California Architects

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2021 Edition, Issue 2


A Publication of the California Architects Board ■ Public Protection Through Examination, Licensure, and Regulation

Pasqual Gutierrez Exits Board

Pasqual Gutierrez
Pasqual Gutierrez

Tenacious… Insightful… Leader… some of the descriptions for Pasqual Gutierrez.

Gutierrez was first appointed to the Board in 2006 and has served as president, vice-president, and secretary. He also served on the Professional Qualifications and Executive Committees as chair and vice chair. The Board has seen many changes during the past 15 years, and Gutierrez has been instrumental in helping the Board evolve. Three major accomplishments driven by Gutierrez were:

During the strategic planning session, the Board considers innovative ideas to establish tasks for the following goals:

  • Elimination of the Comprehensive Intern Development Program after the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) incorporated evidence- based work sample requirements into its Program.
  • Adoption and implementation of the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) by three prominent California schools of architecture.
  • Development of a framework revising mandatory continuing education for licensure.

Gutierrez knew at a young age that he had a knack for drafting. He could easily imagine what objects looked like when class assignments only provided a top and side view. Advised by counselors that Architecture was not provided due to improbability of a career path in his community, he pursued industrial drafting in high school. After high school graduation, he was drafted and served in Vietnam. He returned in 1970 during a tumultuous time in our history—post 1960s, ongoing Vietnam war, returning veterans being demonized on college campuses, and the dawn of the Chicano movement. Gutierrez was 21 going on 41 with a new appreciation for life. He wanted to become a paramedic but failed the physical because of the wounds sustained in Vietnam—during his tour of duty he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

His mother had always wanted one of her sons to be an architect, so he enrolled in an architecture program at East Los Angeles College. He had an “aha” moment when an instructor shared the multiple pathways to California licensure and the opportunity to become an architect by apprenticeship. Eduardo J. Samaniego had an office in a converted Victorian located near downtown Los Angeles. He took Gutierrez under his wing and mentored him. Next, he worked for Mel Gianni, who had been the chief architect at Kistner, Wright & Wright, a predominant school architectural firm in Los Angeles. Gutierrez credits these men with instilling and shaping his approach to practice and his commitment to mentorship.

Gutierrez took the exam and passed it. He worked for small architects to get hands-on experience, moving every two years to acquire diversity and gain experience in different aspects of the profession. He learned the types he both was and wasn’t interested in performing. Gutierrez had his own sole proprietorship practice for approximately 13 years and was recruited by HMC Architects, where he rose rapidly through the ranks and became a principal of the firm and director of architecture. Gutierrez served as President of the AIA Inland California Chapter, and NCARB Intern Development, IPAL and Model Law Task Force. He currently works as a construction manager for Walnut Unified School District and is Chair of HMC Architects Designing Futures Foundation—a non-profit dedicated to making the world a better place.

Gutierrez said his favorite part of being an architect is the ability to bring the value of design to disenfranchised communities. He provided pro bono services to communities to assist with placemaking and elevating the quality of life.

He wants aspiring California architects to know that there are no barriers to licensure because of the college pathway and the apprentice pathway. He is a fervent believer of mentorship in the profession, from which he learned and built his career.

Gutierrez said, “I will miss the Board, but it will carry forward with very capable hands. It’s in a good or better place than when I first had the honor and privilege of being appointed.”