Blasting at San Marcos USD’s New K-8 School Site

July 22nd, 2014

By Steve Prince, Principal

Who doesn’t love a good site blast and the smell of dynamite in the morning!? Over the past few weeks, San Marcos USD’s New K-8 School site has been getting blasted in preparation for construction. The first challenge was finding an appropriate site; there weren’t many 18-acre sites available in the area, and the selected site is primarily on top of the Twin Oaks/San Elijo Hills Road region which is made up of mostly dense metamorphic volcanic rock that must be blasted down to the approved design grades. To blast such a large amount of the site, the grading contract must drill a 4” diameter hole anywhere from 3-30 feet deep at 8-10 feet on center grids, then fill the hole with a combination of dynamite, fertilizer and diesel oil. The blast team also coordinates a level of safety that includes shutting down all adjacent roads to traffic and keeping all observers far from the blast zone. And when the blast hits, the ground shakes and rocks fly beyond the property line!
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Posted in Pre-K–12 Education

Ka-boom, watch the video!

San Jose Studio Makes Baby Blankets for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

July 9th, 2014

By Lee Salin, Regional Managing Principal

The HMC San Jose team had fun making snugly, fleece, no-sew baby blankets for the tiny patients at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The facility, located on the Stanford campus, is part of the Stanford Children’s Health Network, which includes a dozen hospitals and clinics throughout the Bay Area. Even though it is hot outside, the hospital needs blankets during the summer to keep their fragile patients warm and cozy in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU).

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Cuddly pirates, happy space monkeys, cupcakes and bright flowers will surely bring smiles to the faces of families and babies in the NICU.
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Posted in Corporate Social Responsibility

Keeping tiny patients warm and cozy

Photo Essay: El Camino College STEM Center Renovation

July 2nd, 2014

What once was a dark and uninspired basement has been renovated and transformed into the new STEM Center at El Camino College. The HMC design team partnered with the college’s leadership to re-envision the under-utilized space to create a tutorial center that supports the college and surrounding school districts’ goal of enhancing student success in science, technology, engineering and math subjects.

The new 9,334-SF STEM Center contains four group learning areas, four self-study areas, a large collaboration lounge, three meeting rooms, three classrooms, four faculty offices and a computer lab with 21 stations. The new STEM Center will also house the successful Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program and provide STEM enrichment and outreach activities.


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Posted in Higher Education,Pre-K–12 Education

A new STEM learning center that supports project-based, collaborative learning

Healthcare Design Magazine Features Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center

July 1st, 2014

The May/June 2014 issue of Healthcare Design Magazine features an article authored by HMC’s Chin Lee, Principal, about Kaiser Permanente’s Fontana Medical Center. The article, “Tweaking the Template,” explains how HMC Architects’ design team, “executed functional and space programming, with an extensive redesign of the template hospital diagnostic and treatment block. The design optimizes the template hospital with a layer of enhancing patient experiences, improving pedestrian circulation and wayfinding and increases efficiency and capacity within the current template footprint.” Read the full article from Healthcare Design>>



Posted in Articles & Publications,Healthcare

Tweaking the Template

Building Hope: The Habitat for Humanity Power Women Power Tools Event

June 24th, 2014

By Stephanie Perysian

A team of women from HMC spent an inspiring, tiring and hot day alongside 200 other enthusiastic community volunteers at the 10th annual Habitat for Humanity Power Women Power Tools event. We arrived early on a Saturday morning at a Habitat site in Lynwood, just South of downtown Los Angeles, to help frame four new houses, next to three others that were nearing completion. On the shuttle to the site, one of our team members met a mom who had been a Habitat client. She had applied for and received a Habitat home for herself and six children. Since her he experience was truly life-changing, she wanted to come back to help other Habitat families in need. Overall it was an amazing experience.


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Posted in Corporate Social Responsibility

"We nailed it! Haha!"

DFF Awards Scholarships to Deserving High School Students

June 24th, 2014

By Adrienne Luce

The HMC Designing Futures Foundation awarded continuation scholarships to four outstanding seniors who attend La Sierra and Ramona High School. These students, all DFF College Prep Scholars, receive financial support beginning their junior year in high school and the funding continues through college graduation. Students have to meet annual GPA requirements to stay in the program. Students receive $500 per year as high school juniors and seniors and then once in college, $1,000 per for community colleges, $2,000 per year for state colleges or universities and $3,000 per year for private schools.

