RELEASE: Hilton Foundation Headquarters Wins Top Honors at 43rd Annual L.A. Architectural Awards
June 12, 2013

RELEASE: Hilton Foundation Headquarters Wins Top Honors at 43RD Annual L.A. Architectural Awards

Innovative Agoura Hills building honored for progressive sustainability measures; Architectural icon Ray Kappe presented with Lifetime Achievement Award; Venue for Obama-Xi Summit also honored

LOS ANGELES— The Los Angeles Architectural Awards— one of the largest celebrations of cutting-edge design and architecture in Southern California— today recognized nearly three dozen buildings from throughout the region for their excellence in design, commitment to sustainability and impact on the community. Dwell Media President Michela O’Connor Abrams emceed the event, which drew more than 500 design and building professionals.

The Grand Prize was awarded to the Platinum LEED-certified Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Headquarters for its sustainability measures, which include a unique ventilation system that allows for natural heating and cooling using rainwater and solar thermal heat collected on the roof of the 22,000-square-foot building. Other notable awards included the Sunnylands Center & Gardens at the Annenberg Retreat, in the “Best of L.A. Architects” category, which will host a summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi later this week; and in the Design Concept Category, the Sixth Street Viaduct at the Los Angeles River. At the close of the ceremony, architectural icon Ray Kappe was honored with the L.A. Architectural Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Every year, we take this opportunity to celebrate truly outstanding design projects that demonstrate an unyielding commitment to the environment, stimulate the economy and enhance our overall quality of life in greater Los Angeles,” said Mary Leslie, President of the Los Angeles Business Council, which hosted the event. “Today’s winners illustrate that Los Angeles continues to be a global hub for creative, meaningful and sustainable architecture.”

Also unique to this event was a student design contest among the top seven schools of architecture in Los Angeles. Teams of three students from each school participated in a three-day competition in February to design a Continuing Care Retirement Community that will promote social interaction and community on the MLK Medical Center Campus in Willowbrook. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne to honor the team from Woodbury University in Burbank with the Julius Shulman Emerging Talent Award. Their design was titled “Augmented Connectivity – Bridging Neighborhood and Wellness.”

As a special highlight during the event, Ray Kappe, principal of LivingHomes and Founder of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)—one of the nation’s most forward-thinking independent architecture schools— was honored with the L.A. Architectural Lifetime Achievement Award. Following a video portraying Kappe’s work and accomplishments, Thom Mayne called Kappe to the stage to accept the award.

“I am very honored to be given this Lifetime Achievement Award by the Los Angeles Business Council for my 60 years in architectural practice and my contribution to architectural education, as well as my twenty years of involvement with urban design for the City of Los Angeles,” Kappe said.

The L.A. Architectural Awards honor entire project teams for their contributions to exceptional design in Los Angeles County, including the building owner, designer, contractor and developer. A jury of 25 notable building and design professionals led by Jury Chair Joseph DeTuno of Next Century Associates, LLC selected the 31 winners in 20 categories from hundreds of entries. Except in special categories, all projects were completed in 2011 or 2012.

LABC Chairman Jacob Lipa was enthusiastic about the accomplishments of the winning entries. “These projects set a high standard in every possible category of architecture, and represent millions of dollars of investment in our local economy,” he said. “It’s truly an honor to recognize some of the world’s best designers and project managers here today.”

Other featured presenters included Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera, METRO Second Vice Chair Richard Katz and William A. Witte, President of Related California. A full list of honorees is below. For pictures of the winners, visit the Los Angeles Business Council website at

Grand Prize

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Headquarters: The 22,240-square-foot structure features solar energy panels, water collection systems and a green roof, and is designed to maximize the use of natural daylight.

Community Impact Award

Grand Park: Located in Los Angeles’ urban and civic center, the new Grand Park features 12 acres of vibrant, programmed and active space that celebrates the cultural vitality of the city and its inhabitants.

Metro Orange Line Extension: The four-mile extension of the Metro Orange Line features a multi-modal transportation facility within a greenway that includes an exclusive busway, landscaped pedestrian and bicycle paths, four uniquely designed stations, artwork and numerous station amenities.

“Best of L.A. Architects” Award

Sunnylands Center & Gardens at The Annenberg Retreat (Rancho Mirage, CA): A historic estate that was converted into a cultural and retreat facility now operates as an “oasis in the desert” for public use.

Health Sciences Education Building (Phoenix, AZ): The HSEB is an inter-professional, multi-institutional academic medical training facility with a mix of environments supporting 21st century medicine curricula.

Civic Award

Lancaster Museum of Art and History: The jewel of a revitalized Lancaster, this museum anchors the city’s main intersection and is the landmark of its cultural community.

