AIA Honors Five Southland Architects

The FAIA designation after an architect's name is borne proudly by those who have earned the lifetime honor from the American Institute of Architects, for notable contribution to their profession.

Four members of AIA's Los Angeles chapter and one member of the Pasadena/Foothill chapter, in a total of 84 nationally this year, have been advanced to the College of Fellows of the organization and will participate in investiture ceremonies on June 8 at the AIA National Convention in San Antonio.

They are Sidney Eisenshtat, Sidney Eisenshtat Architect, Beverly Hills; Robert Kennard, Kennard Design Group, Los Angeles; Peyton Kirven, Ziegler Kirven Parrish, Los Angeles; Ki Suh Park, Gruen Associates, Los Angeles, and Wallace L. Haas Jr., W. Haas Associates, Los Angeles.

Environment Adjustment

Eisenshtat, who is internationally recognized for his development of synagogue architecture, believes that the religious flux experienced by most faiths in the past few decades has required considerable adjustment, not only in the spiritual sense but also in terms of the environment in which people pray.

Examples of some of Eisenshtat's concepts can be seen in Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills, Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, Congregation B'nai Zion in El Paso and also in the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem, where he served as consultant.

"People pray differently. For instance, in Catholicism, priests are intermediaries of God; in Judaism there is no intermediary. Therefore, I see the structure for synagogues not as pyramidal but as horizontal," the architect said.

Eisenshtat's designs are governed by simple concepts, he said. "I look for as little distraction as possible and try to keep to traditional colors, primarily the black and white of the tallit ." Eisenshtat is credited with developing the floor that rises to the altar and used in most synagogues today.

Kennard, president of the Kennard Design Group which he founded in 1957, is grateful for his peers' recognition that reflects his work with young people and the time and encouragement he has given to those wishing to explore the field of environmental design.

Recent KDG projects are the new Parking Structures One, Three and Four and the Heliport at Los Angeles International Airport and the master plan and Medical Education Building for Charles R. Drew Post Graduate Medical School at the King-Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Kennard was active in the founding of the Inner City Cultural Center and the Central City Community Mental Health facility in the Gilbert W. Lindsay Center, which Kennard believes performs an important preventive function.

Kennard, a member of the board of directors of the California Council of AIA, regrets that there are so few minorities involved in the field of environmental design and in urban and regional planning and landscaping. "I was born in the greater Watts area so I have always been interested in helping promote student enrichment programs in that area, such as we initiated at Washington High School, and in supporting positive action groups within the black community.

"Life is a two-way street and it is very rewarding to be able to give back a little of what one was fortunate enough to receive. And it feels great to also be recognized by one's peers."

When Peyton (Ed) Kirven goes to Texas for his investiture in June, he will be in familiar surroundings. A graduate of the University of Texas, he has served the profession and community through his strong focus on the improvement of life safety in the built environment.

Colleague and partner Jack Parrish describes Kirven as a man who displays "great intensity and virtually anything he does, he does well. We all gain from his generous sharing of any discoveries and, since our firm does a lot in the public sector, Ed is particularly atuned to safety.

Kirven's leadership and participation in code advisory committees at local and state levels led to the adoption of the Los Angeles City Ordinance for Fire Hazard Abatement in Multi-Story Apartment Buildings, improvements in the state fire marshal's fire safety regulations for high-rise buildings, as well as in standards for the handicapped.

In addition, he has been involved as a designer and principal on the American Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport and the Southern California Rapid Transit District operating facility in East Los Angeles.

Ki Suh Park, managing partner of Gruen Associates, who came from Korea to the United States in 1953, is being honored for contributions in two areas of his expertise--architecture and city planning.

He has directed major architectural projects in the United States and abroad, including the 1-million-square-foot Daehan Kyoyuk Life Insurance Headquarters in Seoul, the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Koreatown Plaza in Los Angeles, among other projects.

"I like to think of myself as a well-integrated former immigrant who became a part of the mainstream. I now work to open new horizons for the newcomers seeking the same opportunities that I did as a young man," Park said, adding that he was fortunate to have two influential sponsors: James Michener, whose wife was an architect, and Norman Rockwell.

"Issues of particular interest to me and which affect my profession have to do with achieving a better balance between commercial and residential developments, between zoning and general plans, improving transportation and also the quality of life and interracial harmony within the Korean American community.

"One of the great thrills I experienced was to serve as interpreter to the mayor of Seoul when he traveled throughout the United States as emissary for the next Olympics," Park said. He is currently a member of the Board of of Councilors at USC, chairman of the Korean-American Institute of Architects and chairman of the Koreatown Specific Plan advisory committee.

Wallace L. Haas Jr., president of W. Haas Associates in Los Angeles, specializes in consulting, planning, architecture and in transportation facilities and has contributed substantially to his profession through almost a decade of advocacy in design-build.

Prior to 1978, architects were prohibited from participating in joint venture with builders, Haas explained. Partially through his efforts and the committees he served on the situation has now been reversed.

"Owners were dealing with two separate agreements, one with the architect and another with the builder. When problems arose, it was hard to define responsibility, often to the detriment of all concerned," Haas said. "Now the owner and/or architect has the option of doing a project under a single design-build contract and all responsibility for a project is shared within that format."

Haas has served as a director, vice president and president of the Pasadena/Foothill AIA chapter and has been a member of the board of directors of the California Council of AIA. In addition, he has served on the executive committee on Construction Management/Design-Build/Contracting and was national committee chairman of AIA's National Task Force for Design-Build.

Most of Haas' practice is in architectural design but he also co-ventures with Designers-Builders/Pacific. His work includes the new expansion for TWA at Los Angeles International Airport and a facility at Meadows Field in Bakersfield.

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