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People’s Choice Award: 2017 Design Awards

New for the 2017 AIA East Bay Design Awards–a People’s Choice Award! Votes can only be cast during the Awards Reception, one vote per attendee (sorry, a substitute vote may not be cast for someone unable to attend). Voting slips will be provided upon check-in.

2017 Design Awards Reception & Presentation
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Voting begins 5:30pm; Voting ends 6:25pm
Location: Gensler Oakland, 2101 Webster St #2000, Oakland, CA 94612

Tickets will sell out and walk-ups cannot be accommodated; click here to purchase tickets.

Click on images to see full-sized versions.


Perched on a shelf at the entrance to UC Santa Cruz, the Hay Barn greets visitors on their way to central campus, as they pass through the former ranch headquarters of the Cowell Lime Works. The heavy timber, mortise-and-tenon frame is a rare example of the timber frame tradition on the west coast; the 1860’s building is a contributor to a National Register Historic District.

Sustainability score: 31


Built in 1929 and located one block from Main Street along the decommissioned Central Pacific Railroad line, City of Pleasanton’s Firehouse One, a beloved local landmark, is situated on a triangular swath of land framed by Railroad Avenue on one side and the railroad right-of-way (now Lions Wayside Park) on the other. The historic firehouse was completely renovated and expanded into a new arts center featuring a state-of-the-art flexible 230-seat theater, a fine arts gallery, full classrooms, a grand lobby and office space.

Sustainability score: 12


The Auto Showroom/Repair Shop at 1035 Eastshore Hwy., Albany, facing the I-80 East Bay corridor was built as a speculative venture targeting the hybrid/electric car industry. The 8,300 sf facility, which includes interior and exterior charging stations, continues to attract interest from companies such as Tesla, Nissan and Faraday Future.

Sustainability score: 9



  • William Wurster / Thomas Church-designed residence was destroyed by 1991 Oakland Hills Fire
  • Site sat vacant after fire until construction of this project
  • At least three other prominent Bay Area offices created a schematic design for this same project

Sustainability score: 24


The old barn on an historic vineyard property was adapted into a rustic winemaking and private event space. This project challenged the team to marry rehabilitation with programming objectives to reflect the client’s unique identity and their approach to wine vinification.

Sustainability score: 10


The design is conceived in response to the site: a hilltop west of St. Helena with panoramic views of both near-by vineyards to the west and Napa valley in the southern distance.  In addition to the views, the site had two prime design parameters: an existing guesthouse and a level area at the hilltop surrounded by a circular driveway.

Sustainability score: 10.5


The south-facing site sits at the edge of an evergreen forest where it meets a spring-fed creek at the base of an ancient volcano, now a mountain used for skiing. Years of flooding have exposed volcanic boulders that cover the site, and the house is located in this boulder field as three bars of building mass, staggered along a 140 foot insulated concrete wall which parallels the geography of the site.

Sustainability score: 15.5


This 4-story mixed-use podium building with one level of parking partially underground, located along the San Mateo County transit corridor, provides 52 low-income working families with new, affordable rental homes for individuals and families earning up to 60% of Area Media Income with 2,200 sqft retail space below. Six are allocated to households in need of supportive services.

Sustainability score: 12.5


The design is an effort to integrate a for-sale mini-lot residential project into a neighborhood that includes a diverse mix of uses, building scale and architectural expression. An analysis of the existing context found that the articulation of volumes defined the streetscape.

Sustainability score: 6


Replacing an old school building that was at the end of its useful lifespan, this project for a new multi-purpose building for the Lafayette Community Center utilized a Pre-Engineered metal building that was customized and tailored to suit programmatic and qualitative criteria.

Sustainability score: 6


This renovation and expansion project modernizes and nearly doubles the size of a 1960s era public library serving 63,000 residents of unincorporated Alameda County. The architect realized a 11,500 SF addition to the original 8,000 SF facility which echoes the open, light-filled, architectonic original.

Sustainability score: 21


Oakland’s recreation centers solidify local neighborhoods and provide a range of activity choices. For the Golden Gate Recreation Center, this includes a large sky-lit gymnasium for after school sports, a stage/activity room, meeting rooms for senior and other activities, a teaching kitchen, a teen center, and an adjoining computer lab for study.

Sustainability score: 18


The San Francisco Vein and Vascular Institute is committed to the treatment of all aspects of vascular conditions. Their new 5,320 square-foot office space in an existing mixed-use high-rise building needed to be transformed into a vascular surgery clinic and ambulatory surgery center.

