May 16th, 2013
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced its 2013 Justice Facilities Review (JFR) citation winners and published projects. The projects were judged on best practices in planning and design for justice architecture, as well as how the design positively influenced its occupants. This year, four projects showcasing exemplary design strategies stood out above the rest and received citations, including the San Diego County Women’s Detention Facility (SDCWDF), which is being completed by the design-build team of Balfour Beatty Construction, KMD Architects and HMC Architects.
San Diego County developed an innovative approach to the care and custody of women that has the potential to establish a national adult incarceration model based on normative operations and facility design. The SDCWDF includes 1,216 beds on a 45-acre campus modeled on a community college and will facilitate a program intensive-management culture intended to proactively reduce recidivism. This distinctly transformative philosophy inspired the design team to explore principles of choice, change and accountability in the development of an environment that would support rehabilitative opportunities and the safety and security of staff and inmates.
The design is based on what are known to be predictable psychological and physiological responses people have to their environment. Studies show that women socialize differently; multi-custody living environments are clustered around exterior courtyards that integrally connect the interior to the exterior spaces to create intimate or group interaction. The program buildings are located in the heart of the “campus core,” which will buzz with activity during the day and evenings. The project is targeting LEED Gold certification.
The jurors commented, “The SDCWDF is exemplary in incorporating not only evidence-based programs but also evidence-based design to support those programs. There is a growing body of research supporting the notion that an environment that provides natural light, views of nature, and opportunities for positive interaction and communication can reduce stress and have encourage rehabilitation. This jail provides a college campus-type atmosphere with programs that will promote behavior change through rewards geared toward women—and will prepare them for re-entry into society. Through all these gestures, the project takes the concept of a normalized environment to the next level, setting up clear behavioral expectations for “normal” behavior.
As a jury we also appreciated how the open dorms provide a degree of privacy consistent with security (research shows that this encourages positive communications). We like how the campus provides numerous outdoor spaces for inmate and staff activities; landscaping throughout is carefully designed to provide these places while not blocking views needed for supervision.”
The project will be published in the 2013 Justice Facilities Review and honored at the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) fall conference in Portland, Oregon.
The 2013 Justice Facilities Review jury members consisted of:
– Jay Farbstein, FAIA, Chair, JFA, Pacific Palisades, California
– Earl Cook, Alexandria Police, Washington, DC
– Duane B. Delaney, District of Columbia Court System, Washington, DC
– Tom Donaghy, AIA, Kishimoto.Gordon. Dalaya, Phoenix
– Tom Faust, District of Columbia Department of Corrections, Washington, DC
– Maynard Feist, AIA, Lionakis, Sacramento
– Jim McClaren, AIA, McClaren, Wilson, Lawrie, Phoenix
May 13th, 2013
Congratulations to James Sink who received Building Design+Construction’s top “40 Under 40” award, which represents the next generation of leadership in the AEC industry. The honorees were chosen by BD+C editors on the basis of three factors: career achievement, service to their professions and communities, and active participation in charitable work.
Since joining HMC in 2010, James has led the design of a number of significant higher education projects—guiding projects from conceptual design through design development. As the primary design proponent, he leads design efforts during interviews and project acquisition, and continues throughout the project as the lead designer. James is currently designing a number of significant higher education projects, among them are the Construction Technology Building for Los Angeles Trade Technical College; a master plan and design of a 4-phase student housing and dining commons for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; and student commons and classrooms for Collins College, Cal Poly Pomona. He is dedicated to designing learning environments that inspire, support and promote the discovery and exchange of knowledge.
James has a strong commitment towards the architectural community and his neighborhood community. He is currently serving his second term as Chairman of the Architectural Commission for the City of Claremont. James and his fellow Architectural Commission members review the design of historic, institutional and large construction projects. Growing up in Claremont, James has a vested interest in the community and values having a voice in its future. He is also a member of Claremont Heritage, a local historic preservation group. He continually takes his experience on the “other side of the table” back to his project work at HMC. His role on the Architectural Commission has advanced his understanding of approval processes and honed his client presentation skills. He takes an approach of being more actively critical during the early stages of design in order to provide the best solution for the client now and in the future.
James’ creativity is not limited to his architectural design work; in fact, it is his personal artistic endeavors and craftsmanship that inspire him professionally. With deep interests in woodworking, his woodworking has infused his approach to project work with a new outlook, continually searching for imaginative ways of capturing or conveying his perspective. With woodworking, there is not an undo button, each cut matters. James now approaches the design development phase differently by appreciating that each architectural detail in a drawing matters. Each series of discoveries, each observation and architectural detail enriches the other as the locus of the project evolves. Each design decision makes the next possible, providing insights and links until you have a completed project.
