California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA


Architect Michael Rotondi to receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 3 2014

By sarah123
Oct 27, '14 2:38 PM EST

Michael Rotondi will receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence on Nov. 3 from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Rotondi is principal at Los Angeles-based RoTo Architects and oversees all aspects of project design and delivery. A former Cal Poly Pomona student (who then transferred and graduated from a newly formed Sci-Arc), Rotondi has practiced architecture for more than 30 years. His projects have a broad range including the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, Liberty Wildlife center in Phoenix and the Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture.

Rotondi has also made a tremendous impact as an architecture educator including at Southern California Institute of Architecture and at Arizona State University. He was the founder of the graduate program and the first director of graduate studies at SCI-Arc from 1980 to 1987 and then was the school’s director from 1987 to 1997.

The award ceremony and lecture will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 3 at Cal Poly Pomona’s University Theater.

"Michael Rotondi was selected for his commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Sarah Lorenzen, associate professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona.

“In 1965 Phillip Johnson asked Susan Sontag: ‘What good does it do you to believe in good things?...It's feudal and futile. I think it much better to be nihilistic and forget it all.’ Thankfully Rotondi has spent a lifetime not forgetting to care about the students he educates, to care about the problems of humanity, to care about beauty and poetry. Rotondi is a shining example to all of us that you can be unbelievably cool without being a cynic."

The Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence recognizes the contributions that Neutra made to the practice of architecture in the areas of research and design as well as to reward individuals who have dedicated their careers toward researching and developing new environments in which to work, live and play.

“Education paired with architecture is RoTo's way. Michael is a great recipient of prestigious Neutra award which is given to exceptional architects who take the profession to higher levels of artistry and creative thinking and building,” says Orhan Ayyüce, senior editor at Archinect.

Recipients have included architectural practitioners, such as Raphael Soriano, Renzo Piano, Thom Mayne, Ray Kappe and Tadao Ando; landscape architecture practitioners, including Lawrence Halprin, Garrett Eckbo, Roberto Burle-Marx and Francis Dean; as well as individuals who have made enduring contributions to environmental design and public policy such as former Vice President Al Gore.

Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design is committed to improving communities and resolving pressing problems facing society. With a unique integration of the arts, architecture, landscape architecture, regenerative studies and urban and regional planning, as well as a “learn by doing” approach grounded in the polytechnic tradition, the college is positioned to be a leader in design excellence and innovative problem-solving for communities in Southern California and around the globe.