Marilyn Standley

Architecture is for people. Successful architectural design arises when beauty and function come together to meet the needs and goals of the people who will use the spaces created.

Even as a child I had a fascination with places and spaces, and all my paper dolls had paper houses. Having lived in 4 distinct areas of the country, I have come to appreciate different local cultures and ways of living. I love the outdoors and am a “tree-hugger” at heart, but I have always enjoyed walking through partially framed new homes and smelling the newly sawn wood. When I’m not having fun at work, I restore my connection with nature out in the pasture with my goats, Lina and Mia.

I received my degree in architecture after a late start, because when I was growing up “girls did not become architects”. My first degree was in fine arts, which was my passion, but it provided neither a career nor a steady income.

With a little encouragement, stepping outside of what I was supposed to do allowed me not only to become an architect, but also to have some adventures that were out of the ordinary.

Prior to entering the architecture program at Montana State University in 1981, I took a 6-week bike trek through England, Ireland, and Wales. After settling in Sonoma County in fall 1986, I started studying martial arts. This included traveling to Korea to certify as a taekwondo instructor, judging at taekwondo tournaments, and also exploring the art of aikido; all good practice for being on and chairing the Planning Commission.

I use this same commitment and energy in my architecture practice. Getting to know each client, listening and understanding their goals and needs, results in the most thoughtful and delightful design solutions.

Working together as a team with client, architect, contractor, structural engineer, and consultants, is a process that creates an atmosphere of cooperation and collective problem solving. With all of us on the same team, we can make this process a good experience for everyone involved.

Projects Include:

 Sterling Vineyards, Calistoga
 St. Rose Parish Offices, Santa Rosa
 Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa
 Alameda Headstart Addition and Playground, Alameda
 Alto-Richardson Bay Fire Station, Mill Valley
 Freeman Toyota/Lexus Remodel and Addition, Santa Rosa
 Yuba Community College Lake County Campus, Lake County
 Novato Eastside Fire Station, Novato
 Biella Elementary School, Santa Rosa
 Gravenstein School Modernization, Sebastopol
 Roseland School Modernization, Sebastopol
 Kenwood Elementary School, Kenwood
 Marion Residence, Petaluma

 Villa Amador Apartments, Brentwood
 Magnolia Apartments, Napa
 Skyline Apartments, Napa
 Sycamore Place Senior Apartments, Brentwood
 Cedar Street Senior Apartments, Garberville
 Beverly Terrace Apartments, Linda
 Brentwood Senior Apartments, Brentwood
 Florin Woods Apartments, Sacramento
 Riverfield Homes, Healdsburg
 The Meadows, Lompoc
 Sutton Residence, Occidental
 Hall/Hearth Remodel, Santa Rosa
 Wesselkamper Residence Addition and Remodel, Sebastopol

As of January 1, 2024, Builders Studio is now Thrive Design Collective,
a Division of Thrive Construction Group.
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