She will be joining us to speak about her acclaimed new book “Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles”.
The book focuses on multifamily dwellings centered on shared social space and common amenities, from low to high rise, low cost to luxury, dating from 1910 to today and ranging from bungalow courts, courtyard housing, garden apartments and apartment-hotels to the lofts, coliving and courtyard-based, mid-rise affordable housing of today.
A leader in Los Angeles’ conversations around design and architecture, Frances spent 22 years at KCRW, first as producer for Warren Olney's current affairs shows "Which Way, LA?" and "To The Point;" then as host of "DnA: Design and Architecture." She is a storyteller via print and broadcast media and public events. Most recently she has co-organized “Art for Earth's Sake”, a five-part series about art and its carbon footprint, currently running at MOCA. This year she produced “Community Corp at 40”, a short film about the Santa Monica-based affordable housing developer; and scripted "Rodeo Drive: The Podcast," about the artisans behind high fashion. She teaches at USC, and is on the boards of Modernism Week and AIA/LA.
Additional event info:
Parking: there is metered parking on the street and closest parking structure is De Lacey Garage (on De Lacey between Green and Colorado) If attending in person, the event will be outdoor so please be sure to bring a jacket/coat. Light refreshments will be provided.
About GGA Alley Talks:
By highlighting various thought leaders and issues based in, or specific to, Los Angeles (but applicable across the broader region, our State, and even nationally / internationally), we explore topics ranging from housing to the climate crisis, schools to the public realm, racial injustice to our civic institutions. We look to explore and discuss ideas through a multidisciplinary lens that impact the built environment and help to define the human condition. The format is intended to be informal, conversational, and participatory, a dialogue if you will, with the hope that through these conversations we will see the world, and the possibilities within it, a bit differently than we did before.
We are so honored and excited to have won the 2022 AIALA NEXTLA Honor Design Award for the LAC + USC Restorative Care Village.
Congratulations to our partners, Century Housing and Studio MLA, for being such amazing collaborators and colleagues.
We thank the esteemed Design Jury for their gracious and humbling notes:
“An important aspect for the success of this project is that it acts as a beacon, both in location and for the community it serves. Its complex formal morphology responds beautifully to its adjacent context, and creates spaces for social interaction which are vital in collective housing. It uses a variety of approaches to ensure sustainability and social responsibility, making it a unique example of what the future of multi-family housing could look like.”
LAC + USC Restorative Care Village
We are so honored to join our partners Century Housing and StudioMLA in announcing our selection by the LA County Development Authority for phase 2 of the LAC + USC Restorative Care Village. Located on the campus of LA County USC hospital, Bienestar will provide a critical phase to the larger Restorative Care Village providing 300 units of permanent supportive housing, access and navigation to comprehensive services from community partners, economic and workforce development incubators, and a wealth of private and public green space – all through the holistic integration of architecture and landscape. Moving away from the traditional model of illness based care, Bienestar embraces and enhances the “whole health” of individuals leading to proven positive outcomes in healing and recovery of both physical and behavioral health outcomes.
Summit View Apartments
We are so proud to announce the completion of the Summit View Apartments. Located atop a bucolic hillside site in Sylmar, the development leverages the topography and landscape to create a restorative environment and supportive community for formerly homeless veterans. Congratulations and great thanks to our partners Many Mansions, LA Family Housing, MITHUN, and United Building Company. Stay tuned for updates as the final touches are put on for tenants and service providers to move in toward the end of the year.
Our Growing Studio
Our Growing Studio
We welcome two more new members to our studio, bringing our firm to the exciting mark of 40 people! Yiran Ye comes to us as a recent graduate from UCLA Architecture and Urban Design Master’s Program and Shihya Huang is a recent graduate from SCI-Arc. Both bring a strong design empathy and process to our studio culture contributing heavily to our exploratory concept process through their talents in dynamic graphics and 3D model printing.
