Rob Lawson Helped Wildfire Victims

The wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties last month blackened approximately 110,000 acres and destroyed over 4,500 homes and businesses. The toll on local residents and their extended families is immeasurable. 

LCDG’s Vice President, Rob Lawson, served as a volunteer disaster worker in and around the wine country of Santa Rosa. As an evaluator with the CalOES Safety Assessment Program, Rob assisted the Sonoma County Building Department evaluating fire damaged buildings. Tasked in areas near the edges of the fire area, he visited approximately 120 properties that week, assessing the condition of homes and secondary buildings.

Depending on the severity of damage, the buildings were tagged with red, yellow or green placards, indicating whether or not they were safe to enter or only safe enough to retrieve belongings. The condition of the structures were then compiled and given to the Building Department to be used in assisting property owners as they begin to rebuild.

classroom foundation
village men helping the team
popular pasttime for village kids
local classroom

Courtney Tossounian Promoted to Associate!

LCDG is pleased to announce Courtney Tossounian’s promotion to Associate. In this capacity, she will serve on the firm’s executive committee, addressing LCDG’s technical and financial progress and plans for the future. Courtney is an exceptional young architect demonstrated by her effective leadership on a new operations building for Edison, two LAUSD HVAC replacement projects, and other challenging projects.

Courtney lives in Hollywood, in a small historic neighborhood called Melrose Hill with her husband and two-year-old daughter. In her spare time she volunteers for the City of Los Angeles as the Melrose Hill Preservation Overlay Zone Board Architect. Courtney also heads the RestauranTOUR series for the AIA Pasadena Foothill Chapter. She loves to cook, host dinner parties, re-finish old pieces of furniture, and go hiking with her family.

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Developing Ghana's Classrooms

Earlier this Fall, LCDG’s Designer, Derik Tom (or Jack, as the locals would call him) volunteered with ARCHITEACH to build a classroom in the Abetenim Arts Village, Ashanti, Ghana. Derik had firsthand experience working with locals in traditional vernacular building techniques. The main challenge was to be as resourceful as possible, while applying modern design concepts to traditional practices. Resources such as wood, metals, and even tools were hard to come by, especially in a village 24 miles away from a major city, many times re-purposing building materials as often as needed.

In the afternoons, after labor intensive mornings, the team would have the opportunity to interact with the locals, play soccer, or explore the neighboring market places. Derik got to experience how vibrant and welcoming the communities of Ghana are.

classroom foundation
village men helping the team
popular pasttime for village kids
local classroom
community member weaving kente cloth
cotton thread used to weave

LAC + USC Medical Center Outpatient Department – Primary Care Adult East Clinic

The LAC+USC Medical Center formally celebrated completion of the newly renovated Primary Care Adult Clinic with the 1st District Supervisor, LAC+USC Interim CEO and other leaders of the Medical Center and Primary Care department. The design reflects the core mission of providing high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care. The new clinic has a warm, transparent quality. Patients are greeted at a welcome desk, a centralized waiting room where patients and staff are visible to each other, and registration desks for the north and south clusters of clinical exam rooms. Beyond glass walls on each side of the waiting room are care team rooms, co-located to promote teamwork with resident and attending physicians, CMAs, and Care Managers. A “living room” is conveniently located at the clinic entrance for patents and staff to convene. 

LAC + USC Core Lab Equipment Replacement

LCDG is currently performing construction administration services for the Core Laboratory Equipment Replacement project at the
LAC + USC Medical Campus. This lab is one of the biggest of its kind in the western Unites States. The new state-of-the-art equipment will place the facility at the front of medical industry. 

The project consists of six phases, each introducing new equipment in a planned and well thought-out sequence. New flooring and ceilings are installed within the area of work, and new workstations are provided to meet the lab’s growing needs. Staff offices and conference rooms are reconfigured to provide additional space. Project completion must occur before the end of 2017 to insure timely transition to new compounds used in the lab processing.  


LCDG's Derik Tom joins Architeach in Ghana


Next month, LCDG designer Derik Tom will be traveling to Ghana to work with ARCHITEACH, where he’ll join fifteen other volunteers to build homes in the Abetenim village, which sits about a hundred miles north of the capital city of Accra.

Derik has a Bachelors of Architecture with a minor in Global Studies and five years of experience mentoring high school students from disadvantaged communities. ARCHITEACH contacted him in the spring, asking him to join the team for wall, window, and door construction over the course of four weeks. The volunteers will be living and working alongside village locals who have a great understanding of the vernacular building techniques.

ARCHITEACH was formed by a group of architects in the New York/New Jersey area. One of the core members entered NKA Foundation’s 4th Earth Architecture Competition: Designing a School for Ghana. The NKA Foundation focuses on human capital development through the arts, invited all entries in the competition to Ghana to have the opportunity to build out their designs. Although this is the first for ARCHITEACH, we hope to participate in future events.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Our Community School

"It is my absolute pleasure to recommend Slavko Vukic and his team at La Cañada Design Group for your design needs."   -Lynn Izakowitz, Principal

Completed in January 2017, the K-8 charter school located on an LAUSD-owned campus has received DSA certification. The much needed $4.2 million modernization was partially funded by the State Allocation Board through the Proposition 1D Rehabilitation Program. Improvements include site and building ADA upgrades to pathways and restrooms, auditorium remodel, fire protection, communication, lighting, HVAC, and building expansions and finishes. 

Lance Bird speaks at 2017 AIA Design Awards


    In January, LCDG principal Lance Bird (FAIA) was master of ceremony for the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Annual Design Awards. The nine recipients demonstrated the size and diversity of today's architectural firms. They included:

    • a student with a vision
    • a small, relatively young firm
    • the work of mature residential architects
    • a talented mid-size design firm
    • a large, international firm

    As the designers were honored, Bird noted that behind each star is a dedicated staff and supportive client.

    Lance added that architects are a small, much-admired profession and challenged other architects in the audience to creatively address societal issues such as:

    • affordable housing and housing for the aging
    • climate change and sustainable design 
    • public transportation
    • healthcare
    • adaptive reuse of abandoned inner-city buildings
    • innovative workplaces that are healthy, flexible and accommodate multiple generations of diverse people

      LCDG celebrates 35 years!

      "Architecture is a tough business. Like old age, it's not for the weak. But the rewards are many, like happy clients, and witnessing young colleagues grow into effective teachers and successful leaders."

      Slavko Vukic Licensed!

      New architect, Slavko Vukic received notice from the State late October. 

      A genius with BIM, and with substantial experience in school design, Slavko has increased his knowledge the past two years in the field, as construction administrator for Norwalk Transit, Our Community School, The Hope Center for Teens, and now a new Adult Medicine Clinic at County USC Medical Center. He believes architects in many ways are public servants, helping people realize their dreams. Slavko said “my best work is my next work”.