Faculty portfolios

Michael Willis

Biography 

Michael Willis founded MWA Architects Inc. in 1988 and serves as a principal. MWA has built a national reputation for creating thoughtful and comprehensive design solutions for numerous municipal clients throughout California and the West, and for neighborhood revitalization projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Memphis. Those projects include several transit-oriented development projects that combine housing at transit stations, including a recent study for a housing site at the MWA-designed Central Subway Yerba Buena/Moscone Station for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

In infrastructure, Willis has served as principal on large public projects for transportation, water treatment, and municipal-level electrical distribution, including the current Oakland International Airport Terminal 1, the New International Terminal at San Francisco Airport, and several others.

Notable water projects include the ongoing 55-acre Southeast Plant Digester Project, a redesign of San Francisco's largest wastewater treatment plant; master planning and architectural design services for the Joseph Jensen Water Treatment Plant Oxidation Retrofit Program, a 750 mgd facility in Granada Hills, California; master plan design guidelines and architectural services for the Robert B. Diemer Filtration Plant, a 500 mgd facility in Yorba Linda, California; and several water quality testing labs. Willis has presented papers to WateReuse Conference, the American WaterWorks Association, several universities, and to San Francisco's Green Festival. He has been principal for three new electrical substations for San Francisco's municipal utility.

Willis served as president of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASF) in 1995. He was elevated to Fellowship in 1996. He chaired the AIA Professional Interest Area national council, served on the AIA Regional and Urban Design Committee, was a juror for the 2005 AIA Austin and AIA New England Design Awards, and served as the chair for the 2005 AIA Urban Design Awards. Willis also served as a juror for "Designing Recovery," an ideas competition for rebuilding sustainable and resilient post-disaster communities.