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2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards Honor Housing Projects

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Housing Knowledge Community, together with the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has announced two selections for the 2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards, which recognize innovative housing projects with excellence in design. This year's projects were selected in the Excellence in Affordable Housing Design and Creating Community Connection categories. 

The Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award was awarded to Brooks + Scarpa for their Step Up project in Santa Monica, California, which embodies the award’s recognition of “architecture that demonstrates overall excellent design responses to the needs and constraints of affordable housing."

Gossens Bachman Architects was announced as the winner of the Creating Community Connection Award for their Co-op Plaza Redevelopment in Brattleboro, Vermont. This award “recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purposes of either revitalization or planned growth.”

More about the winners, after the break…

Brooks + Scarpa design Interfaith Chapel in Florida

© Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects
© Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Architects

The highly acclaimed Los Angeles-based practice Brooks + Scarpa Architects, along with KZF Design, have released plans for a new Interfaith Chapel at the University of North Florida. Drawing inspiration from a free-flowing wedding gown, its informally shaped footprint - reminiscent of an allegorical figure such as Justice, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence and Fortitude - flows upward and culminates at the top with a large skylight whose light is diffused by a wooden lattice spire that is derived from the symbol of infinity. 

The symbolic, 7000 square-foot structure will provide students with an intimate, spiritual space that may be used daily while also supporting a variety of diverse religious services, such as student ceremonies, weddings, lectures, meditative practices, musical performances and more.

Learn more about Brooks + Scarpa’s wooden chapel after the break.

New United States Courthouse Competition Entry / McCarthy, Brooks + Scarpa, and HMC Architects

Courtesy of McCarthy, Brooks + Scarpa, and HMC Architects
Courtesy of McCarthy, Brooks + Scarpa, and HMC Architects

The McCarthy, Brooks + Scarpa, and HMC Architects team just released their proposal for the Design Excellence/design-build competition for new United States courthouse in Los Angeles. Selected to compete thru the General Services Administration two-stage Design Excellence Program, the team is challenged with the approximately 550,000 sq. ft. high-rise building located at 1st and Hill Street. Aiming to be certified LEED Patinum, the design delivers functional efficiency, security, and accessibility for the Court, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the other tenants and users. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Research and Technology Innovation Park / Brooks + Scarpa

Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa
Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa

The Research and Technology Innovation Park, designed by Brooks + Scarpa, will be Mexico’s first new construction LEED Platinum building.  The site is located in Monterrey near the airport and adjoins a natural habitat. The program includes labs, offices, testing facilities, and warehouse spaces and will be constructed in two phases. More on the project after the break. Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Location of Project: Monterrey, Mexico Total Area: Phase I_ +/- 500 sqm of Offices, +/-1000 sqm of Warehouse, Phase II_ +/-500 sqm of Offices, +/-3000 sqm of Warehouse

Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Model 05

Video: Brooks + Scarpa

The well established and nationally recognized architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa (2010 AIA National Firm of the Year) recently decided to shake things up a bit. “Our office has turned more into a conventional office over the years, and I was just really looking for something that could become a glorified cabinet shop where we could actually work and make things, have the space to do that, and have some outdoor space to build bigger things,” shares Larry Scarpa.

Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center / Brooks + Scarpa

Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa
Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa

The Vasquez Rocks Nature and Interpetive Center is a vital gateway to a unique asset in the Los Angeles County Parks system. The high-desert site is one of the most significant natural areas in the region; its sculptural rock formations have inspired generations of visitors.  Its location along the Pacific Crest Trail affords hikers on a 2,650-mile walk from Mexico to Canada an unforgettable point of reference. The new Vasquez Rocks Nature and Interpretive Center communicates the feeling that it is at one with its environment, treading lightly upon the land but leaving a significant cognitive impact upon the visitor. It is at once visually arresting and subtly integrated – it’s as if it has been there as long as the rocks themselves. More about this project after the break.

Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa

Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Location: Agua Dulce, California, USA Exhibit Designer: Victoria Biddle Design Contractor: Mallcraft Civil Engineer: Bighorn Consultants Structural Engineer: BPA Group MEP Engineer: IBE Consulting Engineers Landscape Architect: PEG Office of Landscape + Architecture Client: County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works Project Area: 3,000 sqf Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa