Ehrlich Architects is a versatile practice that has earned an international reputation for design excellence and an exemplary professional culture. Founded in 1979 as a tiny residential studio, the Los Angeles-based firm is a 40 member team that has mastered building types ranging in scale from houses to courthouses, including libraries, university centers, corporate and government facilities. Ehrlich Architects has been recognized with eight national AIA awards, the California Firm of the Year in 2003, and more than 150 other honors.
Led by Partners Steven Ehrlich, FAIA; Takashi Yanai, AIA; Mathew Chaney, AIA; Patricia Rhee, AIA and supported by 5 other Principals and Associates, Ehrlich Architects’ design philosophy starts with a profound respect for a building’s inhabitants. This humanistic approach, referred to as Multicultural Modernism, has permeated the firm’s culture since the beginning, informing every creation and every interaction.
The seeds of this philosophy were planted during founder Steven Ehrlich’s six-year work/travel sojourn in Africa in the 1970s. Serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco, traversing the Sahara and later teaching architecture in Northern Nigeria, he studied vernacular “architecture without architects,” formed by the constraints of site and climate and the inspiration of culture.
The ambition to create a healthy community culture spills over into the firm’s physical space, a repurposed 1917 dance hall located in Culver City, California. The entire staff sits in a single open-plan studio space and meetings and interactions regularly spill into the kitchen and onto the outside patio. A fierce work ethic prevails, but one that supports employees to challenge norms, be creative, and help maintain a live-work balance. In the end the multicultural and modern Ehrlich family is serious about the practice of architecture being fun.
A total of eight monographs have been published on the work of Ehrlich Architects including the latest, "Ehrlich Architects: Learning, Working, Living", published in July 2013.