What initially attracted Roger Chikhani to architecture was his
appreciation for the aesthetics of form, but it wasn’t that of
buildings or landscape. It was for all the beautiful women who seemed
to flock to architecture students.
“When I was in high school, I had friends who were in college and
I would see these architecture guys that had these beards and were
with girls,” said Chikhani, the principal architect at the Luckman
Partnership Inc., which recently relocated to Burbank.
When he became a student, however, he began to question if those
women were relatives because the only dates he had were with the
arduous hours spent completing rigorous study loads.
“I later realized the reason [the older students] had beards was
because they didn’t have time to shave,” Chikhani said.
An employee with the Luckman Partnership since 1980, Chikhani said
he quickly discovered a passion for his work.
“If you look at architecture as a business, you will fail,”
Chikhani said. “You have to put your heart into it.”
Founded in 1950 by Charles Luckman, the firm underwent several
name changes and shifts in business specialties until its current
incarnation as a small, 11-employee agency. Locally, its best-known
accomplishment is the Warner Bros. office building at 3903 W. Olive
Its new focus, which consists of 90% of its business, is community
projects. For example, the company has designed more than 20 YMCAs.
Architectural associate Jean-Claude Chamaa, who can walk his
commute to work in five minutes, said there were several reasons for
the move to Burbank, such as better freeway access than its former
location in West Hollywood and closer proximity to employees’ homes.
But, ultimately, he said Burbank was chosen over Pasadena, Glendale
and the rest of the San Fernando Valley because of its national
recognition, largely due to the entertainment industry.
And with that, the Luckman Partnership hopes to further its
reputation of adaptability.
“A lot of architects have a very specific style and get hired to
design that way,” Chamaa said. “We get hired because we can fit into