Los Angeles Valley College Monarch Center Wins Steel Design Award

July 20, 2017

(Chicago, IL) – The Los Angeles Valley College Monarch Center in Valley Glen, Calif., has earned national recognition in the 2017 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a ceremony to take place at the building on Tuesday, July 25, at 1:30 p.m.

“A vibrant and uplifting steel structure that takes full advantage of California’s climate and sunshine,” commented David G. Allen, space and facilities manager with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and the owner juror in the competition.

The Monarch Center is a new hub of activity on the Los Angeles Valley College campus. The dramatic, soaring architectural forms of this 41,000-sq.-ft student union showcase the versatility and elegance of structural steel as a building material. The U-shaped structure includes a health center, a cafeteria, a bookstore, a 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 project’s team members include:

  • Owner: Los Angeles Community College District, Valley Glen, Calif.
  • Owner’s Representative: BuildLACCD, Monterey Park, Calif.
  • Architect and Structural Engineer: LPA, Inc., Irvine, Calif. (entered the project in the competition)
  • General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies Inc., Newport Beach, Calif.

The 13 IDEAS2 winners for 2017 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received from architectural and engineering and other project team member firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 award dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning student center, Charlie Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of AISC, said, “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.”

Members of the media may request high-resolution images of the project by contacting AISC’s Tasha Weiss at 312.670.5439 or For more information about the IDEAS2 awards and to view all of this year’s winners, please visit Entries for the 2018 competition are due by October 6, 2017.

Photo by Costea Photography, Inc.


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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