2021 AIALA Presidential Honorees Announced by American Institute of Architects Los Angeles

by | Jul 8, 2021 | News

Fifteen recipients change the Los Angeles region through design and valuable contributions to the profession of architecture.

Thursday, July 8, 2021 (Los Angeles, CA)—The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIALA) announced today the names of fifteen architects, firms, buildings, and individuals, who have made the most significant contributions to the urban landscape of the region and to architecture as a profession over the past twelve months, and, in some cases, over the course of their careers.

Known collectively as the “Presidential Honorees,” the awardees range from highly ambitious projects that change Los Angeles as a city, to architects and educators who advance diversity in the field, to emerging firms that are already making a notable difference in design. Recipients will be formally celebrated at the 2021 AIALA Design Awards Ceremony — which also honors the winners of the juried AIALA Design Awards and Next LA Awards — this Fall.

Leading the group of 2021 honorees is the recipient of the highest honor the AIALA bestows: 2021 AIALA Gold Medal winner Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA.

“At mid-career, Lorcan and his firm Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects [LOHA] already possess a vibrant legacy of work. Brash, original, but always embodying design excellence,” notes AIALA President Wade Killefer, FAIA. “These attributes thread without equivocation through all of O’Herlihy’s projects and across all typologies he pursues: housing, mixed-use, cultural, educational, affordable housing, commercial, and more. We are delighted to celebrate the lasting contributions he has made to our city.”

Thirteen of the fifteen AIALA Presidential Honorees for 2021 were chosen by the Chapter’s Board of Directors. The President selected the Gold Medal recipient, as well as an additional, discretionary award for this year: the 2021 AIALA Game Changer, awarded to SoFi Stadium designed by HKS, Inc.

The complete class of 2021 AIALA Presidential Honorees is:

+ Gold Medal: Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA (Founder, Design Principal – Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects [LOHA])
+ Building Team: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures*
+ Emerging Practice: Clay Holden, AIA – Clay Holden Architects
+ Emerging Practice: Oonagh Ryan, AIA – ORA
+ Game Changer: SoFi Stadium*
+ 25-Year Award: Japanese American National Museum
+ Citizen Architect: Renee Dake Wilson, AIA
+ Robert Kennard, FAIA Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity: Drake Dillard, AIA, NOMAC
+ Educator: D. Michael Hamner, FAIA, NCARB – Professor, Chair, East Los Angeles College, Department of Architecture
+ Merry Norris Design Advocate, Developer: People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
+ Merry Norris Design Advocate, Developer: Venice Community Housing
+ Merry Norris Design Advocate, Builder: Bernards
+ Community Contribution: SoCal NOMA Project Pipeline
+ Honorary AIALA: Emmanuelle Bourlier, Hon. AIALA
+ Honorary AIALA: Nabih Youssef, S.E., Hon. AIALA

(*find full team credits at conclusion of this release)

The Building Team for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures–led by the Design Team of Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Gensler with contribution to concept design by Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a)–has produced a timeless project that acts as an enticing gateway to a Los Angeles district that celebrates art, culture, and natural history. It is a dynamic urban intervention that realizes design excellence on macro and micro levels, combining new and old elements that are meticulously detailed.

Two exciting firms are honored as 2021 AIALA Emerging Practice recipients this year. Clay Holden, AIA, (Clay Holden Architects) explores materials, color, and craft in his work. While establishing his own design voice, he has also fostered next generation architects. In a leadership capacity, he has supported, expanded, and helped to found numerous AIALA programs serving next generation designers.

Based downtown, Oonagh Ryan, AIA’s holistic practice (ORA) provides clients with bold, explorative work that often harnesses flexible design processes. Every project is an exploration into how materials come together to create powerful space. In addition, this emerging practice has created a thriving design studio based on mentorship and creating community.

Game Changer Award winner SoFi Stadium is a transformative project that will serve as a cornerstone for residents and visitors to the Los Angeles region alike. It harnesses astounding architecture and highly progressive advanced technologies in the service of a monumental civic project that will be enjoyed by the public.

The Japanese American National Museum, which is the recipient of the 25-Year Award, is a truly meaningful project that is wonderfully scaled, and acts as a keystone to a significant plaza, creating community for the community. Designed by Gyo Obata, FAIA, HOK Founding Principal, this placemaking museum is a centerpiece to understand and honor the contributions, stories, and experiences of Japanese Americans.

Citizen Architect Renee Dake Wilson, AIA, is a previous president of the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission and currently a commissioner. These formal titles do not accurately reflect the extent of Dake Wilson’s activities. She is immersed in the use of advocacy and architecture to serve the people of Los Angeles through multiple vehicles, often working without official credit or title.

