The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) recently hosted the 40th annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, recognizing outstanding architectural project teams. Selected by a jury of 10 notable design and building professionals, the winning projects cut across a wide range of building types, from commercial office spaces to affordable apartment complexes to sports arenas. From the hundreds of submissions received, the jury selected 31 winning projects in 20 overall categories. All winning projects, except the “Best of LA Architects” award winners, are located within Los Angeles County. “Best of LA Architects” recognizes local architects for projects completed outside of Los Angeles County.
Here is a selection of prize-winning projects we especially liked:
The Police Department’s 50,000 square-foot headquarters — built on a parcel of land facing City Hall — features an open design and significant public amenities, which include a nearly one-acre public park, a 400-seat auditorium and a rooftop garden.
Community Impact Award
This major entertainment complex, built according to advanced sustainability principles, completes a 20-year redevelopment project that began with the expansion of the LA Convention Center and included the construction of Staples Center. It represents a unique model of successful collaboration between business and government—and has played a significant role in revitalizing downtown Los Angeles.
Green Building Award: Awarded collectively to four police stations
Each of these four police buildings—in Westwood, East LA, Harbor City and the mid-Wilshire areas —combine cutting-edge design with advanced green features to illustrate how municipal structures can both be beautiful and serve as a model for environmentally sustainable development.
Hollenbeck is a 54,000 square-foot, 2-story main building that houses a multi-purpose room, offices, temporary holding cells and support areas. Its green features include energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems along with water-wise plumbing and irrigation.
The Phase II expansion of the California Science Center represents a significant step forward in the project to restore Exposition Park and the surrounding community. The major expansion nearly doubles the volume of exhibition space at the Science Center and features an unprecedented blend of live animals and hands-on science exhibits in 11 immersive environments – unique among science centers in the United States.
The Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics will allow Caltech's top-ranked astronomy and astrophysics faculty and graduate students to work together in a building dedicated to their needs. The building itself acts as an astronomical instrument. A vertical volume pierces the building, tilting its lens to admit light from the skies.
The South Campus project is the largest capital investment in the college’s 80-year history and the leading project within the Los Angeles Community College District’s $6B Sustainable Building Program. State-of-the-art design and technology make this project a catalyst for positive development in a long-overlooked downtown neighborhood.
“Best of L.A. Architects” Award
The Frontier Project is a 14,000 square-foot demonstration building in Rancho Cucamonga, California designed to assist in educating resident consumers, commercial builders, and sustainable advocates about the latest methods and technologies in water, energy and site conservation. This project’s features include water harvesting, storm water management, droughttolerant landscaping, green roofs, solar power, a cool tower/solar chimney natural ventilation system, displacement HVAC system, a weather station, and recycled and rapidly renewable finish materials.
The Hidden House in Glassell Park offers a unique example of local architectural innovation. The construction of this ecofriendly home involved incorporating an existing two-bedroom cottage into a new, larger structure, doubling the size of the residence from 1580 square feet to 3500 square feet.
The Lofts at Cherokee Studios is one of the greenest loft/mixed-use buildings on the West Coast. In addition to its LEED
Platinum rating, Cherokee contributes to the urban fabric of LA through iconic architecture and cultural preservation. Professional home recording onsite keeps artists working where they live and preserves the rich history of musicians like Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, and Michael Jackson who recorded over 300 gold and platinum albums here.
Landscape Architecture Award
This fountain serves as an attraction to welcome visitors to the Port of Los Angeles, with water streams that shoot 100 feet into the air against the backdrop of the towering Vincent Thomas Bridge. Now the largest water feature in California, the Fanfare Fountain & Water Features at the Port of Los Angeles are synchronized to music and lights to create beautiful water shows for viewers.
New Buildings Award - Preservation Category
This restoration of Rudolph Schindler’s 1936-41 Bubeshko Apartments involved probing history and rehabilitating the way in which materials combine with characteristic colors to produce the spatial effects unique to Schindler’s architecture.
Renovated Buildings Award
The Lincoln & Rose project involved renovating an aged 75,327-square-foot neighborhood center in Venice that had become blighted, suffering from awkward additions, low-rent tenants and crime. Existing buildings were used to minimize construction and products containing recycled content were used wherever possible. Other sustainable components included a LEED qualified bio-swale/filtration system to treat storm water run-off, LEED TI certification for Whole Foods, native plantings, reduced site lighting and additional shading to reduce the heat-island effect.
Located adjacent to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, this iconic museum is the symbol of a time when Hollywood Boulevard was filled with crowds going to movies, shopping and dining. The goal of the project was to complete the western end of the street, where the majority of activity takes place, and to create a space deferential to the existing landmark.
The LEED Gold Silver Lake Branch Library creates a public plaza backdrop for the building’s library functions. The raised plaza and meeting room create a community gathering place, the glazed readingroom removes the separation between interior and exterior spaces, and a channel-glass spine, skylight, and clerestory bring natural light into the core of the building.
The result of a pro bono effort by the architect and structural engineer, the Boy Scout Eco Cabin is designed to be functional and demonstrate good stewardship of the environment. It is made of two old shipping containers and a translucent fire proof roof that lets in filtered daylight. The deck is made from the wood reclaimed from the old pier and all lighting is LED powered by a dedicated solar panel. The cabin only touches the ground at 6 points, reducing the impact on the site.
Under Construction Award
St. Thomas is a K-8 Catholic grade school located on a small site. The project included the renovation of the existing building and the creation of a new playground, gym, library, specialty rooms, vehicular access and pedestrian entry for students.
Emerging Talent Award
The jury was struck by the thoughtful approach of Jeremy Ng and David Isagulyan in designing Wave Strength - a “spa” for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Research and Recovery for military personnel. The undulating, intertwining truss system, careful consideration of the environment’s fragile ecosystem, re-use of existing materials and comprehensive design features were inspired in their conception and references.
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