2009 Architecture Highlights

In these final days of 2009, we reflect on our accomplishments, analyze and evaluate where we could have done better, and refine our initiatives for 2010. As our President Dan Heinfeld said in his end-of-the-year column in ED+C, "I am sure that everyone is glad to have 2009 behind us."

Enjoy these quotes and nuggets about architecture, sustainable design, and green building from LPA architects, engineers, interior designers and landscape architects.

From Erik Ring, LEED AP and Engineer

"The green building highlight of the year is that interest in green buildings continues to be very strong, despite the general malaise in the economy. 2009 may be the year that the mainstream view moved past seeing green measures as premium options --available only to projects with big budgets. Our industry has started to recognize green strategies as a potentially powerful economic engine that can create jobs, value, and economic return. The questions from our clients have stopped being as much about how much more does a green building cost, and started to be about how much more value will they realize by building green."

New Year's Resolution: Volunteer more, travel more, exercise more, hang out with my kids more ... the usual stuff. Do more of all the important things that get squeezed out in the day-to-day rush to get everything else done.

West Los Angeles Athletics ComplexFrom Patrick McClintock, LEED AP and Interior Designer

"On a professional level, I was thrilled that the West Los Angeles College Allied Health & Wellness Center received an Honor Award at the 2009 Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) Conference. Synergy between the college leadership, educators, staff and the design team has forged a thoughtful solution that will transform how higher education is delivered, and will have a meaningful impact on the lives of students, their families and the community."

New Year's Resolution: Make more time for my incredible wife, get rid of distractions, and run another Mountain Trail Half Marathon; I need to cut back on those chocolate bars and start training.

From Kenneth Murai, LEED AP and Architect

"The highlight for me personally, while on vacation with the family, we visited the deYoung Museum and Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Both projects are located across from each other, are very different in use, and have very different architectural solutions which are both are equally amazing! Everyone needs to go and experience it.

Professionally, the LPA Higher Education team is developing a project for the Riverside Community College District (RCCD), on their Moreno Valley Campus a new ‘Community Gateway Building' comprised of an 800-space parking structure, campus police, Student Activity Center, Community Room, retail, temporary faculty offices, and renovation (landscape) of College Drive, their main entry into the campus. LPA's solution for this project is like no other. I am fortunate to be involved."

New Year's Resolution: Stay out of trouble!

Academy of SciencesFrom Steve Kendrick, LEED AP and Principal Architect

"For me the highlight of the year was finally visiting the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, designed by Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano. The detailing is well done using a simple palette of materials. It's a LEED Platinum building that also does a good job of educating the public on sustainable design, beyond just the building."

New Year's Resolution: I resolve to make no more resolutions.

From Rich Bienvenu, LEED AP and Landscape Architect

"In my mind, the landscape architecture highlight of the year was the completion of the High-Line project in New York City by Field Operations. This project represents a thoughtful reuse of existing outdated infrastructure in an innovative and sustainable way, also creating new open space in an urban environment."

New Year's Resolution: I don't make New Year's Resolutions ...

NASA's Jet Propulsion LaboratoryFrom Steve Newsom, LEED AP and Architect

"The architecture highlight of the year? NASA's Flight Projects Center for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, because it brought rocket science to rocket scientists: LEED Gold and a high tech design."

New Year's Resolution: Step up my contribution to LPA.

From Chris Lentz, LEED AP and Interior Designer

"The interior design highlight at LPA this year, was winning the Western Digital interiors project. Because we did such a great job listening the first time, 13 years ago, they selected us again. Although it didn't get built, this repeat client demonstrated their trust in LPA by selecting us again for this very important move for them in Orange County."

New Year's Resolution: Personally, what's always the number one... exercise and lose weight! Professionally, being more strategically flexible.

Cypress College Humanities building stairwellFrom Jim Raver, LEED AP and Architect

"The Higher Education architecture highlight of 2009 was the completion and installation of the stairs at the Cypress College Humanities Building. This innovative use of structural systems, glass landings and structural channel glass has elevated the level of design at the campus. This complex yet simple solution to otherwise dead and treacherous stairwells has infused the buildings with natural daylight and life by making the vertical connection communicate with each floor and the building exterior.

New Year's Resolution: To celebrate more fully the gifts and opportunities we have been given to create better places and spaces for those that use them.