about

STEPHEN OLIVER, AIA | PRINCIPAL
University of Texas at Austin
Former Chair of City of Austin Planning Commission (2015-2018)
2008 AIA Austin Young Architectural Professional Award
2014 AIA Austin John Nyfeler Community Service Award
2018 AIA Austin President’s Award

Stephen Oliver brings a passion for excellence in planning and architecture to his work as principal at OPA Design Studio, Inc. He values honest evaluation of project goals, transparent communication for the entire team, and a foundation of trust between client and OPA. Each project is centered on true partnerships thru his values.

He has an in-depth understanding of zoning, land development and building codes as well as the larger context of best national architectural design and planning practice. This knowledge is key to helping land owners, businesses and developers create and reach their goals. His skills in open dialogue, partnership and innovation are assets to each project.

As an Architect, his work has ranged from high rise mixed-use projects, reuse of former warehouse spaces into creative office and entertainment projects, large scale brewing and distilling facilities, infill multi-family and custom residences. Since 2011, Stephen has served on the City of Austin Planning Commission (currently Chair) during the evolution of local ordinances related to breweries under recently amended state laws for on-site sales as well as a wide range of other key zoning changes. He has a deep knowledge in the working structure of regulations impacting the development of facilities selling and distributing alcohol. Stephen has worked with local breweries in understanding how their growth strategies align with the alcohol regulations, safety, on premise sales, distribution and other zoning and building code issues. Whether it be for planning and designing a brewing or distilling facility or for finding the right blend of zoning entitlements, understanding market potential for development, or commitment design excellence and sound decision making, Stephen’s knowledge base and experience provides a solid foundation for project success.

West Texas A&M University
Thomas Edison State University

As a detail-oriented management professional with a strategic mindset, Trace brings to OPA Design Studio and its clientele over 10 years of operations management experience from his time spent in the retail, private security, and architecture industries, where he has held such key management positions as client services manager, production manager, and office manager. Through the integration of his operations, relationship, and IT management skill-sets, he actively seeks to draw teams together, increase efficiency and productivity, promote positive and mutually beneficial relationships, foster professional ethics and integrity, and solve problems and challenges through agility, flexibility, innovation, and ingenuity.

University of Louisiana – Lafayette

Duke’s experience in designing and managing detailed architectural projects is an asset to all of our clients’ projects. Previous to joining OPA, Duke was a project manager for 7 years with an architecture firm that worked in conjunction with Whole Foods’ planning and design department throughout the United States and the U.K. Through his experience in retail and production design, he was able to gain valuable skills in creating unique, environmentally sensitive spaces by using materials and designs that speak to a specific region’s culture and passion. Duke finds it critical that the architect understands the passion and vision of the client while providing creative insight and guidance to help those goals develop from dream into reality. His attention to detail, thoroughness and emphasis on quality control is an asset to OPA and our clients.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Yvonne brings to her role as Project Manager for OPA an eclectic professional experience forged in several countries and including permitting sets for numerous fast food restaurants in the Midwest and East Coast, detailing of high-end custom interiors for private villas in France, and designing passive-solar homes in Ireland. Those experiences have taught her the skills necessary to take a project from conception to delivery, right down to the smallest details. She is also passionate about Historic Preservation, having served on the Woodstock, Illinois Historic Preservation Commission as a part of her architectural training program, and has also renovated two historic homes with her husband, in Illinois and in France. Yvonne believes that all experiences are invaluable, and that taking risks is necessary to becoming a well-rounded person and to making good architecture.

University of Virginia

Luke supports design and production efforts, assisting on all aspects of OPA’s projects. His ability as a computer modeler and drafter allows for smoother production, faster editing, and clearer presentation.

Texas A&M University

Nancy has over 10 years of architectural experience having worked for large international firms in healthcare, retail, to midsize firms specializing in schools and restaurants prior to joining OPA Design Studio. Nancy has been a LEED Accredited Professional, Building Design + Construction since 2008.  Her Sustainability experience includes having worked on over a dozen LEED Existing Building Gold, a LEED Commercial Interiors Gold, and a LEED Existing Building Platinum certification.  She has served as a Co-Chair for the USGBC North Texas Graphics & Website Committee and Volunteer Committees. In 2018 Nancy passed the Certified ScrumMaster  and ITIL Foundation v3 examinations and uses the knowledge gained to ensure projects and teams work efficiency using the agile methodology to complete architectural projects safely, on time, and under budget while meeting all milestones and satisfying all stakeholders.

University of Texas at Austin

Todd believes that architecture is at its best when it creates a beautiful space that is in tune with its place.  His thoughtful design process has been cultivated through school and over 4 years working on custom residential, office, education and brewery projects.  He also has hands-on construction knowledge from building at an Austin farm and building a tiny house of his own design.

opa in the news:

• Podcast: OPA Design Studio: Architecture & Brewery Planning Building Breweries: A Beer Podcast
• Meet the Brewery Architects Designing the Next Generation of Taprooms BigWorldSmallGirl
• Vista Brewing to Open on April 20 Brewbound
• Former Adelbert’s Head Brewer Opens a New Brewpub This Week Eater Austin
• Manor Road is Getting a Brewery with Spring Opening of Oddwood Ales Austin 360
• Austin’s New Urban Whiskey Distillery is Now Open for Business CultureMap Austin
• Sprawling brewery with restaurant and farm heads to Driftwood EaterAustin
• This will be the next hill country hot spot for craft beer and much more culturemap.com
• Central Texas brewery breaks ground on destination brewery craftbeer.com
• Vista Brewing in the works as 21-acre destination brewery in Driftwood Austin 360
• Adelbert’s Brewery spin-off Oddwood Ales fires up new taproom Eater Austin
• Architect Stephen Oliver, OPA Design Studio principal, on designing for breweries Beer Advocate
• Austin craft brewers, distillers urged to keep close watch on city’s code rewrite Austin Business Journal
• Fully equipped constructionnews.net
• Land code review panel takes shape, no lobbyists allowed bizjournals.com
• See Austin buildings that took top honors at AIA awards program bizjournals.com
• Cool restaurants, creative companies grab new space in East Austin bizjournals.com
• Beer and wine: Two new tasting room concepts to debut in Spring 2015 bizjournals.com
• First Look: Friends & Allies Brewing bitchbeer.org
• AGAVE: Efficiency, style, high-end materials available at a lower price Austin American Statesman