I’m focus on creative work
and shared knowledge
Seeker of synergy
Merissa’s approach to design begins with a in-depth inquiry into the true identity, intent, and vision of the project. By working closely with her clients, she develops dynamic space and structures that harmoniously integrate the foundational values discovered during the in-depth inquiry. Her objective is for this distillation process to not only solve the requirement of the project but to ultimately bring intrinsic joy to the project's occupants.
Merissa is passionate about studying the lessons learned from modern masters and applying a contemporary twist. This can come in the form of using Mies Van der Rohe’s rich materials palette on a monolithic scale mixed with Schindler's or Le Corbusier's experiential concrete for a juxtaposition of raw versus refined. But materials are only one aspect. Her method of integrating the characteristics of the site, the program, and the client is to look for unexpected synergies that she can expresses through architecture.
Her first memorable experience with architecture was as a young girl when she saw the Thomas House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Instantly inspired by its unique structure and space, the project felt alive and in harmony with nature, creating a symphony in space.
After studying architecture at the University of Southern California, she started in the workplace and hospitality sector working on various interior remodels, which helped sharpen her interior design and fine art skills. Shortly after, she was recognized for her ability to embody a natural harmony in her creations and received her first big break. Her passion for modern architecture was recognized by a client looking for to restore their Hollywood Hills house, The Kun House, designed by world-renowned Richard Neutra. This project helped launch Merissa's Los Angeles-based architecture firm, Periana Architecture, in 2009. Since then she has had the privilege to work on some of the most iconic modern masterpieces in California, including the restoration of R.M. Schindlers, El Pueblo Ribera Court, the creation of the 50x50 Core House by Mies van der Rohe in Napa, and Le Corbusier’s Maison Errazuriz in Tomales Bay. In addition to her work on these iconic homes, she has been responsible for several remodels and ground-up construction projects that include single-family homes, multifamily dwellings, as well as commercial retail and workplace interior projects in California. Merissa values each project and takes a shared ownership approach, bringing her creative eye and sophisticated sense of style and design to each assignment.
She believes strongly in the mentorship of all ages, has served on the panel for Architectural Foundation San Francisco, and is the immediate past chair of the AIASF Mentorship Committee.
In her free time, she is an avid adventure traveler who goes on architectural and food pilgrimages.