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Quarterly Newsletter - December 2011
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What's Happening

2011 President's Closing Message

John B. Luttrell, AIA, NCARB
2011 President

December 1, 2011

On November 18, 378 days ago, the 2011 Board of Directors and I stood before our members and accepted leadership for the Pasadena & Foothill Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This year has passed ever so quickly, with much of the 2011 Board of Directors' agenda having been accomplished, while other projects remain in the works.

At that time we pledged, as architects, to remain stewards of the built environment, and to uphold those goals consistent with AIA National and AIA California Council. We have been successful in the following ways:

  1.  ADVOCACY – Through the Citizen Architect Committee and the First Friday Forum series, we have engaged in relevant community issues, such as the 710 Freeway extension, Pasadena Community Gardens, and enlightening our young people through our joint NOMA Memorandum of Understanding and the summer youth program.
  2. COLLABORATION – Throughout the year, we have facilitated meaningful connections with other professional organizations and stakeholders. Through the efforts of our Executive Director, we have instituted a strong affiliate member committee that has reflected a direct increase in membership. Additionally, our association with major trade facilitated our trip to Las Vegas for the Coverings Convention and other educational seminars.
  3. COMMUNICATIONS – Our website has seen an increase in clarity and content over the course of 2011. For the first time in a number of years our members have enjoyed the quarterly newsletter“THE BULLETIN."  This can be attributed to our consulting webmaster Danielle Hoe Yip, our Char of Communications, Tiffany Dell’Aquila, and our Executive Director, Jill Nicholson.
  4. MENTORING – The efforts of our Director of Emerging Professionals, Dan Stein, and his Chair, Tony Hambarchian, has shown an increase in participation amongst our Associate Members. Meetings and training sessions were conducted on a regular basis to improve their skill sets and progression towards licensure.

With the annual mission goals, the chapter has had a year of great success in its operational functions and financial platform. While the chapter continues with a consulting part time Executive Director, and consulting Bookkeeper and Webmaster, we have been able to stabilize our operating expenses and increase our income. Membership counts ended up within positive projections, and supplemental dues resulted in an approximate 90% participation success rate. Programs and sponsorships fell within the appropriate projected range.  For the first time in four years, we will finish in the black by putting money in our reserves.

With all our successes, nothing would have been possible without the dedication and support of all the professionals that have contributed to our 2011 leadership. I wish to give special acknowledgement to Jill Nicholson for her efforts, especially her support of our intern program. In addition, I wish 2012 President Fariba Shantiyai the best as she leads our chapter through the transition into the New Year. I shall remain on her board to continue collaborating toward continuity and growth of our storied chapter.

Thank you all for making this a most memorable professional year. 

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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2012 President's Opening Message

Fariba Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP
2012 President

It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to be the new president of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter. I have served the Board as a secretary, a treasurer, and finally as the Vice President this year and I am very appreciative of having the opportunity to take this position in 2012.

In the last few years, the Chapter has had its share of volatility in this economic environment. The Board has faced all the challenges with open mind and as a result of continuous collaboration among the Board of Directors and under leadership of past presidents, especially John Luttrell, financial position of the Chapter finally seems to be stabilizing. This is quite an accomplishment.

Membership is still the main financial resource to sustain the chapter’s operation. Current records form AIA California Council reflects a declining overall membership due to the increasing number of emeritus members. The Board acknowledges the value of AIA and the platform that it offers for interaction, expanded professional networks, and the mentoring opportunities. In an effort to pursue additional support and increase new membership, we will need your assistance to join the Board in promoting involvement and membership in AIAPF.

Chapter finances will continue to be a priority for 2012. We are ending 2011 in good standing, and the goal is to keep the momentum and increase the reserves by the end of 2012. Supplemental dues will not increase in 2012. These have historically been an important factor in the financial stability of the Chapter, and I would appreciate your continued support with the dues.

We will follow my predecessors’ footsteps in implementing all the programs, events, and services that AIAPF has offered to our AIA members, affiliate and allied professions. This list partially includes advocacy and government affairs; chapter programs, which include social and networking programs; and CES educational programs. In addition to the aforementioned, the Chapter has offered the Citizen Architect Program, under the leadership of Mark Gangi, which has received National AIA recognition.

We all know that success of a team leader is direct derivative of the support team. I am blessed to be working with a very diverse and enthusiastic Board and have support of an outstanding Consulting Executive Director in Jill Nicholson. I also appreciate the support of the advisory group including past presidents: John Luttrell, Richard McCann, Mark Gangi, Joe Catalano, and so many others.  Not to forget about our interns who bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the chapter.

