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AIA California Council bestows top honors on two L.A. firms

Architecture Awards West
AIA California Council bestows top honors on two L.A. firms. Los Angeles-based Johnson Fain and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architect’s have been recognized as top-notch architecture firms by the AIA California Chapter.(Paul Vu)
AIA California Council bestows top honors on two L.A. firms. Los Angeles-based Johnson Fain and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architect’s have been recognized as top-notch architecture firms by the AIA California Chapter.(Paul Vu)

The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) has awarded a pair of Los Angeles-based architecture firms its two most prestigious honors of the year.

Late last month, the council gave Johnson Fain its Firm Award, highlighting the practice’s 28-year track record of delivering thoughtful and diverse project types while also praising the company’s enriched office culture as reasons for bestowing the honor. In a press release praising Johnson Fain’s employee amenities—which include watercolor classes and in-studio yoga sessions—an unnamed AIACC juror remarked, “How they blur lines between personal and business is inspirational. They seem to be cornering a niche on the work/life balance for their employees and it shows in their innovative work.”

Johnson Fain’s 42-story 8th & Figueroa tower. (Courtesy Mitsui Fudosan America / Johnson Fain)

Johnson Fain is currently at work on a variety of high-profile projects across Southern California, including a 42-story tower in Downtown Los Angeles, a renovation of Philip Johnson’s Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, and a 355-unit mid-rise apartment complex in L.A.’s historic center.

AIACC also awarded Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) its Distinguished Practice award, praising the firm’s “passion for the constantly changing urban landscape, and the complexities which go into designing in such [areas].” The organization specifically praised LOHA principal and founder Lorcan O’Herlihy for promoting a “much-needed conversation about the relationship of design to landscape.” A juror praised the firm’s “high level of design [and] solid commitment to education, urbanism, community and environment,” adding, “I always learn from [LOHA’s] work.”

The Brush Park development in Detroit. (Courtesy LOHA)

LOHA currently has its hands in a variety of market-rate and supportive housing projects in Los Angeles and recently opened a new satellite office in Detroit, where the firm is working on a 210,000-square-foot mixed use development and the new African Bead Museum, among other projects.

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