Howard Building Corporation news


Celebrating Design Excellence: 2020 IIDA Calibre Awards


On August 27, 2020, the annual Calibre Awards Show was held virtually for the first time ever. The event was streamed on YouTube as the industry watched in anticipation to see which projects won. Categories such as Education, Health & Wellness, Hospitality, and Workplaces, among others, demonstrated the breadth of expertise and talent in Southern California. As always, it is an honor to have projects nominated annually for IIDA Calibre Design Awards, and we are pleased to announce that the Warner Music Group headquarters project won in the “Work Extra Large” category.

The Award-Winning Space

Before Warner Music Group (WMG) was brought into the mix, the original building, a Ford factory and showroom, was in dire need of restoration. Enter Rockefeller Kempel Architects, who sought creative ways to reimplement several historic relics from the original design. The thoughtful approach to this adaptive reuse project resulted in LEED Gold Certification. After careful restoration of the building, the space was ready for new tenants. 

WMG relocated to Downtown Los Angeles from their deeply worn stomping grounds in Burbank with two clear motives: to comfortably house and encourage collaboration amongst their West Coast division and to position themselves at the forefront of a larger cultural revolution in the Arts District. WMG’s seven subdivisions (Warner Bros. Records, Warner/Chappell, Atlantic, ADA, WEA, Elektra, and Rhino) currently reside within the 300,000 square foot floorplan. Each inhabits their own mini-community, a brilliant design concept from the architect, Rockwell Design. WMG-backed artists are encouraged to utilize the 250-person capacity performance area, alongside several lounges and recording studios, promising endless possibilities. A living room and commissary provide ample space for collaboration, and both display modern elegance with a combination of wood surfaces and dark blue accents. Several office spaces and lobbies are interspersed throughout the building, along with record-filled shelves, hinting at the industry giant’s legacy.

HBC has had a longstanding relationship with the IIDA Calibre Design Awards. We first won a Calibre Award in 2004, and, since that incredibly rewarding experience, we are fortunate to have been nominated for 80 projects. To date, HBC has won a total of 15 IIDA Calibre Design Awards. 

The Show Goes On

Each year, it is an honor to be involved alongside the best in the industry, and the surrounding talent and experience of our peers is humbling. This year, however, felt truly inspiring. Despite the tumultuous events of 2020, the design community came together and celebrated the year’s successes. Great design was recognized, teamwork and creativity were applauded. More than showcasing projects, the 2020 IIDA Calibre Design Awards Show functioned as testament of the industry’s resilience while looking toward the future of design with hope and excitement.   

A special thank you goes out to the team at IIDA for planning and hosting such an amazing event every year. Additionally, thank you to the entire team that was involved in the Warner Music Group project: Rockwell Group, Rockefeller Kempel Architects, AMA Consulting Engineers, PC, Gardiner & Theobald Inc., Nabih Youssef & Associates, and Psomas.

Celebrating Design Excellence: 2020 IIDA Calibre Awards