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Michael B. Lehrer

FAIA

Founding Partner

Architecture is the shaping of space with objects in light, to create practical and emotive places.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Gold Medalist, American Institute of Architects Los Angeles
President, LEHRERARCHITECTS LA INC.
Chairman Emeritus, Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council
University of California at Riverside Design Review Board
Past Harvard GSD-Appointed Director, Harvard Alumni Association Board
Past President, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles
Past President, American Institute of Architects Los Angeles
Past Vice-Chairman of LASUSD School Construction Bond Oversight Committee

 

Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA founded LehrerArchitects LA in his native Silverlake District of Los Angeles. The work–from the intimate to the monumental–is grounded in the idea that beauty is a rudiment of human dignity. He designs for the community with a reverence for light and space. Delight is a matter of extreme gravitas in the work.  The work is to elevate every day and celebrate the community.

The firm’s work consists of institutional, commercial, industrial, residential, and urban design projects. Regarding sustainability and thrivability, the work aspires to embody the beauty of performance and the performance of beauty.  LEHRERARCHITECTS LA is steeped in the nurturing of creativity culture in its own work, both process and product, and in finding that spark in all of its client’s endeavors.

Acclaim and Honor. In 2020, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles bestowed the Gold Medal, its “highest honor” on Michael. “His devotion to fellow humans is matched by his mastery of craft,” stated 2020 AIALA President Greg Verabian, AIA. “He is an architect fully engaged in architecture as a means to contribute to society as a whole.”

LEHRERARCHITECTS LA has won over 140 major design and sustainability awards, including over 45 design awards from the national, state, and local chapters of The American Institute of Architects. Lehrer Architects’ Studio, The Downtown Homeless Drop-In Center, and the LA County Elections Operations Center have all won the Institute Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, the top annual award for architecture in the United States, as well as numerous top awards from the International Interior Design Association, the AIA California Council, AIA LA, Architectural Record, the Los Angeles Business Council, Graphis, Contract Magazine, Interior Design and Builder Magazine, among many others.   The Water + Life Museum in Hemet, designed with Mark Gangi, AIA, is the first LEED™ Platinum museum in the world, and an international environmental showcase.  The Architecture Critic of the Los Angeles Times called it one of the 10 best public buildings in Southern California in the millennium’s first decade.

Michael’s work has been widely published nationally and internationally and he is regularly called upon to comment about design matters in national and local broadcast media, print, panels, and symposia to explain the public interest from the architect’s perspective. This includes Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, ARCHITECT, Business Week, Azure, Builder Magazine, Metropolitan Home, Dwell, Interior Design, NPR’s Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, KCRW’s Which Way L.A.?, The LA Times, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Architect’s Newspaper, among others.  Michael has lectured on his work at Stanford, Berkeley, Palm Spring’s Modernism Week, University of Michigan, Woodbury University, the Dallas Architecture Forum, Dwell on Design, Governing Magazine/AARP, among many others.

Leadership, Engagement, and Service: Loving Community.  Michael leads LehrerArchitects LA as Founding Partner with Partner, Nerin Kadribegovic, AIA IIDA and a senior team of extremely talented designers including Alexander Clark, Benjamin Lehrer, Edan Kadribegovic, Erik Alden, AIA LEED AP, and Ashle Fauvre, AIA.

Michael is Chairman Emeritus of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Alumni Council where he created a leadership manifesto, The Engagement Parti, which is now a centerpiece of GSD’s 14,000-member, multi-generational lifelong community. He has served as the GSD-appointed Director on the Harvard Alumni Association Board and is Past President of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, a Board on which he stills serves. He was Vice Chairman of School Construction Bond Oversight Committee for over 5 years, overseeing a now $27 Billion repair and construction program for the LA Unified School District.  He served on the Hollywood Planning and Design Review Board for over 25 years.

He was President of the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles in 1999 and founded their annual, ongoing Legislative Day that year which has fundamentally changed the nature of the profession in LA and is in its 20th year.   He initiated the AIA/LA push to make GREAT STREETS a central initiative in our city.

Teaching and Learning. Michael has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, teaching all levels of design studio from 1st Year through Master’s Thesis.  Prior to 1985, Mr. Lehrer worked at Frank O. Gehry and Associates and other design offices. He regularly sits on academic and professional AIA design juries around the country, including the AIA Institute Honor Awards Jury for Architecture.

Educated at Berkeley and Harvard after attending LAUSD public schools, Michael was licensed in California in 1981 and was elevated to the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects in 2004.

