LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Business Council today announced the winners of its 52nd Architectural Awards, celebrating ambitious public and private projects that exemplify architecture’s unique power to build community, starting with inviting people to actively participate in the design process. Over four dozen projects were recognized for design innovation, with the Grand Prize going to Sixth Street Viaduct Bridge and the Chairman’s Award to the Audrey Irmas Pavilion at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
“This year the LABC is honoring projects that represent more than a particular style of building, but rather a way of approaching design that listens to and learns from the people and places in the surrounding community,” said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council. “Our honorees demonstrate that if you take a holistic approach to the design process and collaborate with diverse stakeholders to create a shared vision, the result will be a design with the biggest possible impact.”
Community building was the driving force behind the Grand Prize winning Sixth Street Viaduct Bridge. Dubbed the “Ribbon of Light,” the 3,500-foot cinematic icon is a network tied arch structure defined by 10 pairs of arches rising and falling above the LA River and city below. Replacing a landmark 1932 structure, the design is the product of an international design competition, emphasizing the City’s commitment to making the new bridge a true reflection of the community. Planned not just as a multi-modal link but as a destination, the bridge has been transformed from an auto-centric structure to one that embraces walkability and connection with wider sidewalks, bicycle lanes and new opportunities for green space.
“The design of the new Sixth Street Viaduct is an architectural, engineering and cultural triumph,” said Deborah Weintraub, AIA, the City’s chief architect and the Chief Deputy City Engineer, who accepted the Grand Prize award for the project. “It reflects the City of Los Angeles’ ambition to create a new standard for infrastructure that is a community destination, a key element of our multi-modal transportation network, and visually captivating.”
Nearly 500 leading architects, designers, building owners, developers and city and state officials gathered at the awards ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton. Winners from a pool of hundreds were selected by a jury panel of industry experts, including architects, construction firms, owners and developers.
Michael Murphy, architect, author, educator, and founding principal of MASS Design Group, whose pioneering work in Rwanda and the U.S. is changing the way the built environment is being drawn upon to solve the climate and social crises we face, delivered the keynote.
The Audrey Irmas Pavilion at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple took home the esteemed LABC Chairman’s award. Designed by OMA’s Shohei Shigematsu, the dramatic trapezoidal building covered in hexagonal stone tiles is a multi-purpose event space built for celebration and community. Situated next to the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown, the Pavilion answers the community’s call for a gathering place where people can come together for religious and cultural events.
Destination Crenshaw, the nation’s largest art and cultural celebration of the African American community, won the prestigious Community Impact Award. A community-driven project, Destination Crenshaw was conceived as a “reparative development project,” designed as a living celebration of Black Los Angeles. Consisting of more than 100 permanent and rotating art installations, ten new public parks, exhibits, and new streetscapes, this public art and cultural experience runs along 1.3 miles of Crenshaw Boulevard and the new Crenshaw/LAX Metro line.
“Los Angeles continues to set the standard for design and construction that strengthens our communities, and celebrates cultural and social change,” said Mayor-elect Karen Bass. “I was proud to help secure funding in Congress for Destination Crenshaw, which will promote cultural tourism in the heart of South Los Angeles, and have also laid the groundwork for more federal dollars to assist this important undertaking. Projects like Destination Crenshaw are important because they work with communities to plan and design their shared future. Together, we will continue to build a better, more livable Los Angeles for all.”
“Destination Crenshaw is a bold infrastructure project that encapsulates the aspirational and political experience of the Black community while stimulating the conversation around equity and urban development,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “It is both an economic driver and a cultural placekeeper, in service to the creative fuel of Black art and design and how it is felt and followed worldwide.”
One of Los Angeles’ most accomplished landscape architects, Mia Lehrer, president of Studio-MLA, received the second annual LA Community Legacy Award, for her expansive vision to improve quality of life through landscape architecture. Mia has led the design and implementation of ambitious public and private projects including the Hollywood Park Racetrack redevelopment and SoFi Stadium, the LA County Natural History Museum Gardens, and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.