James brings a fresh spirit and original creative talent to all of his professional and personal endeavors. He is the bright future of architecture and raises the level of the profession in the eyes of his colleagues, clients and the community.
May 6th, 2013
HMC Architects received an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter for the design of the Orchard School Library in San Jose, Calif. The project was recognized for its outstanding contributions to the built environment in the category of Excellence in Architecture. The Orchard School District sought a sustainable facility to improve its outdated and overcrowded campus library, with the goals of housing their growing book collection, improving student access to technology, educating students on green buildings and a sustainable future, and uniting the campus.
The 2013 Design Awards jury consisted of Angela Brooks, AIA, principal of Brooks + Scarpa Architecture; Julie Eizenberg, AIA, principal of Koning Eizenberg Architecture; and Neil Denari, AIA, principal of NMDA. The jurors commented that the Orchard School Library was the best executed of its type. They also said, “It is high-economy project, meaning its geometry and materials conspire to make something greater than the sum of the parts. The craftsmanship and assembly of the project is an impressive example of the architectural culture in San Francisco. The project is well executed with ease and there is nothing forced about it. We found using the new building to screen the old was clever, and the library has a good human scale for the elementary and middle school students. The Orchard School Library is well deserving of an Honor Award.”
“We are honored that the Orchard School Library is held in such high regard from the design community and has received this prestigious Honor Award from AIA San Francisco,” said David Maglaty, AIA, LEED AP, senior project designer at HMC. “The library is a success in social responsibility and embodies academic excellence, environmental sensitivity, technology literacy, and it builds community.”
With its location at the center of the campus and tucked between stucco-clad, flat roofed buildings, HMC’s team knew they needed to distinguish the library from its surroundings. The design responds to this challenge through the use of a high-pressure laminate, rainscreen façade, giving the library a technologically advanced aesthetic reflective of its position in the heart of Silicon Valley. The taper of the building is in response to its smaller student users, and also effectively blocks the unattractive view of an adjacent building’s blank rear wall, while maintaining a continuous sense of connection with the landscaped plaza outside.
The interior of the library fosters an environment of high academic standards and supports the District’s vision of shaping students to be lifelong learners. Full-height glass brings natural light deep into the expanded space, which is a drastic departure from the obstructed views of its predecessor. A natural wood screen helps to define spaces for different activities and provides boundaries without compromising supervision. Previously dark existing instructional spaces relocated to the expanded corners filled with natural light. The renovated existing space now houses stacks for the 18,000-volume collection and a new technology lab for up to 36 students.
An integrated design approach with Blach Construction and the systems designers resulted in sustainability measures intrinsic to the building rather than adding on gizmos—the library has received LEED Gold certification from the USGBC.
March 4th, 2013
HMC Architects/School Advisors received three design awards at the C.A.S.H./AIACC Leroy F. Greene Design and Planning Awards Ceremony on February 26. The firm was honored with an Award of Honor for the Orchard School Library, an Award of Honor for LAUSD’s Middle College High School, and an Award of Merit for LAUSD’s Elementary School #9.
Orchard School Library, Orchard School District
The Orchard School Library unites the School’s campus and inspires academic success. The District commissioned HMC to design a sustainable facility to improve its outdated and overcrowded campus library, with the goals of housing their growing book collection, improving student access to technology, and educating students on green buildings and a sustainable future. With the existing library centrally located in the campus core, the design team distinguished the building from its surroundings through a striking aesthetic that is reflective of its position in the heart of Silicon Valley. Inside, full-height glass brings natural light deep into the expanded space, which is a drastic departure from the obstructed views of its predecessor. The project is the first LEED Gold certified K-12 public school building in the City of San Jose and is the third LEED Gold certified K-12 public school facility in the State of California.
Jurors said, “the quality of this interior space is timeless and what you would want in a library. The stark before and after images reflect the execution of a very successful design scheme. We like how this volume serves as an end cap to the Administration Building. It’s a good backdrop to the public space in between and the multi-purpose building. The daylighting is very nice and the interiors are gorgeous. This is a beautiful library and will serve as a source of pride and anchor for the school.”
