WDA creates innovative architecture that is responsible, sustainable and passionately delivered through great project management. Since 1998, we have specialized in retail, residential, and commercial projects throughout California and the western U.S.
We manage the building process from schematic design to the completion of construction. Long-term professional relationships with our clients, consultants and contractors make it possible for us to achieve high quality design on schedule and on budget.
Diverse interests and experiences enrich the collaboration in our studio. Individual designers draw on backgrounds in architecture, fine art, graphic design, sustainable design, and construction management to provide our clients with a full range of design services.
William S. Duff, Jr. founded WDA in 1998. He has established an innovative practice with diverse clients and commissions, and is recognized for creating responsible, sustainable modern design. His work is known for its elegant simplicity both in plan and detail, and for sophisticated use of materials, light and space to create modern architecture filled with warmth and color.
Under William’s leadership, WDA has received several design awards, and the firm’s work has appeared in multiple publications. Exploring the inherent qualities of materials, and seeking the simplest means to achieve inspiring, comfortable environments, William finds a natural confluence between modern design and sustainable building principles. This approach distinguishes his recent work.
Underlying William’s designs is a belief that architecture should respond to and reinforce the character of its surroundings, recognizing context both in form and ecology. He advocates a holistic approach to design, in which every creative decision reinforces a larger move, and the culmination of choices produces rich and highly specific architecture.
William’s work has been focused in three main areas: retail, residential, and commercial architecture. He has designed flagship stores, retail concept designs, several hundred roll-out stores, more than 50 single-family homes, many multi-family residences, and over 400,000 sq. ft. of tenant-improvement office space. Other work includes restaurants, cafes, galleries and nightclubs.
Before starting WDA, William was an Associate at Kanner Architects in Los Angeles, where he managed the firm’s retail architecture practice. His experience extends to mixed-use, commercial, academic and laboratory buildings, urban master planning, and health-care design. William received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and his Master in Construction Management from Colorado State University.
In addition to NCARB and LEED certifications, William holds architecture licenses in five states (CA, CO, AZ, OR, WI). He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, the SF Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the Marina Del Rey Design Control Board.
Jim provides direct oversight of all of WDA’s residential projects, preparing a strategy to achieve each of our client’s unique goals. He meets weekly with the firm’s project managers to review milestones, discuss technical issues and provide quality control for completed drawings. He also personally manages select high-end residential projects.
Jim is a California State Licensed Architect and a LEED accredited professional with over 26 years of experience in architecture and interiors. Prior to joining WDA, Jim had his own practice focusing on residential projects. Jim also worked for FME Architecture + Design for 17 years where he was an associate and senior project manager on a variety of projects including corporate campuses, churches, schools, gymnasiums and private residences. Jim received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley.
Jim lives in San Francisco with his wife, two daughters and two cats.
Jonathan Tsurui manages retail tenant improvements, and works as a team designer on multiple residential and retail projects. He brings his digital rendering skills to all of our practice areas.
Jonathan completed his Bachelor of Architecture with a Minor in Sustainable Environments from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Jonathan always looks for opportunities to implement sustainable principles in architecture, particularly strategies for passive heating and cooling. His interests include golf, foosball, and maintaining his humidor.
Phoebe excels at managing complex projects with large numbers of consultants and multiple decision makers. She currently works on projects in all of our practice areas, with a focus in single-family residential and commercial work. Drawing on experience creating conceptual designs and site plans for 1,000,000 SF outdoor retail centers, as well as multi-building and multi-block programs and parking layouts, Phoebe also enjoys working on intimate, small scale tenant improvements and homes.
Phoebe received her BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Previously she worked as a job captain with Field Paoli in San Francisco, managing teams working on large outdoor retail centers and civic projects. In her work, Phoebe seeks a balance between forward-thinking design and a respect for the past, between the principles of modern architecture and an aesthetic that embraces warmth and texture. She continually looks for new ways to apply sustainable principles and methods in all of her projects.
As the Retail/Commercial Studio Leader, Deborah utilizes her years of experience in the design and management of both retail and commercial development. She is skilled in quickly understanding the complete scope of each project and coordinating the various entities required. This allows her to assist her clients, manage, and execute complex projects.
A licensed Architect in both California and Tennessee, Deborah is also a LEED accredited professional. With more than 15 years’ experience in tactical leadership roles specific to retail and commercial projects, Deborah provides strategic and practical advocacy on behalf of her clients. As a trusted advisor, she assists in streamlining processes and reducing clients’ development costs.
With a background in commercial development dating back to her tenure at architectural firms in San Jose and Gap, Inc. Corporate Architecture, Deborah understands the complexities unique to retail and commercial projects. She has a track record of managing large-scale projects that involve national entities such as Target, Office Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Staples, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Books-a-Million, and many others.
Having an understanding of the intricate balance involved in commercial development enables Deborah to effectively manage and oversee the project vision and bring projects from design to exceptionally satisfactory completion. Her unique experience on the managerial and operational side of architecture allows her to see the larger picture, ensuring effective communication at each stage of development and coordinating team-focused solutions.
Deborah earned her Bachelor of Art in Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994. She lives in the wine country North of San Francisco where she enjoys the benefits and amenities of the Napa Lifestyle.