OWEN RICHARDS, AIA, LEED AP
Owen is recognized for his engaging collaborative approach and his expertise in creation of transformative community-focused architecture. He brings over thirty years’ experience leading multi-disciplinary teams in the design and delivery of a diverse range of award-winning projects, from performing arts venues, museums, and cultural facilities to affordable housing and pro-bono collaborations with non-profit organizations serving communities in need. He has served as president of Architects without Borders-Seattle, editorial board chair for AIA Seattle Forum, and facilities chair of On the Boards. He graduated from Rice University with majors in Architecture and Photography and an unofficial minor in theater. Prior to founding ORA in 2004, he was a principal at LMN Architects in Seattle, and he has also practiced architecture in New York, Atlanta, and Australia. He was a core team member with Mitchell/Giurgola Architects on the competition-winning design of the Australian Parliament House. In addition to theater and architecture, his passions include photography and long-distance cycling.
Virginia’s focus as a designer is on creating collaborative communal spaces that foster a sense of ownership, safety and creativity through social interaction. A native of New Orleans, Virginia migrated up the Mississippi River to attend Washington University in St Louis where she received her BS in Architecture. Her love of climate and public responsive design brought her to Seattle where she worked with DLR Group, SMR Architects, and BLRB Architects on a diverse range of educational, non-profit housing, and public projects. She joined ORA in 2018 after receiving her Master of Architecture from University of Washington. Virginia has played key roles in many of ORA’s most significant projects over the past 5 years. Away from the office, you may find Virginia attending a local performance or theatrical show.
Sam Arellano is originally from Venezuela where he received his Bachelor of Architecture from Universidad Central de Venezuela. After working with an architectural firm in Caracas for four years, he moved to Seattle to learn English. When the political climate in Venezuela forced him to change plans, he made Seattle his permanent home. After 7 years of working with a small firm designing restaurants and residential projects, he joined ORA in Spring 2023. In his spare time, Sam enjoys photographing buildings around the city to polish his photography skills, and he enjoys designing and constructing interior renovations of his house.
Aparna Reghukumar has a Master of Architecture from Georgia Tech and a Bachelor of Architecture from Anna University in Chennai, India. She is a registered architect in India, where she practiced with Shankar Associates and Sacred Groves, before moving to the United States in 2021. She is deeply passionate about environmentally conscious and community-oriented design. She strives to create equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities that bring people from all walks of life together. She is an analytical and creative thinker who pushes boundaries and thrives on new challenges. Outside of architecture, her interests include travelling, kayaking, painting, cooking, and trying out new cuisines.
Sarah has almost 25 years of experience contributing to the success of architectural and engineering firms. Her primary focus is on financial management and human resources. In addition, Sarah has extensive experience in firm administration, contracts, and vendor management. When not working you might find her on the archery range with her son or enjoying the outdoors at Mt. Baker.