March 13th, 2015
By Chuck Eyberg, Principal, AIA, LEED AP-BD+C
HMC continues to define the future of healthcare architecture. Torrance Memorial Medical Center received the top award in the “Best Medical Project” category at the Los Angeles Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Awards. “Completed over four-and-a-half months early and $10 million under budget, the new Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Melanie and Richard Lundquist Tower, replaces Torrance Memorial’s original facility built in 1971, which no longer meets state seismic regulations for an acute care facility. Located on an existing medical center campus, the 390,000-square-foot patient tower fulfills Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s vision of a patient-centered, state-of-the-art healing environment while invoking the ambience of a world-class hotel.”
Lundquist Tower, Torrance Memorial Medical Center
March 9th, 2015
By Alex Parslow, Sr. Vice President Pre-K-12 Education
What would you do if you could design your school from the ground up? This was the question from the Superintendent of Milpitas Unified School District who challenged principals and teachers to design a “facility to inspire creativity, positive energy, innovation, and joy.” The outcome of this dynamic mandate was the creation of three HMC designed Learning Centers for Milpitas Unified that were recently honored by the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) and the AIACC with this year’s Leroy F. Greene Design + Planning Award.
The limited budgets for these projects required that structural alterations be kept to a minimum. Yet, our HMC design team was able—through strategic wall removal and the introduction of flexible partitions—to convert what had been small spaces typical of the factory model common in schools constructed in that era, into exciting 21st century learning environments. Previously concealed elements such as clerestory windows, glulam beams, and wood trusses were uncovered and reintroduced into the spaces. As a result, the Learning Centers offer large, flexible spaces filled with natural daylight. A variety of bright colors in carpets and paint were selected to create visual interest appealing to young students—and to match the level of energy and enthusiasm for learning that these spaces engender.
The spaces provide flexible and personalized learning environments where classes can be combined, and learning can be imagined in new ways, one of the tenets of 21st century education. For example, a single teacher with two instructional aides may conduct a lesson with 80 or more students in a hands-on lab activity in one room, while others can work on different activities in the adjacent room. This flexible configuration both frees up teachers for preparation and collaboration time and gives teachers greater control in deciding how the environment best facilitates student learning.
After a year of using the Learning Centers, Milpitas USD is already moving away from its original intent of using the spaces for students to work almost exclusively on instructional software on Chromebooks. Since the Learning Centers have proven to be so flexible, teachers are able to use the spaces for new, inventive purposes, such as S.T.E.M. laboratories and makerspaces.
February 25th, 2014
By Adrienne Luce, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Executive Director, Designing Futures Foundation
The HMC Designing Futures Foundation (DFF) awarded a $5,000 grant to support the Center for Advanced Research and Technology’s (CART) 14th annual student showcase event in Clovis, California. STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) is one of the four core focus areas of the DFF (the other three are architecture/design, environmental sustainability and disaster relief). Since 2010, HMC has supported the CART’s progressive college and career readiness program that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum with hands-on project based learning.
May 30th, 2013
By Adrienne Luce, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and President HMC Designing Futures Foundation
As part of HMC’s Designing Futures Foundation partnership with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s LA Metro program, directed by Professor Stephen Phillips, AIA, PhD, fourth year CPSLO students convened at HMC’s LA studio on May 24 for their final review. The 21 aspiring architects had developed plans for a Performing Arts and Film Institute. The students were assigned sites on Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, each location presenting different challenges and design considerations. Drawing studied inspiration from a series of 2d patterns of their choosing including hounds tooth, sound waves, teardrops, water currents and crystals, the students developed a series of formal spatial investigations.
November 1st, 2012
By Adrienne Luce, Designing Futures Foundation Executive Director
Dr. Diane Dieckmeyer, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Norco College, dreamed of replacing a massive water guzzling lawn outside the student bookstore with a sustainable teaching garden that could advance and support the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Left: Diane Dieckmeyer working in Norco College’s water demonstration garden.
As Diane described in the DFF grant application, “California is known for its endless sunshine and lush vegetation of orange groves, palm trees, and hibiscus. However, this vegetation is not native to Southern California where drought-tolerant plants flourish. Southern California is considered a semiarid region and receives approximately 15 inches of rain annually with the Norco College region receiving only 13 inches annually. The use of non-native plants and expansive green lawns so common in California is a drain to already scarce water resources. One of the most effective ways to conserve water is to replace water-thirsty lawns and non-native plants with native and drought-tolerant plants. For example, replacing a 1000 square foot lawn with native and drought-tolerant plants saves 7700 gallons per month; a water consumption reduction of over 91 percent.”
June 18th, 2012
By Adrienne Luce, Designing Futures Foundation Executive Director
The HMC Designing Futures Foundation board recently approved a Community Project grant to fund the restoration of the Micheltorena Steps in Silver Lake. The steps are a main pathway to Micheltorena School for children in the neighborhood, and are unsafe and in disrepair.
Scott Plante from our LA Studio proposed this project, and although Scott doesn’t have kids, he lives near the school and uses these steps. He is committed to improving the quality of life in Silver Lake, and has served on the Silver Lake Urban Design Committee for six months. After an inspirational moment while he was sitting in traffic on the 101 staring at a freeway overpass, Scott went to the Silver Lake Urban Design Committee with a design proposal to light steps and underpasses throughout Silver Lake. A creative lighting scheme would highlight anonymous infrastructure, making it more visible and a part of the community rather than an obstacle. Recognizing the safety issues with children and the adjacent school, the Micheltorena Steps were selected as a prototype for repairing and relighting similar steps throughout the neighborhood.