Philosophy

Costarella Architects, a Bay Area architectural firm, has been in business since 1985. A native of the region, principal Joseph Costarella received his master of architecture degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1982, and his license to practice in California in 1985. Between 1977 and 1985, he worked as a building designer and carpenter on projects of his own design.

Costarella Architects is engaged in the design of residential and commercial buildings. Much of the firm's residential work involves the renovation and expansion of some of the finest Bay Area homes, including those originally designed by early twentieth century architects Julia Morgan and Henry H. Gutterson. Costarella Architects' work is frequently published, and one project was even selected by the École Bilingue for it's annual kitchen tour. Among the company's commercial projects are medical offices, specialty and general retail shops, gymnasiums, and hotels. Palm Court retail center designed by Costarella Architects won an award for best commercial renovation of the year. Between 1990 and 2000, Costarella Architects developed two live/work projects in Emeryville, CA. Emery Street Lofts was the first for sale loft project in Emeryville and Horton Street Lofts was the first loft conversion project for sale in Emeryville’s commercial zoning district. These two projects had a combined value of over 4 million dollars and provided 21 units of live/work space to the City of Emeryville.

In addition to following in the traditional procedure of completing a design and then soliciting bids, Costarella Architects frequently works to join together owner, architect, and contractor in order to provide better design and budget control. Many satisfied clients can testify to the value of this unique approach.

Costarella Architects utilizes computer software to prepare architectural designs and drawings. Drawings, pictures and other content is sent electronically to clients, engineers, contractors and other consultants to speed up the design process and make it more time and energy efficient. The firm is constantly finding new ways to work with available computer tools, thus radically improving the way it does architecture. Costarella Architects is concerned about the environment and employs sustainable and energy efficient design concepts, (Green Design), whenever possible.