Mining for Golden Architecture Firms

Architecture Firms California Gold Nugget WinnersThere are a lot of great design competitions architecture firms can enter their work into, and one of the oldest and most prestigious is the Gold Nugget Awards. Produced by the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, this year marked the competition’s 49th year.

Three LPA designed projects received awards, in three different categories.

Green Sustainable Commercial Buildings

The Student Recreation Center at Cal State Northridge, which you’ve read about before on this blog, received the Grand Award for Greenest Sustainable Commercial Project. According to the judges, sometimes simplicity of concept can create major impact and such is the case with the bold and confident special-purpose college recreation center.

“The design team accepted the constraints of the site and punched back with a singular iconic stroke,” said the judges. “[We] appreciated the diagrams included to explain the passive sustainable design concepts incorporated into the building while still being arrested by its billboard audacity. This will clearly become a campus landmark.”

Best Educational Architecture

Palomar College Architectural DesignThe same team, who designed the CSU Northridge Student Recreation Center, also designed our next winner, the Multidisciplinary Building at Palomar College. This facility earned a Grand Award for Best Educational Project.

“While the design team described the many significant sustainable features of this classroom building, the judges were undoubtedly seduced by its forms, which prove that high performance can definitely come in a stunning package,” said the judges.

Won over by the building’s outside—crisp and taut, and its inside—open to a sculpture gallery of whimsical and memorable forms, the judges appreciated most everything about this project. You can read more about winning San Diego Architecture in the Growth & Development section of the U-T San Diego.

Best Interior Renovations

Interior Warehouse Renovation Southland IndustriesRounding out our third and final Gold Nugget award, is the SoCal Campus for Southland Industries, a successful interior renovation of a 1970s warehouse into a thriving, collaborative office space for the company’s mechanical engineers and detailers. The new campus features four different HVAC systems and is on schedule to receive LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Top Green Design Firms

In the same span of time, Engineering News-Record came out with their annual list of 100 Top Green Firms. The list includes firms across the country with the highest green revenues—LPA finds itself in the top quarter of the list, at #25. Although it is a still-tough architectural market, we’ve seen interest in high-performance buildings remain high.

In “Top Five Green Design Firms by Sector,” LPA ranks #3 in the nation for Educational Facilities—a credit to the hardworking school architects, engineers, and interior designers, that bring their best daily to every piece of work they execute for this firm. We’ve made no secret that it’s the people here that make LPA special. As Principal Jon Mills said, “Certainly, we design stunning architecture but it is the people here that keep our clients coming back for more.”  

Rochelle Veturis Coles is the Media and Public Relations Director at California-based design firm, LPA Inc.