Five years ago, the powers that be at HGA started searching for a new space for their LA office. The old set-up was in a Century City high rise. “It had a bullpen in the middle and the shareholders were at the windows,” recalls Satoshi Teshima, an associate vice president in the LA branch. “It was a typical corporate set-up. We wanted to get away from that.”
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Visit almost any college campus, and it’s nearly always the same story: There are science buildings and there are arts buildings. They exist independently with little-to-no overlap. Take it one step further. Most of the classrooms have standard nine-foot ceilings covered with acoustic tiles and basic lighting, narrow corridors and faculty offices shoehorned in nooks and crannies around it. The new Life Sciences and Fine Arts Building at Sacramento’s American River College tosses out that old playbook. Designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, the new structure is meant to foster interdisciplinary learning and connections among students and faculty.
Sustainability is in the DNA at HGA Architects and Engineers. Just recently the firm took two awards—Excellence in Social Responsibility and Excellence in Stewardship of the Natural Environment—in the 2013 Sustainable Quality Awards program sponsored by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Works and Sustainable Santa Monica/City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment. For the firm, through, sustainability means more than just designing projects incorporating recycled materials or featuring renewable energy technologies.