Last week the Hacienda Heights Affordable Senior Housing Renovation, located in Richmond, CA, received the distinguished Beyond Award from the AIA East Bay. The Beyond Award, according to the organization, celebrates designs that "transcend the visible, embracing inclusivity and equity, pushing the boundaries of innovation to reshape our world sustainably and creatively." Rad.

"The need for specialization tends to segment architects and projects into 'disciplines' or 'market sectors'," says AIAEB of their bespoke design awards format. "Our goal is to expand beyond these boundaries to create productive discourse between project types and scales. Excellent design creates ripple effects far beyond the project itself. A small space may influence a global discussion, and a single structure may facilitate healing in a community."

Accordingly, AIAEB has retooled their awards categories, seeking “small, medium, large, unbuilt, and student” projects, and identifying Honor, Merit, and Citation awards for each category. Special Awards include a People’s Choice (voted on by Gala attendees) and the Beyond Award.

Opened in 2022, the Hacienda Heights now (and again) provides 150 homes, indoor amenities, and outdoor active spaces, reviving a property and a neighborhood for Richmond seniors within walking distance of a transit center. Earlier this year, the project was recognized with an Affordable Housing Finance Readers Choice Award for best Public Housing Redevelopment, and featured in the magazine’s article Developers Rescue a Property Deemed Uninhabitable.

The AIA East Bay Design Awards Reception & Presentation Gala was held on Thursday, November 9th, at the Brower Center in downtown Berkeley. The award jury included Professor Renee Chow, AIA, Jonathan Feldman, AIA, LEED AP, and Pauline Souza, FAIA, LEED Fellow.

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