As undergraduates at the University of Washington's School of Architecture, Welton Becket and Walter Wurdeman determinedly rushed the same coed. Neither of them married her, but out of their rivalry grew a business partnership that has taken Architects Becket, 45, and Wurdeman, 44, right to the top of Los Angeles' building boom.

Last week Wurdeman & Becket were hard at work on one of the West Coast's fattest architectural prizes: supervising the $31,000,000 building program for the University of California's Los Angeles campus. They had also won a contract to build a chain of four hotels for air travelers across...

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