MSD Alumni Survey Series: Julie Eizenberg
KoningEizenberg Architecture, Santa Monica
KoningEizenberg takes on the idyll of local and neighbourhood through the design of recent projects in the Los Angeles region in Urban Hallucinations. They bring a fresh eye to placemaking and community building in an urban area that is ambivalent about development, yet conscious of regional issues — notably sustainability, affordability, and housing shortage. Believing opportunities hide in plain sight, the architects sift through the context of increasing regulation, differing opinions on responsible growth, and priorities for quality of life to extract their own unexpected and compelling approach to the architecture of the day.
KoningEizenberg Architecture was established in 1981 in Santa Monica, California. Working collaboratively, principals Hank Koning, Julie Eizenberg, Brian Lane, and Nathan Bishop continue to think with developers, cities and not-for-profit clients to reveal new possibilities for the design of housing and neighborhood places that strengthen community.
Julie Eizenberg, FAIA, RAIA is a Founding Principal of Koning Eizenberg and graduate of the University of Melbourne (B. Arch, ’78). She brings design vision, leadership, and expertise in working with cities, non-profit agencies, institutions and private developers to generate inventive master plans and public places. She is an astute observer leading investigations that reshape the way we think about conventional building typologies. Her focus on the user experience, whether it is an individual, underserved community or the public at large brings an empathetic perspective that translates seemingly mundane programs into places of ease and generosity. Julie teaches and lectures around the world, is a frequent advisor to the U.S. Mayor’s Institute on City Design and on the board of Public Architecture. Her most recent book, titled “Urban Hallucinations,” offers more insight into the philosophy and work of a practice that aligns humanist values with inventive architectural form making. Under her leadership, Koning Eizenberg has earned over 130 design and sustainability awards and been widely published. The practice has been honored as AIA California’s Firm of the Year, and she and founding partner Hank Koning were awarded the 2012 AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal in recognition of a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. In 2016, Julie was awarded an Honorary Ph.D in Architecture from the University of Melbourne.
Image: Interior, Miller Chapel. Temple Israel of Hollywood, KonigEizenberg Architecture, 2016. Photograph: Eric Staudenmaier.