Lehrer Architects (LA) of Los Angeles and Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL) formed LAWRL to pursue select projects, while leveraging the complementary experience and talents of each award-winning firm to benefit the project. (300 Awards) Lehrer Architects, in continuous practice since 1985, is a well established, 20-person architectural studio in Los Angeles with a reputation for agile, spirited design of primarily community projects in southern California. WRL is a larger, multi-disciplinary firm with 166 professional staff in five offices across the country and an award-winning, diversified portfolio of new construction and renovation projects of varied scale, building type and geography. The firm was founded in 1905 and has been in continuous practice since then.
LAWRL offers greater depth of design talent and a comprehensive list of design services: architecture, interiors, energy modeling, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and structural engineering, data transport and telecommunications technology, audio visual, theatrical, lighting, security, historic preservation, tax credits consultation, sustainable design and enhanced commissioning.
LAWRL formalizes the long-standing professional collaboration and relationship between managing principals Paul E. Westlake, Jr., FAIA and Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA. Their close working association began in their academic work at Harvard Graduate School of Design over thirty years ago. Westlake and Lehrer have in common powerful affinities to design and to materializing design ideas as built work, characteristics that define their firms. The two collaborated on several projects following graduation, including an early AIA-award winning design in Florida. WRL shares studio space with Lehrer in Los Angeles and as LAWRL are working together on projects throughout California, including the zero net energy, LEED Platinum anticipated, San Angelo Community Center, Keck Institute for Space Studies at CalTech, Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC and most recently the new Orchestra Rehearsal Hall for the USC Thornton School of Music.
LAWRL and its design team believe that design is a collaborative process and we encourage client participation in all phases of project development. Our team offers strength and recent experience in dealing with multi-user groups.
In addition, our firm is adept at integrating with constructors and owners for effective project delivery. Our experience working with construction managers and institution clients has given us years of practice in coordinating the diverse needs of multiple stakeholders in any given project. As design professionals, it is part of our job to allow each voice to be heard in the design process and to coordinate the needs of all involved.
PROCESS / THINKING
Taking our cues from you, a rich process, particularly focusing on what is known, and what must be discovered and invented, can be orchestrated. We are passionate about drawing desire and dreams out of our constituents. Engaging stakeholders—staff, students, administrators, funders, neighbors, etc—in the design process can be a transformative “community building” enterprise in and of itself.
The creative process at LA fuses mixed media design methods: hand-drawn renderings and physical models with the latest two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer software to shape space in novel ways. LA encourages the exploration of materials and techniques to solve design problems through the use of our Research and Development (RaD) Room.
The use of physical and digital modeling is essential to the LA design process. LA explores the understanding of spatial relationships through models of varying scale, ranging from macro to micro. These models often serve as excellent promotional assets for clients in fund-raising and project clarification with investors involved.
The LA team actively researches the latest products, materials and building technologies. Staff is required to distribute the knowledge learned with other designers through a shared server folder and at weekly staff meetings. This type of research and information sharing assists all the design teams in staying on top of the latest trends in technology.
The integration of all of these methods allows LA to easily and effectively understand unique client needs. Integration of project investors is critical to the LA design process. Early engagement in this process assures all needs are met.
We are passionate about design and passionate about making. It’s a continuum, from sketchbook to life drawing to the RaD Room. It’s all under the aegis of architecture and practice. Making is a primal pleasure. If you provide the techniques, everybody gets giddy making something. It’s being stimulated by the stuff you create, the pleasure of making it, and the ability to share. Everybody can get fortified in different ways. Our Artist in Residence program is a testament to this CULTURE OF CREATIVITY.
We have completed design work on the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech where the agenda is to create a sanctum for creative, revolutionary scientific dialogue and dreaming about the future of interplanetary travel. Its mission is to bring world class scientists from decidedly diverse, even clashing, disciplines together. They understand the creative process and its centrality to great science. We do too.
For LA, the arts and sciences are profoundly inseparable. We are expert and preoccupied with notions of how we learn and how we train ourselves in meta-cognition, that is, how to access the left and right side of our brains as needed to be great learners and doers.