The upcoming Board and I make a pledge to continue the efforts to embrace the mission of the Chapter to promote and enhance the quality of the architectural profession and the built environment through fellowship, education and interaction with the community. We look forward to a successful year in 2012.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Committee Updates

2011 Citizen Architects Committee

Mark Gangi, AIA, LEED AP
Citizen Architects Committee Chairperson

This year, the AIAPF Citizen Architects Committee has continued to champion various local architectural outreach efforts. This article spotlights two recent successful partnerships; one with Pasadena Community Gardens and one with Habitat for Humanity. 


This recent September, the Citizen Architects Committee initiated collaboration with Pasadena Community Gardens to transform an abandoned lot at 721 S. Pasadena Ave. into an educational garden and resource center for the City of Pasadena.

Students from Cal Poly Pomona’s Landscape Architecture Program have been developing design strategies for this property that encompass the ambitious goals of the Pasadena Community Gardens. As guest jurors at a design review earlier this December, Tony Hambarchian, AIA Assoc. and Vanessa Heckman, Civil Engineering Ph.D. student at California Institute of Technology, were able to critique the students' work and further develop the design of the project.

The current design utilizes a nature walk that navigates its users through a series of gardens and programs throughout the site. This project will serve as a prototypical community garden that will serve as a catalyst for gardens throughout the City of Pasadena.  If you would like to become involved with Citizen Architects on this project, contact Tony Hambarchian: thambarchian at

Members of Citizen Architects Committee participate in design dialog with Pasadena Community Garden Steering Committee.


In November, the Citizen Architects Committee had a successful meeting with Paul McAnnally-Linz, Board Member of the Habitat for Humanity San Gabriel Valley Chapter. We discussed the 775-777 Elmira Street residence in Pasadena, a two-structure property containing five units.

Habitat for Humanity has completed phase one for this property: exterior renovation. Paul is the advocate for this property and is currently embarking on phase two, interior renovations. Our next meeting with Habitat for Humanity will be on-site, where we invite our members to partake in a design charette so that Habitat’s intervention may be effective and efficiently executed.

This project’s challenge is that each unit does not possess much area, so to improve on existing conditions will require such multi-use storage and functionality as one might see in a mobile home or a New York or Tokyo apartment. If you would like to attend this charette, which is open to the public, please contact Tiffany Dell’Aquila: tiffany at


The AIAPF Citizen Architects Committee, chaired by Mark Gangi AIA, continues to integrate public interest and support into projects valued by the community. Our meetings are free of charge and open to the public, so we encourage you to join us. For general Citizen Architects information, contact Mark: mark at

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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2011 FFF Advocacy & Government Relations

Eric Parlee, AIA

In what some are calling the Long Slump, our profession has seen the bottom drop out of the phantom boom years. The greatest survival and therefore advocacy challenge to architects will be to retain the interest of future architects and those rising in the profession against the lack of employment or meaningful participation. AIAPF is committed to championing those issues that will not only insure survival but also build and enhance the future of our profession.

This year, AIAPF presented First Friday Forum programs on topics affecting architectural practice at local, regional, and state levels. Starting with a report from our state AIACC legislative representative on what Sacramento is doing to and for us, we addressed issues such as continuing education for continued licensure, reforming the bidding and selection process for state funded projects, and the hot topic of CEQA reform. These issues continue to have our attention.

Our profession is charged with providing design solutions to meet the ADA- and state-mandated standards for access. Our Chapter will join with the AIACC and State Commission on Disability, headed by chapter member Jim Vitale ,to help sort out the conflicts in the means and methods of compliance to give sensitive, rational, and effective solutions to these design challenges.  Architects have significant responsibilities, and with them, significant exposures and legal challenges that Brian Stewart, Esq. presented in an eye-opening presentation. We will also present a forum on the challenges of getting effective insurance, another key component necessary for survival in a litigious atmosphere.

On a local note, the Chapter can be proud of our recent forum held at John Muir High School featuring a presentation by members Laurence Hughley and Steve Lewis on their efforts through the Los Angeles wing of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) to introduce the profession of architecture to youth at the middle and high school levels. The NOMA Summer Camp program held over the course of a couple of intense, all-day weekend sessions was featured in a film shown at the FFF and simultaneously at the AIACC Board of Directors meeting in Berkeley.  Their energy, creativity, and excitement are clearly evident in the young faces at the camp.  AIAPF will continue to support NOMA's efforts in this fundamental advocacy of architecture.

Earlier in the year, we addressed the local and regional challenge of the 710 Freeway ‘disconnect’ featuring two very compelling dedicated cargo distribution alternatives to the trench and tunnel solutions currently pushed by CalTrans and Metro. Our Chapter took the position and sent a letter to CalTrans urging them to consider these feasible alternatives in the EIR process. Our efforts will continue with a joint panel hosted by FFF and Citizen Architects Committee featuring representatives of government and community stakeholders in an effort to expose the value of these and other alternatives to the community.

In the area of preservation, AIAPF shares the commitment with Pasadena Heritage and the City of Pasadena to restore and re-purpose the Julia Morgan YWCA located in the Civic Center. We will be co-sponsoring a series of events beginning this January. The first event will give a background on Morgan’s work and the history of the YWCA in Pasadena.  We have an opportunity to advocate a renaissance for the Civic Center, and the YWCA is sited to be a catalyst in this effort.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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2011 Emerging Professionals Program

Tony Hambarchian, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP+
2012 Director of Emerging Professionals and Outreach

Emerging professionals learn about NCARB and the licensure process at a joint educational seminar with the AIA San Fernando Valley Chapter.


As the economy starts showing signs of recovery, it is critical for emerging professionals to receive and maintain their credentials in order to better qualify for jobs, maintain job security, and insure growth. The Emerging Professionals Program of AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter continues to offer support and guidance for the aspiring designers and architects of tomorrow. Throughout the year, we have worked closely with NCARB, Funkaar Studios, AIA San Fernando Valley, AIA California Council, and the Academy of Emerging Professionals to bring our professionals exciting educational and networking opportunities. Our members express great interest in the program, and we continue to see an increase in attendance with each event.

The Emerging Professionals Program focuses on aiding members through the various steps and challenges of the architectural licensing process. This past year, we held monthly ARE and IDP workshops reviewing the seven different exam categories and the IDP process. The events and work sessions encouraged a discussion between our members, creating a forum of diverse knowledge and experience to educate emerging designers.

In July, our chapter had the unique opportunity of collaborating with AIA San Fernando Valley Chapter to host “NCARB and You,” an educational seminar that was widely attended by members of several AIA Southern California Chapters. The event brought together emerging professionals at different stages in their careers to gain a better understanding of NCARB and the licensure process. In addition, Tony Hambarchian, AIA Assoc. attended the 2011 AEP Statewide Forum on behalf of the Emerging Professional Program of AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter where he had the opportunity to participate in a program that unites innovative designers who have explored beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture.

We look forward to continued collaboration with the organizations that have worked alongside the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter this year to bring continued support and guidance to emerging professionals.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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2011 Design Awards

Thank you to all who came out to help us celebrate the winners!

For those who missed the 2011 Design Awards Ceremony, you can find the slide presentation, video presentations of the winning projects, and photos from the evening on our home page at and on our Facebook page. See all photos from the evening here.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Member Spotlight

Recognition of Recently Deceased Members

Jill Nicholson, Executive Director

The AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter would like to recognize the following members who have passed away. They will be missed.

Thomas Lindsey, AIA 09/24/2011 30033496
Ernest Parrish, AIA 10/30/2011 30036962
Ken Heil, AIA 03/90/2011 30029790
Carolyn McCaron Brink, AIA 07/09/2011  
Ronald V. Armes, AIA 11/23/2010 30007168
Frank Twerdy, AIA   30042511
Patrick Sullivan, FAIA 01/24/2011  
Donald M. Grant, AIA   30046200
Millard Archuletta, AIA   30018663
Richard T. Santos, AIA 04/18/2011 30039384

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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In Our Community

Industry Speaks™

Industry Speaks™ U.S./Canada Portal for Architects, Engineers and Construction Firms, Based in Glendale

AIA California Council, AIA Los Angeles, and NOMA are all Alliance Partners with Industry Speaks™. Left to right: Tess da Silva, Director of Project Development, Lend Lease; Karen Compton, Principal A3K Consulting; Nicci Solomons, Executive Director, AIA Los Angeles, Jill Nicholson, Executive Director, AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter.


Industry Speaks™, operated by Consulting Principal Karen Compton, and based in Glendale, is a North American web portal matching architecture, engineering, and construction firms with experienced technical and administrative professionals. The online business recently celebrated its launch at a client’s office in downtown Los Angeles.

Many design and construction firms have been unable to keep key staff on payrolls as a result of the economic downturn, but they still have a need for the critical functions such staff performs. Industry Speaks™ closes the gap by connecting company subscribers with qualified consultants.

