The Los Angeles offices of Frederick Fisher and Partners (FFP) have a distinctive architectural pedigree: They were once the offices of Jones and Emmons, the prolific firm of modernists Frederick E. Emmons, who retired in 1969 and died in 1999, and A. Quincy Jones, who died in 1979. Completed in 1955 and expanded in 1959, the 7,500-square-foot building is landmarked, meaning that FFP could enact few changes—not that they needed to do much. As partner Joseph Coriaty, AIA, puts it, the studio was designed with enough flexibility built in—as well as furnishings from George Nelson and Ray and Charles Eames—that its new inhabitants have kept it largely intact. “We’ve tried not to do a lot to the building,” Coriaty says, noting “we’ve made adjustments to accommodate the contemporary workspace.” To that end, the firm has made minor improvements to mechanical systems, and workstations have been rearranged, but the overall structure of the building remains as it was in its heyday.
Part of what makes the office so successful 60 years later is its domestic scale and connection to the outdoors. FFP finds that the values of Jones and Emmons have endured, and promotes similar aesthetics in the firm’s own work, including sensitive restorations of other Jones projects. The office impresses clients with its airiness in what Coriaty calls “a spectacular working environment that informs our practice.”