I love going to Downtown Los Angeles. It’s changed. A lot. And what a fantastic way to celebrate the AIA/LA Design Awards: down on Broadway, choreographed by the Awards Committee to triangulate the historic Million Dollar Theater, the iconic Bradbury Building, and the revamped Grand Central Market for the closing party. In fact, it was so well-choreographed that it was difficult to pull people from the Bradbury (all those fantastic wood, iron, and marble details were lit up in the vertigo-inducing atrium like some movie set) to the actual theater and get them in their seats for the awards presentation. That was the vibe. It was a good time, spilling and tripping out into the street from one venue to the next. The program included members of the LA art world: Getty Center CEO James Cuno, who introduced the Design Awards, and Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum, who introduced the Next LA Awards. A total of 21 firms and 14 Presidential Honorees received awards. Presidential Honorees included Adele Yellin, the owner of Grand Central Market credited with bringing it back to life, and Tibby Dunbar, executive director of the A+D Museum. The A+D also won the Community Contribution Award. The Twenty-Five Year Award went to Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi for Kate Mantillinni, one of early Morphosis’ first realized projects. Writer Michael Webb, author of 26 books on architecture and design, won the Design Advocate Award. Educator of the Year went to Norman Millar, dean at Woodbury School of Architecture. Platform for Architecture Research (PAR) won the Emerging Practice Award. And the award for Building Team of the Year went to Morphosis and its team for giving Emerson College something quite different for its LA campus. By the time the last award, the Gold Medal Award, was presented to Christopher and David Martin for their achievements, the story was complete. Everyone was sitting in the theater their grandfather had designed, a 100-year-old AC Martin project. What a story that is, for them, as leaders of one of the city’s legacy firms (AC Martin was founded in 1906), and for the city itself. See images of the Design Award–winning projects below.
Posts tagged with "AIA Los Angeles":
The AIA Los Angeles has awarded its 2013 Gold Medal to Frederick Fisher. Founder and principal at Frederick Fisher & Partner Architects, Fisher has been practicing architecture in LA for more than 30 years. During the late 1970s he was part of the “L.A. School,” a group of architects including Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry, and Eric Owen Moss who staged exhibitions at Mayne’s in-home architecture gallery.Fisher worked in Gehry’s practice for several years, yet in his own designs Fisher eschews the mind-bending geometry for which Gehry and some of his other contemporaries are known. Instead, Fisher’s work is characterized by a combination of lightness and restraint. Many of Fisher's projects have been art museums or educational buildings. Adaptive-reuse cultural projects include the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, the renovation of A. Quincy Jones’s The Barn, now the home of the Chora Council of Metabolic Studio, and the Sturt Haaga Gallery of Art at Descanso Gardens. Among Fisher's work for educational institutions are the Jane B. Eisner Middle School, housed in a building originally owned by the Southern California Telephone Company, and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology at Caltech. Fisher also designed the Sunnylands Center and Gardens at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands and the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. Fisher will receive his award at the AIA Los Angeles Design Awards Gala on October 28th. Other presidential award winners include LA mayor Eric Garcetti, LACMA director Michael Govan, and artist James Turrell.
AIA Los Angeles has announced that UCLA SUPRASTUDIO lecturer Julia Koerner’s proposal Cellular Complexity is the winning entry for the 11th annual 2x8 Student Exhibition, a scholarship organization that has showcased projects of over 150 students from more than 15 architecture and design schools in California. This year’s winning scheme, in collaboration with Paris-based architect Marie Boltenstern and architect Kais Al-Rawi, presents a parametric pavilion of twisting planes that transitions in porosity from one end to the other. According to the AIA|LA, the jury appreciated the design concept's creativity and edginess. The installation and exhibition of student work is expected to be complete by February 2014.
