Inside SCI-Arc

CLASS NOTES: fall 2012


Dean Nota’s (B.Arch ‘74) Reyna Residence in Hermosa Beach has recently been included in the Beach Cities Modern Home Tour curated by Ingrid Spencer, former managing editor of the Architectural Record. The architectural tour featured eight South Bay homes, including one Richard Neutra home in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Arnold Stalk, PhD. (B.Arch ‘77) has received a Community Associations Institute Ordinary People/Extraordinary Measures award for co-founding the Veteran’s Village in Las Vegas, an innovative housing and supportive service residence providing safe and decent housing for U.S. veterans.

Richard J. Levy, AIA, APA (B.Arch ‘78) has recently exhibited a limited edition of his photographic prints in the Historic American Buildings Survey—Library of Congress exhibition at the AIA Los Angeles. An award-winning architectural photographer, Levy has continued to practice in the offices of noted architects. An active member of the AIA, the American Photographic Artists, and the Los Angeles Conservancy, Levy has had his work exhibited and published nationally and internationally.

Steven Lombardi’s (B. Arch ’79) multi-disciplinary firm has recently completed a wide range of projects, including Last Wave, a sculpture made out of recycled surfboards, a multi-family housing project in Ocean Beach, Calif. and the Barcelona Interior in San Diego’s Point Loma. In addition to working on two new homes, Steven Lombardi Architects has also completed the schematics for a 400-meter-long high-speed train station in Kuwait City. Earlier this year, the firm designed Wahines, a women’s clothing store in Ocean Beach, Calif.


Bruce Biesman-Simons (B.Arch ‘81) was elected new president of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy Board of Directors. His San Pedro, Calif. architecture firm has worked on projects such as EuroDisneyland’s Entertainment Center, as well as several projects for the Land Conservancy.

Rick Gooding (B.Arch ‘84) of Chu + Gooding Architects in Los Angeles exhibited more than 30 of his graphite drawings and sketches in an exhibition dubbed Subterranea, hosted earlier this year at the Wedge Gallery at Woodbury University School of Architecture.

Karen M'Closkey (B.Arch ‘84), an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, has won the Garden Club of America Rome Prize. She has completed her fellowship at the American Academy in Rome this past fall, where her proposed research topic was A Field Guide to Rome: Baedeker and Beyond.

Eyal Perchik (B.Arch ‘85) was promoted to Principal of Los Angeles based CO Architects. Perchik, AIA, who joined the firm in 2001 as a Senior Associate, has upwards of 25 years of experience in healthcare projects and has coordinated more than two million square feet of healthcare construction.

Historian Michael Jacob Rochlin (B.Arch ‘87) has put his Echo Park home up for sale after seven years of work on the 1922 bungalow, which now features a tankless water heater, gray water appliances, an organic vegetable garden, drought-tolerant landscaping, rainwater harvesting and a plant nursery. Rochlin’s projects include the California School of Professional Psychology Rosemont Campus (now the Kerden School), Sketcher’s Van Nuys, and the documentation of Anoakia, Anita Baldwin’s Arcadia Estate. He has written ten books and is currently teaching at Otis College.


Pam Kinzie’s (M.Arch ‘90) residential renovation of her Calistoga, Calif. home is among the 8 homes featured in the recently published book, Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors by Michelle Gringeri-Brown and Jim Brown.

Yasi Vafai (B.Arch ‘90) and Robert Thibodeau (M.Arch ‘93) of du Architects have recently completed the design of the flagship Made In Earth jewelry store in Venice, Calif.

Angela Brooks (M.Arch ‘91) and partner Lawrence Scarpa of Los Angeles-based Brooks + Scarpa received a 2012 AIA│LA Next LA award for their design of the Parque de Investigation, Innovacion y Tecnologica in Apocada, Mexico. Earlier this year, they unveiled their proposal for a 22,000-square-foot addition to the 1929 historic Kimball Art Center located in the heart of downtown Park City, Utah. Additionally, their Rose Gardens 57-unit affordable apartment building in Palm Springs, Calif. was certified LEED Gold for its energy-saving and environmentally sustainable features.

