Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, and Judit Méda Fekete, LEED AP, developed and designed the building of their dreams. And once they built it, people came. The structure contains their new offices, the self-curated Museum of Design Art and Architecture, a restaurant, and seven live/work lofts (one of which the architectural couple occupies). These energetic spaces helped spawn a new neighborhood called the Culver City Arts District, and what once was a "no man's land is now a destination," Fekete says.

Not only does the building serve as a venue for public events such as town hall meetings and architecture-related lectures and exhibitions, it's also been designated an "Architecture as Art" landmark by the Culver City government. The handsome three-dimensional façade, which pays homage to Culver City's Art Deco heritage, serves a practical function too. "The air gap lets hot air escape instead of coming into the building," Pali explains.

The building's public face benefits the office culture as well. Pali likes that "the staff gets exposure to things not usually experienced in an architecture office." Visitors pass through the office to reach exhibitions, for example, and the museum doubles as a lively conference room for the firm. Owning the building has connected the architects to the community and advanced their personal goal of bringing together people and objects that exemplify what Pali calls the "synergy between architecture and art."