Paul Halajian,

Paul Halajian,AIA, LEED AP

Principal Architect

After receiving his Master of Architecture degree at the University of California, Berkeley, Paul worked in an internationally acclaimed firm in San Francisco.

That eight-year tenure at EHDD Architecture in San Francisco exposed him to design and practice at the highest levels of the profession and formed the foundation of his approach to practice.  As a native of the San Joaquin Valley, he realized that California’s last architectural frontier was the Valley. The idea of using Architecture to improve the social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural context of the Valley inspired him more than designing buildings in world-class cities across the country.

In 2010, he launched Paul Halajian Architects (PHA), realizing his dream of establishing an architecture firm in the San Joaquin Valley with a 21st-century culture that embraces “design thinking”—one that is dedicated to producing design-forward, high-performing buildings. Along the way, he recognized the importance of collaboration with diverse, like-minded, highly educated emerging professionals that have remained students of architecture. PHA has, arguably, attracted the brightest talent in the region. Paul is as excited and proud of the staff as he is of the buildings they design together.

Paul is responsible for every part of what PHA does and why they do it, inside and out. Internally, he emphasizes establishing and modeling a healthy, communicative firm culture. With both clients and staff, he focuses on working together to produce responsive and engaging design solutions, all while placing equal importance on well-crafted drawings and specifications and incorporating new technologies into their work. Above all, Paul loves God, his family, and his work with all his heart.

Education & Certifications

In 1984, Paul received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from UC Berkeley and went on to earn his master’s in architecture there, as well. He is also an LEED Accredited Professional.

Community Engagement

Paul is on the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architects, California; a past president of the American Institute of Architects, San Joaquin Chapter; a member of the City of Fresno's Historic Preservation Commission; Campus Consulting Architect for California State University, Fresno; and elder at Trinity Community Church of Clovis. In Fresno, he is proud to work with the Fresno Metropolitan Ministry on their Better Blackstone Design Challenge. He was also the Editorial Board Chair for ArcCA, the journal of the American Institute of Architects California. Notably, he is an AIACA John S. Bolles FAIA Fellow.

Paul Halajian Architects - St. Columba Model
Described as

“Insightful, sarcastic, friendly, and perhaps a bit lame.” We think you’re pretty cool, Paul!

Favorite PHA project

“I've actually enjoyed every PHA project—probably because I am thankful for the confidence that each client places in us, but if I had to pick one project, , it would be the Fresno State Physical Therapy & Intercollegiate Athletics Building. The University could have picked any firm for the project but they selected PHA which at the time was just Jamie and me. The University’s faith in us was pivotal in launching our firm.”

One food forever

“Armenian food—lamb shish kebab and rice pilaf, specifically.”

Working tunes

“When I'm designing, I listen to the music I listened to in graduate school (think late 80s). When I'm writing, I listen to jazz. When I'm doing business administration stuff, I listen to classical.”