Sustainability score: 1


The project is the renovation of a 995 square foot, 2 bedroom /1 bath 1918 “California Bungalow”. A thorough reworking of the floor plan, an overhaul to the house’s building envelope, and the installation of all new systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) dramatically improved the home’s functionality, comfort, energy efficiency, and longevity.

Sustainability score: 20


Nia House Learning Center, the oldest Montessori preschool program west of the Mississippi, has been a Berkeley institution providing affordable early childhood education to children of working families since 1974.  The original preschool buildings, located on a city-owned lot in West Berkeley, were cobbled together in the 70’s by the Nia House founders and have housed the Montessori preschool program for 55 children, ages 18 mos-6 years, each year ever since.

Sustainability score: 17


The concept for this mini-lot subdivision project was derived from the notion of a ‘Bento Box’, where various programmatic components would slide, mirror, and interchange from house to house to adapt to the context based on its location on the site. Certain aspects are copied to maintain orientation to the larger environment, while others were mirrored as a response to narrower lot and zoning constraints.

Sustainability score: 7


Having outgrown their first facility, the new brewery and restaurant allows the young craft brewing company to expand and support its future production and distribution goals.  The initial capacity of this 28,292-square-foot facility will allow them to brew 17,000 barrels per year, with a footprint that can grow potentially to 100,000 barrels annually.

Sustainability score: 1


This 1937 two-story Berkeley bungalow, originally designed by Dinwiddie and Hill Architects, was modernized for a genetics professor, while maintaining traditional and contemporary crafted elements of a family home. The new street façade creates a dynamic and unique front in keeping with the complexity of the existing south patio by incorporating new lift and slide windows at the living room and a new deck off the Master’s Bedroom with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay.

Sustainability score: 14.5


This three-story $57.5 million community college science building provides a University-worthy facility to advance a two-year college program, becoming a new focal point for this California campus. A complex laboratory building type achieves a highly sustainable LEED Gold status with careful attention to energy efficient engineered building systems, and to a rich and wide variety of environmentally responsive design strategies.

Sustainability score: 16.5


This renovation of Esalen Institute’s historic lodge connects its legendary past to a vibrant long-term future. Building on the form of the original 1939 lodge and many subsequent ad-hoc additions, the expansion engages the dramatic layered landscape of the Big Sur coast, with the ground level opening to the surrounding ocean views, and second story spaces–internally-focused meeting rooms–lifting towards the inland mountains.

Sustainability score: 31


Avalon Hayes Valley is a high-density, multifamily, urban infill development located in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley. Built on the largest of the former Central Freeway parcels, Avalon Hayes Valley successfully weaves a large scale building into the neighborhood’s fine grain San Francisco urban fabric by utilizing the contribution of three different architects, under the direction of one as the Architect of Record.

Sustainability score: 17.5


The Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland serves the school’s environmental science curriculum while offering learning and gathering spaces for the campus community.The building’s two large laboratory classrooms expand onto a generous covered patio – a third classroom – overlooking the Living Lab, Oakland and the Bay. 

Sustainability score: 32


Congregation Sherith Israel’s historic sanctuary building, constructed in 1904, was designed by renowned architect Albert Pissis. Located in San Francisco and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the temple seats 1,400 congregants and has extensive interior decorative plaster, finishes, and painting, and an ornate exterior Colusa sandstone façade. Sherith Israel was threatened with closure unless it complied with the City of San Francisco Unreinforced Masonry Ordinance.

Sustainability score: 17


This classroom building considers ways that architecture can influence collaborative learning, critical thinking, and creativity.  The design supports this K-8 independent school’s project-based STEAM curriculum with a central maker’s space, flexible break out areas (interior and exterior), and interconnected classrooms that can be expanded to create multi-disciplinary opportunities.

Sustainability score: 6


Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center is the final chapter in transforming Henry Ford’s 1931 car factory on the San Francisco Bay waterfront into 21st Century re-uses. The center occupies an industrial building originally designed to store oil to fuel the operations of the adjacent car factory. However, during World War II, the Ford Plant production switched from cars to jeeps, tanks, and armored cars.

Sustainability score: 11


The Student Commons creates a gathering place for an independent high school on seventeen acres of hilly terrain in the residential community of Ross, California, north of San Francisco. The new 7,550 s.f. Student Commons building is located in a narrow glen in the center of campus, along the pedestrian path between the upper and lower campuses.

