2017 American Institute of Architects OC Design Awards. 8

Since 2011, AIA Orange County (AIAOC) chapter president Brett Dougherty has led the student design competition, and participated in the 2017 Design Awards and Art Walk committees. Dougherty is also a director on the AIA California Council Board of Directors, as well as the California Architecture Foundation Board of Directors.

Here in Orange County, Daugherty is not only in charge of implementing AIA’s core values, but is also responsible for finding solutions to the OC demographical inflow, (a 5.4% increase from 2010 to 2016, according to the US census bureau), and, consequently, the future demand for housing. As a natural facilitator and problem-solver, Daugherty is ready to help develop new policies that generate better, stronger and a more equitable and sustainable community. He defines the three main OC issues to be affordability, availability and responsibility.

“To solve these issues, we need first-rate coordination and partnership with all municipal bodies. Making sure the city and county level are aligned, is key,” says Daugherty. “Currently, there is no specific action plan, but one should be drafted and implemented in the same way other cities like San Diego or San Francisco have done.”

He believes that architects should be much more involved in the urban discussions. All AIAOC members are committed to engage in the policy-making process and to focus the power of design on solving all these challenges facing the Orange County community.

The organization offers architects learning opportunities, such as lectures, tours and outreach to the community through the organization of design-based competitions. Last September, AIAOC announced the award winners of its signature event, The Design Awards. The awards honor innovative solutions to the architectural challenges facing Orange County, regardless of project category, type, or budget. All architectural projects were evaluated and judged by a jury of industry leaders. The winners were those who provided an advance in the built environment and the visual landscape of the county in the commercial and residential categories. There are three different awards per category: Honor, Merit and Citation.

Some of the iconic OC awarded buildings are: Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design for its Kaiser Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center; LPA, Inc. for the California State University, East Bay, Student and Faculty Support Center, the Orange Coast College Interdisciplinary Classroom Buildings, Culinary Arts Academy and District Office, for The Atrium at Edwards Life Sciences and the Volcom Headquarters. Awards also went to Studio PCH for Nobu Newport Beach; Berliner for its Magnolia Science Academy in Santa Ana; both Shubin Donaldson and Lionakis with projects outside OC; and to KTGY the Inspire Award for its Park House project consisting of 357 shipping containers that create 119 residential units.


One of the main Design Awards recipients this year was LPA, Inc. The firm is one of the largest architectural, planning, landscape, engineering, and interior design firms in the country. Directed and inspired by its president Dan Heinfeld, the firm has focused on a multidisciplinary team and client collaboration working method, in addition to an integrated sustainable model that enables them to work holistically to create projects that do more with less…more design and fewer resources. By following these guidelines, the firm has defined a model for the future.

LPA has been an active member of AIAOC since 1965, with three members in the chapter: Dan Heinfeld (President), Glenn Carels (CDO) and Wendy Rogers (CEO). The firm has sponsored a variety of programs such as the AIAOC Student Design Competition, students with scholarships, professional mentorship, and hosts all design competition meetings including the final jury process.

“AIA is the only voice that our profession has and being an active member is a way to shape public policy on issues that are important to the A & E industry,” Heinfeld says. As an example, Heinfeld points to the critical water supply situation in OC and recommends the usage of grey water systems. “In a state that imports 55 to 65 percent of its water, there are needs in any given year from the Colorado River…15 to 20 percent of all electricity used in a year, is used to move water. California should be looking at sustainable alternatives for water use at project specific, regional and state levels.”

LPA is responsible for many notable structures across Orange county. For example, the AG Headquarters in Irvine, the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, the Irvine Company’s Fashion Island and Spectrum towers, the Sage Hill School and Newport Harbor High School.

This year, LPA’s design of the Starr Atrium at Edwards Lifesciences campus received the Honor and COTE Award. The new 25,000-square-foot space is a major gathering place and serves as gateway to the Edwards Lifesciences campus. In addition, LPA’s California State University, East Bay, Student and Faculty Support Center received the Merit and COTE Award. The five-story, 67,000-square-foot building will house administrative and faculty offices, support space, and the campus Welcome Center.

Other LPA designs awarded were Orange Coast College Interdisciplinary Classroom Buildings. The 91,000-square-foot, three-story building was designed to house faculty offices, lecture and laboratory space, and computer labs for the Mathematics, Business and Computing programs. Volcom Headquarters award design relies on the Volcom brand for inspiration. The corporate headquarters space takes on a handcrafted, almost bohemian aesthetic, incorporating simple, utilitarian materials, used in an extraordinary way.

LPA was also awarded for two projects outside Orange County: California State University, San Bernardino’s Center for Global Innovation and the Culinary Arts Academy and District office at Centennial Plaza in Riverside.

Studio PCH, located in Malibu, CA, is a boutique design firm with a leading edge in the hospitality design industry. Founded in 2008 by French architect Severine Tatangelo, the firm specializes in blurring the line between exterior and interior spaces and creating an architecture that compliments the southern California climate, geography and lifestyle. The firm has completed projects all over the world, and 2017 was its first year participating in the AIAOC Design Awards. It was awarded for the design of NOBU restaurant in Newport Beach.

The firm believes that development projects such as the Newport Beach Lido Marina Village, of which Nobu Newport Beach restaurant is a part, help the visitor’s experience to the marina. Studio PCH worked closely with developer DJM capital to ensure the restaurant fit the vision for the urban landscape.