Costa Brown Architecture has over 20 years of experience working within the iconic historical fabric of San Francisco. We love finding hidden value in historical buildings where others may not; from the industrial relics of South of Market to pre-1906 Victorians, we seek to celebrate the unique character each building has cultivated over its life.

Our primary design tenets are truth in materials, high quality design details, and functionality. We work with, not against, existing buildings and the surrounding neighborhood context, seeking to complement and enhance what we find. We partner with creative, skilled fabricators and contractors to create beautiful custom details that elevate each project.

We are rooted in San Francisco and savvy to the City’s permit and planning processes. Obtaining Building and/or Planning Department approval is key to the success of each project, and we have a long and successful track record in delivering approvals, saving time and effort for our clients.


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Costa Brown Architecture has a long, successful track record in delivering project approvals. The firm is rooted in San Francisco and is savvy to the City’s permit process and entitlements. Our permit evaluation studies save time and effort. Obtaining permits is key to the success of every project.


Costa Brown Architecture has over 20 years of experience working on the historic buildings of San Francisco. The firm finds hidden value in buildings where others may not, capitalizing on features and details from a range of buildings including the industrial relics of South of Market and pre-1906 Victorians. The firm specializes in taking under-utilized properties and turning them into the landmark buildings that San Francisco tenants and owners are searching for.


As a full service design studio we also offer interior architecture and design. We investigate the spatial opportunities inside existing buildings with material, color, custom details, and functionality. The firm loves working on playful and engaging workplace design that encourages collaboration and productivity, as well as taking complicated and space-wasting floor plans of early 20th century homes and opening them up with contemporary floor plans for the modern family. Among the firm’s core values are a truth to material, creating spaces that are tactile and inviting.


Costa Brown is confident in its experience with new construction, having over 1,000,000 square feet built in the last two decades. With any new construction the firm aims to make sustainability, site integration, and relationship to the human scale the primary constraints. With these constraints and countless hours of iteration, the firm hopes to create new buildings that are timeless and engaging.





Theodore Brown has been an accomplished architect for more than 40 years, with dozens of innovative, award-winning, nationally-published projects to his credit. Selected as one of the 100 foremost architects in the world by Architectural Digest magazine, Brown established his practice in San Francisco in 1976 after years in New York working with Cesar Pelli and Paul Rudolph. Over the decades, he has established a reputation for creating architecturally-significant projects as both designer and property owner, including the Dakin Building in California and the Nesbitt residence in Colorado.

Following years in New York City working with Thierry Despont and David Anthony Easton, young architect Albert Costa crossed the country and joined forces with Theodore Brown. At first, Costa immersed himself in a few key projects, including a 17-year residential project located at Lake Tahoe, acquiring a great deal of reverence for ‘sites’ and experience in craftsmanship details to carry into the next chapters of the firm. Growing up the son of a well-respected Boston architect, Costa was steeped in the values of personal connection and co-creation. As Principal, Costa deftly creates functional and inspiring built environments that maximize the properties’ potential and exceed client expectations. Often spotted atop urban buildings, Costa’s particular passion is rooftops. He believes that occupied roof gardens reconceive the ground covered by the buildings and provide open spaces to enhance a person’s joy and perspective.