Offenhauser/Mekeel Architects is one of a small number of Los Angeles firms specializing in architectural design in authentic styles. Built from a love of the Los Angeles region and an appreciation of historical achievements, they infuse beauty and strong design into preservation and new construction projects. They have a unique knowledge of construction materials and issues, and manage their projects carefully and knowledgeably.
Hands-on: The OMA principals are unusually skilled in construction and development issues. They bring a real-world approach to their architecture because they have performed every role on the building team. Half of the practice involves real estate development and construction contracting. The other is a professional architectural practice focusing on high-end residential and landmark historic rehabilitation. Their skills are also successfully applied to urban design and community planning, and historic consulting.
The office stays generally at 10 persons so that both Offenhauser and Mekeel can give personal attention to their projects. Individual projects currently range from $1 million to $10 million. Their development portfolio is currently at $12 million.
Quality Design: The hallmark of the firm, however, is high-quality design. The firm has been honored with many local and national awards for preservation and design; has been published in Architectural Digest and other prestigious magazines; has an extraordinary record of repeat clients; and has commissions for the higher end of architectural work.
They are fortunate to have continuing commissions from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For the Academy, they transformed the Spanish Revival "Beverly Hills Waterworks" into the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study -- the world's premier library of print materials about film. They served as Academy architect liaison for the Oscars production in the Kodak Theatre. And they renovated the Academy's headquarters office building, accomplished without moving the staff while they were producing the Oscars! They currently are transforming Claud Beelman's historic 120,000 sf Mutual Don Lee Studios into the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study.
Landmark Projects: Offenhauser/Mekeel Architects have been involved with some of the region's most important landmarks, such as Los Angeles' Union Station; the California Science Center fašade reconstruction; the L.A. Armory Building; the 1932 Olympic Swim Stadium and Clubhouse in Exposition Park; the Pan Pacific Auditorium; the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery; the downtown Broadway department store; the Santa Barbara Armory; the Clark Library; the Hollywood Heritage Museum fire damage repair; and many more. Recently they have been architect for two Deco office building restorations in Hollywood.
Residential Estates: Offenhauser and Mekeel are fortunate to have designed homes and estates at the high end of Los Angeles residential work, with a lengthy list of film and music industry celebrity clients. The firm has been involved both as architect, design/build contractor, and developer of many historic residences and estates, including Frank Lloyd Wright's La Miniatura; the UCLA Chancellor's residence; design/build restorations of four Victorians for USC Real Estate Development; two Paul Williams landmark estates; and restoration of the Buckland Studios. Almost all of this work included seismic retrofits.
Prior Work: Both principals of Offenhauser/Mekeel gained their experience in design and management of projects in the $15- $100 million range at Gruen Associates prior to opening their own office. There they were responsible for such notable local designs as the reuse of the Streamline Moderne Pan Pacific Auditorium and the flagship J.W. Marriott Hotel in Century City.
In the fall of 1987, Ms. Offenhauser left Gruen Associates to join Catlett Construction as Vice President for Architecture. She rehabilitated National Register apartment and hotel properties - responsible for all design and employing a fifty-man construction crew. While there, she contracted for four design/build renovations and conversions of West Adams area landmark Victorian mansions for USC Real Estate Development. She concurrently traveled extensively to Puerto Rico, master planning the repositioning of the 500,000sf El Conquistador resort, which opened in 1995.