of the project given the complexity of the program.”
· Ordos Concert Hall, Ordos, Inner Mongolia, Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design
“The important aspects of this project are rigorous, classic, and timeless, but are contemporary in execution.”
· Harvard University Art Museums Art Center, Allston, MA; Daly Genik
“This project has an extraordinary spatial sequence and quality of light.”
· Growing Back Smaller: A Livable House, New Orleans, LA; Morphosis
“This project is wonderfully contextual and accepts the desires of the city residents to keep memories of home.”
· Playa Vista Central Park, Los Angeles, CA; Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc.
“This park brings provocative design thinking to an environment that needs it.”
· Selma Office Tower, Los Angeles, CA; Belzberg Architects
“The project is well-conceived to allow individual owners to have an identity.”
The CAC Design Awards
The CAC Design Awards recognizes design excellence in civic architecture done for Los Angeles city agencies. The jury—architects Daniel Dworsky, FAIA and Mehrdad Yazdani, Assoc. AIA Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design; Cultural Affairs Commissioners Lee Ramer and Gayle Roski; and City of Los Angeles planner Simon Pastucha—selected the following built and unbuilt work (jurors comments follow):
· Art Bridge, North Hollywood, CA; wHY Architecture (unbuilt)
“An excellent example of a civic project, in that it really engages two existing landmarks for the City: our river and an important mural in the public art landscape.”
· Hyde Park Miriam Matthews Branch Library, Los Angeles, CA; Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture (built)
“This level of design and execution is not typically seen in public architecture.”
· Playa Vista Fire Station No. 67, Los Angeles, CA; R.L. Binder, FAIA, Architecture & Planning (built)
“Excellent implementation of signage and light as design elements.”
· Dockweiler State Beach Youth Center, Los Angeles, CA; Randall Stout Architects (unbuilt)
“The design breaks with the traditional form of structures at the beach in a reinterpretation that is successful and admirable.”
· LAPD Harbor Replacement Station and Jail, Los Angeles, CA; Perkins+Will (unbuilt)
“Openness of the façade is unique for this area of the City.”
· Costello Pool and Bathhouse Replacement, Los Angeles, CA; Sparano Mooney Architecture (unbuilt)
“The clarity of the design lends the site a feeling of timelessness.”
Each year, the AIA/LA president bestows honors at his or her discretion to individuals and organizations for their commitment to creating a better Los Angeles.
For 2008, Martha Welborne, FAIA, as AIA/LA president, lauded the following:
· The Gold Medal Award: Scott Johnson, FAIA, and William H. Fain, Jr., FAIA, principals of Johnson Fain.
· The Building Team of the Year Award: BCAM at LACMA—Renzo Piano Building Workshop, design architect; Gensler, executive architect; ARUP, SMEP engineering, lighting design, acoustics & communications/IT consulting; KPFF Consulting Engineers, civil engineers; Robert Irwin, landscape artist/designer; Valley Crest Landscape Development, landscape architects; Aurora Development, project manager; MATT Construction Corp., general contractor; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, client; Eli & Edythe Broad, founders; Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, County of Los Angeles.
· The AIA/LA 25-Year Award: Century Plaza Towers by Minoru Yamasaki—Yamasaki Associates, Inc.; CB Richard Ellis; JP Morgan Asset Services.
· Urban Design Team Award: “Design for a Livable Downtown” Urban Design Guidelines & Street Standards—Emily Gabel-Luddy, FASLA, and Simon Pastucha, Urban Design Studio, Department of City Planning, City of Los Angeles; Lillian Burkenheim and Karen Yamamoto, Community Redevelopment Agency, City of Los Angeles; Jay Kim and Mike Bagheri, Department of Transportation, City of Los Angeles; Clark Robins and Lemuel Paco, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles; Councilwoman Jan Perry, Council District #9, City of Los Angeles; Councilmember José Huizar, Council District #14, City of Los Angeles; Allyn D. Rifkin, PE, PTOE, The Rifkin Transportation Planning Group; Patricia Smith, ASLA, AICP; Lisa Padilla, AIA, LEEP AP, Cityworks Design.
· Good Government Award: Jane Usher, President, Planning Commission; and Mary Klaus-Martin, Past President, Cultural Heritage Commission.
· Historic Preservation Award: Linda Dishman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Conservancy.
· Professional Achievement Award: Nabih Youssef, S.E., Structural Engineer, Nabih Youssef Associates.
· Distinguished Educator Award: Thomas S. Hines, Professor Emeritus, History and Architecture, UCLA.
· Honorary AIA/Los Angeles: Michael Woo, Hon. AIA/LA, Planning Commission, AIA/Los Angeles Public Board Member.