AIAOC Honors Three LPA Projects

The American Institute of Architects’ Orange County chapter (AIAOC) honored three LPA projects at its annual award ceremony on Sept. 19, singling out the designs for their innovation and energy efficiency.

Palomar College’s Learning Resource Center won a Merit Award in the Commercial, Built category; Tarbut V’Torah’s Upper Campus received a Citation Award in the Commercial, Built category; and the Norwegian Wood Playhouse was recognized with a Citation Award in the Residential, Custom category.

Palomar College’s Learning Resource Center (LRC) is a modern reinterpretation of a library concept. The 85,000-square-foot, four-story facility includes library, academic technologies and tutoring programming. The full-height lobby creates visual connections throughout the building and puts learning on display. The jury was impressed with the ambitious nature of the LRC, praising its forms and interesting massing. Jurors noted the energy savings and use of photovoltaics on the project.

The design for Tarbut V’Torah (TVT), a private K-12 school in Irvine, California, emphasizes access to indoor and outdoor learning spaces, and promotes hands-on, student-led learning. Jurors recognized the design of Tarbut V’Torah’s Upper Campus for its use of healthy daylighting and ambitious design. They enjoyed the poetic nature of the project, as the mirrored, exterior soffits allow students to literally see themselves reflected in their learning environment. One juror mentioned that if they had a child, they would be excited for them to attend this school.

The Norwegian Wood Playhouse revitalizes third-generation shipping containers into a weekend cabin and theater with panoramic views of Big Bear Lake. The project was praised by the jury for its fun concept; its modest, nicely sited approach; and well-crafted use of containers.