Early life and education
Katherine (Kate) Diamond was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1954 but moved to California at an early age. Her father was a professor of political science and her mother was first a stay at home mother and then returned to her earlier career as an artist and silversmith. Kate has one younger brother, Ayton Diamond. Their childhood in Claremont, Palo Alto, London, Evanston and San Diego provided rich exposure to many aspects of culture, the arts, history and politics. In 1970, with her mother and brother, Kate emigrated to Israel putting distance between herself, her father and President Nixon. From 1970 till late 1979, Kate lived and thrived in Israel, learning the language, absorbing the complex cultural reality of the Jewish state as a secular pogressive Jew with a yearning for a peace and an understanding of the need to defend the State of Israel. She completed her degree in Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion, The Israel Institute of Technology in 1976 and went on to serve as an architect in the Israeli Air Force from 1976 till 1978. In 1979, Kate returned to the United States to be closer to her mother who had moved back to Los Angeles in 1973.
Career in Architecture
Katherine (Kate) Diamond, FAIA, with over 30 years of experience in design and marketing of architectural services, joined HMC Architects in 2011. She worked with NBBJ 2006-2010 as the Design Lead of the Commercial Studio in the firm’s Seattle office. As the economy impacted commercial opportunities, Kate’s strongest contribution has been her success in rebuilding NBBJ’s Civic Practice focused on courthouses for both the US General Services Administration (GSA) and the California Administrative Office of the Courts. Key successes include leading the teams that one both of GSA first two ground-up courthouse designs selected through Design Excellence – Design/Build competitions.
Prior to joining NBBJ, Kate was the Design Principal of RNL’s Los Angeles office from early 2002 through late 2006.RNL Design is a national and international practice providing a continuum of design services including programming, master planning and urban design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering and design-build services. Kate’s leadership in helped grow the LA office from a staff of 11 when she joined to a staff of 35 when she left. Her track record of design excellence in civic, higher education and transportation helped win key work and then delivered award-winning design.
From 1996 to 2002, Diamond was the principal/sole proprietor and lead designer of Siegel Diamond Architecture (SDA), a growing architectural practice with a design portfolio of transportation, institutional, commercial and residential projects. From 1985 to 1996, she was the Partner in Charge of Design for Siegel Diamond Architects, one of the largest 100% women-owned architectural partnerships in the United States. Kate’s career briefly took a unique turn in 2001 when she joined Lennar Urban Development Group as Vice President for Architecture and Public Policy. Kate brings this year of insights into the realities of complex urban development back into her architectural practice.
Major Buildings and Projects
Civic / Federal, State and Local Government
- Bakersfield Federal Courthouse a one courtroom courthouse winner Design Excellence – Design/Build Competition presently under construction estimated completion 2012. Design on target for LEED Gold and energy conservation 30% better than ASHRAE 90.1 2007 to meet ARRA goals. (NBBJ experience with Gilbane Construction)
- Billings Federal Courthouse a three courtroom courthouse winner Design Excellence – Design/Build Competition. Ground breaking in October 2010, estimated completion 2012. Design on target for LEED Gold and energy conservation 35-40% better than ASHRAE to exceed ARRA goals. (NBBJ experience with Mortenson Construction)
- California State Courthouse, San Joaquin County a 30 courtroom, multi-calendar courthouse. Estimated completion 2016. Design on target to achieve LEED Gold. (NBBJ experience)
- Joint USA / Canadian Port of Entry at Sweetgrass, Montana / Coutts, Alberta. The project is part of GSA’s “Design Excellence Program” and was the first US Port of Entry to achieve a LEEDTM Certification rating. Winner GSA Environmental Design Award 2003 and GSA Construction Excellence 2004. (SDA experience)
- Fontana Library, Resource Technology Center and Civic Auditorium a 94,000 SF public library with a 350-seat auditorium and conference center and offices for the Fontana Information Services Department. LEEDTM Certified. (RNL Experience)
- Los Angeles Police Department Valley Bureau Headquarters & Traffic Division LEED TM Certified. Winner LA City Cultural Affairs Commission Merit Award. (RNL Experience)
- Edison School / Pacific Park Project an award winning New Elementary School, New Community Center & Library, major Park Expansion. First ever joint project of the City of Glendale and the Glendale Unified School District. (SDA Design Architect with Leidenfrost & Horowitz Architect of Record)
Transportation / Infrastructure
- LAX Air Traffic Control Tower Published in Architecture Magazine, July 1996 and in Contemporary American Architects Vol. III, by Philip Jodido, Taschen Press, 1997. (SDA experience as Design Architect to Holmes & Narver, Inc.)
