Marv's Place Apartments in Pasadena has earned LEED Platinum Certification

Marv's Place Apartments in Pasadena has earned LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Platinum is the highest designation under the council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program, underscoring both the quality of Onyx Architects' design and the commitment of the developer, National CORE.

To qualify for LEED certification, the project must pass a rigorous set of design and building guidelines. LEED Platinum buildings are the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly structures around - carefully crafted, air sealed and insulated so heating and cooling systems can operate efficiently. Energy systems are sized correctly, and installation is verified to make sure they are running correctly. Water is conserved and managed. Indoor air quality is protected during construction and through day-to-day operations.

Marv's Place provides one- and two-bedroom affordable apartments for 20 formerly homeless families in the Pasadena area, and has also been awarded 2016 "Supportive Housing Project Of The Year" by the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH).

Homes for Life Sequoia Apartments | Grand Opening Ceremony 2014

ONYX Architects is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the Homes for Life Sequoia Apartments in Van Nuys, California. Homes for Life Foundation and Little Tokyo Service Center teamed once again with ONYX to design 25 units of permanent supportive housing for very low-income residents with chronic mental disabilities. The opening ceremony included accolades by representatives from congress, the city council, HUD, and the California Treasurer for achieving its goals with a unique mix of HUD funds, tax credits. Most touching was the speech by a new resident named Darold, who spoke haltingly about his onset of mental illness, his long road to recovery, and his joy and excitement at having a home to live independently with hope and dignity.

The apartment building is designed to complement the Mediterranean architecture of the surrounding neighborhood, and includes an elegant recreational roof deck, a community room, laundry and offices for supportive services. The development includes many sustainable features such as LED lighting, permeable paving, high efficiency heating/cooling, Energy Star appliances and solar hot water. Certification is currently underway to achieve LEED Gold sustainability.

Below are some pictures taken at the event.

Roof Top Patio

Project Page and More Images coming soon!

For more information on the Homes for Life Foundation, visit the Homes for Life Foundation website here.

For more information on the Little Tokyo Service Center, visit the Little Tokyo Service Center website here.

FRIDAY | JUNE 20th, 2014

La Casita del Arroyo Rehabilitation | Ground Breaking Ceremony 2014

As project architect for the rehabiliation efforts at La Casita del Arroyo, Onyx Architects is proud to announce the ground breaking of construction begining this week. A community ground breaking ceremony was held on Saturday, February 22nd. This project is an example of a public/private partnership collaboration effort between the La Casita Foundation and the City of Pasadena to preserve one of the city's most treasured landmarks. Renovation and rehabiliation efforts at the La Casita del Arroyo will ensure that this resource remain a viable community assest for generations to come.

Below are some pictures taken at the event.

La Casita del Arroyo Community Building

District No. 6 City Councilmember Steve Madison

Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson

La Casita Foundation President Tom Seifert

Project page coming soon!

For more information on La Casita, visit the La Casita Foundation website here.


United States Department of Energy | Solar Decathlon 2013

Onyx Architects toured the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 in Irvine, CA, where 19 student-designed homes showcased new technologies and design concepts for better living environments.

The decathlon is 'an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, net-zero energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.'

Below are some pictures taken at the event.

For more information and design concepts presented by the contestants at the decathlon, visit the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon website here.

MONDAY | OCTOBER 7th, 2013

City of San Gabriel | Chapman's Millrace Dedication

As the Historic Preservation consultant for the City of San Gabriel, Onyx Architects is pleased to have participated in the relocation and preservation efforts of an excavated piece of Chapman's Millrace. The historic millrace exhibit was dedicated on September 24, 2013.

Chapman’s Millrace

"Completed around 1825 and built by Gabrieleno Mission Indians, Chapman’s Mill and Millrace were important community assets that helped support the early development of San Gabriel. Named after its designer, American Joseph Chapman, the New England-style mill was powered by water directed from springs north of the mission through a masonry channel, called a millrace. In 2013, this section of the millrace was excavated and relocated from the mill’s original location, which once stood approximately 200 feet south of the Mission Church."

Chapman’s Mill and Millrace

"Shortly after the construction of Mission San Gabriel’s first grist mill in 1816, the padres realized that it did not work as they had hoped. Located more than 2 miles to the northwest, El Molino Viejo (the Old Mill), as it came to be called, was too far from the grain fields and featured an old and inefficient design. More importantly, a construction flaw caused the grain to be soaked as it was ground, necessitating a lengthy drying process. San Gabriel needed a new mill, and it needed an expert to design and build it.

About the same time, an American named Joseph Chapman arrived in California. Born in Massachusetts and apprenticed as a shipwright as a boy, Chapman became caught up with pirates while on a whaling expedition to Hawaii. Captured by the Spanish during a raid in the Santa Barbara area, Chapman was later released and asked to construct a mill at Mission Santa Inés. Impressed with his work, California Governor Pablo Vicente de Solá ordered him to build a mill of similar design at San Gabriel.

