Engineering Award For Higher Ed Construction Project

The Emerson College Los Angeles Center has earned national recognition in the 2016 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a ceremony at the building on June 23, 2016. In recognition of its particular accomplishments in structural engineering, the project has been selected to receive the IDEAS2 award’s Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering, the only project in the competition to be so honored.

structural engineering
Emerson College Los Angeles Center

“A jaw-dropping, monumental accomplishment in structural expression and architectural gusto,” commented Kem Hinton, founding principal of Tuck-Hinton Architects in Nashville, and the architect juror in the competition. “This is quite unlike anything I have ever seen.”

Located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, the $85 million building, which serves as the West Coast home of Boston-based Emerson College, is a small-scale university campus containing below-grade parking, classrooms, performance space, offices, and student housing. The facility adds a new focal point to the neighborhood while serving as a conduit for Emerson students to intern in the nearby entertainment industry during work/study semester in Los Angeles. The complicated forms and interconnecting spaces required creative structural problem solving to maintain efficiency of material and constructability while upholding the architect’s vision.

The project was entered in the competition by its structural engineer, John A. Martin & Associates, Inc., Los Angeles. The other members of the project team include:

  • Owner: Emerson College, Los Angeles
  • Architect: Morphosis, Culver City, CA
  • General Contractor: Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Co., Los Angeles
  • Steel Fabricator and Detailer: Schroeder Iron Corp., Fontana, CA (AISC Member/Certified fabricator)
  • Steel Erector: Bragg Crane & Rigging, Co., Long Beach, CA (AISC Member/Certified erector)

While the center was singled out for its engineering achievements, projects entered in the IDEAS2 competition are judged on their use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective.

The 10 IDEAS2 winners for 2016 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received from architectural and engineering and other project team member firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 award dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning college center, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC, said, “The entire Emerson College Los Angeles Center project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and structural integrity. The result is a structure that will serve its users extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”