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The 2015 Palo Alto Architectural Review Board Awards

This awards program is designed to occur every five years, as set forth in the Architectural Review Board (ARB) bylaws.  Past awards were given in 2000, 2005, and 2010.

The six 2015 award winners were selected in October 2015, following ARB review of eligible projects during its retreat and public meetings. The ARB determined the selected projects, approved by the ARB and constructed since the 2010 awards, deserve awards for making Palo Alto a better place.  Images of the award winning projects will be on display in the City Hall lobby for the November 30, 2015 reception that precedes the City Council proclamation ceremony that evening, and during the month of December in rotation with other images. The six projects are:

Rinconada Library
1213 Newell Road
Award for Preservation, Addition, and Site Design

Rinconada Library exterior and interior

Design Team
Group 4 Architecture, addition and renovation
Garavaglia Architecture, historic architecture consultant
Gates & Associates Landscape
Edward Durrell Stone, original architect

• Originally built in 1958.
• The building is eligible for the California Register for Historical Resources.
• Parking reconfigured to provide connectivity between the Library and Art Center.
• Woonerf connection between parking lots and Community Garden.
• Existing, structural, mechanical, lighting renovated.
• Meeting room, study rooms, and bathrooms added.

Terra cotta screens, redwood plank ceiling, brick fireplace, patios, planters and chandeliers are character defining elements that create a residentially scaled public building. The meeting and study room additions were carefully scaled and detailed to be in keeping with the existing building. New landscape elements and a public art sculpture were designed to connect the library to the Art Center and the Community Garden.

Stanford Hoover Pavilion
211 Quarry Road
Award for Preservation

Stanford Hoover Pavilion exterior and interior

Design Team
Tom Eliot Fisch, project architect
Page & Turnbull, historic preservation consultant
bfsla Landscape Architects
Reed and Corlett, original architect

• The building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources
• 105’ cupola, 81’ tower, and 50’ high wings

The art deco style was popular in the United States between WWI and WWII. Civic pride at the time was reflected in ornate facades and vertical proportions public buildings.  Unfortunately, over time numerous additions and trailers cluttered the site. Ugly window air conditioning units marred the beautiful facades. Stanford renovated the building as part of the new Hoover Medical Campus. The original 2nd floor entrance lobby, no longer usable as such because of accessibility codes, was turned into a new location of the Stanford Health Library. The original finial atop the pyramidal roof, missing since WWII, was recreated using the original blueprints.

1904 Stanford University opened a small hospital
1915 A small, private hospital opened in Palo Alto
1931 The Palo Alto Hospital, now the Hoover Pavilion, was constructed by Palo Alto on 10 acres of leased land from Stanford University; The 80 bed hospital was run by Stanford
1938 A new wing was added on the South side
1959 Palo Alto and Stanford completed a new, larger hospital, and Stanford’s Medical School was moved from San Francisco to Palo Alto
1965 Hoover Pavilion reopened
1968 Stanford became sole owner

Apple Store
340 University Avenue
Award for Remodel

Apple store exterior and interior

Design Team
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architect

Apple’s intent was to create an indoor-outdoor market space at the ‘T’ intersection of University Avenue and Florence Street. Glass’ subatomic structure allows transparency, but tints, double glazing, and reflective coatings can reduce the transparency by 50%. To maximize transparency and light, the design features a 24’ high laminated low-iron glass facade and a curved, fritted, low-iron glass roof.

1922 Liddicoats grocery store
1977 restaurant mall and 1st Mrs Fields cookies Z Gallerie

Paris Baguette
383 University Avenue
Award for Small Project and Renovation

Paris Baguette exterior and interior

Design Team
Jimmy Chang of R.add, project architect

The newly opened corner porch, exposed high ceilings, removal of canvas awnings, and the reinstallation of clerestory windows have made a dramatic improvement over the original storefront. A new large window and a bicycle themed graphic along Waverly Street have helped to minimize the existing, long, blank, street side facade.

Mitchell Park Library & Community Center
3700 Middlefield Road
Special Award for Sustainable Design

Mitchell Park Library exterior and interior

Design Team
Group 4 Architecture

LEED NC Platinum
Childrens’ collection, teen collection, multi-purpose room, café, classrooms, game room, and basketball court

Architecture in California is undergoing a phased-in revolution to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, reduce emissions, reduce water use, and reduce the shipping of heavy building materials. Night sky radiant cooling, photovoltaics, solar hot water, overhangs, and sunscreens reduce the use of fossil fuels. A planted roof, storm water collection, pervious paving, swales, help keep the building cool and reduce storm water runoff.  Stone cladding quarried within 500 miles helps reduce the amount of transportation compared to the large quarries in China, Italy, India, Mexico, and Turkey.

Magical Bridge Playground
600 East Meadow Drive
Special Award for Innovative-Inclusive Playground

Magical Bridge Playground

Design Team
Verde Design Landscape Architect
Barbara Butler, Play Area design-build
RHAA, original Landscape Architect for Mitchell Park

This playground transformed a little used corner of the park into a playground for kids of all ages and abilities. It features seven zones; Picnic area, Tots, Swinging and Swaying, Music, Climbing, and Exploration. The Music Zone features a 24 string-laser harp by artist Jen Lewin. The Exploration zone features a treehouse, stage, and elevated walkway by Barbara Butler.

Last Updated: November 25, 2015