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Design Opera Architects is a collaborative architecture and design firm based in Los Angeles. We combine forward-thinking concepts with traditional values to create formal, contemporary design solutions.

Our work bridges art and pragmatism to engage with the culture, technology, and the ever-changing environments that surround us.

The Team

Gregory Marx De Pena

Principal and Founder


Gregory De Pena is a Licensed Architect in California and a Registered Architect in Arizona. As the Principal Architect, he has lead the firm, since its establishment in 2008, with a passion for rigorous research and analysis on the cutting edge of the profession.

Gregory De Pena studied vernacular architecture in the Dominican Republic and earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona. His thesis design for the primitive hut of the 21st century has been internationally published for applying fluid dynamics and NASA wind study models to architecture.

He gained experience with residential and commercial architecture while working with Ronchetti Design and Line & Space where he contributed his expertise to sustainable, environmentally conscious structures prior to founding OPERA. He has also served on the CCDC Advisory Board and is currently an adjunct instructor at the New School of Architecture and Design.

Christian Santini

Principal Designer

Christian Santini holds a bachelor in architecture from the University Iberoamericana and a Master of Architecture from The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).

Christian is always testing and experimenting with forms, space, and how the two can coexist. His designs juxtapose seemingly chaotic elements, bringing them together in multifaceted compositions. He worked as a designer for the award winning design and research firm Estudio Santander, where he collaborated in multiple competitions and received an AIA Merit Award. He brings a fresh eye to our design and continues to push it to new limits.

He joined Design Opera in 2008 after receiving his Bachelors. He became a partner in 2014 and is now a Principal Designer and a licensed architect in Mexico, overseeing operations in Tijuana, Mexico.

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