Chapman’s Mill was constructed by Gabrieleno Mission Indians at Chapman’s direction. Completed around 1825, it was powered by water directed from a series of springs north of the mission via earthen and tile-lined ditches to the mill. The final stretch of the waterway, which ran from this very spot to the mill’s location about 200 feet south of the mission church, consisted of an unreinforced brick, stone, and mortar millrace. The water turned a large, wooden water wheel, which in turn rotated two millstones that ground corn and wheat into flour.

The mill was a significant improvement over its predecessor. Built in the revolutionary New England style, it featured a vertical water wheel and complex gears that transferred vertical motion to horizontal motion and allowed adjustments of speed, torque, and millstone spacing. These modernizations made the mill invaluable to the padres, contributed to the success of one of Alta (upper) California’s most prosperous missions, and represented one of the first acts of the Industrial Revolution in the state.

The mill fell into disrepair after the closure of the mission system in 1834, and its ruins were bulldozed in 1941. After an archaeological project exposed the foundations of the mill and millrace, the last remaining segment of the millrace was moved to this location in 2013 for its long-term preservation and for the benefit of the public."


On the Boards at Onyx Architects

Onyx is pleased to share a new project section on our website featuring some of our early design process work.
Click here , here, or here to see an example of some work in progress...

WEDNESDAY | MAY 8th, 2013

Ganahl Lumber Pasadena Receives 2012 Merit Award for Excellence in Facility Design by ProSales Magazine

Click here to read the article.

Click here to see the project page.


Willis Senior Housing has completed construction and ready for occupancy!
The Grand Opening will be announced soon...

Click Here to see the project page.

TUESDAY | OCTOBER 23th, 2012

Come visit ONYX Architects at our new office in Lamanda Park! Telephone + Fax numbers will remain unchanged.

MONDAY | JUNE 25th, 2012

Photo Journal from Last Month's AIA Event at Ganahl Lumber

All Images are courtesy of Steven Lewis and the AIA Pasadena + Foothill Chapter

FRIDAY | JUNE 15th, 2012

Council approves Village Design Strategy, requests refined implementation plan with street paving

The City Council approved a new design strategy for the San Gabriel Village Tuesday night combining façade and streetscape improvements in the Fairview Avenue business district with additional paving of nearby neighborhood streets. The strategy is the result of a three year process that began with a community ‘walkabout’ seeking residents’ opinions about the future of the neighborhood.

City Manager Steve Preston praised the work performed by Onyx Architects , which serves as the City’s architectural and historic preservation consultants. "The Council’s approval of the Village Design Strategy is a transformational step in the revitalization of this great pre-war neighborhood," Preston said.

Following a presentation by Planning staff, the Council voted to approve the plan and its accompanying environmental determination, but directed staff to return with a funding strategy that would direct some funds to street paving in the neighborhood, and begin a more modest phase of streetscape investments in the business block along Fairview between two sections of Circle Drive.

Click Here to see the project.

MONDAY | MAY 7th, 2012

AIA Pasadena + Foothill Chapter Tour of Ganahl Lumber

Click HERE to Register.

WEDNESDAY | MAY 9th, 2012

ONYX is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernandino (HACSB) to provide architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering services for future capital improvement projects throughout the county. This accommodation builds on the previously successful developments with HACSB, one of which included the Redlands Vista Del Sol project. ________________________________________________

LA Dept. of Building Safety Tax Credit Application Process

For affordable housing developers in Los Angeles, the LA Dept. of Building and Safety has released a memo detailing their new procedures to obtain the required approvals and certifications for the Tax Credit application process.

Steve Kuchenski, Principal, AIA
April 12th, 2012

Stovetop Firestop

Many of our housing clients are looking to provide additional fire safety in residential kitchens, beyond the conventional fire sprinkler system. Forgetful cooks cause stovetop fires that can be a major source of fire damage and water (fire sprinkler) damage. One ingenious solution is an aftermarket fire suppression system called “Stovetop Firestop”.

Think of it as a upside-down can of baking soda with a small “firecracker” inside, and a small fuse exposed downward; the whole thing is attached magnetically to the range hood, suspended over the cooktop. In event of a stovetop fire, the fuse is lit and the baking soda bursts downward with a loud “POP”, extinguishing the blaze and alerting the forgetful cook. Fires are often extinguished before the main sprinkler system is activated.

The full setup costs about $70 per range, and is easily installed in new or existing range hoods. For more information and a demonstration video, see:

Steve Kuchenski, Principal, AIA
March 30th, 2012


Marv's Place Apartments in Pasadena has earned LEED Platinum Certification | January 2017

Homes For Life Sequoia Grand Opening | June 2014

La Casita del Arroyo Ground Breaking | February 2014

U.S. Solar Decathlon | October 2013

San Gabriel Millrace Dedication | September 2013

On the Boards @ Onyx | May 2013

Ganahl Lumber Pasadena receives Excellence Award for Facility Design by ProSales Magazine | November 2012

Willis Senior Housing Completed! | October 2012

ONYX has Moved! | June 2012

Photo Journal from Last Month's AIA Event at Ganahl Lumber | June 2012

Council Approves San Gabriel Village Urban Design Strategy | May 2012

AIA Tours Ganahl | May 2012

ONYX Selected by HACSB | April 2012

LADBS Tax Credit Application | April 2012

Stovetop Firestop | March 2012