December 12th, 2013
The Sobrato Family Learning Commons at St. Francis High School was a finalist in Interior Design magazine’s 8th annual Best of Year Awards in the Education: Library category. This year’s awards program experienced record-breaking numbers with 1,800 submissions—50% more than last year! On December 5, more than 900 people from the design community (designers and manufacturers) gathered while hosts Editor-in-Chief Cindy Allen and Publisher Mark Strauss announced winners. The Sobrato Family Learning Commons competed against Johns Hopkins University Brody Learning Commons and two University of Pennsylvania projects, one of which received the award. Check out all of the project winners and honorees >>
The Sobrato Family Learning Commons addresses St. Francis’ growing need for expanded study and collaboration space. The new 29,300 two-story facility replaces the existing library and includes the renovation and modernization of the adjacent classroom building. On the first floor, the student center promotes engagement with the multiple student support departments, including the Campus Ministry, Activities, and Guidance and Counseling offices. On the second floor, students enjoy a spacious 11,000-SF library that features state-of-the-art technologies and flexible meeting space configurations. The library has a thoughtful blend of access with appropriate levels of privacy needed for student research, individual study, and group academic development. The expanded library is two and a half times larger than the existing library and increases the school’s educational capacity. Both the student center and library required large open areas to maximize the flexibility of its uses. To accommodate this, the building structure was designed with moment frame connections to avoid the use of brace frames interrupting the interior spaces.
November 14th, 2013
On November 5, HMC received an Award of Merit in Master Planning by the Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) Facilities Master Plan! The GCCCD Facilities Master Plan is the result of a comprehensive planning process that involved multiple stakeholders from the district, the Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, and the community. The plan highlights the district’s physical needs to best serve students, and provides direction for improvements to the two campuses so that GCCCD can offer the environment that best supports the colleges’ excellent education programs. The challenge was bringing together a multi-college district to develop a district level facilities master plan to create a shared vision, while respecting and celebrating the unique culture and spirit of each college.
The CCFC award jury was quiet impressed with the project and said, “What strikes us about this master plan is that we can see and understand the transformation that will occur during the implementation of the plan. We appreciate the engagement that occurred during the development of the plan with the forums and the visual note taking.”
The jury also noted, “The GCCCD Facilities Master Plan demonstrates the perfect balance of defined educational goals, well-organized design objectives and an engaged participatory process. Above all else, the master plan directly supports the educational functionality by creating multi-functional spaces, usable outdoor settings, and developing academic clusters that serve to simplify student way-finding and increase interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition to its exemplary functionality, the master plan embraces the natural habitats in which these campuses reside, by providing beautiful view corridors to the surrounding nature preserves and low impact/sustainable design principles.”
November 14th, 2013
Two HMC projects are named to the “30 Most Architecturally Impressive Hospitals in the World” by Online Masters in Public Health, which is an online resource for degrees and careers in public health. Selected from more than 200 projects, the South Tower Expansion for Providence Holy Cross Medical Center ranked #2 and Kaiser Permanente’s Fontana Medical Center rank #4! Wow, two of HMC’s projects are ranked in the top 5!
According to the Online Masters in Public Health, “Hospitals are not places generally associated with pleasure—after all, most of us are usually only at one when we or a loved one are sick. Traditionally, they’re not nice to look at, either: we think of over-lit and sterile environments, with visual stimulation limited to small, wall-mounted televisions. However, a new generation of medical facilities is changing the face of the hospital, literally. These places take a more holistic approach to healthcare—one that takes the healing environment into consideration. As a result, the hospitals on this list may be more welcoming and diverse than those with which many are familiar. And while patient care remains their primary objective, many have put almost equal care into their clients’ surroundings.”
The article describes the South Tower Expansion for Providence Holy Cross Medical Center as an elegant facility featuring a cool-looking white and blue color scheme, and its LEED Silver certificate reflects the hospital’s commitment to sustainability.