GGA Welcomes New Studio Members
We are thrilled to expand our studio further and welcome new members Ismaelly Peña and Nisreen Tarbell. Ismaelly is currently faculty at Woodbury University, a Board Member at The LA Forum, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Nisreen is a recent graduate with a bachelors degree in architecture from USC and brings a deep interest and experience in 3D design and sustainable construction technologies.
2022 SCANPH Workshops
Join GGA on October 28 as we host two workshops at the 2022 SCANPH Conference. Workshop 1 will be led by Casey Castor and focus on leveraging state funding sources to provide sustainability and community improvements to affordable and supportive housing developments. Workshop two will be led by Greg Kochanowski and Ali Barar and focus on the need for and development practices for a range of dignified interim housing solutions as a critical first step towards permanent housing. Thanks to our workshop partners Wakeland Housing, Strategic Growth Council, Riverside Fair Housing Council, LA County Department of Health Services Housing for Health, and Hongjoo Kim Landscape Architects.”
As teachers and students prepare for the new school year, the finishing touches are just being put on the new classroom building at McKinley Ave. Elementary School. Phase 1 of a larger comprehensive modernization, the new building will move students and staff out of their old portables and into modern classrooms with connection to outdoor learning environments and gardens, collaborative break-out instructional spaces integrated into the corridors, and a demonstrable sustainability program tied to STEM curriculum. Construction will continue right on to the new administration and classroom building, multi-purpose room, kinder village, and extensive greening that will enrich the campus and neighborhood community alike. Deep thanks to our design-build partners Kemp Bros Construction and all the incredible leaders at LAUSD who made this happen. Go Tigers!
Banning Apartments Groundbreaking
Congratulations to the GGA+ and Century Housing team for breaking ground on ‘The Banning’. Local, County, and State leadership were all on-hand to lend their support to this important project long-time in the making. Funded through the City’s HHH and ‘No Place Like Home’ programs, the new multi-building complex development will provide 64 units of much-needed permanent supportive housing to the port-community of Willmington. Construction is set to complete December, 2023.
Congratulations to our partners META Housing on the opening of the La Paz Apartments in East Los Angeles. The project is a phase 2 to our Plaza del Sol apartments just across the street on Whittier Blvd. The new building will add 42 more units of affordable housing for individuals and families experiencing the challenges of homelessness and chronic mental health issues. The project was a result of intensive collaboration and meaningful investment by the Los Angeles County Community Development Agency (LACDA), County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles County 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis, and resident service providers LifeSTEPS.“La Paz Apartments not only gives individuals a roof over their heads but provides residents with customized services and enrichment programs for residents to grow and thrive in a supportive and vibrant community,” Meta Housing President Kasey Burke said.
GGA Celebrates Women in Architecture & Design
GGA Celebrates Women in Architecture & Design
We enjoyed the amazing AWA+D Symposium event celebrating their 100th year! Conversations focused on Cultural Inclusivity in a Built Environment, Interdisciplinary Practice and Community Engagement, and Intergenerational Discussion on Gender and Ageism. Our associate Noelle White, participated in a panel discussion about managing multi-disciplinary design teams. Thank you AWA+D for a fabulous event and to all that participated!
We're proud to announce and share in the excitement with East LA Community Corporation, BRIDGE Housing Corporation, and METRO the groundbreaking of Los Lirios Apartments! The 5-story, 64 affordable unit building is located on the 1st & Soto Gold Line Station in Boyle Heights and developed through METRO’s joint-development program. We are thankful for support from local leadership like County Supervisor Hilda Solis and tenant advocates who worked closely to ensure the new building would be a community benefit that kept residents in their beloved neighborhood.
Rancho Los Amigos Recuperative Care Campus In the Media!
More Design Awards & Recognition!
