West Hollywood Aquatics and Recreation Center Earns LA Architecture Honor

Los Angeles Business Council recognizes LPA’s innovative design of urban facility that features new park space, rooftop pools and a 65-foot grand staircase.

The Los Angeles Business Council recently honored LPA’s design of the West Hollywood Aquatics and Recreation Center in the group’s 51st Annual Architectural Awards, the “celebration of projects that embrace innovative design standards to enhance the way we live in Los Angeles.”

The sold-out event at the Beverly Hilton drew top design and building professionals, as well as key government officials and civic leaders, to honor the best of L.A. architecture. Architect Frank Gehry, designer of many iconic L.A. buildings, received the group’s L.A. Community Legacy Award.

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The new 138,000-square-foot West Hollywood facility was recognized in the “Under Construction” category. The facility, designed to meet LEED Gold standards, anchors West Hollywood Park – an iconic gathering space along San Vicente Blvd. that serves as home base for high-profile annual events.

In a dense neighborhood, the design creates 3.5 acres of badly needed open space for the city, suspends two pools with 3.5 million gallons of water 65-feet above a gymnasium and features a five-story sculptural grand staircase that will be a new gathering spot and icon for the city. The facility reflects the city’s unique interests and aspirations, supporting everything from competitive dodge ball leagues to senior recreation programs.

“We are extremely proud of this project, which is the product of a long collaboration with the city and community,” said Rick D’Amato, Design Director at LPA. “The center will serve all aspects of the community.”

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To make the design work on the compact site, LPA engineers designed a support system to support the multilevel building that spans two sides of the roadway. The final design removed the need for columns in the gymnasium and maximized the available land, helping to create more park space for the community.

The design also includes an interactive national AIDS monument designed by Daniel Tobin, an internationally renowned artist based in Brisbane, Australia, and a light-based art installation by Phillip K. Smith.

LPA collaborated with RIOS on the park’s landscape design.