Michael Watkins Architect, LLC is an urban design and architecture firm dedicated to designing and implementing a walkable, lasting, and beautiful public realm that fosters community. Watkins founded the firm in 2007 when he left his position of Director of Town Planning with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. While with DPZ he established their Washington, D.C. office in 1988 to serve as Town Architect for Kentlands, a 352-acre neo-traditional neighborhood northwest of Washington, D.C. Under his direction, the work of DPZ’s DC office grew to include projects throughout the U.S. and abroad. Likewise, the work of Michael Watkins Architect extends throughout North and South America and includes a wide variety of projects: working with existing communities to rediscover and promote the cultural heritage of their built environment and assisting developers by planning new sustainable communities and neighborhoods.
Current projects include the design of neighborhoods, hamlets and town extensions, preparation of design guidelines and zoning ordinances, town architect services for TNDs, and leading and participating in urban design charrettes. MWA frequently collaborates with other leading new urbanist firms, among them are Urban Design Associates, TortiGallas and Partners, Placemakers, Dover Kohl & Partners, and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
Watkins is one of several contributing co-authors of DPZ's SmartCode, a zoning ordinance that legalizes the development of traditional neighborhoods. He edited and produced A Guidebook to Old and New Urbanism in the Baltimore / Washington Region. Watkins and his staff speak on the subject of traditional architecture and urban design at universities and conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Watkins is a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, the New Urban Guild, the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows, the National Town Builders Association, and the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows.