Project Designer Honored for Work on Education Projects and ‘Significant Contributions to Architecture Profession’
LPA Design Studios associate Ozzie Tapia has been named a recipient of the 2020 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Young Architects Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on up-and-coming architects.
The Young Architects Award recognizes architects who have “demonstrated exceptional leadership and have made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers,” according to the AIA. Only 22 architects in the country were honored with the award in 2020; Ozzie is the only recipient based in California.
Tapia primarily works on K-12 and higher education campuses, where he is helping to reshape the role of the architect with an integrated design process that emphasizes collaboration, student involvement and high performance.
“I am deeply honored by this recognition,” Tapia said. “This award reflects the great team at LPA and our collective mission to make a positive impact on communities. To be able to work together to create environments and buildings that will serve and inspire people for generations is very satisfying.”
Tapia’s influence can be seen in a new generation of educational facilities that operate more efficiently and directly address the fast-evolving needs of students and educators. His leadership has helped LPA earn numerous industry awards, including a 2019 Honor Award from the AIA Orange County Chapter for the design of the Tarbut V’Torah Lower School, a private K-12 school focused on a student-centric curriculum; and Merit Award from the AIA San Diego chapter for the Palomar College Learning Resource Center, a modern reinterpretation of a library.
Tapia’s work also reflects LPA’s focus on high building performance and sustainability. Last year, LPA was one of only 16 firms in the country—and, by far, the largest--to meet the AIA 2030 Commitment of a 70 percent reduction in fossil fuel use in new buildings.
“Ozzie has flourished within our integrated design team,” LPA Chief Executive Officer Wendy Rogers said. “His leadership and ability to find opportunities to improve designs by engaging the multiple disciplines elevates the work we do.”
Tapia was born in Lima, Peru, and immigrated with his family to the United States as a teenager. He earned a Bachelor, Architecture degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, before joining LPA as an intern and model builder in 2002.
“I am fortunate to be part of a firm that mentors young designers and entrusted me with built work opportunities early in my career,” Tapia said.
Tapia is the 2020 Vice President/President-Elect of the AIA Orange County Chapter Board of Directors. He is also a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at schools around the state, inspiring the next generation of architects.
The presentation of the Young Architects Award will take place at the Annual AIA Conference in Los Angeles in May.
Founded in 1965, LPA specializes in creating innovative environments that work better, do more with less and improve people’s lives. An integrated design firm with six studios in California and Texas, LPA’s team includes more than 400 in-house architects, master planners, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and research analysts, working across a wide array of sectors. For more information, visit lpadesignstudios.com.