Manuel Oncina, Architect, President / Principal Designer

With 44 years of experience in architecture, design and construction, Manuel Oncina led the 36-year old firm in high quality public and private design from modest beginnings to a recognizable name in the San Diego region. Following seven years of experience in various major San Diego architectural firms, Manuel established the firm Manuel Oncina, Architect in January 1984 and incorporated in January 1998. Since then, Mr. Oncina has gathered over 30 years of experience in public and municipal projects. In 2020, Manuel decided to retire from a full practice and dedicate his energies to design. He passed the firms clients to his long-time associate and trusted friend Patrick Banning, who started his own firm Banning Architects, Inc.


A special affinity and passion for design drive Manuel’s work ethic. He thinks of every prospective project as a venue for a new vision of architecture and embraces the excitement of discovery, the perseverance of accomplishment and the challenges those goals entail to successfully complete works that are enthusiastically accepted by clients and acclaimed by the communities they serve. Manuel believes that society benefits from and is inspired by high quality architectural design. His philosophical tenets are based on providing functional, sustainable, economical and stimulating design.

Of Spanish parents, born in Morocco and schooled during the French Protectorate, he continued his education in the USA, graduating from high school in California and moving on to college in San Diego until the choice of studying architecture took him to the Université de Luminy, near Marseille, France and later the California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. The completion of his degree in 1977 culminated in a yearlong program in Florence, Italy.

Manuel is fluent in French, Spanish, Italian and English.

Patrick Banning, Architect, Principal, Banning Architects, Inc.


Patrick is a licensed Architect and Associate Partner at MOA. He joined the MOA in 2002 shortly after earning his Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Ball State University. He currently leads his own firm, Banning Architects, Inc. and manages projects large and small, from conception to completion, and has been involved in a wide range of project types including libraries, transportation, water treatment, ADA barrier removal, a fixed-seat auditorium, and the occasional residential project. He believes service to the client is of utmost importance and strives to maintain excellent working relationships throughout the project and beyond. A highly valued individual and a good friend of Manuel, Patrick is endorsed by atelier oncina.

Norma Oncina, Vice President

Mrs. Oncina co-founded Manuel Oncina Architect in January 1984. She is of primary importance in managing key administration and accounting tasks, and handles all human resources and financial aspects of the company.