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An Evening with AIA Gold Medal Winners Angela Brooks, FAIA, and Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA
June 9, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Helms Bakery District Presents An Evening with AIA Gold Medal Winners Angela Brooks, FAIA, and Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA
Thursday, June 9th | 6:30 PM
Reception and Celebration of Brooks + Scarpa
Private Invitation Only | RSVP Required
8723 Washington Boulevard | Culver City
After meeting at architecture school at the University of Florida, Lawrence Scarpa, raised in a family run restaurant, and Angela Brooks resolved to not work together. That changed and now Brooks + Scarpa has won the AIA Gold Medal for a partnership dedicated to creating buildings that advance the art and technology of architecture. Through citizen activism they have also disrupted codes, construction and the financing of buildings, demonstrating the breadth of ways an architect can shape space and place.
“Their efforts have fundamentally reshaped public policy initiatives that address critical issues and reforms that serve the public good, increase housing equity, and improve the built environment,” wrote Steve Dumez, FAIA, and Douglas A. Benson, FAIA, in a letter nominating Brooks and Scarpa for the Gold Medal.
Brooks + Scarpa has built on the foundations laid by Pugh + Scarpa, founded in 1991 by Gwynne Pugh and Larry Scarpa. The firm has designed single and multi-family dwellings, commercial, institutional, educational and governmental buildings. Most recently they won the commission to design a new Holocaust Memorial to be placed at the Florida State Capitol Building in Tallahassee. In Los Angeles they have made a deep imprint with affordable housing, designing formally powerful buildings that also nurture social connection in contemporary variants on the Southland’s courtyard housing. “Form is important but it is experience that matters,” say the duo, adding that their body of work is united not by a signature look but rather an approach. “It is a sequence of spaces and not a form. We design from the inside-out.”
Brooks and Scarpa also relish experimentation with texture and materials, and have incorporated ping-pong balls, crushed aluminum cans, Dixie cups, industrial brooms and glitter stucco into structures. “Architecture is most powerful when it is tactile. Many times people want to actually touch our buildings—walk up and feel the walls,” says Scarpa. That material exploration met innovative sustainable design when they sheathed a wall at the Colorado Court affordable housing project, for Community Corporation of Santa Monica, with solar panels, making the energy system into a decorative facade. Now they are pushing new limits with the NEST Toolkit, a prefab home building system developed in collaboration with Plant Prefab, that they hope will substantially cut construction costs. “That willingness to take risks has great rewards,” says Brooks. “We are calculated risk takers.”
Despite the seriousness with which they take their work, they have held onto the love of a good party that Scarpa experienced at his father’s restaurant.
Special thanks to the event sponsors:
AIA Los Angeles, Bulthaup, Labib Funk Engineers, and Plant Prefab.