Sustainability score: 23


This workplace in San Ramon is situated in front of a tranquil lake, walking path, and mature redwood grove. The space embraces its natural surroundings through its composition of defined spaces and a calm, warm palette of materials.

Sustainability score: 9


This project has its roots in adaptable, mobile structures with the potential to roam and adapt to the urban landscape. The design borrows from the notion that architecture can be playful, and that it does not always need architects.

Sustainability score: 20


The project was proposed for a young family, who desired an open plan home that embraced the views of the bay and a connection to the existing garden. The design consists of channeling or framing the views from the West side of the property into the house and through to the garden area on the East side.

Sustainability score: 14


The Conference Center at PPIC architecturally conveys the organization’s ideals of openness and informed discussion on the public policy issues faced by the State. Main elements of the project are the “Forum” – an assembly venue and the “Salon” – a reception and a soft meeting area.

Sustainability score: 16


A service-enriched development of 26 SRO units, 1701 MLK Way provides housing for previously homeless individuals. It is a transit-oriented development in downtown Oakland located within walking distance of BART, AC Transit and has direct access to I-980.  

Sustainability score: 13


This distinctive residence was designed as a piece of inhabitable art for its owner, an avid collector of colorful and unique works. The home is both gallery and residence, emphasizing the artwork within and the expansive landscape.Sustainability score: 5.5

For its new headquarters, The Kapor Center commissioned a design competition to transform an existing 1920s-era office building in downtown Oakland into innovative workspace. The LEED Gold transformation is an expression of the Kapor Center’s vision for a connected, open, democratic world. It was vital to craft a space that would foster collaboration between the Center, its partner organizations and other like-minded nonprofits and organizations.

Sustainability score: 10


Located in East Oakland, the 1964 Arroyo Viejo Child Development Center had outgrown its useful life. What had once been a focus of pride for the neighborhood had suffered a long physical decline, no longer meeting Child Care licensing requirements.

Sustainability score: 16


The clients, a couple of environmental scientists, with two young sons, came into the 3-bedroom, 3,724 square foot house project with a strong focus on an environmental ethic; they work in sustainable fuels and transportation research. The mission was to construct a house that was deeply ecologically site-specific; energy-efficient; and had a strong design identity.
Sustainability score: 16


This project was the conversion of an existing elementary school in Oakland to a K-8 school. The design solution accommodates the additional enrollment with no additional crowding on a less than two acre site.

Sustainability score: 15.5


This hillside home in Piedmont, CA was remodeled to change the style from a dark 1940’s rancher with eight foot ceilings, into a modern geometric composition with vast white interiors for casual living and for displaying the artist-owner’s works. Remodeling the top floor changed the character of the entire home and tied into a recently remodeled front entry court.

Sustainability score: 15


A Mikvah is a ritual bath designed in strict accordance with the Jewish laws of immersion, where one regains family or ritual purity after certain events have occurred. The stationary water in a Mikvah is primarily from a “natural” source, such as a spring, groundwater well, or rainwater, and must always be in contact with the original source of water.

Sustainability score: 11


The firefighters of Firehouse No. 3 protect the lives and property of San Francisco International Airport. Their new station is the home base from which they respond to airfield and terminal incidents.

Sustainability score: 20


Located on a remote site in Sonoma County, this 640 square foot cabin was designed to appear as a barn when the sliding wooden doors are closed. When the doors slide open, the house opens up to both sides of the site.

Sustainability score: 12.5


Forward is a new medical office providing an innovative form of preventative care, bringing together data-driven technology, artificial intelligence, wearable sensors and mobile access to doctors to help redefine the relationship between patients and doctors. The design is a careful integration of spatial and virtual strategies to ensure a fluid experience for the member.

Sustainability score: 9


The new home for UC Berkeley’s intercollegiate aquatic sports, Legends Aquatic Center is a state-of-the-art facility aimed at providing additional training space for intercollegiate athletes. Consisting of three single-level buildings surrounding a stretch 50M pool, the new training center features a two-centerline dive tower and adjacent springboards, a warm-water spa for divers, locker rooms, and a multipurpose and special events room.

Sustainability score: 14


The sophisticated Urban Boardwalk concept for this municipal aquatics complex represents an evolution of the turn of the century American beach boardwalks.  The design takes the boardwalk concept and moves it forward by integrating elements from turn of the century coastal architecture with contemporary materials and technology to create an urban community recreational water oasis.

