2022 AIALA Presidential Honorees

Announced by American Institute of Architects Los Angeles

Recipients are recognized for their contributions to LA’s evolving landscape and reflect the goals of greater inclusivity, diversity, and equity, both within the profession and the built environment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA) – The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA) has announced the 2022 annual Presidential and Board of Director Awards. Known collectively as the “Presidential Honors,” the awards include the Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by AIA|LA. Twelve Honorees will be formally celebrated during the 2022 AIA|LA Design Awards Ceremony – which also honors winners of the juried AIA|LA Design Awards and Next LA Awards – to be held in person at the BroadStage in Santa Monica on October 27. 


AIA|LA Presidential Honorees for 2022 were selected by the Chapter’s Board of Directors; the Gold Medal recipient was selected by Chapter President Mitra Memari, AIA. 


As Memari notes, “Architecture is not only the manifestation of livable, sustainable, functional and inspiring environments, it is a vehicle for social equity, for fostering inclusivity, and for providing a sense of community and belonging. Our 2022 Presidential Honorees reflect the spirit in which we practice the profession – to make meaningful changes that improve our lives.”


The complete Class of 2022 AIA|LA Presidential Honorees:


+  Gold Medal Award:  Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, NOMAC, IIDA, LEED AP – Principal, Director of Global Diversity, Perkins & Will


+  Building Team Award*:  Audrey Irmas Pavilion, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, led by the Design Team of OMA + Gruen Associates 


+  Emerging Practice Award:  Shin Shin Architecture


+  25-Year Award:  The Gas Company Tower. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, 1991


+  Citizen Architect Award:  Helena Jubany, FAIA


+  The Merry Norris Design Advocate / Developer Award:  LA Family Housing


The Merry Norris Design Advocate / Builder Award:  Walton Construction, Inc.


+ Community Contribution Award:  Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH)


+ Robert Kennard, FAIA Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Award:  Lance Collins, AIA


+ Educator Award:  Marcela Oliva – Los Angeles Trade Technical College 




Class of 2022 Honorary AIA|LA status is conferred upon two individuals who are not architects, to recognize outstanding and significant accomplishments of a person outside of the profession of architecture.


+ Honorary AIA|LA:  Robyn Eason – City of West Hollywood


+ Honorary AIA|LA:  Michael Alvidrez – CEO Emeritus & Ambassador, Skid Row Housing Trust


(*full team credits at conclusion of this release)


Gold Medal Winner:  Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, NOMAC, IIDA, LEED AP – Principal, Director of Global Diversity, Perkins & Will


Throughout her career, Gabrielle Bullock has addressed issues of social justice. Born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, public housing design and her desire to positively impact the lives of African Americans and people of color living in her community motivated her to enter the profession and to foster access to the design industry for all genders and racial backgrounds. 


Mitra Memari shares, “I selected Gabrielle Bullock as this year’s Gold Medal winner for her career-long commitment to upholding principles of social justice within the architecture profession. She is a powerful force for EDI initiatives and is sought out around the world for her leadership and expertise in these issues.”


She is the recipient of a 2020 Whitney Young Award, which distinguishes an architect or organization that embodies social responsibility and actively addresses a relevant issue, such as affordable housing, inclusiveness, or universal access. Her current role as Director of Global Diversity at Perkins & Will, and as an award-winning architect, enables her to combine her passion to effect positive change in communities across the country and within the architecture profession. 


With Perkins & Will, she leads the design and architecture team in the local development of Destination Crenshaw, the nation’s largest outdoor art and cultural celebration of Black contributions to Los Angeles. The open-air museum will be grounded in a shared culture and will create a captivating and memorable experience of sound, color, energy, and the arts.


As Bullock says, “This journey that I embarked on was driven by my personal experiences as a Black female architect, and my professional drive to improve the complexion and cultural makeup of our design profession to better mirror the society we serve.”