AIA Pasadena-Foothill Citation Design Award, People’s Choice Award
‘Terrazas Del Sol’ Commerce Affordable Family Housing Community
AIA Pasadena-Foothill Merit Design Award
GGA Founding Principal Emeritus, Armando L. Gonzalez, FAIA
AIA Pasadena Foothill ‘Joe Thomas’ Lifetime Achievement Award
Jordan Downs Family Apartments
Westside Urban Forum Open Space Award
Caltech Hameetman Student Center
USGBC-LA 2022 My Green Building Conference & Expo LEED Gold Recognition
AIA Pasadena-Foothill ‘Joe Thomas’ Lifetime Achievement Award
Westside Urban Foundation Open Space Award
USGBC-LA 2022 My Green Building Conference & Expo LEED Gold Recognition
GGA is thrilled to announce that we have been selected to lead the design for the major modernization of Inglewood High School!!
GGA is thrilled to announce that we have been selected to lead the design for the major modernization of Inglewood High School!!
Originally opened in 1905, the culturally significant campus has been central to Inglewood's culture for generations.
Spurred on by a highly engaged and enthusiastic community, the District recently passed an overwhelmingly successful
bond campaign to fund such campus renovations. The updated campus is planned to include new classroom buildings, a pool facility,
gymnasium, a career technical education center, and a much-needed re-greening of campus open spaces.
Inglewood High School has been identified, for several years, as one of IUSD’s sites needing significant improvements to its facilities,
in order to match our growing 21st Century programs and pathways. We are truly grateful for the trust given by the
Inglewood Unified School District community and the rare opportunity to provide a holistic 21st-century educational campus for
future generations of leaders and community members.
We will be collaborating with the District to host Community Input Sessions to discuss new visions. Over a series of input sessions, students, staff, families and community members will have the opportunity to provide recommendations on the modernization design and vision that values the illustrious history Inglewood High School holds. We are honored to participate in this collaborative and inclusive process.
Deep thanks also to our project design partners KPFF, P2S, Hongjoo Kim Landscape Architects, CSDA Acoustics, Aquatic Design Group, and Yuang Tai Cost Estimators.
GGA Welcomes new Associate, Seth Barnard
As Associate and Senior Project Designer, Seth brings to the studio his long experience and focus in developing holistic,
restorative environments which reflect the diversity of populations in the communities we serve. He has a range of experience from
Education and Science/Technology to Office Space and Healthcare. Seth’s architectural interest lies in the marriage of ecological systems,
passive strategies, and natural materials. Seth will serve further as a mentor to the studio to integrate cutting edge BIM, energy
analysis and fabrication technologies to meet the greatest potentials in our collaborative design process.
Seth holds a Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Partner Spotlight – Shopworks Architecture
We were so lucky to have Rev. Laura Rossbert of the Denver-based architecture firm Shopworks to speak in our studio on her group’s
research into Trauma Informed Design in supportive housing. Studying the long-term effects of trauma on the brain, her team took a
academic and scientific approach to developing effective design considerations which can be integrated into the built environment to
better promote trust and healing for individuals who have experienced the deep mental damages of homelessness. Their findings show in
fact a multitude of traumas are prevalent throughout all our society - not just in those experiencing homelessness - and we can all
benefit from architecture which is thoughtfully developed through this common lens of designing for healing, dignity, and joy.
The results of their research are several publications which Shopworks has made free and open-sourced to the architectural and service provider community. We are so thrilled to have such an invaluable resource in Laura to incorporate her research and processes into our own work in ending homelessness and creating healing communities here in Southern California.
Learn more about Shopworks’ Trauma-Informed Design Research & Design Manuals for free here.
STEM Students and Leaders of Tomorrow
Committed to empowering our STEM students and leaders of tomorrow, we are proud to support the LAUSD Franklin High School
‘Robo-Nerds’ team in moving on from their regional qualifying win to compete at this year’s Robotics Worlds Championship
in Houston. Undeterred by the hardships of the past two years, Team 5089 adapted to remote learning and developed their
own innovative “building network” which leveraged the power of Zoom, online collaborative CAD design software, and a
structured division of construction pods to program and assemble their robots. While many student clubs were put on hold,
the team admirably committed to continuing their work outside school hours on their evenings and weekends.
