The Los Angeles Business Council gave a Santa Monica media company top honors for its new offices inside the Pen Factory near Bergamot Station at their annual architecture awards Friday.

Awesomeness is an entertainment brand that caters to teenagers by helping young internet sensations build their brands, monetize their content and improve their production quality. The company’s new offices take up the East Wing of the recently remodeled 1950’s era Papermate factory.

“The Awesomeness project reimagines how we use office space to meet the needs of today’s workforce,” said Mary Leslie, LABC president. “We congratulate the winning team for their innovative design and for helping L.A. keep pace with the needs of the modern Angeleno.”

The company’s new offices were designed by architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. It was one of 54 projects that took home honors during the 48th annual LABC Architecture Awards.

“This year’s award winners were especially focused on making urban life more livable and sustainable as well as beautiful,” Leslie said.

A jury panel of industry experts co-chaired by Robert Jernigan, Regional Managing Principal of Gensler, and Nadine Watt, President of Watt Companies, picked the winners out of nearly 300 entries.

Culver City restaurant Vespertine won the grand prize with its curving steel and glass facade, interior garden and intimate dining spaces. The two-story structure was designed by Los Angeles architect Eric Owen Moss, who is known for postmodern projects around the world, including the Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland and Samitaur Tower in Culver City.

The awards also honored projects that reimagined underused parking lots and turned former stores into creative workspaces and transit-oriented communities.

The Architectural Review Board approved plans for about 200,000 square feet of office space inside the former Papermate factory in August 2015. Construction on the adaptive reuse project finished in September 2017, and the building reopened with a rainbow-striped facade and a central courtyard.

The site, infamously known as “the Hines project,” was once slated for 375,000 square feet of office space, 427 apartments and $32 million in community benefits. A Texas-based developer spent seven years trying to get the mixed-use complex approved before it ultimately failed amid community outcry over traffic impacts. The City Council initially approved the Hines development in a 4-3 vote, but then reversed their decision when residents gathered enough signatures to take the issue to the ballot.

kate@smdp.com

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