Born and raised in Chicago, Frank X. Medrano was influenced by the city’s historically significant architecture and art museums. He developed a passion for design that would eventually lead him to study architecture at Lawrence Tech University in Michigan. After receiving his bachelor degree in 1992, Medrano worked for Pappageorge Haymes Architects in Chicago. Inspired by the current movements in architectural theory and design, Frank moved west for further studies at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC ) in Los Angeles where he received his masters degree in architecture in 1997.
After studying with many notable architects, Medrano secured a position with Frank Israel Architects working directly with Annie Chu and Dagmar Richter. While there he worked on the UC Riverside- Fine Arts Facility, the UCLA-Revlon Breast Center, and the Maclin Apartments in London.
Medrano left Frank Israel to work for Michael Maltzman in 1997 where he remained until joining Frank O. Gehry in 1998. Medrano reveled in the opportunity to work on Gehry’s Millennium Park Band Shell in his hometown of Chicago. “Working for Gehry was inspiring,” says Medrano. “The projects were vast and complex and encouraged equally inventive methods of construction where I learned the significance of details, but for me the human scale was missing. Also, most projects were out of the country so it was difficult to connect with the final product.”
In 2000, Medrano was offered a position with Kelly Wearstler Interior Design as Senior Designer. While at KWID, Medrano played a critical role in the company’s astronomical success on projects such as the Viceroy Santa Monica and Palm Springs Hotels; the High Roller Suite and Body English Nightclub in the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, as well as several retail boutiques, office spaces and private residences. “The Viceroy project was the very first project completed with Kelly. It was such a great experience,” says Medrano. “I finally had a recognizable connection with Los Angeles.”
With an impressive resume of projects for many namesake firms, Medrano has set course to prove himself as a recognizable name in the design and architecture world. “I have a gut-level, intuitive approach,” he says. “I listen and observe the environment or context and offer an inventive perspective to clients so that they may improve their own.”
In 2005 Medrano began to take on personal projects including the Avalon Hollywood Lobby and Honey Restaurant, Brannon Hair Salon- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and restoring a John Lautner residence to its original condition. In 2006 Medrano formed Franklin Studios. In 2012 after corporate restructuring Frank re-launched under a new brand. While continuing the successful design of restaurants, night clubs, lounges, retail, and residences, the new brand is expanding into other product categories ranging in not only urban housing projects (rehabs, townhouses, & mid-rises) but also designing International Hotels and Luxury Resorts.
Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, CA, US, MArch, architecture
Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI, US, BArch, architecture