Brooks + Scarpa

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Brooks + Scarpa
Step Up Mentally Disabled Housing, Santa Monica, CA
Practice information
Partners Lawrence Scarpa
Angela Brooks (from 1999)
Gwynne Pugh (to 2010)
Location Los Angeles, CA
Founded 1991

Brooks + Scarpa (originally Pugh + Scarpa) is an American architectural firm based in Los Angeles, California, USA. The firm was chosen as the 2014 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Award Winner in Architecture. In 2010 they were the recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Firm Award. Los Angeles projects completed by the firm include the Solar Umbrella home in Venice, California, the Orange Grove lofts in West Hollywood and the Colorado housing project in Santa Monica.[1]


Pugh + Scarpa was formed in Santa Monica in 1991 by architects Lawrence Scarpa FAIA and Gwynne Pugh AIA. In 1999 Angela Brooks FAIA became the third principal.[2] The company grew to include 43 professionals by 2004, with offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco and Charlotte, North Carolina.[3]

In 2010 Gwynne Pugh left amicably to pursue his own design interests. The two remaining principals, Scarpa and Brooks, renamed the company 'Brooks + Scarpa' in 2011.[2][4]

Honors and Awards[edit]

Brooks + Scarpa (Pugh + Scarpa prior to 2010) received awards including the 2005 Record Houses, 2003 Record Interiors, 2003 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2006 and 2003 AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Award and they was a finalist for the World Habitat Award, one of ten people selected worldwide.[5] In 2004 The Architectural League of New York selected Scarpa as an “Emerging Voice” in architecture.[6] Their work has been exhibited at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC and at numerous other venues worldwide. They have been Featured in NEWSWEEK and Scarpa appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.[7](Interview with Leonardo DiCaprio) In 2009 Interior Design Magazine honored them with their Lifetime Achievement Award.[8](Film clip from the ceremony). In 2009, Angela Brooks received the USA Network "Character Approved" Award [8](Film clip from the award).

In 2010, the firm received the National and State of California AIA Firm Award, for 19 years of "consistent excellent work, including its seamless lending of architecture, art, and craft."[9]

In 2014 the firm was the recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Award in Architecture.[10]


Known as a leaders in the field of sustainable design,[11] their Solar umbrella house[12] in Venice, California (the home of Scarpa and Brooks) has been named by the AIA as one of the Top Ten Green Projects.[13] Their project Colorado Court in Santa Monica was the first Multi-family housing project in the USA to be LEED certified.[14] Colorado Court, the Solar Umbrella House and their Step Up on 2nd building are the only projects in the history of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to win a National AIA Design Award, an AIA "COTE" Committee on the Environment "Top Ten Green Building" Award and a National AIA special interest award for a single project.[15] No other firm in the history of the American Institute of Architects has ever achieved this triple award.

Schedule and Budgets[edit]

The firm has completed National AIA award winning office projects Hollywood people in the entertainment industry (article about the process).[16][17] Some of the work included projects for Danny DeVito, Jennifer Lopez, Jerry Bruckheimer and Marshall Herskovitz.[18]

Work for Reactor Films, Jigsaw, CoOP and XAP Corporation were noted for their design, speed of construction and short completion time. (Interview with Scarpa)[19] Pugh + Scarpa gained a reputation for delivering award winning designs within limited budgets and time constraints.[20]

Significant Works[edit]

Colorado Court Affordable Housing, Santa Monica, California
  • Aronson Fine Arts Museum at Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO – A new 20,000 gsf museum and educational center located on the 105 acre Laumeier Sculpture Park[21]
  • Green Dot Animo Leadership Charter High School, Lennox, CA – A new 70,000 gsf neighborhood school with 650 solar panels. LEED gold anticipated[22]
  • Siquieros Cultural Heritage Museum, Los Angeles, CA – Renovation, addition of a Historic Structure and conservation of a mural by David Alfaro Siquieros.[23]
  • Santa Monica Public Parking Structures, Santa Monica, CA (2011) – Complete renovation of six parking structures located in downtown Santa Monica.[24]
  • Make-it-Right, New Orleans, LA (2009, unbuilt) [25]Participating in the rebuilding of the Lower 9th Ward with Brad Pitt.
  • Plummer Park, West Hollywood, CA – A Complete renovation of the park, new 200 car parking structure, childcare center and 350 seat theatre renovation.
  • Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC (2011) – A 30,000 gsf warehouse historic renovation and 8,000 gsf addition into a new Art Museum.[26]
  • Cherokee Lofts, Hollywood, CA – 35,000 gsf mixed-use live/work/commercial structure. Expected to be the first LEED platinum private building[27]
  • The Museum at Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO – A new 25,000 gsf free- standing museum located in the 105 acre sculpture park.[21]
  • Fuller Mixed-use Lofts, Los Angeles, CA – 105 unit market rate and for sale affordable housing including live/work, office and retail.[28]
  • Step Up, Santa Monica, CA (2009)[29]46 units of housing for the mentally disabled located downtown with commercial on the ground level.
  • 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA – A new 80,000 gsf mixed-use arts complex with galleries, live/work space, theatre, offices and shop facilities.
  • MGA Entertainment, Chatsworth, CA – A 350,000 gsf renovation and addition to the old LA Times printing plant into a new corporate headquarters.
  • LATTC Athletic Complex, Los Angeles, CA (2008) - A 30,000 gsf renovation of a gym and physical education buildings.
  • Los Angeles Community College Headquarters, Los Angeles, CA – A renovation of an 11-story office building into the LACCD District’s new home.
  • Colorado Court, Santa Monica, CA (2002) - A 44 unit affordable housing project. The first LEED multi-family project in the USA. Certified LEED Gold. National AIA Design Award winner.[30]
  • Santa Monica College Student Services Center, Santa Monica, CA – A 7,500 gsf bookstore and student hub located in the center of campus.[30]
  • Bergamot Station Arts Complex, Santa Monica, CA (1999) - An 8-acre renovation and addition of an existing water heater manufacturing plant into an arts complex.[31]



  1. ^ Pugh + Scarpa is honored, December 4, 2009, Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b 'Pugh + Scarpa Split Not A "Nasty Divorce"', Architectural Record, September 14, 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  3. ^ Robyn Beaver ed., "1000 Architects, Volume I", Images Publishing, Victoria, Australia (2004), p. 436. ISBN 1-876907-91-6.
  4. ^ 'Gwynne Pugh Departs Pugh + Scarpa to Focus on Urban Design', Architect Magazine, September 13, 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Larry Scarpa, “EV 04: Emerging Voices,” The Architectural League Lecture Series, The Architectural League of New York, March 4, 2004
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ [1], 2010, Zach Mortice American Institute of Architects
  10. ^ 2014 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Short Film about Solar Umbrella
  13. ^ American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Buildings
  14. ^ Lawrence Scarpa and Chris Ghatak, “The Material Inquiry of Construction,” Dimensions Twenty-One, 2008, p. 120-127 Ed. Z.W. AbuSeir & J. Dembski,
  15. ^ Lawrence Scarpa, “In Search of Jolly Green Giant,” OZ Vol. 25, 2003, p. 80-85
  16. ^[broken citation]
  17. ^ Morris Newman, “Thinking Outside the Box,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 1998, p. D-10
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Carol Soucek King, “Staying Ahead of the Pack,” Interior Expressions, March 1999, p. 70-77
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Duplex by Pugh + Scarpa for Make it Right". De Zeen Magazine. July 2, 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Step Up on Fifth by Pugh + Scarpa Architects". De Zeen Magazine. May 21, 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  30. ^ a b
  31. ^

External links[edit]