Architecture is the creative combination of light, material, color, texture, form, and space, into a physical reality. We developed a set of design principles that distill our 20+ years of design output in terms of atmosphere, aesthetic and philosophy. These principles guide our team members and allow us to weave together each individual’s creativity into a cohesive Design Vision.
Each design is organized around an assertive gesture, prominent object or ordering principle that permeates the entire project with boldness and confidence.
A memorable space unfolds and reveals new elements as people move through it and their perspective shifts. We design to enhance the individual’s enjoyment of a space as they interact with it.
Elegant design feels effortless. But it takes a meticulous and iterative process to arrive at a confident and refined space where every last detail is in sync.
Great buildings, like great paintings or sculptures, are artfully composed. Our work seeks to arrange design elements into a harmonious narrative that celebrates the people, lifestyles and purpose of use.
Architecture is the sculpture and formation of space. There should be purpose in the sizing, shaping and placement of elements within and around a space to give definition to the character of the design.
Architectural warmth is the quality of a space or a building that evokes a feeling which is welcoming and uplifting. Natural materials, warm textures and attention to light and acoustics are crucial to achieving this.
Architecture should engage a broad range of senses, provoking movement, well-being, exploration and a deeper interaction with the built environment.
The essence of a design, and the power of its concept, can be accentuated through the limited and strategic number of “moves” within an architectural composition.
Craft is the care by which architecture is designed and built. Attention to craft help connects a love for the materials with the details of design so that they work together in the final composition.
Discover more with an in-depth look at WDA’s Design Vision.
Culture & Values
We’re working to make the world a better place through innovative, sustainable architecture created in a collaborative, growth-oriented environment.
Our process is designed to foster creativity, listening, honest critique and mutual respect. Whether it’s a client project, strategic planning or a design competition, we encourage broad participation across the studio. We also host discussion forums, building tours and vendor presentations to build our studio’s collective knowledge and continuously improve the way we work.
Generosity and community service are central to our culture. Team members frequently give time and expertise to community-based organizations and charitable events. In recent years, we have donated design time and resources to a range of organizations including the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Young Audiences of Northern California, LEAP, Imagine Bus, PAWS, Children of Shelters, Rebuilding Together and the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
Core Values /
We believe sharing ideas in a respectful, collaborative environment is essential to success.
We overcome challenges through unique and innovative solutions.
We conduct our work with openness, honesty and integrity.
We strive for excellence in all facets of our work.
We promote the continuous improvement of our firm, projects, processes and people.
Core Commitments /
WDA is committed to… designing distinct and timeless architecture through curiosity, creativity and continuous innovation.
WDA is committed to…infusing sustainability into every aspect of our work to help reduce the carbon and energy footprint of the built environment.
WDA is committed to…fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace and profession through partnering, hiring, education and outreach.
WDA is committed to…listening to our clients and delivering a curated experience that’s transparent, engaging and rewarding.
WDA is committed to…supporting communities by improving access to good design, enriching social connectivity and empowering individuals to thrive.
WDA is committed to…cultivating a healthy, inspiring and fun work environment that promotes professional development.
Great spaces tell a story. Materials, texture, color, proportion — all these things work together to create a narrative. We believe every space should express a point of view on what it means to live, work and gather. In each of our studio’s practice areas, we work with clients to express their values through composition, craft and refinement.
40% of annual global CO2 emissions are generated by the built environment. That makes architects essential to efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We take that responsibility seriously and are passionate about designing solutions that maximize for sustainability and resilience by taking full advantage of new advances in materials and technology.
Design communication technology has been a hallmark of our practice since day one. As we’ve grown, we’ve developed processes to source and implement new technologies that help bring ideas to life and continuously improve the way we work together. We intentionally invest in our technological capabilities so we can immerse our clients more deeply in the design process and foster a shared vision for the end product.
Design & Construction /
- Chen Design
- FORMA Construction
- Novo Construction
- XYZ Graphics
Food & Wine /
Health & Fitness /
- Bay Club
Public Sector /
- Consulate General of Ireland
- County of San Mateo PDU
- San Francisco Department of Public Works
- San Francisco Human Services Agency
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
- San Francisco Unified School District
- San Jose State University
- South San Francisco EAC
- Tuolumne Utilities District
- US Drug Enforcement Administration
Real Estate & Development /
- Five Point
- Harmonie Park Development
- Jamestown Properties
- Kivelstadt Group
- Oryx Development
Tech & Finance /
- Bank of Marin
- CBS Interactive
- Madison Square Garden Company
- Oppenheimer & Co
Press & Recognition
WDA has been recognized year after year by the industry’s leading publications and design competitions for excellence in architecture.
- Airport Experience
- Architect Magazine
- Arquitectura Diseno
- Aviation Today
- California Home+Design
- California Style
- Commercial Architecture
- Cool Hunting
- Cultured Magazine
- Custom Home
- Design Leadership Network
- Design Milk
- General Contractor Magazine
- Hospitality Design
- Hospitality Snapshots
- House and Home Magazine
- Luxe Interiors + Design
- Mansion Global
- Marin Magazine
- Metal Architecture
- Minimal Select
- Modern Luxury Silicon Valley
- Office Snapshots
- Paper City
- Patron Magazine
- Residential Architect
- Restaurant Development + Design
- Restaurant Hospitality
- Restaurant Weekly
- Robb Report
- San Francisco Business Times
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Spaces Magazine
- Sunset Magazine
- Teresa Herrero Living
- The Real Deal
- Toronto Star
- Traits d’Co
- Travel + Leisure
- Work Design Magazine
Visit our portfolio for a deeper look.