Best of luck to the Robo-Nerds and their robot “Thomas”!
Read more about the team here.
Consider making a donation to their GoFundMe.
GGA+ ART ALLEY TALKS_03
We were honored to welcome Rosecrans Baldwin and Héctor Tobar to the third edition of GGA+ Art Alley Talks for a discussion about Rosecrans’ widely acclaimed new book Everything NOW: Lessons from the City-State of Los Angeles.
Wild Fires with Greg Kochanowski
GGA Design Principal Greg Kockanowski joined Mark R. LePage on the "EntreArchitect podcast" for an in-depth discussion focused on the impacts of the climate crisis in urban environments. Check it out here:Listen now
Cultivating the Next Generation of Design Leaders – GGA Externship Program
At GGA+, we are passionate about cultivating the next generation of design and community leaders. This year, we were proud to host Sahara KC, who traveled from Kathmandu, Nepal for an externship at our Pasadena office. Through this experience, she was able to shadow her fellow University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee alumni and GGA+ Associate Casey Castor and be introduced to multiple elements of our office and the architecture industry at large, from site visits and storyboarding, to learning design philosophies that are integral to our practice. Read on for her reflections on her week with GGA+ here:
GGA+ EXTERNSHIP SYNOPSIS - SAHARA
I was excited about my externship match to GGA+, while debating if only 5 days of externship would be
constructive or not. After few weeks when GGA+ Associate Casey Castor shared the externship schedule,
I was surprised how the schedule was carefully and systematically planned to make my time at GGA+
worthwhile. It included job shadowing on site visits, as well as meetings with contractors and various
teams and departments at the office. After crossing a couple of thousand miles and three hours by train
to the office, I met Casey on my very first day. He introduced me to the firm’s objective and goals.
Learning how the office conducted their projects from start to finish was very informative, and I was
glad to share similar values of the firm to make an impact in society and the environment.
I was involved in job shadowing Casey and met with the contractors on site. It was a different experience for me, as in my country the contractors usually aren’t as skilled to use tablets for Zoom meetings. It was amazing to know how technology was utilized in the construction field. We went to the nearby built low-income projects completed by the firm. As an architect, to be introduced to this type of project gave me a different perspective of adding value and meaning through our profession towards our society. I was also involved in a Carbon Affordable Housing competition, where I was mentored by Juan for 3D printing. He was warm and friendly, and shared some of his college experiences with me. I also had a meeting with Hannah, where she shared important elements of the firm like financial aspects and contract documents to run an organization. It was a very informative session that included project budgeting, salary, expenditures, and more.
One of the important sessions was also with Jake regarding storyboarding. It was just an hour-long discussion, but in that short period of time, he made me realize how to be efficient not just in design and architecture but also as an individual. I will adapt these resources and ideas for my personal and professional growth. Also, the Friday studio meeting was interesting to share personal experiences about the week and also be updated with the involvement of the project by different teams.
My one week externship experience at GGA+ was valuable, because of my mentor Casey who helped me connect with the overall team and planned an excellent schedule for me. I am very happy to be mentored by him. I was inspired by how he was an excellent leader. He listened to my every problem, no matter how small, like turning on a screen or finding me a charger. Although being very busy, he patiently helped me throughout the process. He was very amiable and made me feel like I was part of the team.
I left my country in search of knowledge and correct guidance; I wanted to do well as a designer and become a responsible architect to society and the environment. I feel my few days of experience at GGA + offered valuable resources and direction towards my path in this field. I am very thankful for Casey for giving me long hours of presentation on the holistic design process, and the GGA+ team to include me as an extern at the firm. It was a very memorable and knowledgeable experience.
GGA Welcomes new Associate, Noelle White, AIA
As Associate and Senior Project Designer, Noelle contributes to the design culture of the practice by encouraging meaningful internal and external design dialogues.
She seeks to support the firm’s mission of doing good with great design through her mentorship of design teams and management of design delivery processes.
She believes that the most successful architectural solutions enhance communities through collaboration and effective communication of critical ideas.
