No, not that one percent. Not even close. In fact, quite the opposite.

Beautifully executed design shouldn’t be limited to tech start ups, trading firms, and luxury hotels. And, thankfully, it’s not. With programs like Public Architecture’s The 1%, public spaces that serve our communities can get in on the Frank Gehry action at a pro bono rate. Well, maybe not Frank Gehry but close.

Through The 1% program, nonprofits are connected to architecture and design firms willing to commit a minimum of one percent billable hours each year to create the spaces these organizations deserve. This year marks IIDA’s first year partnering with Public Architecture in support of The 1%, and we are proud to share with you the first case study in an ongoing series that highlights the work IIDA Members have done through the program.


Thanks to HOK Impact, a firm-wide program that seeks to positively impact and empower communities through pro bono design, HOK Los Angeles was able to create a reimagined Youth Center on Highland Avenue for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the LGBT community through multiple programs and initiatives. The Center had outgrown their Youth Drop-In Center and needed an efficient and energetic space targeted to providing foster care services for L.A.’s underserved LGBT youth.



The result? Colorful. The Center couldn’t afford upgraded finishes and sculptural elements so the design team turned to energetic and vibrant colors to create a hopeful space. “[The Youth Drop-In Center] isn’t a depressing place anymore; it is a place where our young clients are looking to their futures,” said Kathy Ketchum, chief administrative officer of the Center.

View the Youth Center on Highland project for yourself and get inspired. Hey – Mr. Gehry, are you listening?

Header image and project photos via; case study cover image via.

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