CO Architects receive top honors for exemplary campus office design

On Oct. 28, the Student Services Building (SSB) was awarded the top honor for educational design and Committee on the Environment (COTE) by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as part of the 2019 AIA LA Design Awards.

Since its opening in January, the SSB continues to get recognition from organizations that support the architecture profession. 

AIA LA is one of the three largest chapters of AIA as a whole. AIA LA Executive Director Carlo Caccavale stated how the jury selects the buildings for the competition and then how it selects the winners in each category.

“I agree with the jury to give CPP the award of honor in both design and COTE,” Caccavale said. “This is a very outstanding and well-conceived project.”

Construction on the SSB was completed in December 2018 and officially opened in January.
Jannett Diaz | The Poly Post

The jury was taken by the SSB since the beginning by how the roof was inspired by the San Gabriel Mountains and Foothills.

“We (AIA) promote good architecture that improves living conditions, especially schools that achieve the purpose of environment that allows students to achieve,” Caccavale said.

Associate Principal Alex Korter at CO Architects said the firm’s strong suit is creating designs for college campuses throughout the state. The SSB brought a new challenge toward the firm because its focus has been lab or medical buildings, but never administrative buildings.

“Receiving this award is the best because it’s refreshing to see a state school get design recognition compared to private institutes,” Korter said. 

Korter believes this is the start of the new campus core being created at Cal Poly Pomona. The SSB is the landmark and front door of the school to help drive in the public and provide better services.

“This project took a long time and I want to thank the campus for pushing us to do the best work,” Korter said. “Everyone who worked on the project — construction, engineers and faculty groups — deserve recognition.”

Senior Project Manager Bruyn Bevans had his expectations for the SSB met by CO Architects. 

“It’s important that CPP finally get(s) recognized for its polytechnic abilities and (to have) a spotlight on us to get people’s recognition and say ‘Wait a minute, there’s a school in Pomona?’” Bevans said.

CPP team pushed the architects and engineers to think beyond and not make this building a typical, eight-story structure.

“I applaud that we were able to come together as a team from CO Architect, CW Driver Builders and the university,” Bevans said. “The awards are a plus and it’s always nice to be acknowledged.”

The SSB’s top priority was to provide the best and easiest up-front services to the students. 

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