Building Team: Audrey Irmas Pavilion, Design Team of OMA + Gruen Associates

The Audrey Irmas Pavilion is a striking new building in the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Glazer Family Campus, designed by OMA and completed in collaboration with Gruen Associates. Located in the heart of Koreatown and directly adjacent to the Temple’s beautifully restored, historic sanctuary, the AIP serves as a multi-purpose event space for both the congregation and the surrounding city. The pavilion forges physical and visual connections with the sanctuary and the school, and hosts a variety of gathering spaces inside and outside of the building, including a fully-occupiable landscaped roof, which highlights the AIP’s intimate relationship with the sanctuary and provides panoramic views of the LA basin. 


Emerging Practice:  Shin Shin Architecture

The Emerging Practice Award recognizes notable, innovative achievements in design, community service, education, and service to the profession.


Shin Shin Architecture is a female- and minority-owned architecture and design firm, co-founded by sisters Melissa and Amanda Shin. Based in Los Angeles and Detroit, Shin Shin strives to produce work that is meaningful and impactful, while staying respectful to the profession, the client, the environment, and to themselves. Shin Shin sees the need for a change in the profession and hopes to be a very small part in the conversation of how to break the cycle of exploitation and reduce unhealthy practices in architecture. They position themselves as architects who contribute to finding solutions for ongoing issues which have both social and spatial consequences. 


25 Year Award:  The Gas Company Tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, 1991

Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, this award is conferred on one project that has stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years and that has contributed meaningfully to American life and architecture.  The project must be located in the greater Los Angeles area or Southern California. The award is open to architectural projects of all classifications and may be one building or a related group of buildings forming a single project. 

The 55-story Gas Company Tower sits on a block facing a public square on one end, and a Los Angeles landmark, the Central Library, on the other. The base was designed to respond to these sites by orienting the entries toward them, and enhancing the pedestrian zones with shops, signage, and art.

As one Board member noted, “When the building was completed, it was an exciting architectural moment for downtown LA, with the emergence of a distinct skyline. There were other tall buildings in the area, but this one made you stop and look and want to explore inside.”

Citizen Architect Award:  Helena Jubany, FAIA – Managing Principal, NAC Architecture

The Citizen Architect Award recognizes an individual architect who has contributed to their community through service on not-for-profit or governmental boards to champion a certain issue or cause, or any other effort that demonstrates the leadership of the architect as a citizen in the community and advocate of the profession. 


Jubany’s 30-year career in architecture has been dedicated to design excellence in the public realm and is best known for her work with educational and public projects. She has lived and worked in South America and Asia, as well as the United States, and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. As a citizen of the world she brings an international flavor to her work, along with an understanding of the cultures that are represented in the diverse make-up of Southern California. 


The Merry Norris Design Advocate Award

The Merry Norris Design Advocate Award recognizes two individuals or companies (a developer/client and a builder/contractor) who have demonstrated track records of success for fostering the continued value of architecture and urbanism and have served as strong professional advocates for the importance of design excellence.


The Merry Norris Design Advocate/Developer Award:  LA Family Housing

LA Family Housing helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. LA Family Housing’s outreach and engagement process connects participants with housing placement and appropriate services, while maintaining a commitment to strong design. Through community partnerships and real estate development, supported by financial stability, they are able to increase their impact. This unique model helps thousands of people become housed and retain long-term housing stability. 


The Merry Norris Design Advocate/Builder Award:  Walton Construction, Inc.

Walton Construction, Inc. is a family-owned, general contracting company that has operated in Southern California for over 70 years and specializes in mixed-use, multi-family, and senior housing developments. Their collaboration with their non-profit clients on new and rehabilitation projects for family, senior and special needs residents reflects their belief that construction projects are more than just building: they are about the individuals and communities they benefit. 


Community Contribution Award:  Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing

The Community Contribution Award recognizes an individual, an organization (or a firm) whose achievements speak to a commitment to the profession of architecture as a whole, with an enduring legacy of dedication that will enrich generations of architects to come. This award also recognizes the organization’s (or firm’s) dedication to promoting the values of the architecture profession, which has resulted in the betterment of the architectural community in the Los Angeles region.


The mission of SCANPH is to facilitate development of affordable homes across Southern California by advancing effective public policies, sustainable financial resources, strong member organizations, and beneficial partnerships.


Nonprofit developers, SCANPH’s core constituent, provide below market-rate homes for low-to-extremely-low income community members and for people experiencing homelessness. 

