Christopher Roach

Christopher is a San Francisco-based architect and urbanist with over 20 years of professional experience and a deep commitment to both the craft and the intellectual ambition of architecture. Before forming Studio VARA with Maura Fernández Abernethy, Christopher worked at several notable offices in San Francisco, Austin, and Germany, and has engaged with a wide range of projects types, from custom residences and affordable housing to commercial offices and academic institutions. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and Master of Architecture in Urban Design with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Christopher received several awards for his work at Harvard, including the Urban Design Thesis Prize and the Gerald M. McCue Medal.

In addition to his professional practice, Christopher is an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts, where he teaches housing studios and other courses in the MArch and BArch programs. Christopher is co-founder and Associate Director of the Urban Works Agency at CCA, where he has co-produced exhibitions such as The City & the City: Housing the next 100,000, Urbanism from Within, and the symposium series Domestic Affairs. Christopher has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad, has self-pubilshed several books, and has written for several publications including published in Harvard Design Magazine, MONU, Bracket, The Agent, The Urbanist, On Site Review and the ASLA blog Dirt.

As an (almost) 20-year resident of San Francisco, Christopher has become an active voice in the architecture community and an advocate for design agency in the urban environment. In addition to his research at CCA, he is a long-time member of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research, and serves on the Design Review Committee of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. He is so passionate about urban life that he has doubled down on raising his two young children in the city, despite the periodic protests of his wife and the mass exodus of his peers.

Christopher is an outdoorsman and avid cyclist, and can often be found on early morning bike rides in the Marin Headlands or climbing the iconic peaks of San Francisco.