D.B. Kim (M.Arch ‘91) was recently featured in an interview published by Interior Design magazine. He is principal of Philadelphia-based Daroff Design, which specializes in comprehensive solutions for hotel, restaurant, retail, and corporate clients. A hospitality phenomenon for 15-plus years, Kim’s notable credits include the Westin Renewal First Class Lounge, Westin’s in-airport partnership with United Airlines.

Christopher Mercier (M.Arch ‘91) of Inglewood-based {fer}Studio exhibited in the Breaking Conventions: Art + Architecture group show featuring sketches, process paintings and the developmental process in art, hosted at PS Zasks Gallery in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. The exhibition included works by SCI-Arc faculty Wes Jones, Eric Kahn, Dwayne Oyler, Volkan Alkanoglu, Andrew Atwood and Elena Manferdini.

Ate Atema (M.Arch ‘93) of New York-based Atema Architecture completed the design for the TED Conferences office space, a project also featured as the cover story of Roger Magazine’s summer ‘12 issue. Atema’s design emphasizes the importance of collaborative, non-static workplaces, where space is organized around a large and malleable theater, with “soft architecture” allowing the team to bend and shape their environment.

Joel Huffman (M.Arch ‘93) of Vertu Architecture and Design was one of only four Americans invited to exhibit at Palazzo Bembo during the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. Titled A New Architecture: Harmonic Morphology, Huffman’s project was included in the Traces of Centuries and Future Steps exhibition organized by the Global Art Affairs Foundation. The show featured 57 architects representing 26 countries across 6 continents. In October, Huffman and fellow alumna Elissa Scrafano (M.Arch ‘90) of Scrafano Architects hosted the SCI-Arc Midwest Alumni & Friends Cocktail Party at the Vertu offices in Chicago.

Lawrence O'Toole (M.Arch ‘93) of Kauai-based LOT is currently working on a new series of experimental pieces for LOT Modern Advanced Furniture and Accessories. His O Tables, made of up-cycled board foam, were featured in Angeleno Interiors and Modern Luxury Hawaii’s summer ’12 issues. O’Toole also did the art direction and set design for Whitespace, a progressive dance performance and film shot in New York City. He teaches Design at the University of Hawaii outpost, Kauai Community College.

Keith Krumwiede (M.Arch ‘94) was appointed to the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, College of Architecture and Design. Krumwiede, whose research focuses on the development of sustainable, climate-responsive, mid-rise urban housing prototypes, is working on a book, Gross Domestic Product, about the recent history of the American single-family house with attention to the changes that occurred in its design, production, and delivery during the last housing boom. Earlier this year, Krumwiede exhibited his Freedomland project at the Woodbury University West Hollywood Gallery.

George Alexandris (B.Arch ‘99) was appointed vice-president of development for The Hutton Company in Chattanooga, Tenn. During his tenure with the company, Alexandris has successfully managed more than 100 retail projects from conception to completion, with duties including oversight of due diligence, project entitlements, civil engineering and architectural design, as well as coordinating the construction of the projects by the Hutton Construction company.

Julien De Smedt (FA ’99) of JDS Architects took part in a recent Belgian economic mission to Turkey presided by Prince Philippe of Belgium. In addition, one of his projects, BE Buildings was featured in an exhibition at the Istanbul Design Biennial. De Smedt is currently at work on a proposal for a 350-key sports oriented resort and marina along the Mediterranean coast of the Adana province in Turkey. His project for the Antwerp police headquarters in Belgium and that of a house in the Jura region of France are both near completion. De Smedt has also delivered his design for a museum to be featured in the new Danish TV series, The Legacy, to be broadcasted in 2014.


Jonathan Moore (M.Arch ‘00) of ROJO Architecture based in Tampa, Fla. recently completed the Portland Apartments, a 12-story building in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. It features 68 affordable housing units, covered parking, fitness center, Internet Café, putting free and a third-floor rooftop patio. Previously, ROJO has completed more than 85 churches, and hundreds of commercial office projects, schools, childcare and financial institutions.