[Editor's note: Our fearless correspondent Guy Horton shares his thoughts—Gonzo Style—on the AIA/LA Awards Ceremony that took place on the Broad Stage in the Santa Monica Performing Arts Center. And he was surprisingly assured by it all. Read ahead, if you dare. And enjoy the slideshow of the Design Award winners at the end.] To those who missed it, Man you should have been there. It was crazy. Honestly, the most insane Awards I've been to in years. Moby was there. You know he's been doing this LA architecture blog. He called LA urbanism a "shit show." Can you believe that? Brilliant. That got repeated a lot and I imagine it will become the buzz-word for the 2012 Awards: The Shit Show. In a good way, of course. He looked a little nervous. Saw him before he went on stage to introduce things. Told me the whole architecture economic situation really sucks. I know, I told him. But that's OK. We get by. And that was the vibe on the floor at the Broad Stage that night: we get by..."but we don't feel the same", as The Brian Jonestown Massacre song goes. Somehow we have all made it through the last four years of a wasted economy. We are all desolation's angels for having arrived on the other side of that and I think there was this sense that a corner was being turned and a new view coming into clarity. Call it a giddy post-recession fatigue. Soon the election will be done with and the book on 2012 closed. I think LA's architecture scene has undergone a permanent brain chemistry alteration. I got the sense things are bouncing back and people were feeling it at the Broad. It was like a shared sense of having come through a war of sorts. Was it just me? The Awards made me happy and I can't explain why exactly. That was unexpected. It could have been the merlot or the colorful tubs of sangria. People just seemed to be in good moods. You know I'm the last person to use the "O" word, as in optimism, but there was this pervasive atmosphere of just that. Many I spoke to said business wasn't great but that they were somehow doing fine and thought next year would be better. Frances Anderton was there and hearing her radio voice up close and in person just made the whole thing feel regal and legitimate. I won't go into all the different awards but our old friends Koning Eizenberg won the Gold Medal. They also won an award for the South Pasadena House they worked on. As if by magic, I sat right next to the couple who own the house. They were thrilled to be there and they remembered how great it was working with the whole team. They really love the place and their lives have clearly been transformed by the house and the design experience. That reminded me how great this stuff can be. The comedian Richard Montoya (Honestly, I had to Google him), from the Department of Cultural Affairs, was definitely on something. I think mostly himself, and as far as I'm concerned he can do that as much as he likes. He might as well have been on stage with a flaming hulu-hoop on a unicycle. He was on his game. End of story. He knew just what to say to a bunch of partying architects. We all looked sharp and have like five percent body fat. He could be reading the recession on us. The recession diet does wonders. It's the original lap band. Somebody said I looked taller so maybe the recession made me grow. The other thing was the reverse stage diving that took place throughout the evening. Alissa Walker and Marissa Gluck announced a best run-and-jump-on-stage-to-get-my-award award. I'll have to find out if anybody actually won. I think Mehrdad Yazdani, actually. He made it look so effortless. Peter Zellner also made a nice landing—neither his glasses nor his hair seemed to move. It's not just me, right? There was something in the air that night. Everyone seemed to be in that space. At one point a Broad Stage associate tried to block the stage jumper-uppers like one of those burly Coachella security people, but in the end she just gave up. Who forgot to put another set of stairs on stage right? Who needs them! Am I missing anything? Let's see Eric Owen Moss won the 25-Year Award for the Petal House. Though he is good at giving speeches, there was none. Hernan Diaz Alonzo, in a beautiful moment of doubling, somehow had on the same suit and crazy scarf he was wearing in his projected photograph as he walked up (he didn't jump) to receive the Educator Award. As you can see, there is just too much to get into here, but you get the idea. Maybe it was the merlot. By the way, Moby sends his best.
I had the pleasure this year of being on the jury for the annual 2x8 Competition, organized by the AIA/LA, which (thanks to more than ten sponsors) handed out more than $8,000 in scholarships to outstanding student entries from throughout California. Normally I only get to see work from household names like SCI-ARC, USC, UCLA, etc. But the competition introduced me to projects from equally talent-rich schools like Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design, Pasadena City College, Woodbury, Otis, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona and several more. Seven winners were named in all, receiving scholarships from $600 to $3,000. Projects ranged from tiny puzzles to giant urban interventions. See the winners here and more pix here., The exhibition of their work is on display at the A+D museum until June 3.