Photo by Tom Bonner Photography

The Pterodactyl building, developed and built by Samitaur Constructs in Culver City and financed by City National Bank, has won the prestigious American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for 2016. The building, which has won numerous architecture awards, is now recognized as a top building in Los Angeles, California and nationally.

Completed in February 2015, the 16,000-square-foot Pterodactyl stands on top of a four-story parking garage. It was designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects.

“It cantilevers out front of the parking structure, reducing neighbors' sight of the banal and furthering the sense that something uncommon is at work here,” the AIA wrote in recognizing the Pterodactyl. “Because it is above many of the neighboring buildings, the west-facing main facade is exposed to sea breezes for passive cooling. Most glazing faces north, and south-facing sections are covered in standing-seam metal panels that reflect the hot sun away from the building.”

The Pterodactyl has also won:

  • The 2015 AIA California Council Merit Award
  • The 2015 AIA Los Angeles Citation Award
  • The 2015 Westside Urban Forum Design Award for Best Office Building.

“With this building and others – we were trying to create a renaissance in an area of Culver City where no one wanted to build,” said Frederick Samitaur Smith, owner of Samitaur Constructs with his wife, Laurie Smith. “City National Bank gave us our loan when not many were willing to take a chance. We couldn’t have done this building without City National Bank.”

City National provided the loan on what was a speculative commercial development project.

“We are a relationship bank – and we have a very long-term and strong relationship with Frederick Samitaur Smith. We are so pleased to have backed him in this landmark project, now known nationwide,” said Chris Acimovic, senior vice president with the Real Estate Division of City National Bank.