Noelle has led project teams through all design phases of award-winning residential and commercial projects in Southern California and the Midwest. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.
46 units of New Permanent Supportive Housing coming on line!
…and the views from the rooftop deck are stunning - a mix of palm tree lined horizons, a rich stock of early California architecture in Los Angeles, and a highly active street life. The neighborhood feel is pure LA. Designed and developed with PATH Ventures, the new infill project is nestled in between the historic West Adams and Jefferson Park neighborhoods. Deep gratitude to all of our project partners who continue to create environments and communities that heal through expanded access to supportive and affordable housing.
GGA Celebrates the New Canyon Country Community Center
A sneak peak at our new Canyon Country Community Center. The new 6 acre park and 22,000sf facility were only just completed in late 2021 but are already well loved and used by the community. At the grand opening, Santa Clarita Mayor Bill Miranda spoke to the immediate transformative contribution the project has made to their mountain community. “Two and a half years ago, this site housed a smattering of buildings, a vacant lot full of brush and debris and a large billboard. Now this site is home to a hub for recreation, enrichment and activity."
GGA Begins the New Year with a Project Win
Continuing our long history of collaboration with the City of Covina, GGA is undertaking an adaptive re-use renovation of the City’s historic
Vita Pakt orange warehouses into a community recreation village. Located along the railroad tracks and adjacent to the Metrolink train station,
the long linear site celebrates the City’s history of agriculture and transportation while providing much-needed community space for active social connection.
The new recreation village will serve further to reinforce the City’s larger revitalization program of the areas extending out from their historic downtown core and to create a regional asset for the larger San Gabriel Valley community.
Doing Good with Great Design in East LA
In recent years, GGA has been highly engaged in the East LA community to provide increased access to quality multi-family housing
and opportunities for economic development. In partnership with housing developers East LA Community Corporation(ELACC) and Meta Housing Corporation, GGA+ is excited to
announce that 4 projects within one block of Whittier Boulevard and Downey Avenue will soon be completed.
Between our Whittier/Downey South East and Northwest buildings with META, and our soon-to-be completed Phase 1 & 2 of our Whittier Family Apartments buildings with ELACC, a total of 174 units of affordable and permanent supportive housing will be available to the East LA community.
Our work in this community extends west to the Boyle Heights neighborhood where we have designed and developed nearly 200 units of affordable, transit-oriented housing surrounding the METRO Goldline stations in the area. GGA is active and committed to uplifting and celebrating similarly underserved communities throughout Southern California furthering our mission of ‘Doing Good with Great Design’.
GGA+ celebrates the new year by elevating four firm members to Associates:
Project Architect – Hyeyoon Chung, AIA
Project Designer – Daniel Nay
Building Science Analyst/Environmental Designer - Casey Castor, LEED AP
Director of Information Technology - Ric Berryman
Congratulations to our new studio leaders!
GGA Studio Speaker Series_02
GGA hosted our second in a series of Art Alley Talks, this time with authors Nicola Twilley and Jeff Manaugh sharing stories from their new book "Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine". A truly fantastic, thought provoking, and inspirational evening.
GGA Studio Speaker Series_02
Same As It Never Was: New and Recurring Lessons in Affordable Housing
GGA’s own Daniel Nay will be speaking at the next installment of “New and Recurring Lessons in Affordable Housing” hosted by the AIA Los Angeles Building Performance & Regulations Committee.
Daniel will be presenting some of our recent work in housing including our soon to be completed Summit View Permanent Supportive Housing apartments.
Daniel will be comparing solutions in conventional and modular construction technologies for challenging conditions like Summitview’s hillside context.
Register and tune in on Thursday, November 11 at 5pm. (1.5 LU’s for those looking for their credits.)
More info & tickets
We Come In Cheese
Last month, we held our first-ever grilled cheese fest! From traditional approaches to innovative ingredients (and plenty of tomato soup for obligatory dipping), there was nothing cheddar than this delicious viscous design challenge. Click through the images for a peek at the inaugural event.
