Wallis Design Studio Architects was launched in 2010 in the midst of the recession as a bold step by founder Robert Wallis. In 12 years, Wallis has steadily grown the firm, adding another licensed architect and several design staff, and offering services that span planning, design and construction phases.
The firm takes on projects throughout California in residential, municipal, education, retail, office and health care markets. “We focus on truly listening to clients,” Wallis says. “We want them to feel heard and we let that inform our approach to design and achieving their visions.”
That attention to clients’ needs is rooted in Wallis’s approach to his own team. Known for his ability to bring people together with compassionate leadership, he listens to each team member’s needs and strives to align their long-term career goals with the firm’s goals. The result is an enthusiastic company culture with passion for the job.
“We focus on truly listing to clients. We want them to feel heard and we let that inform our approach to design and achieving their visions.” – Robert Wallis, Founder
This summer, the firm will be busy in their hometown of Grass Valley, moving into their new downtown office space and beginning the city’s Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project, a pedestrian revitalization of Mill Street. “This will be an iconic placemaking project that will benefit our local community and downtown businesses,” Wallis says.
The firm is also focusing on new multifamily affordable housing, currently working with the nonprofit Hospitality House to design an apartment building through a grant process. Wallis has a long history with Hospitality House, having helped them with their original shelter in 2012 and acting as a board member and board president for years.
“Architecture is gratifying for me,” Wallis says. “There is no end to the learning involved in this work because no two projects are the same, which keeps it fresh and exciting. In addition, I’m able to meet people from all walks of life in many industries and communities and help them realize their goals through design.”