- Universal City Metro Rail Station – Architecture Consultant to Sverdrup with integrated artwork by Margaret Garcia. Winner of Special Merit Award for Public Art, AIA San Fernando Chapter, 1995. Published in Architecture Magazine, February 1996. (SDA experience)
- 4 Elevated Light Rail Stations for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Metro Blue Line award-winning design of four stations. Winner of LA Beautification Award, 1993. Published in Progressive Architecture Magazine 1989. (SDA experience)
- Baldwin Park Commuter Rail Station award-winning design done in collaboration with artist Judy Baca. (SDA experience)
- MTA Pedestrian Bridge Competition Second Place in the two-phase, invitation-only competition. Designed in collaboration with Ishler Structural Engineering and sound artist Bruce Odland. (SDA experience)
- University of California Davis Medical Center Central Plant with Cogeneration Design Architect for the Brown & Caldwell Engineers Team. Published in “Architecture” July 1995, winner AIACC Merit Award 1999. Integrated many sustainable design features including daylighting, local materials with high recycled content and energy efficient design performance exceeding California Title 24 by 20%.(SDA experience)
- Metropolitan Water District Diemer Filtration Plant ORP Project – high design for a high visibility site with multiple facilities. (RNL Design Architects for Bridging Contract by others)
- Orange County Water District Laboratory a water quality testing lab designed to meet LEED Silver standards (RNL Experience)
- RAD/MTA Bus Maintenance Facility unique solution on a tight urban site. Designed to achieve LEED TMSilver rating. (RNL Experience)
- Santa Cruz Metro Center a 3 Building Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility incorporating multiple sustainable strategies. (RNL Experience)
Higher Education / K-12
- NAU School of Communication an award-winning renovation and addition to revision the School of Communication. (RNL Experience)
- ASU Decision Theater a state of the art immersion theater and supporting research space. (RNL Experience)
- UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography – Vaughan Hall Addition / Nierenberg Annex a multi-story addition housing Mixed-use Laboratory, Office, Classroom, and Photo Video Studio. Design incorporated multiple green design building features.
- USC Annenberg School for Communication (Phases 1 through 4) master planning, programming, renovation and a 3-story addition completely transformed the existing A Quincy Jones building.
- Student Services II, UCI a 15,000 S.F. Counseling/Resource Center addition to existing Student Services Building. Published Architecture Magazine 1990.
- New Science Museum Elementary School Competition Design, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA 2nd Prize Winning Entry in the LAUSD competition for the new science museum for the Los Angeles School District. Lead in association with HOK and artist Pamela Davis including multi-media center/school library.
- Jefferson New Elementary School #1 a two-story, 26 classroom Elementary School over subterranean parking with shared-use mini-branch/school library and community accessible multipurpose/cafetorium.Published in Architecture Magazine in October 1991.
