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Meet Gregory Walker of Houser Walker Architecture

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gregory Walker.

Gregory, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My path to architecture came late, after I’d been in college for two years and realized my plans to become a doctor were not going to pan out. I spent a summer in California working construction on a church and kept thinking the whole time ‘why is the design like this? Why isn’t there a window right here?” And in that questioning, I realized that I was designing. When I got back to the school the next year, I applied to Auburn’s architecture program and fell in love with being an architect.

Since that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to complete graduate studies at Harvard, have the opportunity to teach at my alma mater, Georgia Tech, and the University of Arkansas. And, while I was working for some great firms in Boston and Atlanta, the idea of opening a firm was simmering in the back of my mind. Eventually, that’s led to opening Houser Walker Architecture with Hank Houser in 2005, We’ve been running hard ever since.

Has it been a smooth road?
In so many ways, my overall path has felt organic. There’s always the tension of setting high goals and expectations and not always meeting them, but I feel very fortunate to be in the position that I am.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Houser Walker Architecture story. Tell us more about the business.
Houser Walker Architecture was founded to create architecture that engages communities. We do that through our civic buildings – public libraries in Toco Hills and Palmetto Georgia projects at several universities, churches, museums, foundations, etc.

It’s not always glamorous work and we don’t end up in may of the local glossies, but we’re deeply dedicated to creating a better community in Atlanta and the southeast. I don’t know of any other firm here that has such a concentrated focus on public work. What we’re most proud of are the people who’ve come to work with us, as well as our clients, collaborators, and fabricators. We love the process and the people behind the making.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
When I served as the President of the American Institute of Architects Georgia (architecture’s professional organization) in 2015, I was asked this question frequently. What I see happening is a greater blurring of disciplinary lines and clients who are looking for more integrated, data-driven solutions.

Our traditional role as the client’s neutral advocate in the building process is being supplemented by program managers, contractors, and others who don’t carry the same responsibilities and architect does regarding health, safety, and welfare of the public at large. What we will have to do, as architects, is to continue providing the best stewardship of a client’s resources and provide an inspiring design that no one else can do as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Fredrik Brauer

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