Los Angeles, Wildfires and Adaptive Design: Greg Kochanowski on Creating New Futures
Greg Kochanowski is featured on today's ArchDaily Interviews.
Read the Interview
“Gardening with Wildfires”
Greg Kochanowski joined horticulturalist Thomas Christopher on his ‘Growing Greener’ podcast. The two discussed the role of landscape at the interface of human communities and fire-adapted ecosystems
GGA Studio Speaker Series
GGA recently launched the first in a series of lectures in our Studio Speaker Series.
We were joined by Landscape Architect with Claire Latané talking about her new book “Schools That Heal: Design with Mental Health in Mind.”
Stay tuned for the announcement of our next guest speaker for September’s lecture.
GGA Studio Speaker Series
“A Restorative Built & Natural Environment”
Rancho Los Amigos Recuperative Care Campus
Residents and staff are set to move into the new Rancho Los Amigos Recuperative Care Center (RCC) and Residential Treatment Program (RTP) Campus. The product of focused collaboration between our builders, client, and future operators, the new campus sets a new precedent for holistic healing through a model of permanent supportive housing reinforced by the restorative properties of natural environment.
Housing Solutions through the lens of ‘Trauma Informed Care
GGA Principal, Ali Barar, AIA was joined by LA Family Housing Director of Interim Housing, Kelsey Madigan, LCSW to speak at Design for Dignity, the AIALA conference. Their focus was on the design of supportive housing solutions through the lens of ‘Trauma Informed Care.’
Design for Dignity 2021
Greg Kochanowski Joins GGA as Design Principal and Partner
As Design Principal, Greg is responsible for shaping the design culture of the firm. By harnessing its diversity and creating an environment of empowerment, agency, growth, and collaboration, he seeks to reinforce the firm’s mission of doing good with great design.
With over 25 years of experience as an award-winning architect, landscape architect, educator, and author, Greg brings a wealth of knowledge and a holistic design philosophy to the practice. He currently serves as the Co-President of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, and is an active researcher focusing on resilient environments that create synergies between natural systems, culture, infrastructure, and development. His unique perspective at the intersection of urban design, landscape, and infrastructure has been instrumental in a variety of projects reshaping the cultural and environmental fabric of Los Angeles.
Greg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Structural Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Temple University, and Master’s of Architecture degree from UCLA.
Making a Service Building into Something Much, Much More
GGA joins the City of Los Angeles in celebrating the LADOT Bus Maintenance Facility receiving two major awards.
The Westside Urban Forum recognized the project its Honor Award for Public/Institutional category. The jury commented “It demonstrates that it’s worth
the investment to build better civic buildings.” See the jury comments and full team credits here.
The project was also recognized by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Los Angeles as Project of the Year Award at the 2020 Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo. An embodiment of the City’s dedication to sustainability, the new maintenance and operations facility is LEED Platinum Certified and offsets 148% of its total energy costs through renewable strategies. This resulting net-positive energy production is enough operate the buildings, the fleet of 70 DASH buses, and create revenue for the City’s operations by selling the surplus back to the grid.
MGBCE Virtual Tour
Serving the Community
Stepping up our commitment to serving community, GGA responded to the call to support the local Pasadena elementary school the Rosebud Academy. Serving mostly low income families, many of Rosebud’s students lacked access to technology tools needed to connect and succeed during distance learning. Along with our partners dHA+Calpec and Ming Yang Yeh Associates, we were able to contribute what was needed to provide 45 Google Chromebooks – enough for an entire grade! Whether at home or in a classroom, here’s to fostering environments where students can thrive.
Fabulous Mid-Century Details
Taking in the fabulous mid-century details and some of the most consequential Downtown Los Angeles Architecture as we finish up renovations on new offices for the
LA County Department of Business & Consumer Affairs. Located within the ground floor of the historic Neutra designed Hall of Records building (1961), the new offices serve to support
the Departments role in empowering County citizens through their mission of creating a fair and vibrant marketplace for consumers and businesses.
