Meet Our team

Brandon Architects is a talented, diverse, and motivated group of designers who have been influencing the communities of Newport Beach, coastal Orange County, and beyond since 2009. Their youthful and inspired approach to the design process has afforded them a vast variety of design projects ranging from traditional high-end custom homes to modern custom luxury boutique hotels.

Whether it’s inspiring beauty, or an environmentally sensitive footprint, a smartly-designed project can lead to better living.Christopher Brandon

Christopher Brandon, AIA


Chris is a registered California architect and member of the AIA with a Bachelor’s Degree from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Since childhood, he’s been fascinated by the built environment and the creative possibilities that art and architecture have to offer.

Spending his formative years in a small town in Northeast Oregon, Chris learned to value the beauty in nature at a young age. This continued to inspire him through his education and into his career. His talents have been most appreciated in the design of many beautiful custom homes and happy clients. His approach has always been to first better understand a client’s dreams and unique project constraints in order to create more informed and inspired designs. Chris has used his exceptional design talents and years of experience in Southern California to create a truly unique and progressive architectural practice.

Ryan Mcdaniel, AIA, LEED aP BD+C

Partner, director of design

Ryan McDaniel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a proud graduate of the University of Oregon where he received his Bachelor of Architecture. Inspired by the altruism of architecture, he has dedicated himself to the pursuit of design excellence and a more sustainable future for development in both residential and non-residential buildings. As an early hire (2012), Ryan has enjoyed working directly with principal Chris Brandon, AIA and has been greatly fulfilled by his work. As a licensed architect, he has distinguished himself as an emerging professional, being nationally recognized for his efforts, and has demonstrated a wide capacity to excel in many different product types including: single-family custom homes, mixed-use, multi-family, commercial, and hospitality.

From our family to yours

Brandon Architects prides itself on the delivery of custom design projects that are unique to each client. Often earning the title of “good listeners” from their clients, they believe that getting to know their clients’ needs and wishes, coupled with in-depth knowledge of the site and their use of cutting edge technology, allows for the best possible design solutions tailored to each new homeowner.

justin johnston, AIA, NCARB

jr. principal ARCHITECT

Justin Johnston, Jr. Principal Architect, joined Brandon Architects in 2012. Prior to working at the firm Mr. Johnston received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. He then received his Master of Architecture from the university’s Idaho Urban Research and Design Center in Boise. Since joining the firm, his responsibilities have included overseeing the design and administration of private duplex and single family residences located in Vail, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach and throughout Orange County.

brandon linsday, AIA, NCARB

principal architect

Brandon Linsday grew up in Southern California having lived in the Los Angeles, Ventura, San Diego, and now Newport Beach area. He is a registered architect in California and a member of the AIA and NCARB. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado along with certificates in Real Estate, Business, and Design Technologies as well as a Master of Architecture degree from the NewSchool of Architecture in San Diego. He also enjoys traveling and has studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.

mir gaskari, AIA


Mir Kohyar Gaskari is a licensed architect in the state of California and a member of AIA. He obtained his Bachelor of Architecture from EMU as an Honor in 2011 and gained his Master of Science in Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture + Design as Cum Laude in 2013. Mir joined Brandon Architects in 2014 and since then he is taking various roles and responsibilities within the firm as needed. His expertise in Mixed Use, Retail, Commercial, and Multi & Single Family House serves as an invaluable asset for the firm.

caitlin smith, LEED AP

Project Manager

A native of San Diego, Caitlin graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s of Science in Regional Development. Subsequently, she received a Master in Architecture from the Newschool of Architecture & Design. Prior to joining Brandon Architects, she worked in various Real Estate roles and eventually transitioned her focus to the built environment. She began gathering experience from the construction industry with remodels in hospitality, commercial and residential.

elizabeth hanna, LEED AP BD+C


Elizabeth Hanna joined the Brandon Architects team in spring 2015 after receiving her Bachelors of Architecture from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. ~ GO MUSTANGS! With an eagerness to learn, Elizabeth is working towards becoming a Licensed Architect. While not in the office, Elizabeth enjoys being outdoors and soaking in the California sun.

kennedy year


Kennedy Year studied architecture at Kansas State University where he earned his Master's Degree in Architecture. He joined the Brandon Architect’s team in fall of 2016 where he currently assists project managers with project progression, development, and visualizations. Beyond the office, Kennedy has a strong interest in technology and its role in architecture. If you can't find him behind his computer, he's out climbing rocks or on a camping adventure.

jeff van voorhis, AIA


Jeff joined the BA team in Spring 2016. He holds a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara and a Masters of Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona. He also studied architecture abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. As a licensed Architect, he has been involved in dozens of high-end residential projects across the Southern California region. His design interests are rooted in exploring new ways in which technology can influence and improve our design processes. This has led him to develop extensive experience with all things related to design, visualization, modeling, and animation. Outside of work he enjoys camping, hiking, surfing, as well as more artistic hobbies such as guitar and photography.

