East Los Angeles College Humanities Building Wins Prestigious CCFC Award of Honor


The East Los Angeles College (ELAC) Language Arts & Humanities Building, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, has won a Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) Award of Honor.

The CCFC award acknowledges architectural achievements of community college facilities in California.

“The Language Arts & Humanities Building has energized the East Los Angeles County campus and boosted learning opportunities for students,” said James Matson, AIA, Vice President and Principal at HGA. “We designed the building to embrace campus diversity, meet a range of teaching needs, and encourage student-faculty collaboration. The CCFC award is a great honor that recognizes the important role design plays in the learning process.”

Positioned as a campus gateway on the main quad, the 135,000-square-foot, five-story building consolidates nine related language arts and humanities departments. The program includes active learning classrooms that flexibly reconfigure for different teaching-learning models and technology needs, faculty offices, language labs, common spaces and an outdoor plaza.

The building is organized into two wings, housing offices in one and classrooms in the other, with an open-air courtyard containing vertical circulation connecting the wings. The office wing has an interior skylit atrium, and the classroom wing has an exterior atrium.

The exterior detailing complements the campus's existing brick architecture with translucent glass mosaic marking the central open space, transparent views into learning and office environments and brick panels that reinforce a collegiate character.

Additionally, the academic building integrates several sustainable strategies, including natural ventilation, high-performance glazing, solar shading, high-albedo roof and landscaping irrigated with reclaimed water, among other features. The building is tracking LEED® Gold.

“East Los Angeles College is committed to improving the surrounding Monterey Park neighborhood and creating an academically vibrant campus that reaches out to the entire community,” said Satoshi Teshima, AIA, LEED AP, Project Designer with HGA. “The building’s sustainable strategies and interactive learning spaces enable ELAC to accomplish its goals.”

Award Jurors

Opened in January 2016, the building won in the Growth category, which recognizes new projects or additions completed between January 1, 2010 and June 1, 2016.

Awards jurors included Chester Widom, FAIA, Division of the State Architect; Felix Hernandez Jr., Allan Hancock Joint Community College District; and Hoang Nguyen, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

HGA previously won a CCFC Award of Honor for Los Angeles Harbor College Science Complex in Wilmington, California and an Award of Merit for Chaffey College Center for the Arts in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Project Team

The Language Arts & Humanities Building was part of a design-build competition with Pinner Construction of Anaheim, California.

The HGA project team included James Matson, AIA, principal; Satoshi Teshima, AIA, LEED® AP BD&C, project designer; Eric Chang, LEED AP BD&C, project manager; Kevin Donaghey, AIA, LEED AP, construction administration; and Patrick Thibaudeau, LEED AP BD&C, sustainability.

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