CO Architects Receives Top Honors for Exemplary Campus Office Design

Firm Celebrated by AIA|LA for Creativity and Sustainability

November 14, 2019 -- LOS ANGELES -- CO Architects has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects | Los Angeles (AIA|LA) and the Committee on the Environment Los Angeles (COTE LA) at the organization’s annual AIA|LA Design Awards for its excellence in the creative and sustainable design of the Student Services Building (SSB) at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA.  The SSB was dignified with Honor Awards, the highest level of achievement, for both the AIA|LA Design Awards and the COTE LA Awards. 

The annual Design Awards are the most competitive and prestigious honors bestowed by AIA|LA and celebrate projects that contribute to the quality of life in Los Angeles and beyond.  The Design Awards jury lauded the integration of the project’s natural design into the landscape.  “The building’s roof mimics the mountain ranges in the distance and its form makes it seem quite natural,” the jury states.  “This has an amazing fifth façade with a beautiful configuration of its roof profile.”

The COTE LA Awards bring recognition to projects that demonstrate outstanding achievement in the implementation of sustainability features.  CO Architects’ LEED Platinum SSB was the only project to receive an Honors Award this year.  The COTE LA awards jury praised the SSB for the roof’s design and overall performance.  “The roof is doing a lot of the heavy lifting as far as the sustainable performance with deep overhangs and how it’s all fully integrated with the site design,” the jury states.

“We are trusted by leading national higher education institutions to deliver iconic buildings that will elevate their students, faculty, and local communities,” said Scott Kelsey, FAIA, Managing Principal at CO Architects.  “The Student Services Building is a beacon of our mission and dedication to designing high-performance buildings that exhibit outstanding form and function.”  Previously, the SSB was awarded a Los Angeles Business Council Architectural Award, a Westside Urban Forum Honor Award, one of Engineering News-Record California’s Best Project Awards for Higher Education, and an Architecture MasterPrize for Educational Buildings.

CO Architects designed the 140,000-square-foot SSB as a new gateway to California State Polytechnic University, located approximately 30 miles east of Los Angeles.  The building is LEED Platinum and connects with its surroundings by creating a memorable introduction to the university, referencing the topography of the campus, foothills, and nearby San Gabriel Mountains.  The SSB welcomes prospective students and their families, matriculating students, and visiting alumni.  The building consolidates enrollment, registration, financial aid, cashiering, and prospective student services into easily accessible, one-stop service centers adjacent to their supporting administrative functions.

CO Architects topped the SSB with an undulating, standing-seam aluminum roof that spans over two separate structures.  The shape and orientation of this distinguishing feature are driven purely by performance and function with the aims to optimize energy management, maximize daylight, and offer views to the surroundings.  To mitigate the desert climate, the two-acre roof acts as the main shading device.  The architects used extensive daylight, glare, and solar heat-gain analysis modeling to optimize the roof geometry, minimize energy loads for lighting and cooling, and increase user visual and thermal comfort.

Los Angeles-based CO Architects is nationally recognized for architectural planning, programming, and design in the higher education, science and technology, and healthcare sectors, and works with leading institutions from coast to coast.  CO Architects’ specialized expertise includes transformative schools of medicine and health professions, advanced research and teaching laboratories, and innovative clinical facilities on higher education, healthcare, and urban campuses.  The firm has been nationally and internationally recognized with more than 150 awards for innovative design and project delivery, including the American Institute of Architects, California Council’s Architecture Firm of the Year Award.


Quinn Le
Taylor & Company
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Julie D. Taylor
Hon. AIA, Taylor & Company
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