AIA San Francisco Lauds Pair of SOM Projects

The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the SOM-designed San Bernardino Justice Center as a winner of a 2015 Citation Award in Architecture. It also bestowed Special Recognition upon SOM’s Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts District Master Plan in the Urban Design category. The organization’s Design Awards program celebrates the best architecture, design, and sustainability produced in the Bay Area annually.

Citation Award winner San Bernardino Justice Center consolidates functions that had been scattered across 12 different buildings into a single 361,700-square-foot facility. While the project is the most significant single-building undertaking constructed in San Bernardino in decades, SOM’s design ensured its civic disposition. Comprising an 11-story tower rising from a 3-story podium, the Justice Center’s form relates to an adjacent historic courthouse. The north-facing glass elevation frames public circulation to engage the community further, as does the project’s open, barrier-free site.

The Tianqiao Performing Arts District Master Plan earned Special Recognition as a culturally sensitive response to rapid urbanization in Beijing. Located between the city’s landmark Temple of Heaven and Temple of Agriculture, the proposed district features a dense tapestry of modern and traditional theater venues, and it is legibly interwoven with public spaces that can host vernacular and professional performance. The master plan facilitates pedestrian movement between these various arts experiences, and it includes an urban farm, in order to expose visitors to advances in modern agriculture and enhance residents’ access to healthy food production.

SOM and the other Design Awards honorees were feted at an event held in San Francisco on April 29.