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Marco Eacrett and Alex Parslow award continuation scholarships to Dirk Plunkett and Marlene Jimenez at the Ramona High School Senior Awards Night. Dirk plans to study orthopedic medicine at UC Riverside in the fall. Marlene will study law at Cal State Fullerton. Marlene is very grateful for the support she has received from the DFF and says, “HMC has given me the opportunity to pursue my college degree, which would have otherwise been very difficult.”


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Posted in Corporate Social Responsibility

HMC Supports Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Career Networking Event

June 20th, 2014

By Adrienne Luce

Sara Nelson and I attended the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools career networking event last night in downtown Los Angeles. It was a fabulous event and we both enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many bright and talented college students and recent graduates. The Alliance College-Ready Public Schools is a network of 22 high-performing charter schools. More than 97% of the students who attend Alliance schools graduate from high school and go on to attend Ivy League schools and top universities throughout the country. I met Catherine Suitor, the Alliance’s Chief Development and Communications Officer, last year when I was on a site visit at Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School that was part of the Southern California Network, Leadership LA program.

HMC sponsored the event last night and our firm was thanked and publicly acknowledged for providing the generous support. At the event, I had a very nice conversation with Alliance board member Gayle Miller, retired President of Anne Klein II, who told me about the Alliance’s plans to build many new schools over the next few years as part of their ambitious expansion efforts.

I staffed the nonprofit table and Sara manned the architecture table and we didn’t stop talking to students for two hours! It was rewarding to see so many diverse professions represented throughout the room. Sara summed up the experience best:

“When we step into something we also step into the unknown. For college students this can be very daunting as they think about their futures and how they will get to them. Being a part of the Alliance Alumni Career Networking Night was a great opportunity to bring many of the unknowns for these college students into the light.”

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Catherine Suitor, the Chief Development and Communications Officer for the Alliance, HMC ‘s Sara Nelson and me with two Alliance alums, one who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and the other from Dartmouth College.


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Posted in Corporate Social Responsibility

State of STEM + ARTS, A Creativity Call to Action

June 17th, 2014

By Kate Diamond, FAIA, Principal and Adrienne Luce, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and President HMC Designing Futures Foundation

What kinds of learning environments support, encourage and engage students of all ages in creative explorations? What is the difference between a classroom that frames rote learning and a learning space (indoor or outdoor) that celebrates and facilitates project-based, collaborative creativity? Is there a single “teaching station” in the 21st century classroom or does the teacher roam to engage students at multiple points where the students are teaching each other?

Recently, a group from HMC (that included ourselves, Deborah Shepley and Thomas Ferrer) attended State of Stem + Arts Education, a half-day conference that was organized by the LA Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, USC STEM Consortium, Southern California Grantmakers, L.A. Regional STEM Hub and the California STEM Learning Network. As described in the event announcement, “Business leaders across California and the nation are advancing STEM-based agendas as workforce development priorities. They realize it is a business imperative to ensure that there is a pipeline of workers with the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century in order to compete in a global economy.” The event brought together more than 200 business, education, community and arts leaders to discuss the economic significance of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics also known as “STEAM” education.

>>Continue reading for a synopsis of our favorite presentations from the conference.


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Posted in Higher Education,Pre-K–12 Education

Making learning come alive for students and the future

Inspiring Students Through Architecture

June 16th, 2014

By Steve Wilkerson

Recently, I visited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School to teach an introduction to architecture class to a group of eager 4th and 5th grade students. Almost the entire school, 97% of the students at King Elementary, qualify for the National School Lunch Program that provides free and reduced meals to low-income students. The class was organized as part of OASIS, an initiative that seeks to positively impact at-risk youth through arts mentoring programs. I led one of 21 lessons that were taught by a group of local volunteer architects, based on the AIA’s Built Environment Education Program (BEEP).
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Posted in Beyond Architecture,Corporate Social Responsibility

Ping Pong for a Cause

June 16th, 2014

By James Donovan

Representing Team HMC, I recently participated in the USGBC’s annual Charity Ping Pong Tournament at The STANDARD in downtown LA. I was ready to paddle to the death, but I was quickly defeated by a serious ping pong devotee. More than 88 local architects and designers participated in this fun event and together they helped raise more than $15,000 to support Green Apple Day of Service projects in which local schools build native gardens, install recycling stations and other creative projects to green their schools. I enjoyed giving back to my community while having fun at the same time!

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Posted in Corporate Social Responsibility

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