Awards Season

AIA|LA awards highlight diverse range of practices and projects

Architecture Awards West
AIA|LA awards highlight diverse range of practices and projects. Pictured: New United States Courthouse, SOM (Courtesy Bruce Damonte)
AIA|LA awards highlight diverse range of practices and projects. Pictured: New United States Courthouse, SOM (Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA) chapter recently announced the winners of its 2017 Design Awards, which recognizes practices and projects across the region in categories celebrating overall design, status as rising talent, and quality of environmental sustainability. The three award categories—Design Award; Next L.A.; and COTE—paint a picture of the diverse and multi-faceted character of Los Angeles’s architecture scene, with winners representing a broad spectrum of practice.

Design Awards

MMA’s Crest Apartments utilizes a liberated and diversified ground floor to enrich the supportive housing project. (Courtesy MMA)

AIA|LA’s Design Awards highlighted two projects in particular with top honors: The New United States Courthouse by SOM and the Crest Apartments by Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA). Since opening in late 2016, the new courthouse has become one of the region’s premier public buildings. The iconic cube-shaped structure utilizes a 28-foot cantilever over the ground floor areas to create an open, public plaza and garden designed by Mia Lehrer + Associates.

MMA’s Crest Apartments, on the other hand, is a very different sort of project. The 64-unit affordable housing project utilizes minimal ground floor structure and exuberant plantings and paving strategies to create flexible recreation spaces that double as car parking when not in use. The project was developed with Skid Row Housing Trust to benefit veterans who have previously experienced homelessness.

The following projects were awarded “merit” and “citation” designations by the AIA|LA Design Awards jury:

Merit Awards

Road to Awe, Dan Brunn Architecture

West Hollywood, CA

Hyundai Capital Convention Hall, Gensler

Seoul, South Korea

Oak Pass Main House, Walker Workshop

Beverly Hills, CA

House Noir, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

Malibu, CA

Citation Awards

Helmut Lang Flagship Store, Standard

Los Angeles, CA

Southern Utah Museum of Art, Brooks+Scarpa

Cedar City, Utah

South Los Angeles Pool Renovation, Lehrer Architects LA

South Los Angeles, CA

Sunset La Cienega Residences, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP + Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

West Hollywood, CA

Prototype | A True Starter Home, Lehrer Architects LA

South Los Angeles, CA

The Salkin House, Bestor Architecture

Los Angeles, CA

Corner Pocket House, Edward Ogosta Architecture

Manhattan Beach, CA

Ayzenberg Group, Corsini Stark Architects

Pasadena, CA

Platform, Abramson Teiger Architects

Culver City, CA

Desert Palisades Guardhouse, Studio AR&D Architects

Palm Springs, CA

The Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Kevin Daly Architects

Los Angeles, CA

Rice University Moody Center for the Arts, Michael Maltzan Architecture

Houston, TX

Saddle Peak Residence, Sant Architects

Topanga, CA

Mar Vista House Addition and Renovation, Sharif, Lynch: Architecture

Los Angeles, CA

2017 AIA|LA Design Awards jurors were Gabriela Carrillo, co-founder, Taller | Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo; Lance Evans, associate principal and senior vice president, HKS Architects; and Neil  M. Denari, professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA.



AIA|LA Next L.A.

TWA’s concept for a new billboard locates the object on the ground and utilizes the structure to anchor a public plaza.
(Courtesy TWA)

The AIA|LA Next L.A. awards honor yet-to-be-built projects that are in the design and planning stage.  This year’s winning project—The West Hollywood Belltower—is designed by Tom Wiscombe Architecture. The project aims to redefine the vernacular billboard as a spatial, digital installation framed by a public park. The proposal was generated as part of a design competition orchestrated by the City of West Hollywood to guide the design of future billboards.

The following projects were awarded “merit” and “citation” designations by the AIA|LA Next L.A. awards jury:

Merit Award

Los Angeles Residence, Baumgartner + Uriu

Los Angeles, CA

Citation Award

St. Georges Church, PARALX

Beirut, Lebanon

A4H Office Building, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S

Glendale, CA

Varna Library, XTEN Architecture

Varna, Bulgaria

Sberbank Technopark, Eric Owen Moss Architects

Moscow, Russia

Silver Lake Duplex, Warren Techentin Architecture

Los Angeles, CA

Twin Villa, Patrick TIGHE Architecture & John V Mutlow Architects

Beijing, China

Second House, Freeland Buck

Los Angeles, CA

Jurors for AIA|LA Next L.A. awards were: Mark Foster Gage, principal, Mark Foster Gage Architects; Alvin Huang, design principal, Synthesis Design + Architecture; and Julia Koerner, Director, JK Design GmbH.

COTE Award

The Mesa Court Towers at University of California,
Irvine achieved a LEED Platinum rating.(Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

AIA|LA’s Committee on the Environment focuses on highlighting projects that “demonstrate achievement in the implementation of sustainability features” and is awarded by a panel of experts who focus on performance, systems integration, and sustainability research. For 2017, the committee awarded four projects with top honors, including the Mesa Court Towers at University of California, Irvine designed by Mithun. The project features a LEED Platinum sustainability rating, exterior circulation, and an emphasis on day-lit spaces. Other winners in the category include: the J. Craig Venter Institute La Jolla by ZGF Architects; the New United States Courthouse by SOM; and The SIX Veterans Housing by Brooks+Scarpa.

Citation Award

UCLA Hitch Suites & Commons Building, Steinberg

Los Angeles, CA

Kaiser Permanente, Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center, Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign

Anaheim, CA

The jurors for the 2017 AIA|LA COTE Awards were: Ezequiel Farca, creative director, Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin; Dan Heinfeld, president, LPA; and Ben Loescher, founding principal, Loescher Meachem Architects.

Other Awards

At its award ceremony last week, the organization also presented its 2017 Presidential Honoree awards, which included honors for architects Design, Bitches, builders MATT Construction, and Mike Alvidrez of the Skid Row Housing Trust, among others. Those awards include:

Emerging Practice Award: Catherine Johnson, AIA; Rebecca Rudolph, AIA | Design, Bitches

Design Advocate, Builder Award: Steve Matt, Affiliate AIA|LA, Co-Founder, MATT Construction; and the late Paul Matt, Co-Founder, MATT Construction

Community Contribution Award: Southern California Chapter, National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCalNOMA)

25-Year Award: Grand Central Market Restoration

Design Advocate, Developer Award: Mike Alvidrez, Chief Executive Officer, Skid Row Housing Trust

Building Team Award: Wilshire Grand Building Team

Honorary AIA|LA Award: Tibby Rothman, Marketing Strategist, AIA|LA | journalist, writer, creative

Educator Award: Dr. Douglas E. Noble, FAIA, Ph.D; Discipline Head, Building Science, Director of the Master of Building Science, University of Southern California, School of Architecture

Gold Medal: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA; Design Principal, Brooks + Scarpa

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