Gabby Uvidia, LEED AP BD+C

SENIOR designer

Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, Gabby moved to beautiful Orange County as a teenager and fell in love with American culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona. Her passion for a variety of architectural styles and traveling led her to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for a year. Upon graduation, she started working in the custom residential sector before joining Brandon Architects during the Winter of 2018. She aspires to conclude her licensing process in the near future, and in her free time she enjoys going camping, traveling, spending time with friends and family and volunteering to help build homes for families in need in Mexico with her church.

gavin friehauf

SENIOR designer

Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Gavin graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science in Design, before moving to Southern California where he attended Woodbury University, earning his Master of Architecture in 2018. Gavin joined the Brandon Architects team in the Spring of 2019, bringing a unique perspective to the architectural practice. With interests catalyzed by experience in fine art, Gavin is drawn to the combination of aesthetic, composition, and material application, and their ability to project a specific clarity and charm for our built environment. In his spare time, Gavin enjoys to travel, golf, attend music festivals, paint, and submerge himself in the amazing California culture.

Smarter Design

Brandon Architects strongly stands behind the idea that smarter design leads to better living. Their hard work and beautiful designs are now recognized across various design platforms, publications, and word of mouth throughout the community.

andrew Souvannarath


Andrew Lucky Souvannarath is a 3D Visualizer who specializes in architectural rendering covering retail, hospitality, and residential properties. After graduating from The Art Institute, California - San Diego, he pursued his dreams by getting his foot stuck in an elevator of a well-known visual effects company and from there on he only leveled up. He is strong minded, dedicated to his work, responsive, and adaptive when it comes to learning new tools, pipeline, or techniques. He sees new challenges as an opportunity to search for answers so he could then master and apply it to his work. In his free time he likes to spend way too much time at the gym, but who could blame him when he has an extra fifteen hours left to spare!

Masahiro Mizutani

3d Visualization

Masahiro joined Brandon Architects in September of 2020. He was born Japan and moved to Southern California as a teenager. Before joining Brandon Architect he worked as a 3D artist for the entertainment, medical and advertising industries. Using the knowledge he gained in his previous positions, he has transitioned to residential architectural visualization. After work, Masahiro and his wife are busy raising their son and daughter.

mariah mcdaniel

Marketing Manager

An Oregon native, Mariah attended the University of Oregon and majored in Journalism. After joining the firm in the winter of 2016, she has since grown their social media presence to over 200K+ followers and enjoys collaborating with project teams and photographers to best capture each BA design.

Andrew Saad


Andrew joined the BA family late summer of 2020. An Orange Country native who loves to embrace all that OC has to offer. When he wants a change of scenery, he travels to different cities and countries, submerging himself in their culture and coming back home inspired by their architecture. Knowing at a young age that he has a passion for architecture, he received a bachelor’s of Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego. After graduating he came back to the OC to enjoy his time serving his church, being outdoors and spending time with his large Egyptian family.

brian jowett

senior project designer

Before joining Brandon Architects, Brian graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Architecture. Upon graduation, Brian spent 17 years working in luxury Hospitality, designing 5 star resorts and hotels around the world. This work instilled a passion for designing destinations that worked to connect people and place to each project. Brian has taken his knowledge of 5 star environments and translated it to designing luxury custom homes at Brandon Architects.

Brittany oakes

Project coordinator

A Southern California native, Brittany braved the cold New Jersey winters and studied at Princeton University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering and a Certificate in Architecture. She joined the Brandon Architects team in Spring 2021, where she transitioned from retail architecture to custom residential. Before starting her professional career, Brittany played water polo in Sydney Australia, but has since traded the pool for the office.

Mary Gonzalez


jennifer martinez

office administrator

Jennifer joined Brandon Architects in the Summer of 2021 as our Office Administrator. She strives to create a positive and memorable experience for clients, partners, employees, and point them in the right direction, according to their needs.
Jennifer grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area but was drawn to Southern California’s warm weather and vibrant energy, which matches her own. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, loves music, traveling, being at the beach, and spending time with family & friends.



Colby grew up living around the world, graduating high school in England, and she eventually came back state-side for college at the University of Miami. She first became interested in residential architecture when living abroad and being immersed in different cultures. Graduating in 2018 with a degree in architecture and a minor in entrepreneurship, Colby is now happy to be back home, living in sunny California. When she is not in the office, you can find her paddle boarding or listening to live music.

Nicole Thompson

Senior Designer

Nicole was born and raised in Mammoth Lakes, California but traded in the snow covered Eastern Sierra Mountains for the sunny beaches of the Central Coast. She earned her Bachelors of Architecture degree with a minor in Sustainable Environments from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 2015. Prior to joining the BA family in late 2021, she gained several years of experience in commercial, mixed use, and multi-family residential projects in San Francisco. With a passion for creating unique and custom designs, she dedicates her free time as a humanitarian designer for non-profits around the world.

Octavio Hernandez

Project Coordinator

Octavio was born and raised in Northern California in the Monterey Bay area. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Design from UC Davis and a Masters of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Upon graduating, he began working for a branding and interior design firm with special focus in the retail and commercial sectors. In 2020, Octavio transitioned into the residential sector, where his true passion awakened. In 2021, Octavio proudly joined the Brandon Architect team as Project Coordinator. He aspires to complete his licensure path in the very near future. Outside of work he enjoys hitting the turf on the soccer field, becoming a smoke pit barbecue master, and spending time with his family.

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