Sustainability score: 15


This winery production facility reflects both its elegant wines and the owners’ commitment to sustainable wine production, and is certified LEED Gold. The estate is named for a fabled female character, and the wines created here embody femininity, strength and power.

Sustainability score: 7.5


The new Map Center’s design integrates David Rumsey’s incredible map collection with his dedication to providing an accessible and interactive experience with maps through visualization and geospatial technologies, and every element of the design weaves the stunning visual impact of Mr. Rumsey’s maps into the experience of the built environment. 

Sustainability score: 3


Sited in an existing small level clearing at the top of a steeply sloping Mill Valley lot surrounded by mature cedar and redwood trees, this 640 square foot guest house is designed to serve multiple generations and functions, a guest room for visiting parents and friends, a media room, and a hangout space for teenage children. The porch and media room are situated on the more open side of the site and the guest room is tucked into the trees.

Sustainability score: 14


The East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, California comprises massing and materials harmonious with the surrounding hills. The two-building facility, located immediately adjacent to the existing Santa Rita Jail, utilizes the latest in justice technology to provide Alameda County with efficiency and security, while significantly improving the public’s access to justice.

Sustainability score: 21


Located in a historically industrial neighborhood with a colorful past, L Seven provides an entire city block of rental apartments plus commercial, retail, office and artist studio space in San Francisco’s lively SoMa district. A large public park, cafe with outdoor seating, and a central promenade green space provide opportunities for social gathering and respite from the busy urban environment.

Sustainability score: 15.5


A renovation and new expansion of the former USC McDonald’s Olympic Swim Stadium, the newly-named USC Uytengsu Aquatic Center boasts new stadium features including permanent seating for 1,500 spectators (with the ability to flex to accommodate 2,500 at larger events), a new shade canopy structure, and lighting for televised competition events. The new center also provides an array of student athlete and coach amenities including new locker rooms, team rooms, lounges, and offices.

Sustainability score: 6


This new family estate is located on a beautiful flag lot in Atherton, California. Surrounded by mature landscaping, the setting provides total privacy from the neighboring houses.

Sustainability score: 9


Tasked to design new prototypes of spaces and activities on Market Street, to be up for 3 days, for the Market Street Prototyping Festival, we created a space of respite on the busy sidewalk.  sonoGROTTO is an experiment in using affordable, ubiquitous, and recyclable materials to create new human-scaled spaces on the cavernous and over-scaled corridor.

Sustainability score: 11


The Woodside Priory School project included site improvements to the existing Benedictine Square, as well as construction of two new buildings to house additional classrooms and a faculty lounge.  

The buildings were designed to a high standard of sustainability in regards to lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

Sustainability score: 19


Nestled among vineyards in all directions, with spectacular views of mountain ranges beyond, this new family retreat creates a relaxing destination in the Napa Valley. Spanning over four acres, the compound comprises a main house, guest house, and pool house served by a garage, pump house, garden shed/ceramic studio and bicycle and kayak storage building.

Sustainability score: 18


This new, modern, single-family residence inhabits a steeply sloping lot in the Berkeley Hills.  The neighborhood has been built out for many years with this vacant parcel existing as an outlier.

Sustainability score: 6


The Bridge Yard is a unique re-imagining of a 1930’s industrial building in the Port of Oakland. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was built originally as a repair facility for trains, used later for maintenance and storage, and is now an exhibit and public assembly building

Sustainability score: 10.5


The UCSF Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) 5th Floor Heart & Vascular Clinic offers outpatient care and testing, and an array of medical procedures. The newly renovated clinic houses eleven UCSF cardiovascular programs and sports a new, clean modern aesthetic with a large waiting area, scenic views of downtown San Francisco and lots of natural light.

Sustainability score: 10.5


The client is an artist who is among the past century’s most internationally acclaimed photographers. His work is physically monumental in scale as well as content, navigating topics that are both political and aesthetic.

Sustainability score: 10


This community college arts complex consists of a new 30,000 square foot building for fine arts programs, and an addition of dance studio, art gallery, and lobby to a 65,000-square foot performing arts facility. Linking the fine arts and performing arts buildings is a new “Arts Plaza” that provides outdoor venue opportunities for all the creative arts.

