Design HOF 2018: Paul Fendler

St. Louis Design Hall of Fame 2018
Paul Fendler
Fendler + Associates, Inc.

Edited by Melissa Mauzy
Portrait Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


Paul Fendler founded Fendler + Associates, Inc., in 1989. Now in his 30th year, the firm is an award winning and published architectural design firm providing services tailored specifically to meet the unique resources and requirements of clients. Paul believes great design starts with an architect who can listen to the client. His goal is to design spaces that are beautiful, but equally as important to design spaces that work for his client. His firm of four employees has worked for Paul from 11 to 21 years. Fendler + Associates, believes it necessary for a designer to see a project through from initial consultation to final completion. An approach that promotes a client-architect relationship exemplifying personal attention and expertise in each project. Paul is active at his alma mater, Washington University, where he speaks with students entering the work force. 

SLHL: What does it take to deliver exceptional design?
Paul: Exceptional design is a team effort that involves the architect, interior decorators, construction professionals and the homeowner. An architect needs to guide the design process, yet value and respect the expertise of the other team members. 

SLHL: What is the first step you take when designing a project of any size?
Paul: It’s important for me to establish a good working relationship with my client.  When first starting a project I spend a lot of time listening to better understand their needs, aesthetic tastes and budget. Equally as important is for them to understand how I work and my design philosophy. Projects are successful when the architect and client develop an open line of communication and realistic expectations. 

SLHL: How has the industry evolved since you started?
Paul: Communication and access to information has changed significantly. The availability of photo examples and product specifications, the ability to work remotely and to send drawings instantly are wonderful. Communicating with clients and colleagues is far easier but unfortunately less personal.   

SLHL: Tell us a place in St. Louis that inspires you in your career.
Paul: I love walking through Westmoreland and Portland Places in the Central West End.  The level of detailing and craftsmanship, the scale of the homes and variety of architectural styles is truly remarkable and unparalleled. 

Fendler + Associates, Inc., 314-664-7725