It notes that Kaiser Permanente’s Fontana Medical Center not only offer a sleek and polished environment and cutting-edge medical care, but it also meets California’s stringent earthquake safety standards. Efforts were made to make the hospital environmentally sound: for example, attention was paid to energy efficiency and water reclamation, and recyclable materials were used in the construction.
September 17th, 2013
The Sobrato Family Learning Commons at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif. has been selected to the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2013 Library Design Showcase. The project is published in the September/October issue of American Libraries, the flagship magazine of the ALA.
The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events and advocacy resources for members, librarians and library users. Its magazine, American Libraries, is sent to more than 65,000 individuals and organizations worldwide. The Library Design Showcase is the publication’s annual feature celebrating the best new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. They publish libraries that are shining examples of innovative architecture and that address the service needs of patrons in unique, interesting and effective ways. We are delighted that the Sobrato Family Learning Commons at Saint Francis High School is among those honored.
The Sobrato Family Learning Commons is a vibrant hub of student activities. It replaces the existing library and includes the renovation of an adjacent classroom building. On the ground floor, a student center promotes school engagement with multiple student support departments, while on the second floor students benefit from a technology-rich, flexible library. The library has a thoughtful blend of access with appropriate levels of privacy needed for student research, individual study and group academic development. To further increase the flexibility, the building structure was designed with moment frame connections to avoid the use of brace frames interrupting the interior spaces.
July 22nd, 2013
The HMC Architects/Cal Poly Pomona team of Pablo La Roche, Eera Babtiwale, James Krueger and Brandon Gullotti (Cal Poly grad student) are finalists in MIT’s Climate CoLab competition! The goal of the Climate CoLab is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change. Inspired by systems like Wikipedia and Linux, the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence developed CoLab as an on-line forum where citizens create, analyze and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change—seeking to harness collective intelligence through online competitions.
Pablo and the team submitted their research on active green roofs to the Climate CoLab and it has been selected as one of four finalists internationally! Their research is based on the pitch that, a smart green roof that can couple or decouple its thermal mass with the space to help with cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. The team is also integrating applied research results in HMC’s design for Irvine High School #5.
A panel of professionals is jurying the competition, but there is also an online competition for the People’s Choice Award. Please help show support for the team’s research by registering online and voting for this project.
June 14th, 2013
The design-build team of Balfour Beatty, HMC Architects and KMD Architects received a Merit Award for the San Diego County Women’s Detention Facility (SDCWDF) at the 2013 DBIA Western Pacific Design-Build Awards. The SDCWDF is a 45-acre, 24-building, 1,216 bed facility that essentially functions as a self-contained community. There are six distinct housing types as well as many specialized building components such as psychiatric housing, infirmary, law enforcement training facilities, vocational workshops and a central plant. The campus design delivers a normative treatment environment that will encourage positive behaviors. It acknowledges that a less institutional environment can provide significant psychological benefits for inmates and staff alike while also contributing to successful strategies that reduce recidivism.
The award jurors commented, “The County of San Diego should be commended on selecting design-build delivery method for this project—the project’s complex program will benefit from it. The nature of the project team and expertise that was brought on beyond conventional corrections design (i.e. campus designers) was an innovative approach. We also thought the design is elegant and sophisticated for a corrections facility. The entire team is to be commended for rethinking the design approach and raising the quality level of this project type. The campus approach, humane design and flexibility in the facility were particularly notable. Finally, the design-build team’s statement of community outreach was notable as well—it supports the strength of process in this project!”
The awards jury included:
Jacob Williams, LA County
Rob Lewis, US Army Corps of Engineers
Kirk Van Cleave, P3 International
Kanon Artiche, Solano County
Reed McMackin, Pan Pacific Plumbing
Brett Tullis, Sillman-Wright Architects
Alicia Wachtel, HOK
David Frommer, UNLV Planning and Construction
Michael Kim, HKS
Joel King, UC San Diego
David Hunt, gkkworks
Dean Maglieri, Development Industries
Lori Guidry, Development Industries
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.”