Brooks Walker

Founder & Principal, RA, LEED AP
“Our goal is to create well-designed architecture that withstands the test of time. A building should feel right today, as well as 50 years from now.”

Brooks draws inspiration from various architectural styles and architects, but his greatest influence is William Wurster, admired for the simplicity and precision of his work. Like Wurster, Brooks aims to craft designs that are timeless and modern, while also integrating elements of local architectural styles and maintaining respect for the landscape.

Throughout his four decades of practice, Brooks has developed a deep expertise in both new construction and renovations. His extensive portfolio covers the West Coast and Rocky Mountains, with many notable residences and hospitality projects in the Bay Area and beyond.

My Story

Building a lasting legacy

Views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

The Greats

As a San Francisco native, I grew up surrounded by interesting architecture, and was inspired by visiting homes designed by William Wurster, Joseph Esherick, and Frank Lloyd Wright. By the age of 12, I knew I wanted to be an architect.

My great-grandmother's home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Informed Architecture

After graduating from the University of Oregon, I worked with my uncle, Sandy Walker, to enhance my skills. Soon after, I expanded my experience to include construction and real estate development before opening Walker Warner with Greg.

Childhood Inspiration

I remember Thanksgiving at the Gregory farmhouse designed by William Wurster. It was a masterclass in timeless design, referencing the local vernacular but executed with a modern touch. The proportions were just right. When approaching a ground-up design in Sonoma Ranch, I looked back to the Gregory Farmhouse for inspiration.

Renovating & Reinvigorating

We’ve taken on a few substancial remodels in San Francisco. It’s typical to go through an extensive historical review process, sometimes lasting up to 18 months. Our approach to renovations is to preserve the essence of the original architecture while transforming the building to meet today’s needs and last well into the future.

 

The renovation and addition to this 1951 Wurster residence as carefully considered to maintain a sense of the building’s original scale and providing opportunities for indoor/outdoor living.
Its newly open floor plan, increased indoor/outdoor flow, and an understated material palette evoke the best aspects of mid-century modern design.
To approach the renovation of this historic 1920s house in the city we had to, effectively, take the house down to the studs and reinforce the foundations with steel before piecing it back together again.
The old and the new had to be clearly delineated. We ended up drawing inspiration from the historic London town homes where you see the modernist interventions in contrast to the historic architecture, and it’s clear what’s what.

Art Appreciation

I’m very passionate about both art and architecture. My family has been connected to the art world for generations, and this background has given me an appreciation for artist collaborations, enabling us to create architectural designs tailored to showcase their artwork.

Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, established in 1927.
'Spoonbridge and Cherry' by Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg.
Every January, you'll find me at the San Francisco Fog Fair.

The Great Outdoors

I try to maintain an active lifestyle, and when I’m not working, I can often be found fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking, tennis, squash, and biking. As a certified private pilot, I also love escaping the city by flying to remote landscapes.

Remote Retreats

The houses we design in remote locations are all about connecting you to the site, enabling you to feel fully immersed in nature. As an outdoorsman, these projects are especially appealing to me, as they reinforce what I enjoy most about our work—the relationship between the architecture and the landscape.

Around the World

Traveling with my children has given me the gift of seeing the world through their eyes, igniting inspiration at every turn. They continually inspire me to approach life with fresh wonder and deep appreciation.

Coming Home

The more you explore, the more you come to appreciate the value of home, reminding you of what’s truly important—quality time spent together. A couple of years ago, we undertook an extensive renovation of a Joseph Esherick-designed residence, which has now become my family’s forever home.

Also worked on the next door's house for cohesive look and feel while designing for neighborly privacy.
Sharing lessons learned with the office. Being both client and architect was an interesting situation. Brings a whole new perspective.

It takes a village

Including everyone in the learning process, our team continues to expand while remaining united by our shared values. It’s a true testament to the belief that teamwork makes the dream work.

Office tour of our Tiburon Bay project.
Cheers to our amazing team.

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