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WU Students Win Los Angeles Architectural Award with Design Promoting Social Interaction, Wellness

Julius Shulman, the legendary photographer of L.A.’s architectural treasures, would have been proud.

A team of architectural students at Woodbury University has won the Julius Shulman Emerging Talent Award at the 43rd Annual Los Angeles Architecture Awards.  Undergraduates Gabriela Colmenares and Michael Sonota, with graduate student Jennifer Pope, represented the Woodbury School of Architecture in a three-day competition, conducted in February.  The assignment: design a continuing care retirement facility promoting social interaction and community on the MLK Medical Center Campus in Willowbrook. 

The team’s design, entitled "Augmented Connectivity — Bridging Neighborhood and Wellness," will be on view at Dwell on Design at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 21-23.  Woodbury was one of seven participating schools of architecture in the Los Angeles area, including USC, UCLA, Cal Poly Pomona and SCI-Arc. 

The Woodbury team was honored on June 5 at the awards presentation, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council and held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne to recognize the team.

“This prestigious award showcases talent today and points to enormous potential for tomorrow -- we’re thrilled for both our students and our institution,” said Luis Ma. R. Calingo, Ph.D., president, Woodbury University.  “We strive to cultivate leadership in disciplines like architecture, through projects that transform our students and the world in which they live.”
“The design that Gabriela, Jennifer and Michael created reflects Woodbury’s progressive community of civic engagement,” said Norman Millar, AIA, Dean of the School of Architecture at Woodbury.  “We place a premium on taking responsibility for neighborhoods and on understanding our communities so we can create places that enhance people’s lives and foster a better built environment.  The Shulman Award is a powerful affirmation of what Woodbury is all about.”

Woodbury University School of Architecture is a network of hubs strategically sited within the Southern California megalopolis: Los Angeles, Burbank, Hollywood, and San Diego. Together, these sites form a critical infrastructure for architectural investigations. The school’s undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture and interior architecture train students as entrepreneurs, architect citizens, and cultural builders.

Thirty-one of the finest architectural projects in the county were honored at this year’s Los Angeles Architecture Awards, one of the largest celebrations of cutting-edge design and architecture in Southern California.  The first design awards of the season drew more than 500 design and building professionals to pay tribute to design excellence, sustainability and community impact in local architectural projects. 

"Every year, we take this opportunity to celebrate truly outstanding design projects that demonstrate an unyielding commitment to the environment, stimulate the economy and enhance our overall quality of life in greater Los Angeles," said Mary Leslie, President of the Los Angeles Business Council. "The winners illustrate that Los Angeles continues to be a global hub for creative, meaningful and sustainable architecture."