  • Harvard University, Master of Architecture, 1978
  • University of California, Berkeley, AB Major in Architecture with Highest Honors, 1975

Grounding. He is married to Mia Lehrer, FASLA of Studio-MLA Landscape Architecture. They have three children:  Benjamin (and Laura), Rebecca (and Neil), and Raphael, and grandchildren, Gabriel, Roxanna, Clara and Amos.

 

AWARDS

Clinica Oscar Romero
Westside Prize Citation, Westside Urban Forum 2020

SSG Housing for Youth at Promise, Compton
Merit Award for Excellence in Residential Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2020
Award of Finalist for “exceptional contribution” in the Design Concept category, LABC 2020

Studio-MLA
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2019
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2019
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2019

The Los Angeles Glendale Water Reclamation Facility
Award of Merit for “exceptional contribution” in the Design Concept category, LABC 2019
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2019

The Katz Pavilion
Westside Prize Citation, Westside Urban Forum 2020
Award of Merit for “exceptional contribution” in the Civic category, LABC 2018
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2018
Award for New Facilities, The American Institute of Architects, Faith and Form Magazine and Interfaith Design 2019

UCLA Garden Visitor Center
Westside Prize Award, Westside Urban Forum 2019
Award of Merit for “exceptional contribution” in the Sustainability category, LABC 2019
LEED Platinum Certification, United States Green Building Council 2018
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2017
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2017

Restore Neighborhood Los Angeles 200K Homes
Design Award, Southern California Development Forum 2018
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2017
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2017
Honor Award for Excellence in Residential Design, AIA Los Angeles 2017
Honor Award for Excellence in Residential Design, AIA California Council 2017
Gold Nugget Merit Award, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2017

Milken Community School Art and Science Institutes
Honor Award, CONTRACT Magazine  2018
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2018
Merit Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2017
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2017
BEST OF COMPETITION The International Interior Design Association Design Competition 2017
Honor Award, The International Interior Design Association Design Competition 2017
Westside Prize Merit Award, Westside Urban Forum 2017
Gold Nugget Merit Award, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2017
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2016

Central Pool
Award of Merit for “exceptional contribution” in the Civic category, Los Angeles Business Council 2019
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California 2019
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2017
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2017
Best of Year Winner, Non-Profit Institutions, Interior Design Magazine 2017

Unite Here Health Offices
Finalist The International Interior Design Association International Design Competition 2017
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2016
Westside Prize Merit Award, Westside Urban Forum 2016
Gold Nugget Merit Award, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2016
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2016

Restore Neighborhoods Los Angeles Homes
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2016
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2015
Award “exceptional contribution” in the Chairman’s category, Los Angeles Business Council. 2015
Gold Nugget Merit Award, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2014
Judges Special Award of Excellence, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2014
Honorable Mention Design Award, Southern California Association for Non-Profit Housing 2014
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2014

Keck Institute for Space Studies, Caltech
Award “exceptional contribution” in the Sustainable Real Estate category, LABC  2015
LEED Platinum Certification, United States Green Building Council 2014
Merit Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2014
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Pasadena  2014
Sustainable Innovation Honor Award, United States Green Building Council Los Angeles 2014
Honor Award for Savings by Design, The American Institute of Architects Pasadena 2014
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2014
Best of the Best in the Country, Small Projects, Engineering News Record 2015
City of Pasadena Historic Preservation Award 2014
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2014

Potrero Park Community Center
Award of Merit for “exceptional contribution” in the Civic category, Los Angeles Business Council. 2014
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2013
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2012
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2013

Reseda Park Pool
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2013
Award of Excellence, The Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission/The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2012

Spring Street Park
Best of Year Honoree, Interior Design Magazine 2013
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2013
People’s Design Award, Finalist Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum 2013
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Landscape Architecture category, LABC 2012

Westwood United Methodist Church
Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2011
Merit Award for Sacred Landscape, The American Institute of Architects, Faith and Form Magazine,
The Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture 2011
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Landscape Architecture category, LABC 2011
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2011

Canyon Residence
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2012
Merit Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2011
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Housing Single Family category, LABC 2011
Gold Nugget, Grand Award for Best Custom Home over 6,500 s.f., Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2011

Registrar-Recorder County Clerk Elections Center
Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture, The American Institute of Architects 2011
Merit Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2010
Award of Merit for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2010
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2011
Honor Award, Environments Category, Annual Design Review I.D. Magazine 2009
Honor Award, Graphis Magazine 2009
Honorable Mention for Design Excellence, Architect Magazine 2009
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Renovated Buildings category,  LABC 2009
Honor Award, Southern California Development Forum 2008

