Four people standing in front of a brick wall painted with a colorful mural.


We advocate for racial and socio-economic equity by designing spaces where all people can live happier and healthier lives. We strive to create a legacy of beautiful and sustainable architecture that positively impacts the world. We believe that the most effective designs work with their environment to promote human health and preserve our planet’s health and well-being, and each of our projects thoughtfully respond to site context and serves as a foundation for community growth.


MWA serves the essential needs of the community through innovative, thoughtful, and respectful design.


A society in which all benefit from beautiful and healthy architecture.


Four people that look happy and friendly with their arms up and big smiles.


Community: We are inclusive and cultivate connection through design
Creativity: We are smart and flexible problem solvers
Responsibility: We are attentive and seek to always do the right thing
: We are committed to work that provides value to our team, our clients, and our end users


MWA Architects stands alongside nearly 1,000 other firms as signatories of the 2030 Commitment. As architects, it is our responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the construction process, and in the operations of the buildings we design.

Check out our Sustainability Action Plan:

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M W A JUST label


We realize that good design work starts with our staff. We strive to provide a creative and innovative community and as of 2021 have achieved Just. certification, confirming this commitment. Our policies address equity and benefits for our employees, consultants, community, and planet.


MWA was founded in 1988 as a minority-owned firm. We are currently 27% minority-owned, 55% of our technical staff members are women and 42% are minorities. Our diversity is our strength. It allows us to understand, empathize, and communicate with people whose experiences differ from our own — this is essential in working with the variety of communities we engage with.

  • 1988

    Michael Willis founds Michael Willis and Associates, Architects in San Francisco

  • 1988

    Michael hires the first employee, a fresh faced Jeff McGraw

  • 1988

    Our first project, Roble Hall Architectural and Seismic Renovation on the Stanford campus

  • 1989

    Loma Prieta Earthquake shakes the Bay Area, MWA begins a series of historic restoration work

  • 1991

    MWA wins two projects, the Upper San Leandro and El Sobrante Ozonation facilities. These projects set the stage for what has become a core of our practice, public infrastructure.

  • 1993

    Begin work on the quake damaged historic Greene Library transforming it into the African American Museum & Library at Oakland

  • 1995

    Carlton Smith joins the firm

  • 1996

    Begin design of the New International Terminal Building San Francisco International Airport with Skidmore Owings & Merrill

  • 1996

    Begin design of Moscone West Convention Center Expansion

  • 1997

    MWA was the local architect working with design architect HOK Sport for the new San Francisco Giants baseball stadium, Pacific Bell Park – now AT&T Park

  • 1998

    Self Sufficiency Center at Eastmont Town Center – MWA’s first project for Alameda County –transforming a declining shopping mall into a hub for government and community services

  • 1999

    Construction completed on The Cecil Williams Glide Community House in SF, MWA would later design the Glide Pavilion, our first high rise

  • 2000

    Jeff McGraw moves from the Bay Area to establish our Portland office

  • 2002

    Begin design of the Thomas Berkley Square office building in Oakland

  • 2003

    Embark on design of the affordable New Columbia Multifamily Housing, the first of MWA Portland’s work with Home Forward

  • 2005

    Joseph Jensen Treatment Plant Ozonation Building opens, wins local AIA award

  • 2007

    LOTT Hawks Prairie Reclamation Water Plant and Water Park in Lacey, WA is completed

  • 2008

    Begin design on the rebuilding of New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina on phase one of Faubourg Lafitte Redevelopment

  • 2010

    MWA begins design on the Oak Harbor Clean Water Facility which when complete will be a key feature of this community as
    integrated civic architecture in a public park

  • 2013

    MWA turns 25 and announces that the ownership torch has been passed to Jeff and Carlton

  • 2014

    MWA wins Mayor's Award for Design Excellence, American Institute of Architects Portland for Stephens Creek Crossing – a multifamily affordable housing development in Portland

  • 2016

    Michael Willis retires from MWA

  • 2017

    MWA heralds a new era of strong leadership by announcing the addition of Amy Perez and Bill Lanning as new Principals

  • 2018

    A Milestone Year for MWA – 30 years in business and 30 years at MWA for Jeff McGraw

  • 2019

    Oak Harbor Clean Water Facility and Windjammer Park are complete. This project demonstrates that it is possible for a treatment plant to not only provide an essential service, but can be a centerpiece and point of civic pride.