James R. Meyer, Architect

J R M / A: The Studio For Architecture

Principal Architect and Founder

James R. Meyer, AIA is the Principal Architect and Founder of J R M / A: The Studio For Architecture. The primary office for the firm was established in January 2021 and is located in the Smoky Hollow neighborhood of El Segundo, California. A secondary office is planned for Park City, Utah in 2022. With over twenty-five years of experience as an Architect and Builder, James has transformed his former practice LEAN ARCH, Inc. into a new and exciting boutique firm which will focus specifically on Architectural Design Services for high end, architectural homes and commercial development projects across the country.

James founded the Architectural Design/Build practice of LEAN ARCH in the summer of 2000 and incorporated in August 2001. As Principal Architect he has overseen the design and execution of residential and commercial core and shell, adaptive re-use and tenant improvement projects throughout the Los Angeles area. The firm has received several awards for both residential and commercial work including recognition by LA Architect Magazine as one of the “Top Ten Firms to Watch for 2007” and an AIA Award for in 2008 for Kuhlhaus 01 in Manhattan Beach. LEAN ARCH also received a Silver Award from Los Angeles Business Journal for The State Bar of California in Downtown Los Angeles. The project was also featured by the AIA Los Angeles Chapter as part of their Architectural Interiors tours and lecture series. LEAN ARCH has been published in numerous books and magazines in the United States, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Sweden and China. The most recent major publication is A5: Los Angeles, where they are included among the city’s top design firms. Currently, he is working on completing the firm’s first monograph titled: LEAN ARCH: We Build Places, which describes their unique approach to the Design/Build process. All projects are indicative of the design principles adhered to by the firm, especially those relating to context, scale, and sustainable building concepts. He is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Board and the American Institute of Architects. LEAN ARCH has recently completed projects for The State Bar of California in Downtown Los Angeles, the advertising agencies 72andSunny in Playa Vista, CA and Mullen/Lowe in El Segundo, CA, as well as, interiors for UBER and Gum Gum in Santa Monica, CA. James is also a licensed General Contractor and has been actively building projects in Los Angeles since 2003.

Prior to founding LEAN ARCH, James worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (1995-1997) in New York, and Johnson Fain Partners (1997-1999) and Lubowicki Lanier Architects (1999-2000) in Los Angeles. During his tenure with SOM, James served as an influential member of the design teams for well-known projects including The John F. Kennedy International Arrivals Terminal in New York, Logan International Airport in Boston, and The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. SOM was awarded Firm of the Year (1996), by The American Institute of Architects, and all of the above-mentioned projects were featured as part of the firm portfolio deserving of the honor. At Johnson Fain Partners in Los Angeles, he served as Senior Designer for The Department of Education and General Services East End Complex in Sacramento, the new MGM Tower at Constellation Place in Century City, as well as for several design proposals for the Robert Mondavi Wineries. The East End Complex was certified by LEED, The Leadership in Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council.

James is dedicated to the integration of new building technologies in response to project specific needs and the environment. He is an active educator, spending time with students at Cal Poly SLO, USC, and SCI-ARC, and has taught Interior Design at Brooks College in Long Beach. James has participated in urban and architectural study programs abroad. In 1991, he attended CVUT in Prague, Czech Republic, and in 1994, the Washington Alexandria Architecture Consortium in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1994, James received the scholarship for Professional Degree Candidates from the American Institute of Architects. He has interned with Holt Hinshaw Jones Architects in San Francisco (1993), and STUDIOS Architecture in Washington DC (1994). James graduated in 1995 from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.