The Insider: Barbara Bouza
Earlier this year, architect Barbara Bouza, co-managing director of Gensler‘s L.A. office and leader of the firm’s global Health & Wellness and Sciences Practice Areas, became president of the AIA/LA, a role that has her looking at the region in a new way. “We have the ability to shape Los Angeles into a city that has yet to be envisioned,” she says, “and human well-being through design is at the epicenter.” Actively involved with myriad nonprofits (Imagine L.A. and Girls Inc. among them), Bouza is a force for good. She’s also a great source for what’s best in the city. Here, she shares some favorites with Luxe.
Design must-dos: Exploring Case Study houses in the hills is so uniquely L.A.–magical and accessible. Walt Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl are on the top of my list of performance venues that are so aligned with the architecture.
On the weekends: Melrose and Fairfax Avenues are lined with great restaurants (think Gracias Madre, which offers plant-based Mexican food), and the Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax High School on Sundays is perfect for shopping and people watching.
Neighborhood on the rise: We’re designing the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (below), which will be relocating to a renovated building near Washington Boulevard and Western Avenue–this is an area to watch!
Up-and-coming: I’m intrigued by Michael Ford of BrandNu Design. He’s known for his Hip Hop Architecture research and is a designer pushing to increase the number of minorities in the architecture and urban planning fields.