Since LPA was founded in 1965, it’s been our mission to deliver timeless, sustainable designs that benefit the environment, generate lasting value, enrich the human experience and ensure a better future.
In every way, we are a much different firm than the studio founded in Leason Pomeroy’s garage in 1965.
The original LPA was succeeded by new ownership, new leadership and a new name in 1997, forging a path focused on delivering timeless, sustainable designs that benefit the environment, generate lasting value and enrich the human experience.
Today, LPA is an integrated firm working out of six studios in California and Texas, with more than 400 architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers and planners working as one team. The firm has developed as an industry prototype for a diverse, inclusive organization that supports the growth of young talent and encourages a collaborative, research-based approach to design.
Early in our history, we embraced performance and sustainability as core values, and committed to defining goals and measure outcomes in concrete, openly shared ways. We were an early supporter of LEED; in 1998 LPA designed the nation’s first LEED NC-certified building.
In 2004, the firm committed to an internal goal of making projects perform 25% better than California’s Title 24 energy code. In 2010, we set a goal of a 100% LEED AP-certified staff to kickstart awareness of performance across the firm; today, more than 80% are LEED APs, including the CFO and HR Director.
As a firm, we concluded that the best responses to the challenges of the built environment are integration and collaboration. After adding interior design and landscape architecture, we brought in structural engineering in 2007 and by 2010 all the engineering disciplines were in house. We embraced the best evaluative tools available — from EUI calculations to the Fitwel Standard — and committed to publishing our results. In 2016, we added a research team, LPAred, to improve the evaluation of performance, develop actionable research and complete the feedback loop to enable evidence-based innovation.
The collective vision and shared process have profoundly changed the firm. On a fundamental level, we tackle projects differently than other firms. Our approach emphasizes collaboration, communication and research to find the best answers for our clients. We never settle for the status quo. We don’t use templates. We believe an informed, research-driven approach results in environments that work better, do more with less and improve people’s lives.
A Culture of Education and Growth
LPA’s culture seeks to inspire young designers and remove the traditional practice hierarchy, creating an environment that supports equity, education and personal growth. At every level, there is a focus on teaching and mentoring. Team members are given the time and resources to pursue their inspirations. Learning happens everywhere and every day. From our regular LPA + U and Tech Talk sessions to our education grants for professional development, the focus is on collaboration, sharing and supporting each other.
Our investment in firm-wide education has sparked the advancement of emerging talent and, with it, the more rapid diversification of the firm. Our staff is more than 45% women and more than 40% racial and ethnic minorities. We pursue equity with annual gender pay audits; our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion advisory committee creates an open dialogue with employees. The strong culture of learning and sharing is one reason 50 percent of the staff have been at LPA for more than 10 years; many more than 25 years.
To mark the firm’s progress and promote transparency, we are committed to sharing our progress toward equity, diversity and inclusion through the JUST Label, a nationwide voluntary program to disclose hiring practices
Our culture is fueled and sustained by our commitment to research and ongoing education. Our research group, LPAred — LPA Research, Education and Design — works with design teams and clients to enable evidence-based innovation. Through distillation of peer-reviewed research, data collection and analysis, design analysis and modeling, certification and ratings, and pre- and post-occupancy surveys, LPAred fosters a mindset of curiosity, serving as a resource for design teams to grow their expertise and provide informed options for our clients.
Post Occupation Evaluations
LPA for Change
Every day, we work with clients to develop projects that make communities better. But changing lives by design goes beyond our projects. Through LPA for Change, we champion causes that are important to our communities, our employees and our clients. We’re passionate about giving back to the communities in which we live, work and design, and LPA for Change focuses on areas where we can use our collective expertise to make the greatest impact.
As designers, we break down barriers between disciplines to develop projects that work better for people. We bring the same integrated approach to LPA for Change, working together as a firm to combat homelessness, support the volunteer initiatives our employees are most passionate about and improve equity and inclusion in our profession.
LPA for Change gives back in four primary ways. Our shelter initiative focusing on homelessness, our employee-driven volunteer program, the LPA Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarship and annual giving.
As designers of the built environment, we know how important the roof over our heads is. Shelter is a basic human right, yet it’s something that so many go without in our own communities.
Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations such as HomeAid, LPA for Change seeks to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. By supporting programs that provide shelter, meals, job skills training, counseling and other services, we aim to help those that are struggling most in our own neighborhoods.
LPA + HomeAid 2022 Diaper Drive
Who better to understand the needs of our own communities than our employees who live and work in them. We’ve empowered our Texas, Northern California and Southern California regions to determine the immediate needs in their own backyards.
Whether it’s introducing our profession to students in underserved areas through the Built Environment Education Program (BEEP), building housing for Habitat for Humanity or advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion through our EDI initiative, LPA for Change funds a variety of causes that are close to our employees’ hearts. Employees serve as the project managers of the volunteer programs they are championing, while LPA for Change provides funding to help support the cause.
Exposing students to architecture and design through the Built Environment Education Program (BEEP)
LPA Diversity in Design Scholarship:
At LPA we recognize our industry’s well-documented lack of diversity. As part of our efforts to support a more diverse generation of professionals who will help foster a greater design perspective, we launched our Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarship Program in 2020.
The program provides five students in historically underrepresented demographics pursuing careers in architecture, engineering and design with $5,000 renewable scholarships each year. Beyond financial aid, the program seeks to build a long-term relationship with students, supporting them as they continue their design studies. Students are matched with LPA mentors in their respective disciplines and eligible for paid summer internships with LPA. The scholarship is part of LPA’s commitment to advancing the diversity, equity and inclusion of the architecture, design and engineering disciplines.
The 2022 scholarship recipients are Miamor Orozco, San Antonio Texas; Gabriela Guerrero, Port Isabel, Texas; Claire Burnley, Rancho Cucamonga, California; and Nanami Dolley, Kerrville, Texas.
Our annual giving program empowers each of our studios to give back through causes that are important to their communities. Whether a shelter-related cause, providing gifts for families over the holidays or donating to our local food bank, each studio comes together to decide on the causes they would like to support.Every year, our legacy of annual giving grows as we support causes that make a meaningful impact on our communities.
LPA in making a difference in the families served by Second Harvest Food Bank and other charities.
We’d love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know how we can help.