Clockwise from top left: Angela Brooks, Christian Guerra, Deborah Aschheim, Stephanie Reich, Rebecca Abano, Susan Narduli.
In honor of Women’s History Month and the pioneering work of Beach House architect Julia Morgan, Beach=Culture presents an annual discussion on women in public practice.
This year we welcome architect Angela Brooks, artists Deborah Aschheim and Susan Narduli, Santa Monica City public art supervisor Christian Guerra and historic preservation planner Stephanie Reich. They join moderator and City Architect Rebecca Abano to discuss Julia Morgan’s pioneering achievements in the context of present day issues of equity in architecture and design. Topics include how the built environment can foster discrimination or invite equitable access and how sustainable architecture and biophilic design practices are key to transforming public space.
Rebecca M. Abano, AIA (moderator) is Santa Monica’s City Architect, and manages the Architecture Services Division of the City’s Public Works Department, providing planning, design and construction services for the City’s $500M capital improvement program. Significant projects include Santa Monica City Yards Modernization, new Fire Station No. 1, Civic Field, Memorial Park Expansion, and the new City Services Building, which will be the first building in Southern California to pursue the Living Building Challenge certification. She received her B.S. in Architecture from the University of the Philippines and attended the master of architecture program at SCI-ARC. In addition to membership in the American Institute of Architects, she is affiliated with the International Living Future Institute, US Green Building Council, and the American Public Works Association.
Deborah Aschheim makes installations, sculptures and drawings about memory and place. She has had solo exhibitions at galleries and nonprofit art spaces across the U.S. and has created site-specific artworks for LA County, Sacramento and San Francisco Arts Commissions; for UC San Francisco, for Amazon.com and for the LAPD. Aschheim is working on an integrated art glass installation for the new Santa Monica Fire Station that is informed by two years as informal artist-in-residence for SMFD.
Angela Brooks, FAIA, LEEDTM Accredited Professional, BD+C, and Principal, Brooks + Scarpa, is a recognized leader in the field of environmental and sustainable design and construction and is responsible for her firm’s development in the area of housing and policy, its sustainable initiatives and overall design staff management. Brooks believes that it is not enough to create great buildings and has worked to create complete neighborhoods, working with the City of Los Angeles Planning Department to change zoning to promote density and livable communities. Over the last ten years Brooks + Scarpa has received fifty major design awards including five AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Awards. In 2010 it was awarded the National and State Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects. In 2009 she received the National American Institute of Architects Young Architects Award, and in 2010, the USA Network “Character Approved” Award for her innovative work in the field of architecture. https://brooksscarpa.com
Christian Guerra is a graduate of The University of Texas, where she was an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence fellow and scholar and developed her passion for global perspectives, human rights, advocacy, and sustaining cultural narrative. She interned at the Rubin Center of Contemporary Art working with artists such as Mark Bradford and youth artists from El Paso, Texas, and C.D. Juarez and while there first experienced art as a powerful tool for dialogue and social change. She earned an MLS with a focus on Archives and Cultural Institutions from Simmons College; there her research focused on social historical narrative reflected in publicly commissioned art. Guerra oversaw the physical and intellectual care, custody, and maintenance of over 500 works of public art owned by the City of Boston for six years. She serves as a 2018 National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) Leadership Fellow and an Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Public Art Network Advisory Council member. In relation to City’s public art program, she acts as a liaison to the community, works to safeguard artist’s rights, and prioritizes cultural equity.
Susan Narduli works at the intersection of art, architecture and public space. A Los Angeles-based artist and licensed architect, she leads an interdisciplinary design practice with commissions in public art, public spaces, architecture, interactive experience design, digital installations, light environments and landscapes. Narduli has received awards for her integrated approach to art, technology and the environment and has exhibited nationally and internationally. https://www.nardulistudio.com/
Stephanie Reich, AIA, LEED AP re-joined Planning and Community Development in the City of Santa Monica as the Design and Historic Preservation Planner, leading the team that serves the Architectural Review Board and Landmarks Commission. Stephanie most recently served as Urban Designer for the City of West Hollywood and has also served the cities of Glendale and Long Beach in a similar role. Reich is a licensed architect and practiced architecture and urban design for almost twenty years with a variety of notable firms in Los Angeles and New York, including Morphosis, Daniel Libeskind, and larger firms of AECOM and NBBJ. Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, and her Master of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). As part of her commitment to the broader design community, Reich is active in the local AIA chapter (AIA/LA), served on its Board of Directors, and has been on the Urban Design Committee for AIACC since 2006. From 2001 and 2010 she served as Chair of the AIA/LA Urban Design Committee, providing a forum for multi-disciplinary dialogue on key urban design issues. Stephanie is also an active member and past president of Association for Women in Architecture + Design (AWA+D) for which she leads a monthly Salon discussion group and serves as a mentor for young professionals.
Julia Morgan was California’s first licensed female architect and one of the first female civil engineering graduates of UC Berkeley. Creator of over 700 structures in California, she is best known for her long term collaboration with William Randolph Hearst on the “Hearst Castle” in San Simeon, several YWCA buildings throughout Northern and Southern California, and commissions for private homes, including Marion Davies’ Beach House. She was the first woman to study architecture at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake she earned national acclaim for her reconstruction of San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, thereby launching a career that balanced a deep knowledge of structural engineering with an originality of design and a masterful utilization of site and materials. Posthumously awarded the AIA’s highest honor, a Gold Medal, her brilliant and pioneering work continues to gain public recognition.
Stop by Sunday March 3 at 12:30pm to tour the historic Marion Davies Guest House and pool, the remaining historic structures designed by Morgan at the Annenberg Community Beach House. More info at annenbergbeachhouse.com.
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Stop by early to save your seat and check out the historic site. Picnickers welcome (no pets, alcohol or glass permitted onsite.)
Tickets are free but space is limited and reservations are required. Arrive by 15 min before start time to retain your reservation. Late seating, even for reservation-holders, is not guaranteed. To adjust or cancel your reservation for this event, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your keeping in touch!
Getting Here: The Beach House is located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402 on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway. Enter off PCH at the Beach House Way traffic light.
Parking: The parking rate is Apr – Oct: $12/day or $3/hour; Nov – Mar: $8/day or $3/hour, payable at the park and pay machines in three areas of the ACBH parking lot. Credit cards or exact change only. Handicapped placards and Senior Beach Permits are accepted. For other parking info and lot hours, please check the website for details.
Other events: To view & make reservations for future free Beach=Culture events, check annenbergbeachhouse.com/beachculture.
General Info: For hours, events and more, visit annenbergbeachhouse.com, or call (310) 458-4904. Back on the Beach Café hours are subject to change but are generally through 8pm in the summer and 3pm in the off season, call (310) 393-8282 to confirm.