- Commonwealth Elementary School Multipurpose / Classroom Building
- Le Conte Middle School Classroom Addition
- UCI Early Childhood Education Center
Commercial / Office, Residential, Mixed-Use
- Blume Yale Campus a multi-block, multi building urban office campus with innovative “woonerf” (pedestrian+ car street) and bio-swale for storm water treatment. Design on target to meet LEED Platinum. Completed through building permit – on hold due to economy. (NBBJ experience)
- 1918 Addition the 3rd corner speculative office addition to an urban three building complex designed to meet LEED Gold (NBBJ experience)
- Rainier Club Expansion a complex expansion of a historic club with shared-access parking for an adjacent high rise tower using air-rights from the historic structure. (NBBJ experience)
- Olympiysky Business Park finalist in a competition for the design of a Moscow Mixed-use complex (primarily office with ground floor retail + a cultural amenity) Designed to achieve LEED Silver (NBBJ experience)
- Spire a 43 story condominium tower with above grade parking and ground floor retail located in the heart of downtown Denver. (RNL Experience)
- Belmont Senior Living Facility a 170 unit, 6 story Type I, high amenity assisted and independent living facility. (RNL Experience)
- Sorouh Mangrove Residences a seven building complex of mid-rise condominiums arrayed along the beach frontage of a large mixed-use community in Dubai. (RNL Experience)
- Quattro Fontane a 204 unit market-rate condominium complex consisting of a 22 story Type I Tower plus (3) Type V cluster buildings surrounding a landscaped courtyard over subterranean parking. (Lennar experience)
- Two America Plaza a mixed-use 202 market-rate condominium tower over a retail base designed over the air-rights of an existing subterranean parking structure. (Lennar experience)
- Casa Carodelet 18 units of affordable, large family housing service-enriched with a community room, library/study room and service provider’s office. (SDA experience)
- Osage Apartments 22 units of affordable housing with a mixture of 1 and 2 bedroom units. Design documentation for a successfully completed Design/Build Contract. (SDA experience)
Press and Awards
- 2010 Best Project of the Year – Southern CA and Best Civic Project of the Year – Southern CA by California Construction Magazine for the Orange County Water District Laboratory
- 2005 Principal of the Year, California Construction Magazine
- 2005 Merit Award for Design Excellence AIA San Fernando Valley Chapter, Edison School Pacific Park Project, Katherine Diamond, FAIA Design Architect with LHA Executive Architect
- 2004 Excellence in Federal Construction, Joint US/Canadian Port of Entry Sweetgrass Montana, Couttts Alberta
- 2004 Architects Southwest Contractors Magazine – Best Education/Public/Renovation Over $5 Million. Northern Arizona University School of Communication
- 2004 Merit Award LAPD Valley Bureau – LA Cultural Affairs Commission
- 2002 Excellence Award Art Share Los Angeles, CA, Best Design of an Urban Skate Park
- 2001 ASLA Design Award, Los Angeles, CA, Leimert Park Restoration
- 1999 Merit Award for Design Excellence, Metal Building Magazine, Central Plant with Cogeneration, University of California at Davis Medical Center
- 1999 Merit Award for Design Excellence, AIA California Council, Central Plant with Cogeneration, University of California at Davis Medical Center
- 1997 Focused Planning Award, American Planning Association, Los Angeles Chapter, Long Beach East Village Arts District Guide for Development, SDA, Urban Design Consultant – Envicom, Planning Lead
- 1995 Special Design Award, AIA San Fernando Valley Chapter, Universal City Metro Red Line Subway Station, Los Angeles, Collaboration with Margaret Garcia, Artist, Sverdrup Civil Inc., Engineer of Record
- 1995 Los Angeles Business Council Urban Beautification Award, Baldwin Park Commuter Rail Station
- 1993 AXO Spirit Award for Team Excellence, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Western Pacific Region, LAX Air Traffic Control Tower and Base Office Building, Holmes & Narver/Siegel Diamond Architects
- 1993 Los Angeles Business Council Urban Beautification Award, Design of Four Elevated Blue Line Stations
- 1992 Second Prize Winner, Science Museum School Competition sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District in association with the California Museum of Science & Industry and University of Southern California, Siegel Diamond Architects in association with HOK/LA
Professional & Public Service
- 1998 – Appointed to the National Peer Review Council for the GSA Design Excellence Program
- 1998 – 1999 Co-President Westside Urban Forum
- 1996 Elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects
- 1996 Design Review Board – responsible for design oversight of all projects built within the Westwood Specific Plan.