Compton is a 15-year industry veteran and a featured speaker at architects’ professional meetings. Requests for referrals from clients and colleagues prompted her to set up the application. “Following the economic downturn in 2009, friends and associates would call or email my office looking for recommendations for business management professionals. What became clear was that demand for business management hadn’t changed, but the supply, specifically availability of a staff, had been lost. My goal was to develop a solution that was cost-effective and simple to use.”

Behind the Lens with Leroy Hamilton—Industry Speaks with Karen Compton is a professional video introduction to the service. Industry Speaks™ is available in both the U.S. and Canada and has made organizational alliances with the National Association of Minority Architects, the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles, and AIA California Council, who have made the resource available to their members. Future releases will allow subscribers to post questions for consultants, view on-line product demonstrations, and access the system using mobile phone technology.

For the next few months, Industry Speaks™ is offering free listings to consultants and subscribers so they can promote their services or locate technical and administrative professionals and organizations. For more information, visit

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Brand Library in Glendale Set for Historic Renovation, Seismic Retrofit

Elise Kalfayan

Brand Library in northwest Glendale, a special collection dedicated to architecture, art, and music books and resources, will be undergoing both historic restoration and seismic retrofitting during a project set to begin in April 2012.

The facility will be temporarily closed while the work is done; the tentative schedule sets the reopening some time in 2013. Final details remain to be worked out, but it is likely that much of the special collection will be relocated temporarily to the Glendale Main Library on Harvard St. near Brand Blvd. The Brand Associates, a docent group that supports the collection and arts programming at the library, just held a large sale of collector prints, books, music scores, and other materials in order to both raise funds and clear out inventory before the library closes.

Gruen Associates and Offenhauser/Mekeel Architects, along with Glendale library officials, presented their tightly-budgeted restoration and reconfiguration plan to the community, to several city commissions including the Historic Preservation Commission, and to Glendale City Council.

With a strictly limited amount of funds to work with, the project team chose to focus restoration work on the library’s three front rooms, reconfiguring the entire building to create reading space in the front and collect almost all books and shelving in the unique solarium space. Most of the library collection is housed in the historic Brand residence.

The plan also establishes one main side entrance to both the recital hall/gallery space and the library, incorporates better signage and more obvious ADA access, and includes new landscaping and removal of some overgrown trees.

A newer structure, appended to the Brand residence in the mid-20th century, houses an exhibit space, a recital/meeting hall, as well as fine arts classrooms and offices. This area needs more seismic shoring than the original Brand home!

The Brand Library website page has detailed information about the renovation; see the following links for more information.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools:
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

Hensel Phelps

Photographs courtesy of Hensel Phelps.


The Robert F. Kennedy K-12 Community Schools houses 4,200 students in an integrated educational facility of seven pilot schools on a 24-acre site. The former Ambassador Hotel site is surrounded by a dense and vital urban neighborhood heretofore severely lacking in both public educational and recreational services.

The Community Schools, K-5 Lower Schools and 6-12 Upper Schools, eliminate busing and establish a cohesive educational community of local schools. It also realizes two complementary educational visions: integration of K-12 learners on a single, age-networked campus without internal barriers and a system of decentralized, small learning communities--schools within a school.

The project marks a distinct shift in typology; California public schools have primarily been one-off designs devoid of urban context. This campus aggressively embraces both urban history and urban fabric. By responding to the grids and axes of the surrounding city—and of the hotel that was once sited here—the school provides key, joint-use components in the cardinal directions where it meets the city. It also continuously provides cinematic viewpoints, both outside-in and inside-out, that reward the school’s inhabitants with a sense of urban connection and continuity.

The principal challenge of this project was to synthesize the aspirations of a vast range of stakeholders while still forging a work that retains coherence and integrity. The establishment of broad initial principles and values among the client-planning team—related to urbanism, joint-use, history, urgency of school seats, and the pedagogical combination of both campus integration and campus decentralization—provide a framework around which project leadership could cohere and make sound decisions in the face of single-interest advocacies.

A second, and physical, challenge was to overcome the separation of the site from the city street system due to its original grading.  In its time, the Ambassador Hotel was a resort and a hilltop bastion of privilege that was purposely set apart from and graded above the city grid. The new master plan aggressively terraced the site to meet flush with the city sidewalks on all four sides.  One technique was a 30-foot high system of stepped terraces down the southern part of the site, which includes the K-5 Lower Schools, allowing them a vital presence on the street front. These same grand terraces have become a built-in and subtle separation between the 6-12 Upper Schools' main quad, the K-5 Lower Schools’ play area, and the multi-purpose performance proscenium.

This same sense of urban re-integration inspired the architectural form-making. Each of the four street elevations is a contemporary variation of a proscenium or portal, majestic in scale in accordance with their still-dominant place in the city yet welcoming via their indoor-outdoor penetrability. Varying in form, function, and detail, these prosceniums all share two materials used through the campus, zinc cladding and multi-toned perforated metal panels, which stand as metaphors for a dialogue between academic gravitas and childhood play.

A third challenge was to move the school district towards new models of sustainable architecture and urban engagement including new initiatives in sustainable materials and technologies and a linear public pocket park that sustains a dialogue between education, social justice, and the politically-charged history of the site.  This was achieved in collaboration with a public artist team.  The Community Schools marks the most comprehensive public art program in the district’s history, with installations fully integrated into the history, purpose, and architecture of the site.


Key Players
Owner/Construction Management: Los Angeles Unified School District
General Contractor: Hensel Phelps Construction, Irvine
Architect: Gonzalez Goodale Architects, Pasadena
Civil Engineer: TMAD Taylor & Gaines, Pasadena
Structural Engineer: Englekirk & Sabol Consulting Structural Engineers Inc., Los Angeles
MEP Engineers: TTG Taylor Gaines, Pasadena; Morrow-Meadows Corp., City of Industry; Critchfield Mechanical, Irvine

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Upcoming Event 

StonExpo AIAPF Las Vegas Bus Trip
January 24-25, 2012

This year’s AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Las Vegas bus trip will be for the Stone Expo convention, the largest natural stone trade event in North America. This invitation is extended to our neighboring AIA Chapters includingI nland Empire, Ventura, San Fernando, Phoenix, San Diego, Palomar, Santa Barbara, and Orange County. The event is limited to 40 attendees, so sign up now! We depart from Pasadena, CA for our destination in Las Vegas, NV. See below for itinerary and details.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2:00 pm Pick-up in Pasadena.
Refreshments included.
(Driving time: approximately 4 hours.)
  Evening arrival at The Signature at MGM Grand,
a brand new resort!
  Greetings by Pamela Miller, Marketing Manager for SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and Hanley Wood Exhibitions upon arrival.
7:00-8:00 pm Evening cocktail reception.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

7:30-8:30 am Breakfast.
9:00 am Pick-up from The Signature.
9:15 am  Arrive at Mandalay Bay Convention Center (MBCC).
9:30-11:00 am Welcome and Guided Walking Tour of StonExpo/Marmomacc America’s Stone Pavilion and Exhibit Floor led by Vince Marazita, Marazita & Associates (1.0 AIA LU, headphones provided).
11:00-12:00 pm Trentino Sprint Presentation by Vince Marazita, Marazita & Associates (1.0 AIA LU).
12:00-1:00 pm From ANSI to ISO: Improvements in Performance Evaluation presented by Mike Granatowski, MAPEI (Lunch and Learn Program, 1.0 AIA LU, box lunches provided).
1:00-3:30 pm Free time to view and shop SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas Exhibits.
3:30 pm Meet for departure.
4:00 pm Pick-up from MBCC. Refreshments included.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Our Generous Sponsors

High-Rise Partners


Mid-Rise Partners


Dwelling Partners


To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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What's Happening

Committee Updates

Member Spotlight

In Our Community

Upcoming Event




  • 1/4
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 1/14
    Steering Committee Meeting
  • 1/24-25
    StonExpo AIAPF Las Vegas Trip
  • 1/28
    Board Retreat


  • 2/1
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 2/3
    February FFF
  • 2/8
    Board Meeting
  • 2/10 AIACC Board Meeting (Sacramento)
  • 2/11 Steering Committee Meting
  • 2/22 Chapter Program - Social Mixer


  • 3/2
    March FFF
  • 3/7
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 3/7-10 AIA Grass Roots Leadership Conference
  • 3/14
    Board Meeting
  • 3/14
    Citizen Architect Meeting
  • 3/17
    Steering Committee Meeting
  • 3/21
    Fellowship Committee Meeting
  • 3/23-24
  • 3/28
    Educational Program - ADA


AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter
555 S. Oak Knoll Ave.
Pasadena, CA  91101
T. 626.796.7601
F. 626.796.1352

Connect With Us

YOU are our most valuable resource! Put your good ideas, knowledge, and energy to work where it can really do some good for the Chapter. Join a Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Committee or volunteer to help with one of the exciting 2012 events or programs. Contact the Chapter Office to get involved.

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