Also updated is the Hall of Records Plaza with our Landscape Architect Mark Beall recreating original Neutra designed benches!
Citation of Merit Award
We are excited to announce that the Hameetman Student Center on the Caltech campus was awarded a Citation of Merit from the Southern California Development Forum. Thank you to SCDF and Congratulations to the Caltech|GGA|Pankow team for an amazing project.
Community Architect & Advocate
Armando L. Gonzalez, FAIA
GGA’s Founding Principal Armando L. Gonzalez, FAIA was recently interviewed by the AIA Pasadena-Foothill Chapter about his lifetime of community and social justice advocacy through architecture.
Armando L. Gonzalez, FAIA - A Life-Changing Gift
Interview with Lance Bird, FAIA - AIA Pasadena-Foothill
I’ve always admired Armando and his firm Gonzalez Goodale Architects (now GGA Architects), for their commitment to community, a quality sadly missing with many architectural firms. We have much in common. In the past decade we’ve both gone through an ownership transition, and now retired, we chat about travel, community and making a difference for future architects. He’s a generous supporter of the Jean Roth Driskel Scholarship fund. And he’s a behind-the-scenes trusted advisor, brimming with thoughts to energize the program. I recently asked him what inspired him to give so much time to our community. His inspiration and mission run much deeper than trying to curry favor with local officials to win projects. Here is why...
Q. You and your firm are stand-outs when it comes to community service. Clearly, service is deeply ingrained in who you are. Where does that come from?
A. As an 18-year-old student at East LA College with a keen interest in architecture, there were only three B. Arch. programs in California – USC, Cal Berkeley and Cal Poly SLO. My father died a year earlier, and with limited funds, USC was a natural choice as it was close to home, but it was expensive. I found I qualified for a National Student Defense Loan, $4,000, a huge amount in the early 60’s, loaned at 1% interest. Receiving the loan felt great! And paying it off gave me a feeling of accomplishment.
“I was helped by others, inspiring me to help others."
Armando came from a supportive family, had good grades, but it was the loan that
was life-changing, inspiring him to give back to others and founding his firm with a Community-Based mission. This commitment permeates his staff. They’ve learned an important lesson: when you volunteer, it’s to help others achieve their mission, not to help your firm nor yourself.
Q. Why is financial support critical to students and therefore our profession?
A. From my own experience, I can tell you, receiving support as a student has a profound impact. Receiving a scholarship gives a sense of pride. It builds confidence. And the honor on your resume opens doors in job interviews. Q. What do you think is a particularly pressing issue in our society and our profession today? A. Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. As a profession, we have a responsibility to help Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). We should say to the universities, “Help us with this. We have an obligation to our profession and society.”
Community Service – Armando’s exceptional, career-long contributions to our community have been recognized with his life-time appointment as a trustee (one of just five) for Huntington Hospital. As a member of the board, he joins community members with varied and renowned professional experience who lend their expertise to ensure the hospital reaches their vision of creating community well-being through world-class healthcare, delivered with kindness and dignity.
AIAPF, FAIA Committee
A Noise Within, Board Member
CIVITAS, Founding Board Member
Community Design Group. Founding Board Member
Flintridge Foundation and Flintridge Center, Board Member
Centro Latino for Literacy, Board Member
PCC Foundation, Board Member
City of Pasadena, Community Development Commission
American Institute of Architects, College of Fellows
Cal Poly Pomona 2020 Winter CAED Career Day
GGA studio members enjoyed meeting the emerging professionals and students at the Cal Poly Pomona CAED Winter Career Day.
The day was filled with an inspiring exchange of talent and enthusiasm for the design profession.
Thanks again to Cal Poly College of Architecture & Environmental Design for inviting us to participate again and best of luck to the 2020 graduates!