- 1993 – 1994 The first Woman President in 99 years of the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA
- 1992 – 1993 Vice President/President Elect of the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA
- 1990 – 1993 Member of the LA City Board of Zoning Appeals
- 1990 – 1992 Member of the Board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA
- 1989 – 1994 Chair AIA/LA Centennial Committee
- 1985 – 1987 President of the Association for Women in Architecture
Partial List of Juries and Lectures
- 2005 AIA/CC & Southern California Edison Savings by Design Awards Jury
- 1999 US Department of Transportation Design Awards Jury
- 1999 AIA Pittsburgh Chapter Design Awards Jury
- 1998 AIA Sacramento Chapter Design Awards Jury
- 1998 AIA Kansas City Chapter Design Awards Jury
- 1997 AIA/Inland Empire Chapter Design Awards Jury
- 1996 AIA/Pasadena Chapter Design Awards Jury
- 1995 AIA/Iowa Design Awards Jury
- 1995 AIA/California Council Service Awards Jury
- 1994 AIA/San Fernando Valley Design Awards Jury
- 1993 AIA/San Diego Design Awards Jury
- 1990 AIA/Wisconsin Design Awards Jury
- Panelist GSA Design Excellence Induction of 2006 Peers November 2006
- “The Architecture of Infrastructure – Joint USA/Canadian Port of Entry” – AWA/ DWR jointly sponsored lecture March 2005.
- “Designing in Los Angeles – Katherine Diamond, FAIA Recent Work” – AIAS Student Regional Conference, January 2001.
- “Making Meaningful Place – Katherine Diamond, FAIA Recent Work” – CLEA International Conference, Fall 2000.
- “Making Meaningful Place – Katherine Diamond, FAIA Recent Work” – USC Spring 2000 Public Lecture Series, March 2000.
- “Local Context for Global Architecture – Katherine Diamond, FAIA Recent Work” – Univercidad de Los Americas, Puebla Mexico, March 2000.
- “Katherine Diamond, FAIA Recent Work” – AIA San Diego Chapter Lecture Series 2000.
- “101 Freeway Pedestrian Bridge Competition Panel Presentation” – USC School of Architecture October 1999.
- “Meet the Jury – Design Presentation” – Kansas City AIA Event, September 1998.
- “Peer Review Panel” – Oklahoma City, Urban Design Impacts of the replacement for the Murrah Federal Building, July 1998.
- GSA Peer Urban Design Charette Participant – Oklahoma City Federal Office Building, October 1997.
- “Keynote Speaker” – AIA Diversity Conference, Seattle, August 1997.
- “The Public Faces of Our Lady of the Angels” – 1997 Spring Lecture Series, SciArc.
- “In Transit: Siegel Diamond Architects’ Transportation Facility Design as an Act of Placemaking” – Lecture as part of the Spring Series of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture & Urban Design, March 1996.
- “Craft, Materiality & Context in the Work of Siegel Diamond Architects” – Keynote Speaker, AIA Iowa Statewide Convention, October 1995.
- “Overcoming Urban Paranoia” – Designing Safe Public Spaces,” Athenaeum Lecture series, San Diego, February 1995.
- “Architecture from an Urban Design Perspective: Work by Siegel Diamond Architects” – Woodbury University, March 1994.
- “Recent Work by Siegel Diamond Architects” – Presentation by Jury Members for the 1993 AIA/San Diego Design Awards Program at the University of California, San Diego School of Architecture.
- “Recent Work by Siegel Diamond Architects” – Keynote Lecture, Seattle Women in Architecture, March 1992.
- “Recent Work by Siegel Diamond Architects” – Lecture Series, University of Utah, October 1991.
- “The Art of Architecture in the Social Ecology” – Presenter at Monterey X Design Conference sponsored by the California Council of the American Institute of Architects, March 1991.
- “Women in Architecture Symposium” – Keynote Speaker, Chicago, Illinois, January 1991.
- “Fame – Who Gets It and Who Makes It” – Symposium Panelist, UCLA, May 1990.
- “Presentation of Recent Work by Siegel Diamond Architects” – University of Milwaukee, March 1990.
Part Time Instructor USC School of Architecture 1986 -1999