By Jonathan Smith
Four Culver City architectural spots were recently honored earlier this month by the Los Angeles Business Council during its annual Architectural Awards ceremony.
Taking home the top prize was the Vespertine restaurant, a hot location in the city’s Hayden Tract area. The restaurant, already being celebrated for its unique cuisine, was designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects.
“These winning projects were selected from a pool of 275 submissions in what was the most competitive year in the award ceremony’s 48-year history,” said spokesperson Rachel Wilson. “More than 600 architects, designers and dignitaries attended the ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton.”
Other Culver City locations honored during the event included Culver City Steps, Stoneview Nature Center and Katz Pavilion.
The Los Angeles Business Council celebrated the winners, honoring projects that embrace innovative design standards to enhance the way we live in Los Angeles.
“This year we received a historic number of high-quality submissions that embody the extraordinary spirit of creativity and collaboration that makes L.A. a world-class city,” said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council, in a news release.
For Grand Prize winner Vespertine, the award is the latest accolade celebrating its unique features. The Culver City restaurant has been widely acclaimed by food critics and architects alike for its out-of-the-box culinary style and eye-catching building design, which showcases a curving steel and glass façade as well as an interior garden and intimate dining spaces.
Many of the other winning projects reimagined underused space to address some of L.A.’s biggest challenges, such as rising housing costs and lack of mobility. Winning designs transformed underused parking lots and brick and mortar retail into creative workspaces and transit-oriented developments. The Wilshire Grand Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi, took home two awards – another sign that urban sprawl is being replaced by denser, upward development.
Students across Los Angeles were once again encouraged to submit original designs for the 8th annual Julius Shulman Emerging Talent Scholarship Award. This year’s task was to design a transit-oriented development along a future Gold Line extension station in La Verne, featuring each team’s choice of amenities. The award went to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) for their project designed to use new technologies to change how we interact with our built space.
The Wilshire Grand Tower and La Mexicana, a park in the heart of Mexico City, received the Sustainable Real Estate Awards – symbolizing the partnership between L.A. and Mexico City, and a shared commitment to sustainable building practices. Ambassador Nina Nachigian, L.A. Deputy Mayor for International Affairs, presented the awards.
“Los Angeles is a changing, dynamic city. The projects awarded at today’s luncheon represent the type of innovation and forward thinking that our cities need,” said Joshua Ramus, Founding Principal of REX and lead designer of the iconic Seattle Central Library and The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. Ramus was the keynote speaker at today’s ceremony.
Now in its second year, the Tripartite Award fosters collaboration between Guangzhou, Auckland, and L.A. as these three cities work toward a shared goal of efficient and sustainable development.