Pomona College’s Studio Art Hall Wins National Steel Building Award


Chicago, IL – November 5, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Studio Art Hall at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., has earned national recognition in the 2015 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 at the building on Monday, November 9 at 3:30 p.m.

Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country. The IDEAS2 award is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S. and recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

The building’s project team members include:

Owner: Pomona College, Facilities and Campus Services, Claremont, Calif.
Architect: wHY Architecture, Culver City, Calif. (co-entering firm)
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti, Los Angeles (co-entering firm)
General Contractor: Hamilton Construction, Pomona, Calif.
Steel Fabricator: Anvil Steel Corp., Gardena, Calif. (AISC Member/Certified)

Studio Art Hall is a Merit award winner in the category of projects $15 Million to $75 Million, making it one of only seven projects around the country to receive the Merit honor. Each year, the IDEAS2 awards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: projects less than $15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective, with an emphasis on: creative solutions to project’s program requirements; applications of innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire protection and blast; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS); technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; and the use of innovative design and construction methods.

“Practicing clever engineering in the service of innovative architecture, this structure creates both indoor and outdoor spaces for students,” commented IDEAS2 awards judge, Cathleen McGuigan, editor-in-chief of Architectural Record, as well as editorial director of GreenSource and SNAP.

The new 35,000-sq.-ft Studio Art Hall building replaces the century-old Rembrandt Hall, which housed Pomona College’s art program. Because the art department not only caters to art majors but also the entire student population, the college needed a space that would influence and captivate anyone who steps through its doors.

The layout is designed to inspire interaction, discussion and socialization while moving through the studios and public areas. The monumental staircase draws visitors into the space and provides an informal seating area to meet or socialize. With sweeping views of the San Gabriel Mountains, Studio Art Hall reflects its environment with an arching roof that appears to float above the building, mimicking the ebb and flow of the surrounding peaks. To create an undulating shape, most of the steel used in the roof’s framing was set at 45-degree angles with respect to the column grids. The curvature in one direction was developed by straight lines of beams at a constant elevation within the same line; in the perpendicular direction, the curved geometry was achieved by faceted beam lines. The result is a steel diagrid with sawn-lumber joists spanning between the beams to support the roofing system.

Built to LEED Gold standards, the $29-million design-assist project was designed with a green, minimalist approach by remaining open and airy with free flowing spaces and external hallways. The central courtyard is open to the sky, providing ample lighting and yet another connection to nature and the elements. Six sloped roof skylights with vents allow natural lighting and airflow throughout the studios.

The IDEAS2 award dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning studio art hall, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC, said, “The entire Pomona College, Studio Art Hall project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a building that serves the college and its students extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

High-resolution images of the Pomona College, Studio Art Hall project are available upon request 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 www.aisc.org/ideas2.

Pomona College



Tasha Weiss
Communications Department
(312) 670-5439

American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a 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, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information.

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Chicago IL 60601
Phone: (312) 670-2400
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