Sustainability score: 16


Located atop a beautiful hillside property surrounded by mature oak, pine, and sycamore trees, the home was designed for empty-nesters looking to simplify and downsize their home to reflect their new lifestyle. Organized along three distinct wings and maximizing views of the rolling hills and Mount Diablo beyond, floor-to-ceiling glazing connect with decks, inviting the owners to watch the sun set over the hills outdoors with martini in hand – a dream come true for the homeowners.

Sustainability score: 9


The Mending Wall Winery has been designed to suggest an historical precedence of early Californian Agricultural Architecture. Nestled into the surrounding vineyard, this new facility maintains a low lying perspective on its surroundings.

Sustainability score: 11


Built and operated by the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, the Jacobs Institute fosters interdisciplinary engagement across the University, welcoming undergraduate students to an environment of creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

The compact building makes efficient use of its tight urban site, cantilevering over the existing basement while retaining a south-facing solar court.

Sustainability score: 32


The architect worked with Xilinx, an international chip supplier, to renovate one of their headquarters buildings in San Jose. The existing campus consists of five tilt-up buildings from the early 1990s.

Sustainability score: 9


The transformation of the original winery building at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, designed by John Marsh Davis in 1973, creates a new hospitality and wine tasting experience to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the renowned Napa winery. While retaining the form of the barn shaped production facilities, the architects created openings in the exterior and built a whole series of new interior spaces.

Sustainability score: 13


The campus and the California University System (CSU) set ambitious goals of making this replacement building an elegant and inviting space that would also be a model of sustainability for the campus and region. The unique building design takes advantage of the gateway location and site topography to showcase sustainable solutions on important regional priorities for stormwater management, open space, water use and energy efficiency.

Sustainability score: 24


Located in Bhutan, the Le Méridien Thimphu hosts 78 culturally inspired guest rooms and suites. The country has made striving efforts to be an environmental benchmark. It is one of the few in the world to have a negative carbon rating.

Sustainability score: 11


The Richter Building is a small base-isolated building in Berkeley, California, located a mile from the Hayward Fault. Our client, who is also our structural engineer, occupies a three-story corner building that we designed for them in 1994.

Sustainability score: 23


Our design approach to this residential renovation was guided by a dedication to preserving and celebrating the historic character of the original 1867 Victorian Farmhouse while we created a modern addition that provided needed space and remedied issues of poor circulation and connection to the outdoors from within the traditional, dark interior. New interior spaces are arranged primarily upon the existing footprint of demolished areas, and maximize natural light infiltration via numerous floor-to-ceiling windows whose tall, slender proportions are derived from their Victorian counterparts.

Sustainability score: 3


The Metropolitan is a true study in contextual non-conformance; it gathers extensive cues from its surroundings but re-forms them into something completely new. The site is bookended by the curvy Mission Revival St. Marks Church (1902) and the ordered, Romanesque/Moorish Berkeley City Club by revered architect Julia Morgan (1930).

Sustainability score: 12.5


Built in 1928 and on the National Historic Register, Bowles Hall was the first residential college in the US. Built into a steep slope, this eight-story, collegiate gothic, campus icon, with its board formed concrete façades and terra-cotta tile roofs, had, over the years, fallen into disrepair, transitioning from a four year residence with full dining into an unpopular freshman dorm.

Sustainability score: 13


In a San Francisco suburb where the demolition of smaller older homes is a common trend in favor of merging lots to build larger, over-scaled houses, the Art House and Courtyard involves the construction of three small structures on two adjacent parcels, retaining the original 1920’s home where the owners raised their four children. Using this strategy creates a new suburban intervention consistent with the small grained scale of the neighborhood.

Sustainability score: 8.5


In the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood are three newly designed floors and innovation center for Capital One. The space is an amenity-rich and mobile work environment that connects software engineers and technologists to San Francisco culture by way of the office.

Sustainability score: 1


The Overture is a 43-unit multi-family residence with ground floor retail and basement parking located on University Avenue in Berkeley, California. Just a short walk to downtown Berkeley, it is a centrally located building with easy access to many amenities.
Sustainability score:


Prosperity Place is the first new affordable housing development in Oakland’s Lake Merritt neighborhood in over 20 years. This five-story building provides a vital mixed-use complex including 71 units of affordable family housing units and approximately 4,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space in a dense downtown neighborhood.

Sustainability score: 13.5


The new Cherryland Fire Station is part of a new generation of fire stations. The project is a first responder facility, but also a community center, a public open space, a historic memento, a neighborhood catalyst and—in the near future—a community health clinic.
Sustainability score: