Oakland International Terminal Expansion Officially Open

Well, after two years of hard work and an intense construction schedule our Oakland International Terminal expansion was officially opened in a well-attended ceremony this morning. AE3 Partners was the lead architect on this $45 million renovation. We are getting great coverage on this:
What once was a surprisingly dumpy outbuilding is now a modern terminal that says “you’ve arrived” to Oakland, and more international carriers are adding flights because of it. It was nice to have Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff preside at the opening, and we paid a few moments of respect to SF Mayor’s Lee unexpected passing this AM. Special thanks to a great team that included HOK (MEP/Aviation Planning), KPW (Structural) Ross and Barazuni (Low Voltage), Swanson Rink (Baggage) and Wood Rogers (Civil), and others. Turner Construction was the general contractor and did a great job. Less delays and right here in the East Bay, here’s to more International Travel from Oakland!


Construction Underway at PG&E Regional Business Park in Auburn

Construction has begun on the PG&E Auburn Regional Business Park project and is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

As part of the Roebbelen Design-Build team, AE3 was selected to provide design services for this project that will integrate operations at two existing facilities, the Rock Creek Yard and Auburn Service Center into a single new location. The scope of work includes significantly renovating three existing buildings and site areas, including 1.65 acres of raw land, as part of a 15-acre industrial/office campus within the Auburn Airport Industrial Park. The existing operations and approximately 350 personnel will be consolidated into the new integrated location. The new campus will include offices, workshops, material storage and fleet maintenance.

Upon completion of the project, the new facility will meet current codes and PG&E Company standards, achieve enhanced business practices, promote PG&E’s safety culture, increase business efficiencies, and ultimately reduce operational costs.

Structural Steel in Place at the Oakland International Airport International Arrivals Building Upgrade Project

Construction of the International Arrivals Building (IAB) Upgrade at the Oakland International Airport is well underway. The structural steel is in place, one gate is already open, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

AE3 is providing Architect of Record services for the building improvements that will improve reliability and functionality of the dated facility to better serve the international passenger market. These improvements include a new baggage carousel system; replacement of the old baggage carousel system; building additions to provide space for the new baggage carousel; expanded queuing and processing areas to improve the primary screening operations; US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office/support space as required to meet CBP requirements; new restroom facilities and updates to existing facilities; installation of passenger equipment and aesthetic upgrades; seismic upgrades to the completed structure to current codes; reconfiguration of the passenger boarding bridge; reconfiguration of taxilanes, aircraft parking positions, apron lighting, and fueling hydrants and lines; and CBP vehicle parking areas that are affected by the expansion.

Congratulations to the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building for Winning a 2016 Docomomo US Modernism in America Award of Excellence

The Commercial Design Award of Excellence is awarded for the restoration of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building in Los Angeles, California. At its completion, both the building and its architect, Paul Revere Williams, were central to the African-American community during the previous century and influenced the history of Southern California. For much of the 20th century Golden State Mutual Life Insurance was the largest black-owned insurance company in the western United States and the first in the region to write insurance policies to all people regardless of color. The company was a pillar of the African-American community, providing hundreds of African-Americans and other minorities stable, middle-class employment, and was front and center in the drive for civil rights as the site of numerous voter drives and community organization efforts, including a visit by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The interiors have been restored to match the original 1949 design, and the building now serves the community as a center of the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (“SCLARC”) campus. The property is listed on the National Register and as a Historic Cultural Monument in the City of Los Angeles.

“The renovation of this lesser known modern office headquarters in Los Angeles embodies the ethos of “refreshing” a building rather than replacing (i.e. a light touch rather than a heavy hand).”  

- 2016 Jury

Congratulations to Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building for receiving a 2016 Conservancy Preservation Award!

Congratulations to Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building for receiving a 2016 Conservancy Preservation Award!

Project Team

Owner: Friends of SCLARC/Community Impact Development
Architect, Landscape Architect: AE3 Partners, Inc.
Associate Architect – Historic: Steinberg Architects
Preservation Architect: Historic Resources Group
Contractor: KSJ & VCC Joint Venture
Construction Manager: Primestor Development, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Nabih Youssef Associates
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: SY Lee Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineer: VTN West, Inc.
Photographer: Paul Turang Photography

About the Project

In 2009, Golden State Mutual closed, and its remaining assets (including two significant lobby murals) were prepared for sale by the State's Conservation and Liquidation Office, leaving the building and its future in question. This became a major preservation issue for the Conservancy; you can read more about this issue here.

