Pasadena, CA

Program: Develop a master plan for campus expansion, restore the historical Cole House, renovate the Smith & Williams sanctuary into a parish hall, and design a new sanctuary and programs building with chapel. The program building including classrooms, multi-purpose space, teachers’ lounge and chapel was the first phase of the development.

Solution: The challenge was to create a design that could blend into this environment without competing with or mimicking the historical Gamble House and Cole House designed by Greene & Greene. We developed a progressive Pasadena Arts & Crafts style design purposely contemporary to differentiate it from and compliment the historic bungalow structure on campus and the adjoining properties. The design was fractured into smaller shapes to create a residential scale. The “L” shaped plan creates an “events” courtyard between the Cole House and a 40-year old pine grove that is used for many City and AIA events.

Significance: The Unitarian Universalist Church has honored this project as an excellent example of what can be accomplished to energize a church program and demonstrate sensitivity to the surrounding neighborhood. Pasadena Heritage, a local preservation group and USC/City of Pasadena, who now own the Gamble House, have endorsed the design as a sensitive and uniquely appropriate integration into this collage of historical structures.

American Institute of Architects

Pasadena & Foothill Chapter
Merit Award 2002


California State Assembly

Creative Design Award, 2002

Pasadena Beautiful Foundation Design Award, 2001


Pasadena Magazine, 2009

“The building speaks to the interconnectedness of all things core to the UU faith. Years later, there is nothing we would change—which is the true test of a great design.”

Carol Ross,
Building Committee Chair