Middle College High School, Los Angeles Unified School District
Middle College High School (MCHS) at Los Angeles Southwest College is a result of the unique collaboration between the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles Community College District, and Southwest College—all of whom shared the goals of expanding educational opportunities for the local community and providing a direct link to higher education for MCHS students. MCHS serves as a Small Learning Community for LAUSD, while its presence on Southwest College’s campus fosters interaction between the schools from both a facilities and curricular perspective. The high school reinforces a collegial environment by providing an open facility, accessible from several directions on campus. Middle College High School targets LEED Platinum certification and realized energy performance that exceeds Title 24 by 41.2% through the use of on-site renewable energies, storm water treatment, and natural daylight harvesting.
Jurors said, “this is a very successful, unique collaboration between a college and a high school district. Collaboration between multiple users and facilities is difficult, but the design team met the challenge of integrating the building into a difficult existing site and executed a quality project while serving the interests of two different clients. This design makes it look easy and natural by blending all of the required elements so successfully. Spaces, building massing and interiors all reflect the successful integration of Savings by Design, LEED and CHPS criteria, and the project exceeds Title 24 by an astounding 41.2%! This is a high level of sophisticated design intelligence and it results in a very successful project.”
Elementary School #9, Los Angeles Unified School District
Set in an urban neighborhood, design goals were merged with community needs, which resulted in LAUSD’s Elementary School #9 addressing neighborhood initiatives such as open space, student safety, and sustainability. The buildings are efficiently planned to gain desired playground areas and reduce underutilized space. The campus includes 26 classrooms in a new, three-story building, along with a library and administration offices. To promote 21st century teaching and learning, classrooms are designed to promote student collaboration and flexible instruction. Adjacent to the classroom building is the multi-purpose building that includes a multi-purpose space, kitchen, and covered outdoor lunch area. The circular elements, repeated throughout the classroom building’s exterior façade, introduce a playful element to this elementary school that also do double duty by providing opportunities for visual supervision.
Jurors said, “this is a tough site in a tough neighborhood. The building responds to external site traffic congestion, traffic safety, and traffic volumes yet is still able to maximize open space uses on the site. Grade level separation by floors and separation of community and school uses are expressed by the building’s playful exterior. The site plan, although simple at first glance, has been well thought out. The bridge and stairwell provides a much needed positive icon for this underserved community. Circular shapes accented throughout the school elicit a youthful, inviting and engaging environment.”
January 14th, 2013
ENR California has selected Justin Mikecz as one of its “20 Under 40” competition winners, which celebrates the excellence of young design and construction professionals around the state. He and the other winners will be published in ENR California’s February 13 issue.
Justin is dedicated to advancing the industry’s technical capacity to foster sustainability. He continually initiates dialogue during the design process that questions standard protocol and raises the collective definition of what it means for a project to be sustainable. Justin has over nine years of professional experience and joined Beverly Prior Architects (BPA) in 2007 as an Intermediate Designer. While at BPA he led the firm’s pursuit for sustainable material and systems research. In 2011, HMC Architects and BPA merged and Justin was promoted to a Project Leader. He continues to pursue learning about new innovations that can be integrated into the firm’s work. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a Master of Architecture from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While in grad school, Justin was among the top three honored in his class for his thesis project the Bronzeville Neighborhood Center.
In 2010, Justin received First Prize in the Northern California Region of 2010 USGBC Emerging Professional’s Natural Talent Design Competition. The competition, in partnership with Salvation Army’s EnviRenew Initiative, focused on the rebuilding effort in New Orleans. Competitors were tasked to design a LEED for Homes Platinum project that is priced affordably and is functional for elderly occupants. Justin’s winning design both honored the historical context of New Orleans and symbolizes the re-emergence of the city like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The house fits in with its Broadmoor neighbors while paying homage to the architectural history and the inherently sustainable nature of shotgun houses in New Orleans.
Justin’s dedication to his community goes beyond just his project work – he is an active participant in community service organizations and has led several initiatives. He currently serves on the Pamakid Runners Charity Committee, which raises money through events like the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon every year in San Francisco. With funds raised from events like the marathon, Pamakid Runners makes regular donations to local non-profit community organizations that match the club’s mission to “promote a healthy lifestyle.” Justin, a former college athlete and cross-country team leader, is a passionate member of the Pamakid Runners Club race team and focuses his efforts on volunteer outreach with the organizations that receive donations from Pamakid Runners.
December 15th, 2012
Each year, Interior Design magazine celebrates and honors the best projects and products in nearly 100 categories. Bluepoint Solutions, designed by HMC Architects, was named a finalist in the Office: Mid: 10,000-25,000 SF category. The project received a Merit recognition and was published in the December 2012 issue. Click here to browse all the finalists and winners >>
November 26th, 2012
Earlier this month, HMC’s Alex Parslow and Dr. Michael Hendricks, superintendent of Charter Oak USD, were presented with two awards at the California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA) awards ceremony. CalSPRA is an organization of education public relations professionals, administrators, and school personnel who are responsible for communications. CalSPRA’s Excellence in Communication Awards Program recognizes superior achievement in meeting strategic goals through high-quality communications and public relations programs.
