About us

Orla graduated with a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from a Royal Institute of British Architects accredited University in Europe and worked on modern custom residences. She spends a lot of her week on construction sites, her favorite place to be. Her tutors in architecture school were RIBA gold medal winners Grafton Architects and O’Donnell/ Twomey Architects. During her summers as a child in Europe she often explored stately homes and gardens with her Mom, a keen architecture enthusiast and her father, an engineer. They instilled in her a great love for classical architecture, design and landscaping. She focused on multi-family developments in London and institutional university buildings in Northern Europe prior to moving to the Bay Area.

During her varied career in both commercial and residential architecture and construction she has worked on Laboratories, Aquariums, Museums, Athletic Facilities and Resorts. She worked with AIA gold medalist Joe Esherick of EHDD and Howard Backen of Backen Gillam on signature residences and wineries and was pivotal in the development of Solage, Calistoga for Auberge Resorts and Throckmorton Village. She has collaborated with the renowned Northern California modernist architect, Robert Hatfield, on a number of modern houses and multi family construction developments. Hatfield’s first house for the future owner of Dwell inspired such a keen interest in modern architecture in his client that she founded the magazine. Orla set up her own firm in Sausalito, California, designing and building custom residential and commercial projects.

Orla Studios is a Marin County, California, based design practice. We are happy to work on projects anywhere. Sustainability is a focus of our practice and is considered from the onset of the project, from orientation to energy efficiency, we aim to get as close to NetZero as your budget will allow.

Orla Studios is aware that our clients have busy lives so we hold all our meetings at your home, your office or your site. We have projects all over the Bay Area and beyond. We come to you to make it very easy to work with us.

We consider site conditions, light, views, landscape carefully in our design of your home and our priority is to create beautiful spaces to transform your life.

We collaborate carefully with trusted contractors and consultants to ensure a distinctive experience, the common denominator in our work is not any particular style, but rather quality of light and space, thoughtful material choices, and attention to important details.