Led by the husband/wife partnership of Cara Lee and Stephan Mundwiler, AIA, lee+mundwiler architects has only been in existence for five years. Yet, the young firm out of Santa Monica has already received domestic and international recognition for work of varying scales. In one year time (2005-06), the firm was honored with three AIA awards, two for “Bundesplatz” Swiss National Piazza in Bern, Switzerland, which transformed a parking lot into a public space that combined massive uses of stone, light and water, and one for the Coconut House in Los Angeles. This recognition has served to validate the firm regarding its capability of tackling a wide range of architecture projects, from the compact scale of the Coconut House, built on a 25-by-100-foot lot, to the grand Swiss National Piazza. The firm explains, “It really makes no difference to us what scale we are working on; it is all about being sensible to the place and task at hand. In both projects, the user highly identifies with the project. We could see that we really can make a difference with design.” lee+mundwiler architects also makes a difference with design by “practicing sustainability.” A tangible product of this commitment is a “top ten” list of sustainable principles the firm vigorously pursues in its designs.
Excerpt from November 2006 issue of LA ARCHITECT MAGAZINE.
By: Brian Linder