Architect Crush: Brandon Architects


Specializing in custom residential, multi-family, commercial and hospitality, Brandon Architects has served some of the West Coast’s most notable clients since 2009. At the helm of the firm is Christopher Brandon who leads his team in delivering custom-design projects created with cutting edge technology. Learn more in our Q+A below.

1. How did you get your start in architecture?

I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an architect, probably before I even knew what that was. I was always into art and I think my mom put “architect” into my head because she didn’t want me to become a starving artist.  I grew up in a small town in Northeastern Oregon and in high school, I had a great drafting teacher who had secured a grant for new computers and together we helped pioneer some of the first CAD classes. I got my bachelor degree in Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002 and got my first job doing custom residential work in Newport Beach.  I worked for a couple of small firms before forging ahead on my own in 2009.

2. What’s your process for getting to know a client?

I love getting to know my clients.  It’s probably one of my favorite aspects of the job. I love that each client is different and thus each project is unique.  At the beginning of a project, I like to act like a “sponge” and absorb everything the client is sharing. I want to know what they like, what they dislike, their family dynamic, personal history, etc… I try to get as much info as possible, everything from the most basic program information to their personal aspirations for the project.  I like to say that each project has a story, and the inspiration for that story starts with our clients.

3. What are some of the tech tools you use that help take your projects to the next level?

We love technology at Brandon Architects and we make it a point to stay at the forefront of what’s available in the industry.  We take great pride in being able to offer everything from photorealistic renderings, 3D modeling, animations, 3D printing and rich VR experiences.  We’ve found a way to blend technology seamlessly with our creative workflow and everything is done completely in-house. VR has been a “game changer” for us and we’ve been doing it for a few years already.  We use it to internally review our designs but when it comes to showing our client’s there’s no better way. We work hard to make the experience as realistic as possible, with accurate context and engaging interiors.  I always look forward to our VR presentations. It’s so fun to see their reactions!

4. How do you define “California style”?

California style can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  We’re obviously a huge and diverse group at Brandon Architects, and I’ve learned that defining a style is very personal.  For example, “modern design” can mean something completely different to one person versus another. That being said, I think there are a few hallmarks to “California Style.” For indoor/outdoor design, I think California Styles means taking advantage of our climate and beautiful surroundings. California architects have a vibrant history of being inventive and pushing the envelope, in a lot of different locales. Our homes are increasingly becoming both sanctuaries from our busy chaotic lifestyle and places of fun where we can entertain with family and friends. Our connection to our outdoors has driven ecological policies yet our inventiveness and passion has created beautiful and socially responsible design across the state.

5. Who would be your dream celebrity client/brand to design for and why?

It’s sad now that he’s gone but I was always fascinated by Steve Jobs.  He was such a visionary when it came to technology and design it would have been fun to design his personal home and go through that process with an unlimited budget too of course.

6. What’s the most influential musical album/artist of your life and why is it so special?

Nirvana, Nevermind.  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and my friends and I couldn’t get enough of the early grunge and alt-rock.  I probably burned through 5 or 6 CD’s of this album and the cover art is seared into my memory.

7. Describe your ideal Sunday.

Our kids are at such a magical age right now (6 and 3) where they just want to be with us and they love to experience new things.  I’d say an ideal Sunday would probably start with a morning trip to Legoland and then hanging poolside at the nearest 5-star hotel.  Ha!

Lightning round!

8. Dream car?

Audi R8, I’ve always loved Audis…or a Porsche GT3 RS too hard to choose!

9. Favorite vacation destination?


10. Go-to karaoke song?

Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.

11. First concert?

It was a hip-hop concert at the Gorge at George, I got to see Snoop Dogg, Ginuwine, Salt and Pepper, etc…it was epic!

12. Best pizza topping?

Canadian bacon and pineapple.

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