Commercial Office Buildings and Headquarters Award

UTA Plaza: The transformed plaza and balcony areas open into inviting, accessible and useable outdoor spaces with new furniture and landscaping.

Design Concept Award

Wilshire Grand: In a city filled with iconic structures, the new 73-story Wilshire Grand will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi and will transform the skyline of Los Angeles.

Sixth Street Viaduct: Uniting the Boyle Heights community to the east, the Arts District to the west and downtown, this project will serve as an iconic modern landmark for the city.

Education Award

University of California Los Angeles Court of Sciences Student Center: The LEED Gold-certified facility seamlessly integrates a low-profile building with roof gardens and lush courtyard spaces.

The Resnick Institute for Sustainability/Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Caltech: This transformed 1971 campus building creates a LEED Platinum-certified research lab facility, housing collaborations that promote global intellectual advancement.

City of Los Angeles Green Building Award

Playa Vista Elementary School: Playa Vista and Loyola Marymount partnered together to build one of the first LEED-rated schools in the district, which successfully reinterprets standards for design into a strong commitment for sustainability.

Healthcare Award

UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Medical Building: Natural light and ventilation, indoor-outdoor connections and transparency contribute to aesthetic ideals, staff productivity and a patient-focused healing environment.

Hospitality Award

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea – Clubhouse: Designed by a legendary golfer, Korea’s first golf community sets the standard for private golf clubs throughout Asia.

Housing Award

Nakahouse: Nakahouse is an abstract remodel of a 1960′s hillside home located on a West-facing ridge in the Hollywood Hills, just below the Hollywood sign.

Multi-Family-Affordable Housing Award

28th Street Apartments: The historic Paul Williams’ 1926 south L.A. YMCA building’s legacy is expanded by providing housing and supportive services directed to youth at risk, the homeless and the mentally ill.

Landscape Architecture Award

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County – North Campus: Located within the heart of the city, the new North Campus highlights outdoor exhibits while integrating environmental stewardship and awareness.

Interiors Award

Biola University Prayer Chapel: This beautiful collaboration between artisan and architect in a modern classroom building is composed of natural materials worked by hand with an emphasis on craft.

Retail Award

Sonos Studio: The only acoustically-designed “music gallery” in the world, this retail space sells an experience with constantly rotating exhibits relating to sound and music.

Mixed-Use Award

Martin Luther King Jr. Transit Center: The MLK Jr. Transit Center includes new offices and retail space, a parkway, a public plaza and an intermodal transit hub.

Renovated Buildings Award

Chrysalis: Located in the Skid Row area, the project resulted in the complete transformation of both the exterior façade and the interior environment of the building, giving Chrysalis clients and local residents a sense of pride and belonging.

Samuel Freeman: The project salvaged and transformed an existing, out-of-date office building into a fine art gallery that contributes to the growing Culver City arts district.

Preservation Award

The Japanese House at the Huntington Library: Built in 1903 and relocated to the gardens in 1911, this elegant structure is the only surviving example of early 20th century Japanese architecture in Southern California.

The Siqueiros Mural Protective Shelter, Viewing Platform and the Interpretive Center: This project demonstrates an outstanding standard of protection, conservation and stabilization for an important piece of artwork located in the historic El Pueblo district in Los Angeles.

Retail Award

James Perse Malibu: Originally a timber storage warehouse site, the James Perse store concept and layout is a reflection of the Southern California lifestyle by the ocean.

Restaurant Award

Bel Air Bar and Grill: Focusing on community integration, the new garage reduces parking stress, and LEED features provide energy efficient “smart” building controls.

LA County Sustainability Award

East Rancho Dominguez Library: This 7,215-square-foot library facility is the first building owned by the County of Los Angeles to achieve LEED Platinum certification status.

Morphosis Los Angeles: With its Monodraught Windcatchers and extensive photovoltaic array (which provides most of the energy for the building), the first net-zero office building in Los Angeles County sets a new standard in high performance design.

Under Construction Award

The Broad: Dubbed “the veil and the vault,” this 120,000 square foot, three-level museum merges two key programs: public exhibition spaces and the art archive.

Agensys: This biotech campus blurs the public-private line by inviting the community onto the site via the sculpture garden, creating a direct link between the residential community to the east and the Bergamot Station Arts Center to the west.

New Tom Bradley International Terminal: The new terminal will provide greater capacity to accommodate the new generation of aircraft and a Great Hall for dining, retail shopping and passenger amenities.

Please visit for more information about the awards.


The Los Angeles Business Council is an advocacy and educational organization dedicated to serving local businesses while informing and impacting positive change at multiple layers of government. For over 70 years, the council has been an influential link between business and government and has had a major impact on public policy related to education, housing and environmental sustainability.