WDA, Creating an Evocative Sense of Place for Residential Clients

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Founded in 1998 and located in San Francisco, William Duff Architects (WDA) finds inspiration in both the talented people who live and work in San Francisco and the region’s embrace of sustainability. The firm’s commitment to a culture that fosters curiosity, collaboration, and innovation drives its success in projects across its residential, retail, and commercial practices.
Today, WDA is sought-after by discerning residential clients attracted to the firm’s well-honed design philosophy of creating a unique sense of place. “For our residential clients, the lure of the land—whether an urban lot, a suburban parcel or rural acreage—is personal,” observes WDA residential practice leader, Jim Westover, AIA, LEED AP. He continues, “Our architectural and design response is always in harmony with the land and reinforces the connection between people and nature.”

Highlights of WDA’s residential portfolio include the following commissions:

Butterfly residence by William Duff Architects (WDA)

Butterfly House

Childhood memories of courtyard houses in India and the vernacular architecture of Ireland inspired a mixed-heritage couple’s creative wish-list for this suburban residence. Elaborating on the design concept, WDA founder William Duff says, “The big gesture is the courtyard, which fosters a sense of community, and we maximized the relationship to the land through landscaping to create a feeling of expansiveness.”

Golden Oak Residence by William Duff Architects (WDA)

Golden Oak Residence

Set on bucolic land with sweeping views of the San Francisco Peninsula, this house was designed as a place for retreat and rejuvenation, and William Duff adds, “Through architecture and design, we created an integrated experience that echoes the natural beauty of the hilltop site.”

Wheeler Residence  by William Duff Architects (WDA)

Wheeler Residence

Designed and built to reflect the homeowners’ commitment to sustainability, this house was inspired by the husband’s childhood memories of living in Colorado. William Duff, who also grew up in Colorado, and understands the state’s outdoor appeal, notes, “For this commission, we sought to capture the essence of a mountainous state like Colorado and all that it has to offer—nature, vistas and a seemingly never-ending big sky.”

For Jim Westover, whose versatile career in architecture began at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley, WDA’s wide-ranging portfolio is, ultimately, all about people. He notes, “Our residential commissions blend profound emotional connections, sometimes lasting a lifetime, to places rooted in the land.”

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