The 45th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council, recognize the project teams responsible for the very best architecture in Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. Selected by a jury of notable design and building professionals, the winning projects encompass a wide range of building types, from performing arts centers to affordable apartment complexes to single-family homes. The call for entries went out in January 2015 to thousands of industry leaders. From the hundreds of submissions received, the jury selected 45 winning projects. A separate charrette jury also selected a winner of the 2015 Julius Shulman Emerging Talent Award.

All winning projects, except the “Beyond L.A.” award winners, are located within Los Angeles County. “Beyond L.A.” recognizes local architects for projects completed outside of Los Angeles County.

Winning projects must have been completed within the last two calendar years, with the exception of projects in the “Under Construction” and “Design Concept” categories. Projects designated “Under Construction” must have begun the construction process by December 2014. Projects not yet under construction as of December 2014 were placed in the “Design Concept” category.

Two Santa Monica projects received awards.

The Pico Branch Library received the Civic Award while Ocean Avenue South received an award in the Housing and LADWP Community Impact categories.

According to award officials the Library’s most outstanding feature is “visibility inside and out is key to connecting the library to its setting and is achieved with expansive areas of glass shaded by deep overhangs and awnings. Inside, oversized north facing skylights and a sculpted ceiling amplify the light while minimizing exterior reflection.”

They also listed its most significant contribution.

“The mix of park programs and recreational resources blurs the line between play and learning and strengthens the library as an attractive neighborhood hub. Over the first six months, approximately 100,000 materials have been checked out, 84,000 library users have visited and 1,200 new borrowers have been welcomed.”

The Ocean Avenue South neighborhood was described as a new prototype for socially diverse urban living – one that challenges conventional ratios of affordable to market-rate housing, and integrates community open space with neighborhood retail and artist loft housing.

It’s most outstanding features was “Fifty percent of this 325-unit project is designated as affordable housing. Designed through an interactive community process, the project’s plan, identity and quality of life transcend socio-economic barriers. … The strand of gardens provide residents a choice of outdoor living space. The Courtyard hosts large formal and informal gatherings to build community. A Family Garden and Play Area provide safe places for people of all ages to play, dine, talk or relax. A green wall gives beauty to the public face.”

Officials listed the most significant contribution as “The Living Street concept provides a social identity for the Village’s economically diverse neighborhood while organizing the variety of housing types to reinforce City planning goals and take advantage of the site’s attributes.”

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— Submitted by Molly Hogin

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