2019 AIA Pasadena-Foothill Merit Design Award
GGA Architects is honored to receive a 2019 AIA Pasadena-Foothill Merit Design Award for the Hameetman Student Center. We congratulate and thank our partners Pankow and Caltech on such a successful collaborative project and the truly transformative addition to the Caltech campus community.Project page
Project of the Year
Mary Wu and Harry Drake joined representatives from Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and
Syska Hennessey Engineers in accepting the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch award for
Outstanding Architectural Engineering Project of the Year. The project has also won the same ASCE award for the larger Southern California.
The LADOT Bus Maintenance and CNG Fueling Facility was completed earlier this year and is recognized for its sustainable features and
iconic design presence in Downtown LA.
Celebrating the grand opening of the LA Family Housing Campus. Mayor Eric Garcetti “This is a place of warmth, growth, and essential service.”
Read the "Curbed Los Angeles" article here:
Curbed LA Article Visit the project page
ACE Mentor of the Year
Congratulations to our studio member Jake Martinez on being the 2018 ACE Mentor Program’s Mentor of the Year.
Since 2002, ACE Los Angeles has enabled over 1,500 high school students to discover the exciting potential of careers in Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE).
For over a decade, Jake Martinez has been working closely with students from Los Angeles Unified School District’s John Marshall High School interested in exploring these fields.
Along with partners PCL Construction and Structural Engineers John A. Martin Associates, the students are taken through real-world experience with industry professionals in design and building of conceptual projects throughout Los Angeles.
We thank Jake for his dedicated engagement and meaningful advocacy for the future of the design field and wish the entire Marshall High School team luck in this year’s competition.
LA Family Housing - SCANPH 2018
Huge congratulations are in order for our incredible partners LA Family Housing on receiving the 2018 SCANPH ‘Transformative Communities Development’ award for The Campus. We are so thrilled and honored to have been part of this first of its kind permanent supportive housing and supportive services campus. None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts and hearts of our LAFH friends and the dedicated talents of all of the members of our studio, past and present, who worked to make this a reality. Cheers to all of you!
Culver City City Hall Revisited 25 Years Later
As one of the earliest projects for GGA, the Culver City City Hall and Civic Plaza remains a seminal and highly celebrated fixture for both the City and our studio. 25+ years later, we are lucky enough to be able to revisit our design and client to reorganize the administrative and departmental functions of the building. As a testament to the original design and vision, the facilities were planned to be as highly adaptable and expandable as possible to ensure the City could best serve the needs of their staff while maximizing space and operational efficiencies. Our team is currently working with staff leadership to reprogram and consolidate departments, carefully studying collaborative workspace needs while also identifying space for revenue producing commercial opportunities.
Student Career Pathways
Student Career Pathways In partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and their ACES Program (Architecture, Construction, Engineering Students), GGA and Kemp Bros Construction are continuing our collaborative student workshops and career mentoring we began last year at Legacy High School. Focusing on principles of current design and building trends applied on the new International Studies Learning Center project, students have been introduced to fundamentals of Architecture and Engineering through hands-on experiments and exposure to professionals in the field.
Westside Family YMCA Opens
We are proud to announce the recently opened and already very popular Westside Family YMCA.
A first of its kind joint-use development between the YMCA and Los Angeles Unified School District,
the new facility sits on the University High School campus and serves both the public Sawtelle community
and students with athletic and aquatics center.
The highly anticipated new location includes a visitors and administration center, competition and recreational pools, dedicated dance and exercise classrooms, gymnasium, weight room, and rooftop running track and courts.
LA Family Housing
Congratulations to LA Family Housing on the opening and move-in day of their new Fiesta Apartments and bringing more than 40 homeless clients home.
As part of the larger supportive services "Campus", the apartments provide 49 units of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless.
We are incredible proud to be a part of this precedent and hopefully trend-setting project that is so needed in the region.
Our long time client-partners at Alverno Heights Academy are thrilled with the transformation of their outdated
library into a "Learning Technology Center'. Through the reintroduction of natural light, refocusing uses to flexible study and social spaces,
and a complete modernization of systems and furniture throughout, the reimagined center is a new heart of the campus.