Matthew Porreca Named San Diego ‘Leader of Influence’

The San Diego Business Journal award recognizes Porreca’s impact on the San Diego community and his dedication to high-performance design.

LPA Design Director Matthew Porreca was recently honored by the San Diego Business Journal as a Leader of Influence in Architecture & Design for 2023. The annual awards program recognizes industry leaders for their careers and accomplishments, with a special emphasis on their work over the last two years.

Porreca earned the award based on his achievements over a 25-year career focused on designing high-performance and healthy environments for education, civic, cultural and mixed use projects. Porreca has been integral to the University of California system’s efforts to preserve their historic buildings, including the renovation of University of California, San Diego’s York Hall, which set the template for a series of seismic upgrades that will impact the whole UC system. With partner Norman Foster, Porreca is leading the transformation of the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

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University of California, San Diego’s York Hall.

“Every project we do at LPA is an opportunity to improve the communities in which we live, do better for the environment and uplift the health and lives of our neighbors.” Porreca says. “Every project is a collaboration.”

Porreca’s design efforts have focused on fighting climate change, democratizing net-zero buildings, preserving iconic San Diego places, improving the health of underserved populations and addressing the housing crisis. Porreca has helped cities, universities and companies achieve aggressive environmental goals on modest budgets, expanding the range of net-zero buildings beyond typical high-budget clients. Several of his current supportive and affordable housing projects have adopted carbon reduction as a core value. In 2022, he was a key contributor to LPA’s unprecedented 78.7% energy use reduction from the AIA 2030 Commitment benchmarks across a portfolio of 7.5 million square feet.

Porreca is currently working on several healthcare projects aimed at improving outcomes for underserved communities. A new health clinic for the Morongo tribe will integrate traditional and contemporary wellness practices with the Western care model. The zero net energy Family Health Centers of San Diego Integrative Medicine & Wellness Center will provide preventive medicine and wellness for the Barrio Logan community.

Matthew is one of the leading lights of the San Diego design community. His dedication to high-performance design and his dedication to healthy, vibrant places makes an impact on this community every day.

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El Cerrito supportive housing development.

Porreca’s innovations in modular design have improved housing opportunities and access to healthcare for needy San Diegans. Family Health Centers of San Diego’s El Cerrito supportive housing development, now in the final stages of construction, uses shipping containers manufactured off-site to accelerate housing construction.

“Matthew is one of the leading lights of the San Diego design community,” said LPA San Diego Studio Director David Gilmore. “His dedication to high-performance design and his dedication to healthy, vibrant places makes an impact on this community every day.”

The SDBJ honor also recognizes Porreca’s active involvement in local boards, associations and non-profit organizations. He is associated with many San Diego professional organizations where he regularly participates as a presenter at conferences, serves as a design juror for professional organizations and participates in tours and presentations to share his experiences and inspire other design professionals.