HMC and Charter Oak received an Award of Excellence in the Writing category for the District’s HMC Designing Futures Foundation Grant Proposal. Once the grant opportunity was identified for the District to pursue, the Charter Oak USD Governing Board and Superintendent discussed the need to renovate the Charter Oak High School Business Academy (The Academy) computer lab. They drafted the grant proposal with a message that addressed how the funding would enable The Academy to make vital updates to the hardware and software in its two computer labs, which are an essential and integral part of the Information Technology Pathway at the school. The grant writing was effective and successful, Charter Oak USD was able to secure a $10,000 grant from the DFF, which is the largest amount the foundation distributes.
HMC and Charter Oak also received an Award of Merit in the California Gold category, the top statewide recognition honoring superior educational public relations programs. The Charter Oak Partners in Education (COPE), which HMC’s Alex Parslow serves as CEO of, is a charitable nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting and enhancing quality educational programs for Charter Oak Unified School District. COPE raises funds on behalf of the District and works with the Board of Education to direct these resources toward projects that benefit students and the community alike. One major special event that COPE has established to achieve its mission is its annual Hall of Fame Dinner. The communications program developed in support of the Hall of Fame dinner was highly successful and recognized as a top in the State.
November 19th, 2012
On November 8, HMC Architects and Balfour Beatty were presented with an Honor Award from the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) for J. Paul Leonard Library and Sutro Library at San Francisco State University. The national design-build awards are presented to the highest-rated projects in each category and are the most prestigious project awards presented by DBIA. The Leonard Library was honored in the Rehabilitation/Renovation/Restoration category.
The Leonard Library is a tribute to the teamwork of all the stakeholders who had the vision to go beyond and push the edges of design-build methodology. It’s a standout example of what design-build can achieve when confronted with a complicated program and diverse client goals. The new $103.8 million library renovation and expansion project addressed the need to accommodate a growing student population and restored structural inadequacies while concurrently updating the building’s electrical and telecommunication systems.
Originally constructed in three phases (1953, 1959 and 1971), this two-phase design-build project included the construction of the “West Addition” that houses book stacks and the installation of an automated library book retrieval system at ground level; the construction of the “North Addition;” the renovation and seismic reinforcement of the existing library. In total, the project adds 34% more space, 50% more seating, 50% more group study areas, 50% more collection capacity, both in open stacks and a high-density automated retrieval system, and 100% more computers; all while providing a flexible and congenial learning environment in the heart of campus.
“The library provides an excellent example of collaboration between the design-build team and owner on a very complex project,” said Simon Y. Lam, Associate Vice President of Capital Planning, Design and Construction at San Francisco State University. “Throughout the project the design-build team took a collaborative approach and exercised creativity and speed in resolving issues, resulting in a building of significant architectural merit. The library has been transformed into a light-filled and open structure that welcomes students and, in turn, has transformed and enlivened the surrounding campus. San Francisco State University is very proud of the new facility and we are grateful to the HMC / Balfour Beatty design-build team for its success.”
In addition, earlier this year, the project received Project of the Year from DBIA-Western Pacific Region – the highest award in this region’s annual competition that honors the top projects in California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Arizona.
November 12th, 2012
HMC’s sustainability program for McKinley Elementary School is one of seven finalists for the USGBC’s Volunteer IMPACT! Award. The awards program recognizes high-impact, volunteer-driven projects or initiatives. All finalists have been posted on the USGBC’s Facebook page and the submission receiving the most “Likes” by November 14, will be recognized at Greenbuild.
We need your votes! Help us win the Volunteer IMPACT! Award by clicking here to “Like” the USGBC post on the McKinley workshops >>
October 31st, 2012
HMC received two honors at AIA Santa Clara Valley’s bi-annual design awards. The Orchard School Library received an Honor Award, one of only two given that night, and McAfee’s Executive Briefing Center received a Citation Award. The awards program recognizes design excellence and this year’s theme focused on Sustaining Innovation. According to the chapter, “the legacy of Architecture in Santa Clara Valley has been its support of innovative companies, organizations, and individuals. Looking ahead, Sustaining Innovation may be a key to addressing regional and global challenges. This award program acknowledges design excellence and creativity in projects which sustain innovation, make positive impacts, and serve communities, companies and individuals.”