National Council of Structural Engineers Associations Structural Engineering Excellence Awards, the highest accolade in the structural engineering industry, honor LPA’s structural engineering team for creativity and achievement in the design of a new West Hollywood recreation center and the seismic retrofit of University of California San Diego’s York Hall.
Integrated design firm LPA earned two top awards in the recent National Council of Structural Engineers Associations’ (NCSEA) 2023 Structural Engineering Excellence (SEE) Awards, which honor “the most innovative projects in the world.”
The seismic rehabilitation of the University of California San Diego’s York Hall received an Award of Excellence for its artful retrofit of a midcentury modern icon. It is the latest in a series of top honors for the project, including an Excellence in Structural Engineering award from the Structural Engineers Association of San Diego (SEAOSD) and at the statewide level from the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC).
The structural design of the new West Hollywood Park Aquatics and Recreation Center received an Award of Excellence for a design that packs a dense program of community wellness activities into a tight urban site while recovering valuable real estate for a public park. The structure cantilevers over 30-feet of public roadway, supports two rooftop pools over column-free sports courts and uses a cantilever truss system to support a two level, 70-foot grand staircase.
We are thrilled to share this recognition from our peers in the national structural engineering community with our amazing clients at UCSD and the City of West Hollywood along with the full team of designers, builders and stakeholders that brought these projects to life. — LPA Director of Structural Engineering Bryan Seamer
“We are thrilled to share this recognition from our peers in the national structural engineering community with our amazing clients at UCSD and the City of West Hollywood along with the full team of designers, builders and stakeholders that brought these projects to life,” said LPA Director of Structural Engineering Bryan Seamer. “The York Hall seismic rehabilitation and West Hollywood ARC couldn’t have happened without the creative collaboration between engineers and architects that lies at the heart of LPA’s integrated design approach.”
University of California San Diego York Hall Seismic Rehabilitation
NCSEA Award of Excellence
The York Hall seismic rehabilitation extended the life of a historically significant four-building, Donald Neptune & Joseph Thomas-designed (1964) laboratory and educational complex while preserving its unique architectural character. Designers studied multiple strategies and balanced a broad set of priorities to minimize visible structural interventions, cut costs and keep the building in operation throughout construction. The targeted approach resulted in savings of $3 million for the university and now serves as a model for future seismic retrofits on the campus.
The 122,000-square-foot complex, with its distinctive 300-foot-long column arcade, features 800 precast concrete fins, which had deteriorated in the salt air and direct sunlight. The team worked with a ship builder to perfectly replicate the curves of the fan-vaulted concrete columns, which hold a portion of the building aloft and create a passageway underneath. Each 500-pound fin ringing the perimeter of three buildings was evaluated individually for corrosion and catalogued in a specialized software application that contractors used in the field to save time and avoid mistakes.
Jury quote: “The seismic rehabilitation is an excellent example of the creativity that can be utilized to modernize historic structures.”
West Hollywood Park Aquatics & Recreation Center
NCSEA Award of Excellence
West Hollywood Aquatics and Recreation Center (ARC) established a new center for social and recreational activity in West Hollywood, meeting the needs of an extremely diverse community on a constrained site. LPA’s structural design forms the backbone of a unique, vertically stacked program, which uses structural steel to suspend two rooftop swimming pools above a multi-sport gym without the need for columns. The building’s identifying feature, a monumental stair, connects the ARC to West Hollywood Park and helps to create valuable new park space for the community.
Structural innovations were critical to the project’s success. A 15-foot by 4-foot “mega-truss” between the two pools limits the two-way truss span, saving steel. The upper levels of the building cantilever 30 feet over the roadway, linking the rooftop pool and tennis courts to the open space of the community park through raised observation and recreation decks. The seventy-foot-long stair structure is seismically independent of the building, relying on a large horizontally cantilevered steel truss to anchor the base of the grand stair.