Barbara Bestor and Jennifer Siegal: Two Quintessentially Californian Architects

Next month, the Southern California Institute of Architecture is honoring two women who are pillars of the Los Angeles architecture community.

Barbara Bestor


Next month, SCI-Arc will recognize two alumni for their significant achievements in the industry: Barbara Bestor (left) of Bestor Architecture and Jennifer Siegal (right) of the Office of Mobile Design. A look at the work of each is like a tour through contemporary Southern California architecture; both women embrace simple, affordable modernism, a trend that has made the region a leader in sustainability and prefabricated environments.

Bestor’s work, known for its warm, modern materials and colorful airy interiors, includes a wide range of commercial and residential projects.


Floral drapes separate diners from a parking lot at LOU, a wine bar in a Hollywood strip mall.



A beachy, surf-inspired retail store for QuikSilver’s women’s brand Roxy.

Glendower House

The Glendower House, which is tucked into a hill in L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood, just below Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis-Brown House.


The terrace at Bestor’s own house in Los Angeles, which has been adapted from a dilapidated cabin built in the 1920s.

Bohemian Modern, Living in Silverlake

Bestor is the author of Bohemian Modern, Living in Silverlake (Harper Collins, 2006), dedicated to the informal and eccentric modernism found in the Los Angeles neighborhood.

Siegal works with sustainable portable, convertible, and mobile concepts, and is best known for her series of prefabricated communities that have sprung up throughout Southern California. (She was also featured in our 2006 Master of Design issue.)

Take Home

The Take Home is a line of three-bedroom courtyard homes in a Desert Hot Springs development, adjacent to a 1947 John Lautner hotel.


The ECO LAB, an 8-foot-by-35-foot trailer, travels throughout Los Angeles County to inform K-12 school-aged children about the importance of saving and
protecting the planet.

Haagen-Dazs mobile

A dynamic ice cream bar/film screening environment is deployed to serve all Haagen-Dazs film, fashion, and music events.

Prefab ShowHouse


OMD’s Prefab ShowHouse showcases ideas of prefabrication, flexibility, portability, and compact spaciousness in a steel frame structure measuring 12 feet by 60

More Mobile: Portable Architecture Today

More Mobile: Portable Architecture Today was published in 2008 and highlights freewheeling alternative solutions to permanent structures.


About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato