During her summers as a child in Europe, Orla explored stately homes and got lost in their 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 and she knew she would devote her life to creating beautiful buildings.
Orla graduated second in her class with a professional six year- five years of architectural academic and studio work combined with one year of full immersion in an architectural practice-Bachelor of Architecture degree from a Royal Institute of British Architects accredited University in Ireland.
She was lucky enough to have as her weekly in house Studio tutors in the Dublin based Architecture School the renowned 2020 Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal winners Grafton Architects and 2015 Royal Gold Medal winners O’Donnell/ Twomey Architects, some of Europe’s greatest architectural minds. She worked in a few different London architectural practices while studying at the College of Engineering and Architecture and we are happy to work in the metric system for international projects.
Orla focused on custom modern residences, 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 in the United States 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 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 Studio’s is located in Sausalito, California, designing and building custom residential and commercial projects.
While 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. We have projects all over the Bay Area and beyond.
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 lives.
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 that enhance the spaces we craft together with you. The success of your project is our primary goal.