The Shalom Institute
Top 100 Architecture Projects of Past Decade, Arch Daily 2016
Award of Merit for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2010
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2011
Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Excellence & Value for Best Rehab Commercial/Industrial Project, PCBC 2010

The Water and Life Museums
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2009
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2008
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Pasadena 2007
Merit Award for Savings by Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2008
Iconic Awards, Public Architecture with Distinction, German Design Council 2016
Green Good Design Award®, Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture/Design
European Center for Architecture Art Design/Urban Studies & Metropolitan Arts Press 2009
LEED Platinum Certification, United States Green Building Council 2008
Honor Award, Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles/USGBC Design Green Awards 2008
American Architecture Award®, Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture/Design
European Center for Architecture Art Design/Urban Studies & Metropolitan Arts Press 2008
Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Award, Sustainable Building Industry Council 2007
Gold Nugget Grand Award for Excellence and Value for the Best Sustainable Commercial Project, PCBC 2007
Merit Award for Best Public/Private Special Use Facility, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2007

Lehrer Architects Studio
Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture, The American Institute of Architects 2008
Merit Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2006
Award of Merit, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2007
World Coolest Office, Best Use of Space, INC Magazine and Architizer Website 2010
Honor Award, The International Interior Design Association 2008
Gold Nugget Grand Award for Excellence and Value for the Best Commercial/Industrial Rehab Project, PCBC 2007
Honor Award, CONTRACT Magazine. 2006
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Renovated Buildings category, Los Angeles Business Council 2006

Santee Court
Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum 2005

Norton Towers on the Court
Honor Award to recognize excellence in residential design, The American Institute of Architects Housing PIA 2004
Gold Nugget Grand Award for Excellence and Value for Best Attached Project Over 30 DU/Acre, PCBC 2004
Westside Prize, Westside Urban Forum 2004
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Residential category, Los Angeles Business Council. 2004
Award of Merit, Multiunit Housing, Residential Architect Magazine 2004

Temple Bat Yahm Torah Center
Honor Award, The American Institute of Architects, Faith and Form Magazine, The Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture 2004
Gold Nugget Grand Award for Excellence and Value for Best Public/Private Special Use Facility, PCBC 2004
Honor Award, The American Institute of Architects Orange County 2003

The James M. Wood Community Center
Grand Award, The American Institute of Architects California Council, Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada 2005
Business Week/Architectural Record Award, The American Institute of Architects 2004
Merit Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2003
Westside Prize, Westside Urban Forum 2003
Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Excellence & Value for Best Public/Private Special Use Facility, PCBC 2003
Gold Nugget Special Award for Excellence and Value for Building Industry Community Spirit, PCBC 2003
Award of Excellence for “exceptional contribution” in the Institutional category, Los Angeles Business Council. 2003

The Silverlake Master Plan
Honor Award of Merit, The American Society Of Landscape Architects Los Angeles (with Mia Lehrer and Associates) 2001

The Downtown Homeless Drop-In Center
Institute Honor Award for Architecture, The American Institute of Architects 2001
The Ahwahnee Award, Local Governments Association, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2002
Award of Excellence, The American Institute of Architects/National Concrete Masonry Association 2000
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2000
Award of Merit for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 1999
LA Beautification Award, Los Angeles Business Council 2000

de Bont Residence, L. A.
LA Beautification Award, Best New House. Los Angeles Business Council 1998

The Davisson House, Capistrano Beach.
Design Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 1998
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Orange County 1997

Legacy Software Co.  Marina del Rey
Semifinalist, Business Week/Architectural Record/Award, The American Institute of Architects 1997

Hollywood Tower & Master Plan for Barnsdall Park
Honor Award, Next LA, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 1997
Royce Neuchatz Preservation Award, Los Angeles Conservancy 1996

 

The Gold Medal
The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Presidential Award 2020

Elevation to the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects 2004

Presidential Award for Excellence in the Service of Good Design
The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2002

Olive Award for Excellence in Arts and Architecture (with Mia Lehrer, FASLA)
The Barnsdall Arts Foundation 2006

Plato de Oro Award for His Tireless Efforts and Contributions to Improve the Lives of the Homeless in Los Angeles
Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles 2007

The Vision Award
The Shalom Institute 2009

The Ira Yellin Award for Community Leadership (with Mia Lehrer)
The American Jewish Committee 2018