Mr. Willis founded MWA Architects Inc. in 1988 until retirement at the end of 2016. Since 2017 he has been a design consultant, and has taught at his alma mater Washington University [BA1973/M Arch 1976/MSW 1976], most currently the Spring 2020 semester.
MWA Architects has created master plans for mixed income affordable housing projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, and post-Katrina New Orleans. Michael has facilitated planning studies in St. Louis’ Downtown, North Central, and JeffVanDerLou neighborhoods.
He was principal on the International Terminal at San Francisco Airport, Terminal 2 at Oakland International; and the Central Subway Yerba Buena/Moscone Station in San Francisco, now under construction.
To “Make Water Present”, Michael was principal architect of the El Sobrante and Upper San Leandro Ozonation Facilities, the North Richmond Water Reclamation Plant, the Joseph Jensen Water Treatment Plant, and currently the rebuild of San Francisco’s major Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant adjacent to an historic Black neighborhood. In 2018 he was a panelist at the 2018 Missouri Green Building Council conference on Architecture and Infrastructure.
He is a Distinguished Washington University Alumni for the University, the School of Architecture, and the Brown School of Social Work.