DAVID BALIAN
Principal & Architect, AIA

“For me the architectural design process functions much like the natural world, where artistry, order and complexity find harmony.”

– David Balian

An innovator, leader and entrepreneur, David is driven to outperform on every project and promise. His work strives for elegant, minimal, and balanced solutions in a process founded in good will, sustainability, and invention. David is continuously innovating and revels in finding the right solutions.

A Registered Architect in California and Washington state, David has delivered top-tier architectural services for clients ranging from maverick developers to large educational and institutional entities. His years of experience in large-scale master planning and architectural design spans diverse markets including commercial, educational, institutional, residential, and hospitality projects. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture, David has earned numerous design awards. The City of Los Angeles awarded David’s design called “Densification Prototype” for the then newly envisioned Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance a First Place Runner Up Prize. David also exhibited his work at the 2010 Venice Italy Architectural Biennale showcasing his work in North America as a part of The National Museum-Institute of Architecture and the Pan-Armenian Association of Architects and Engineers.

David is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles who inspires to permeate his strong sense of family and community into the daily design practice at Balian Architects.

MAGDALENA DZIALO BALIAN
Principal & Architect, AIA

“My passion for architecture emerges from my life-long affinity for graphic and sculptural experimentation and from mastering the artistic articulation of ideas into physical form.”

– Magdalena Dzialo Balian

A lifelong creator, Magdalena finds joy in transforming ideas into reality. She brings leadership to the pursuit of beautiful tailored solutions and efficient project delivery. Her approach merges exploration and experimentation to create architectural innovations that consider construction methods and materials. Her ongoing obsession with evolving her craft and a deliberate approach to strategic planning bring a high level of clarity and coherence to the function and beauty of Balian’s projects.

Magdalena studied in Canada and Italy and lived and worked in Vancouver, B.C. and Toronto, Ontario, prior to obtaining her license to practice in California and co-founding Balian Architects Inc. Magdalena’s broad experience in the commercial sector includes projects in both the imperial and metric systems.

Magdalena aspires for her designs to become notable elements in the fabric of Los Angeles. She thrives on building community and bringing architecture to life through the collaborative team experience. When she’s not innovating, designing and mentoring at the office, she extends her curiosity, imagination and artistic touch at home through painting.

RUZANNA HOVHANISSYAN
Associate

Ruzanna has always had a love for the arts and architecture. Graduating from art school as a teenager, she eventually decided to pursue architecture, finishing a degree from Polytechnic University for Architecture in Armenia. Her inspirations include Frank Lloyd wright, I.M. Pei, and Frank Gehry.

She particularly enjoys modern and industrial buildings. Ruzanna appreciates the benefits of working in a team-based environment, believing that great works are formed when people’s respective ideas intertwine. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and keeping up with current global architectural trends.

HENRY G MERA
Senior Associate

Henry is a native of the South Bay and a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Architecture with a Bachelor in Architecture and a Minor in Landscape Architecture.  He worked in Las Vegas, Nevada for 6 years upon joining a design-build firm specializing in mega-resort projects.  Returning to Los Angeles, Henry worked with a firm focused on high-rise residential towers, mainly in downtown San Francisco. In between, he also worked on hospitality interiors and boutique restaurant-bar adaptive-reuse projects. 

Henry possesses the understanding to work directly with Owners, Consultants, and Contractors through all phases of large scale and remodel projects.  He also has 6 years of experience working on commercial office buildings, including projects in Playa Vista’s Silicon Beach area, and in Hollywood’s Sunset studio district.  His forte has become on-site construction administration and problem solving.  Over the course of the last 16 years, Henry has acquired the necessary skills to coordinate a project’s calculated Master Plan or fast-track construction with respect to schedule, design, budget, and sustainability. 

In his spare time, he hangs with his kids, and takes matters into his own hands as he rehabilitates his 1950’s “cookie cutter” in Torrance, California.

ANDREW DERKRIKORIAN
Associate

Andrew DerKrikorian, an aircraft design enthusiast, found his passion for architecture as he was able to incorporate the aerodynamics and structure into his architectural designs.

Andrew started his academic career at Woodbury University.  Throughout the years he improved on his design skills while paying close attention to fine details regarding structural and physical components. While studying a semester in Rome, Andrew started to incorporate the organic form and shapes along with the dynamic and geometric design to find balance and improve on design abilities. 

Andrews professional experience has consisted of both domestic and international work, with the majority revolving around Retail-Entertainment Centers, Hospitality and Mix-Use projects. Working with teams of 2 and up to 12 depending on a project, he’s always found it as an advantage to get different perspectives and put pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.

TATIANA ZAVALA
Associate

Tatiana graduated from Woodbury University with a Bachelor of Architecture and a Minor in Business Management. Her passion of working with a wide spectrum of people, encouraged her to continue her academic career and obtain a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. 

Tatiana is a detail-oriented designer who fell in love with watching creative concepts transform into tangible physical spaces. She whole-heartedly believes that architecture has the ability to combine different disciplines and ideas into a cohesive design. 

When not working, Tatiana enjoys traveling, experiencing different cultures, painting and watching movies.