SCANPH is guided by the principle that “housing’s uniqueness as a public good cannot be separated from any component of a truly just society because safe shelter is fundamental to the attainment of a hierarchy of human needs that are simply foundational for success in life.”


Robert Kennard, FAIA Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Award:  Lance Collins, AIA – Principal|Director, Partner Energy

This award distinguishes an architect, designer or architectural practice that embodies social responsibility and actively addresses equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the profession. This social engagement or initiative can be expressed in any area of the nominee’s life or work.  


The Presidential Honors Award recognizes Collins for his significant EDI achievements. He is a Principal at Partner Energy and Director of the firm’s Green Certifications Practice Group, a licensed architect in California, a LEED Accredited Professional, Green Globes Professional, and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor with over twenty years of professional experience in architecture, urban design, and sustainable design consulting.


Among his numerous contributions was the launch of the SoCalNOMA DEI Challenge in 2020 to provide local AEC firms with a tracking tool to measure and grow diversity in the industry. This tool has been used by dozens of local and national firms to be more transparent with their performance and to set goals for the future. Lance also co-founded the SoCalNOMA Leadership Development Program (i.e. LeaderFlow) that provides executive style training for younger AEC professionals of color to prepare them to take on management and leadership roles within their firms and expose them to personal and professional growth strategies to support their career advancement. In 2021 he curated the exhibition “Not Now, But Right Now,” featuring works of diverse architects and designers to increase the representation in the local community of the depth and excellence of work being produced by NOMA members.


Educator of the Year Award:  Marcela Oliva, Assoc. AIA – Architecture and Environmental Design-Los Angeles Trade Technical College

The Educator of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has fostered the intellectual and/or professional growth of emerging architects and has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the forward advancement of the architecture profession for generations to come.


Working as a Professor at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College Architecture and in the Environmental Design Program, Oliva strives to create an adventure every day for her students. For over 29 years, her courses have focused on improving the social conditions in our surrounding communities using a hands-on approach to instruction. Some of her innovative student assignments include super shade structures, tiny houses, net zero “granny flats,” a smart vertical trellis, and more.  She believes that design is a human right and to live sustainably with nature must be available to all.




Hon. AIALA: Robyn Eason – City of West Hollywood

Eason has worked on behalf of the City of West Hollywood to reimagine and rebuild a team to lead complex projects and center equity in the areas of sustainability, housing policy, transportation planning, zoning/land use, the public realm, COVID-19 recovery, and special projects. Her professional leadership incorporates a vast array of strategies and expertise to ensure livable communities and champion committed stewards of human existence through change management and targeted universalism. 


Hon. AIALA: Michael Alvidrez  – CEO Emeritus & Ambassador, Skid Row Housing 

Having devoted 28 years to ending homelessness with Skid Row Housing Trust, 14 of those years as Executive Director, then CEO, Alvidrez continues to serve the Trust following his retirement. He promotes the work of the Trust’s affordable and permanent supportive housing services as an evidence-based solution to breaking the cycle of homelessness. As an advocate and pioneer of Housing First, an innovative strategy that prioritizes the security of a permanent home as the first step to ending homelessness, he oversaw the development of permanent supportive housing to help those facing the biggest challenges to obtaining stability and wellness.


During Alvidrez’s tenure, the Trust became a nationally-recognized provider of permanent supportive housing that is on the forefront of building and program design. By creating beautiful, dignified buildings with on-site support services, Alvidrez has been critical in altering the way people view the Trust’s residents, and how the residents view themselves.


*Team Credits for Building Team of the Year – Audrey Irmas Pavilion:

Executive Architect: Gruen Associates

Design Architect: OMA

Structural, MEP, Façade, FLS, Communications: ARUP

Landscape Architect: Studio-MLA

Lighting: L’Observatoire International

Graphics, Signage, Wayfinding: Space Agency

Civil Engineer: Rhyton Engineering

Acoustics/AV/Theater Planning: TheatreDNA

Vertical Transportation: Syska Hennessy Group

Façade Access: Olympique

Food Service: Webb Foodservice Design

Security: TRC

Client Rep: Searock Stafford Construction Management

General Contractor: MATT Construction

Plan Check Expeditor: Kimberlina Whettam & Associates



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