Michael Rotondi, a long-time architect and educator based in Los Angeles, will receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence on Monday, Nov. 3, from the College of Environmental Design and the Department of Architecture.
Rotondi is principal at Los Angeles-based RoTo Architects and oversees all aspects of design and delivery. He has practiced architecture for more than 30 years and his projects cover a broad range.
The Neutra medal recognizes the contributions that Richard Neutra, an acclaimed modern architect and former Cal Poly Pomona lecturer, 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.
“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.
The award will be presented 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3, in the University Theatre.
Rotondi’s architectural work has included 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.
He has also made an impact as an architecture educator for the past 30 years, including at Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. He was founder of SCI-Arc’s graduate program and director of graduate studies from 1980 to 1987 as well as the school’s director from 1987 to 1997.
“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, a popular architecture website.
Past recipients of the Neutra medal have included architectural practitioners, such as Raphael Soriano, 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 notable contributions to environmental design and public policy such as former Vice President Al Gore. The medal has been awarded since 1980.
“The Neutra medal lecture at Cal Poly Pomona is an annual celebration of modern architecture’s relevance to the 21st century and a vivid reminder of Richard Neutra’s living legacy to our university,” College of Environmental Design Dean Michael Woo says.
Neutra was one of the most influential architects of the modernist era. In 1969, he served as a professor at Cal Poly Pomona during a joint appointment with the Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning departments. He passed away in 1970.
Cal Poly Pomona and the College of Environmental Design are the owners and caretakers of the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, a Los Angeles house that Neutra built and resided in.
For a list of past winners of the Neutra medal, visit https://bit.ly/neutramedal.