Live Oak Public Library Slated for Construction October 2018

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The new 7,500 sf Live Oak Library is conveniently located in suburban Arcadia. The staggered glassy entrances, contrasting with rich wood paneling, welcome the community.  

Interiors are open, sky lit and cheery.  The central service desk connects to the front and rear entrances with a broad pathway.  Spaces within are tailored to the users – children, teens, adults and seniors.  For instance, at the front entrance, teen reading carrels are nested within the staggered glass storefront. A ‘zone of silence’ for small study groups is located in a nearby glass bubble.  

LA County recently purchased the aging private school to replace the crowded existing neighborhood library.  The ambitious project required demolition of the labyrinth-like interiors, and replacement of most building systems.  Long span glulams were revealed spanning the full width of the space and allowing a welcome openness.    

San Fernando Mental Health Center

San Fernando Mental Health Center – ground breaking celebrated January 12, 2018 where LCDG was recognized by the director of LA County Public Works for our efforts in completing this project. 

Purpose: A new County mental health center to serve the nearly 20% of adults in San Fernando Valley that are depressed or are at risk of depression. Over 10% of children are also in need of mental health care.   

Challenge: LCDG evaluated a vacant courthouse annex to determine if adaptive reuse was cost-effective. Given a confined site, new one-story and two-story solutions were also considered. A new one-story center provided the greatest long-term benefits. 

Solution: A new design template demonstrating two key principles, integration of services, and bringing those services to the community. A person’s health and behavioral health issues are intertwined. If a client comes into this facility seeking mental health care, they will also receive a referral for affordable medical care and substance use treatment services as well.   

The one-story, 15,000 sf, $12 million facility has counseling/therapy rooms, group therapy rooms, business offices, and other support spaces. The plan is arranged with counseling rooms adjacent to the lobby, shared spaces at the center of the building, and private administrative areas beyond. Systems furniture provides long-term flexibility for the majority of the open office areas. LCDG prepared the “bridging document”, describing County requirements for design-build entities. 


Hope Center for Teens

The Hope Center for Teens is a 3-story, 12,000 sf wood frame building built in 1920. 

Purpose: Bring together all the services needed to keep high-risk children off the streets, identify safe housing, and help them transition into an adult world where they can live independent productive lives.

Challenge: The building had been vacant for an extended period due to numerous code violations and aging building systems, including deficient exiting, fire protection, MEP systems, and accessibility.  

Solutions: A new tower was added at the entry of the building for an elevator, stairs, and MEP systems. New restrooms are centrally located on each floor. High-activity reception areas are on the first floor, counseling on the second, and private administration on the third.   

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.

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 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.