Los Angeles Valley College Monarch Center Presented with IDEAS2 Award

Top photo: Los Angeles Valley College's Monarch Center is the center of campus life. Bottom photo: Steven Flanagan, principal of Irvine, Calif., A/E firm LPA Inc., addresses project team members during the awards presentation ceremony. (Photos: AISC)

AISC presented members of the project team of the Los Angeles Valley Monarch Center with the 2017 IDEAS2 Award for excellence in steel-frame building design during ceremonies held at the center on Tuesday.

Charlie Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of AISC, said about the project: “The beauty of this project is its lightness as the soaring elements of the building span and define great spaces inside and out. It’s the perfect storm of steel capability, design inspiration and construction perfection.”

The center is a new hub of activity on the LAVC campus. The dramatic, soaring architectural forms of this 41,000-sq.-ft student union complex showcase the versatility and elegance of structural steel as a building material. The U-shaped structure includes a health center, cafeteria, bookstore, convenience store and administrative services, and the enclosed courtyard is topped with a sloping, butterfly-form canopy that reaches 41 ft above grade at its highest point.

The team talked about collaboration being critical to the project's success and the college wanted a wow factor for the campus, which was provided through the use of structural steel -- extensive use of trusses and hollow structural sections (HSS). One of the most critical parts of the center is the healthcare section of the building, which before the center opened was only a single room in another building on campus. The chief administrator for the healthcare area, who was very proud of her facility, had a lot of input in the design process, she said, adding that for many of the students, the college is their sole source of access to healthcare.

For more on this project and all of this year’s IDEAS2 award winners, see “2017 IDEAS2 Awards” in our May issue.

AISC is accepting entries for the 2018 IDEAS2 competition at The entry deadline is October 6, 2017.