When he was a French Studies major at Wesleyan University, Alexander Jermyn considered becoming a diplomat. But after writing his senior thesis on Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation, he was inspired to pursue architecture instead. “I couldn’t write about Le Corbusier without understanding modernism, so it was sort of a crash course in the field, which I enjoyed a lot,” he recalls. In 2010, Jermyn established his own practice—a five-person Berkeley design studio doing work ranging from residential to retail, health care, and office projects.
Jermyn, 41, received his M.Arch. from Yale and then worked for East Coast firms Architecture Research Office (ARO), Pickard Chilton Architects, and Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects, mostly in the realm of high-rises and high-end retail, before realizing he was more interested in pursuing midscale projects for mission-driven clients instead. Moving to California in 2009 provided an opening for the Pennsylvania native to delve into this type of work. “It was a clean break,” he says. “I found different opportunities here.”