2021 AIA California Awards

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–March 10,2021–When one practices architecture they will sometimes, inadvertently, begin creating a legacy within their firms, the profession, and the communities in which they serve. The AIA California Awards recognizes and celebrates these firms and individuals who have risen above the occasion and continue to make a lasting impact.

Firm Award:

The Firm Award recognizes firms who consistently produced distinguished architecture and have contributed to the profession and their respective communities for a period of at least 10 years.

This year’s Firm Award recipient is LPA. Founded in 1965, this Irvine-based firms has more than 400 employees in six offices. The jury was impressed not only with the quality of work, but how they provide research and learning for larger global matters. “They were tackling climate action, before climate action was a popular term. To call them strong in the sustainability category is an understatement,” one juror commented.

In the presentation LPA representatives gave to the AIA CA Board of Directors, they referenced their mission “Changing Lives by Design.” This firm promotes inclusion and diversity, and provide support for their emerging professional, many of whom stay on and continue on to eventually become leaders.

Lifetime Achievement Awards:

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual(s) in recognition of outstanding contribution to the improvement of the built environment and to the aims of the profession.

Barton Phelps, FAIA, and Charles Eley, FAIA, were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to the profession.

For more than 50 years of practice, Phelps has contributed not only to the profession, but to a more global community. He has inspired in his teaching, engaged several different audiences in his writing. He has proven himself an advocate and progressive leader.

Eley was praised in his submission for being a “steadfast proponent of decarbonization and a prolific author of performance=based building codes.” He has served in many leadership positions at the local, state, and national AIA levels, but also with the Unites States Green Building Council, (USGBC).

“I’m surprised he has not been nominated for this award before,” said one juror. “His influence is beyond significant, and is relentless in his passion for the profession, for society at large, and for the planet.”

Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare Facility Design:

This award is given in recognition of a career of dedicated commitment to the built environment and in recognition of a career of dedicated commitment to the built environment and in recognition of significant contributions and accomplishments toward the design and development of healthcare facilities in California.

This year’s recipient is John Kouletsis, AIA. A prominent healthcare planning and design expert, he was the Vice President, planning and Design for the National Facilities Services at Kaiser Permanente. Kouletsis served as Kaiser Permanente’s chief architect for more than two decades. He was, and continues to be a sponsor of multiple sustainability initiatives through his many volunteer positions within the healthcare arena and the architecture profession.

All will be recognized in the Awards Gala this fall. Details will follow on how to attend and/or participate.

For more information, contact Shannon Calder, at 916.642.1718, or scalder@aiacalifornia.org.


The AIA California represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California.  Founded in 1944, The AIA CA’s mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit www.aiacc.org.

Skip to content