Paz Fernández and Hunter Fleetwood
At their architecture studio in Downtown Los Angeles.
Walking up the stairs that lead up to Fleetwood Fernández, an architecture studio in downtown LA, I think about how much I would have liked to become an architect. The hard work required is only for the most persevering of students and also requires an orderly and technical mind which I was never blessed with. I have forever been blown away by the gadgets, tools and paraphernalia that surrounds architecture.
My fascination surfaced again as I walked into Paz and Hunter's space. My interest piqued when I saw the company's sleek building models in the background, and their latest work in print in last month’s Dwell magazine. I was just so happy to once again meet Spanish talent abroad, working so hard to pursue a creative dream.
Paz, who was born in Mallorca, shares her practice with her beloved husband, Hunter, originally from Florida. They met in Washington DC almost 20 years ago while studying architecture, and eventually moved to Los Angeles for work. They now make a perfect team, and Fleetwood Fernández Studio appears to be taking on impressive projects. The pair seamlessly complement each other as they continue to create gorgeous works of art with strong conceptual foundations, ranging from residential to public spaces (including restaurants and retail developments), both in the U.S. and Spain.
At their busiest times, the studio holds up to ten people drafting and finalizing plans and elevations, as well as processing endless documentation. Paz and Hunter barely sit down to draw anymore, acting mainly as group leaders these days, giving direction and inspirational guidelines to the team. The materials put together for client proposals are extraordinary too, and are usually presented with visually arresting conceptual booklets that can literally take one's breath away. The precision and originality of their ideas reveal a keen eye for perfection, and their talent is affirmed by the truly varied and inspirational - yet somehow dreamy - concept art they produce.
They have recently relocated their operations to the Unique Space in downtown LA and, as I write, they are also moving their home to the same area, leaving the West side and Santa Monica behind. Paz and Hunter are inspired by the way institutional buildings and museums are developed in Spain, and they hope to progress to similar projects in the near future. One instinctively knows that their positive attitude and hard work is paying off and one can foresee the day when their dream of designing bigger public buildings will be realised.