The Beehive in South L.A. is a Black-owned 5-acre development with outdoor and indoor spaces. (Courtesy photo)

The Los Angeles Business Council announced the winners of its 53rd Architectural Awards, which celebrate designs that embrace innovative design standards that enhance the way we live in Los Angeles.

The Grand Prize went to the Herald Examiner Building, the Chairman’s Award to UCLA, and the Community Impact Award to The Beehive.

The Beehive, an innovative Black-owned 5-acre development with outdoor and indoor space in South L.A., was designed by the community, for the community. In what used to be an industrial zone within the Goodyear tract, the SoLa Impact team has created commercial and event space for rent.

SoLa Impact is an affordable housing and real estate developer in Los Angeles, and the Beehive is its first commercial venture. Martin Muoto, CEO and founder of SoLa Impact, and his team have created a vibrant space that ignites opportunity.

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SoLa hosts many thriving endeavors including a regular Black Market Flea, numerous businesses such as a brewery and yoga studio, and SoLa Impact’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center.

Commercial and event space is available to rent at The Beehive. (Courtesy photo)

“The Beehive was born out of our commitment to ‘Doing well by doing good.’ We are incredibly honored to be recognized for the work that went into creating an oasis where community, culture, and commerce converge to uplift and inspire the community,” said Muoto.

UCLA was recognized for three projects on its campus: the UCLA La Kretz Botany Building Renovation, UCLA Southwest Campus Apartment Complex, and UCLA Olympic and Centennial Residence Halls. All three projects have created spaces that will elevate the experiences shared by students and visitors alike for years to come, inspiring both connection and a sense of self-determination.

“Beautiful and thoughtfully designed spaces to gather, study, work and live enhance the campus experience for our students, staff, scholars and visitors,” said Gene Block, UCLA chancellor.

“We are honored to receive the esteemed Chairman’s Award for these projects, which include the revitalization of underutilized buildings and the creation of modern residence halls that have helped us guarantee undergraduate housing for all of our students.”   

The Herald Examiner Building in Downtown L.A., initially commissioned by William Randolph Hearst in 1913 and designed by California’s first licensed female architect, has a storied history for both the people who walked its halls and those who relied on the Los Angeles Examiner for their daily news. In 1989, the paper ceased publication and the building remained largely vacant until 2015, when The Georgetown Company began efforts to restore and reimagine it.

The redeveloped space is now being used in a multitude of important ways including for higher education and as commercial space, which are helping to revitalize not just the building itself but also L.A.’s downtown neighborhood.

“When we began the restoration of the Herald Examiner Building, we focused not only on preserving the historic character of the building but also on ensuring the end result would support the ongoing revitalization of the neighborhood,” said Michael Fischer, managing director of The Georgetown Company.

“We are so glad the city of Los Angeles re-embraced this celebrated building as a place where people can not only be inspired but also have the space to pursue new opportunities.”

“This year the LABC is honoring projects that improve communities and neighborhoods in substantial and intentional ways,” said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council.

“Our honorees embody innovative designs that were not only crafted to reflect the needs and dreams of the people they were designed for, but created as spaces that facilitate progress.”

Nearly 350 leading architects, designers, building owners, developers and city and state officials gathered at the awards ceremony held at the Sunset Room in Hollywood.

Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner of architecture and urban design practice Studio Gang, delivered the keynote presentation about several projects led by her firm, including adaptive reuse cases that demonstrate the potential of existing infrastructure to help communities thrive and other built work that has meaningfully impacted citizens by better connecting them to their communities and the environment.

For a full list of winners and photos, visit