By 2011, the building had fallen into disrepair after years of vacancy and lack of maintenance. 

That same year, the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC), a nonprofit organization that serves people with development disabilities, decided to incorporate the building as part of their new headquarters. They wanted to adaptively reuse the building as office space, while preserving its character-defining features. 

Read more here.

Another Round of BART's Station Modernization Plans to Move Forward

While it may be hard to believe for many BART riders, the transportation system we all love and hate is about to start station upgrades at certain locations.

The Planning and Development Department at BART took a hard look at all the stations to prioritize which locations needed the most improvement. Tim Chan, manager of planning at BART, said that the decision was made to focus on BART's core system, which makes up the oldest stations on the more than 40-year-old transportation line.

Station improvements will be seen at El Cerrito del Norte, 19th Street/Oakland, Powell Street and the Balboa Park stations in the next two years, BART confirmed. This is the second round of improvements being made as part of BART's Station Modernization Program.

Read more here.

AE3 Partners is the Architect of Record and featured design partner for General Engineering Services for the BART El Cerrito del Norte Station Modernization Project. 

Paul Revere Williams Bronze Sculpture Open To Public

On November 16, the general public was able to see the monument of famed architect Paul Revere Williams, which was unveiled at the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC) Legacy Plaza on October 29.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by civic leaders, representatives of the historic preservation community, and alumni of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company.
The memorial, which incorporates a large bronze bas relief, is a celebration of Mr. Williams’s enormous contributions to architecture and to the Los Angeles community. The monument was commissioned by SCLARC as part of the Legacy Plaza development.

Read more at:


Construction Complete on Legacy Plaza Building for the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC)


Los Angeles, CA, May 21, 2015 – AE3 is proud to announce the completion of the Legacy Plaza project for the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC).  This multi-million dollar project involved the construction of a new 6-level, 165,000 square foot office building and the renovation of the adjacent 55,000 square foot Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building. The project is the largest ground-up construction in the West Adams and South Central districts in decades.

SCLARC (www.sclarc.org) is a private, non-profit, community-based organization that provides essential services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families.  Founded in 1974, SCLARC is one of 21 regional centers that serve communities throughout California. Legacy Plaza creates an office campus that will enhance SCLARC’s ability to address program needs, provide room to grow their 350 person employee base, and will become an invaluable and much needed community resource.

The Golden State Mutual Building was originally built in 1949 and designed by the famed architect Paul Revere Williams. Williams was the first African American certified architect in California and a prolific “architect to the stars” with numerous commissions between 1920 and 1960. The building was the headquarters for the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, at one time the largest African American owned insurance company in the Western United States, and the first in the Los Angeles region to write insurance policies to all people regardless of color. 

The restoration of the building presented many challenges including preserving the historic exterior and interior spaces, while completely replacing all of the building systems. The 300-person auditorium and lobby contain famed murals depicting African American history in California. These murals have been fully restored, sunshades added to the building have been removed, all exterior glazing has been restored, and the exterior has been restored to its original 1949 appearance. The building interior has been upgraded to a modern office environment.

The new Legacy Building was constructed adjacent to the Golden State Mutual building. It provides clinical and psychological assessment space, educational and training areas, a family resource center, and office space. Within the building is a state-of-the-art video conferencing center. The building also includes a 4-level, 300-space, semi-subterranean parking structure that serves the entire campus. Outdoor features include generous landscaped terraces, large public entry plaza, linear park feature, and a plaza honoring Paul Revere Williams. This plaza includes a bronze Bas Relief by West Adams artist Georgia Tolivier.

The project exceeds the 2010 CALGreen standard for sustainable design. Energy efficient systems and fixtures include water conserving plumbing fixtures and zero to low VOC building materials. In addition, the rectangular building footprint, combined with regular punched windows, help manage cost while meeting programmatic requirements.  

This project demonstrates how thoughtful design can support a complex institutional program and successfully serve the needs of the surrounding community, while preserving its heritage and adhering to stringent budget constraints.  AE3 Partners is the Prime Architect (Design and Architect of Record) that led a team including Steinberg Architects (Associate/Historic Architect), Nabih Youssef & Associates (Structural) and SY Lee (MEP).  The project was built by a joint venture of KSJ Builders and VCC Builders. Primestor International served as the development/construction manager.