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Emerson LA wins top architecture award

Architecture firm Morphosis has won the grand prize at the 2014 Los Angeles Architectural Awards from the Los Angeles Business Council for designing the new Emerson College Los Angeles, which opened to students in January.

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A nighttime view of Emerson College Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. (Photo by Iwan Baan)

Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne, Emerson’s Hollywood home won premier recognition among 35 world-class projects from across the architectural spectrum.

“By working with Morphosis…we made a statement loud and clear,” said Emerson Trustee Gary Grossman ’70, who spoke at the ceremony on behalf of the College June 4 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “It’s a statement of who we are, what we represent, and the core values of Emerson College—academic excellence, local civic engagement, expanding global engagement, and innovation—innovation that you can see today at 5960 Sunset Boulevard.”

Grossman, Gary

Emerson Trustee Gary Grossman '70 with Eui-Sung Yi, design principal at Morphosis, at the 2014 Los Angeles Architectural Awards on June 4. (Photo Courtesy of LA Business Council)

Grossman mentioned how Emerson helped transform Boston’s Theatre District over the last two decades, and said a similar effort is taking place now in Hollywood.

“We wanted to create an environment that would serve our students and be as transformative for Los Angeles as we have been for Boston,” he said. “We did it…with the extraordinary vision of the team from Morphosis.”

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The front of Emerson Los Angeles, facing Sunset Boulevard. (Photo by Iwan Baan)

The grand prize award recognizes the work of Mayne, project manager Kim Groves, and other members of Morphosis; Hathaway Dinwiddle Construction Company; and structural engineers from John A. Martin & Associates, among others.

With sun shades, solar thermal panels, and filtering planters among other features, Emerson Los Angeles is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings on Sunset Boulevard. The building has multiple state-of-the-art facilities and connects Emerson undergraduates to internships at more than 80 different companies across Los Angeles.

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Students at Emerson Los Angeles in the Spring 2014 semester. (Photo by Iwan Baan)

Moderated by Sam Lubell of the Architect’s Newspaper, the 44th annual awards hosted approximately 500 top professionals.

“The LA Architectural Awards celebrate truly outstanding projects that demonstrate an unyielding commitment to great design and meaningful sustainability,” said Los Angeles Business Council President Mary Leslie. “Today’s winners enhance our quality of life and prove that Los Angeles remains a global hub for world-class architecture.”

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