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. From 2011 – 2018, Stephen served on the City of Austin Planning Commission 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.
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 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.

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.

Louisiana State University

Erica’s blend of creativity and organizational skills prove very useful when managing projects. After moving to Austin in 2014, Erica has worked for a number of small architecture firms before joining OPA, where she gained a diverse set of design and management skills. Erica believes that, for each unique client and place, there is a unique architectural solution, and each should be beautiful down to the minute detail. Using a careful balance of imagination and creativity with a passion for quality control, Erica strives to not only craft beautiful architecture, but create a clear and enjoyable architectural process for our clients.

Pratt Institute New York
University of Texas at San Antonio

Carole believes that the true beauty of architecture is in finding the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics. With more than 5 years of experience in Retail, Commercial, and Residential Architecture, and having worked at design firms in New York and San Antonio, Carole brings a seasoned, yet fresh perspective to all of her projects. Through her studies and travels across Europe and the Middle East, she developed a unique design palate, along with a better understanding of innovative approaches to design and architecture. During her time at Pratt Institute, Carole had the opportunity to learn and utilize various design media, such as 3D modeling, printing, animation, and multimedia production, which helps her to craft individualized presentations for each of her clients. She prides herself in being intuitively sensitive to the needs of clients, while keeping in mind the restraints of design in a particular location in order to create an all around architectural experience.

opa in the news:

• Austin Eastciders Is Opening a Restaurant on Barton Springs Road Eater Austin
• Brewing Pedigree Represents at Far West Austin’s Beerburg Austin Chronicle
• Pinthouse, But Hold the Pizza? Brewpub’s Next Austin Spot Won’t Serve Pies Austin 360
• I Tasted 250 Different Texas Craft Beers in the Last 9 Days – Here Are My Favorites Big World Small Girl
• Texas Beer Bloggers Embark on Road Trip to Hit 50-plus Breweries in 9 Days Dallas News – Guide Live
• I’m Going on a Texas Brewery Road Trip! Big World Small Girl
• 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