Former president of SoCal NOMA and AIALA board member, Drake Dillard, AIA, NOMAC, recipient of the Robert Kennard, FAIA Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, is a trailblazer who has created pathways into the profession and provided mentorship for this generation of Black architects and designers. By doing so, he has elevated the profession as a whole and its capacity to better society through culture.

D. Michael Hamner, FAIA, NCARB, the 2021 AIALA Educator honoree, has been an indefatigable advocate for working class college students with limited financial resources, whose high schools may not have provided enrichment programs offered in more affluent areas. Through his participation in AIALA programs, and this year, as the inaugural ex officio school representative on the AIALA Board of Directors, he voices the challenges his students at East Los Angeles College–where he is a professor and Chair of the architecture department–and similar institutions are faced with, and identifies paths so they can attain their dream to be architects.

This year two organizations essential to Los Angeles’ built environment and well-being as a community earned the Merry Norris Design Advocate, Developer award:

People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) is a statewide leader in providing people experiencing homelessness with services and housing. PATH knowledgeably guides its development partners and design collaborators in building places where families and individuals can thrive, and provides both interim and permanent housing solutions.

A supportive and affordable housing provider, Venice Community Housing, is building excellent projects that improve neighborhoods and create opportunities for lives to flourish while reducing levels of homelessness in their community and beyond. They use “home” to elevate individuals and the greater society.

The Merry Norris Design Advocate, Builder award goes to Bernards, an employee owned builder and construction management company that contributes to the profession of architecture by meticulously realizing complex projects. Bernards has gone to herculean efforts to manage multifaceted large or progressive projects.

SoCal NOMA Project Pipeline is recognized for Community Contribution. This stellar program, intended to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the field of architecture, introduces youth to the possibilities of a profession in design, and provides them with mentoring, tools, and platforms to pursue their dreams. Its “summer camp” has expanded to a year-round Architectural Boot Camp serving high school students.

Celebrated with Honorary AIALA status are two individuals who are not architects, but fully committed to supporting those in the practice:

Emmanuelle Bourlier, Hon. AIALA, is the founding partner and C.E.O. of Panelite, the materials developer that has served leading international architects. Concurrently, she works tirelessly and, most-often, behind the scenes to support the aspirations of and mentor other women. This type of contribution is often overlooked, but essential to the success of the field as a whole.

Not only is Nabih Youssef, S.E., Hon. AIALA, a superb consultant, providing excellent services as President of Nabih Youssef Associates Structural Engineers, on projects and landmark buildings in Los Angeles, he is tremendously supportive of architects–a terrific resource for young designers, and an experienced ally of established practitioners.

Following are Team Credits:

Building Team of the Year – Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Client: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Design Team: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Gensler with contribution to concept design by Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a)
General Contractor Phase 1: Morley + Taslimi, a joint-venture of Morley Builders and
Taslimi Construction Company
General Contractor Phase 2: MATT Construction
Project Manager: Paratus Group
Civil Engineer: KPFF
Building Conservation Experts: John Fidler Preservation Technology, Inc.
Facade Consultant: knippershelbig Advanced Engineering
Fire/Life Safety Consultant: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
Geotechnical Engineer: Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
Historic Preservation: Historic Preservation Resources Group
Landscape Architect: LRM Landscape Architects
Lighting Design: Buro Happold
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing: Buro Happold
Roofing & Waterproofing: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Security: Layne Consultants International
Simulation Studies: Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin, Inc.
Structural: Buro Happold
Sustainability/LEED Consultant: Atelier Ten
Theater Acoustics & Audio Visual: JaffeHolden
Theater Design: ARUP
Vertical Transportation: HKA Elevator Consulting, Inc.

Game Changer – SoFi Stadium
Client: StadCo
Developer: Wilson Meany Sullivan
Architect: HKS, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Studio-MLA
General Contractor: Turner-AECOM Hunt JV
Project Manager: Legends Global Planning
Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants
MEP Services Engineer: Henderson Engineers, Inc.
Civil: David Evans and Associates
AV and Broadcast: Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc.
Code/Fire/Life Safety: Howe Engineers
Wind Loading and Patron Comfort: Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin, Inc.
Food Service: Ricca Design Studios
ADA Consultant: Code Consultants, Inc.
ADA Consultant: Access by Design
Exterior Lighting: Lam Partners, Inc.
Interior Lighting: KGM Architectural Lighting

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Tibby Rothman, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Marketing and Public Relations
t: 213.639.0763
e: tibby@aialosangeles.org