Adam Goldstein (M.Arch ‘01), Christian Schultz (M.Arch ’01) and partner Leslie Kale of the Santa Monica based Studio Collective have recently been featured in Angeleno Interiors, Variety and Los Angeles Times. With some big-name projects already in their portfolio, including the SLS Hotel, areas of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and the Hyde Lounge at the Staples Center, the trio has just completed work on Brent Bolthouse’s Bungalow at the Fairmont Hotel. They are also currently at work on an extreme makeover of the former Hamburger Hamlet in West Hollywood, and are halfway through a complete overhaul of the Largo space on Fairfax. In addition, their interpretation of the ultimate music listening library opened this past fall at Sonos Studio on La Brea.

Frédérick Nosbusch (SP ’01) of Luxembourg-based n-lab recently completed his MAR project, a single-family home in a suburb of Luxembourg City.

Kevin Wronske (B.Arch ‘02) and brother Hardy Wronske of Los Angeles-based Heyday Partnership have completed the model home for a six-home development in Silver Lake. Their most ambitious design yet, this project advances the firm’s mission to redefine the spec home by looking beyond the existing paradigm of banal stucco boxes in favor of progressive infill homes that are smarter, healthier and greener.

Nerin Kadribegovic, AIA (M.Arch ‘03) was promoted to principal of Lehrer Architects in Los Angeles. He has taken a leadership position in managing and directing business development and the firm’s operations, including playing a paramount role in the recent formation of LAWRL Design, LLP, a strategic partnership with Cleveland-based architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskosky. As principal, Kadribegovic is also responsible for project direction and management to ensure goals, objectives, and plans are effectively executed.

Heather Flood (M.Arch ‘04) of F-lab has exhibited her Wonder Wall installation at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, part of a group show including work from the nine winners of the 2012 C.O.L.A Visual Artist Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles.

Jonathan Racek (M.Arch ’04) was selected as one of Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40, honoring young AEC leaders around the country. He is director of PlaygroundIDEAS in Bloomington, Ind., a nonprofit organization that trains local people in developing countries to build their own playgrounds. So far, his team led construction of 100-plus low-cost, sustainable and safe playgrounds in Cambodia, Peru and Thailand. Racek is also co-founder and principal of architectural and furniture design studio STEW Design Workshop.

Cameron Schmitt (M.Arch ’04), Director of Design and Construction at SBE Entertainment in Los Angeles, has in the last six months opened the Greystone Manor Nightclub in Los Angeles, Mercato Di Vetro Restaurant in West Hollywood, Hyde Lounge at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, and two Katsuya Restaurants in San Diego and Houston.

Emily White (M.Arch ‘06) and Lisa Little (M.Arch ‘06) of Layer LA exhibited their new installation, A Loose Horizon, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, as part of the public programming to celebrate the museum’s 10-year anniversary. In addition, one of White’s paper constructions from her Three Edged Scissors series was on view at the A+D Museum, part of the group show Come In, Les Femmes. Also featured in the all-women exhibition were alumni Lilliana Castro(B.Arch ‘08) of Archeffect Design, Cathy Johnson (M.Arch ‘05) and Rebecca Rudolph (M.Arch ‘00) of Design Bitches, and Iris Anna Regn (M.Arch ‘94) of Durfee-Regn.

Adam Gebrian (SCIFI ‘08) has founded the For a New Prague organization in the capital city of the Czech Republic. His team advocates for quality architecture, responsible city development, and general improvement of architecture in the public sector. Gebrian writes architecture reviews for the local Lidové noviny publication, moderates a local radio show dubbed Demolition, curates architecture exhibitions, judges design competitions, and until recently, he also taught at Technical University of Liberec.

Matthew Rosenberg (M.Arch ’09) of M-Rad was second place winner in the eco-focused international design competition, Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). His design was selected from 250 public artwork entries for Freshkills Park in New York City. Rosenberg’s proposal would generate 250MW of renewable energy annually, enough to provide 500 homes in the area half of their total annual electricity demands.


Bin Lu (M.Arch ‘10) of BLUA has recently completed the design of the Civic Sports Center in Hangzhou, China, commissioned by the Hangzhou Sports Development Group. In addition to his practice, Lu is also a Director with Los Angeles-based DRDS, focusing on the Chinese market.

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