The internationally recognized architecture, planning and preservation firm Page & Turnbull, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, has announced a new president, Peter Birkholz AIA, LEED AP, and the opening of a new San Jose office as the firm cements its position at the leading edge of preservation and architectural innovation.
Strengthening Page & Turnbull’s status as a diverse, multidisciplinary firm that is majority women-owned, the firm has expanded beyond its beginnings as a pioneering Bay Area force in preservation — the first in the city — to become a more frequent choice as prime architect for a range of major projects. Significant works to debut in 2022 include the Cheech Museum in Riverside, Calif., and the Glenn County Courthouse in Willows, Calif., for which Page & Turnbull serves as prime architect. Other high profile projects include the California State Capitol Annex renovation, the adaptation of the Capitol Park Hotel in Sacramento as affordable housing, and a rehabilitation of the San Jose Water Company Building to form the centerpiece of Google’s future San Jose campus.
Leading the charge will be Birkholz, a 40-year veteran of the architecture and preservation professions known widely for his expertise in prime and preservation architecture on a variety of building types, as well as in materials conservation, planning, and cultural resource assessments. “Peter’s success in resiliency and coastal projects as well as in climate change adaptation through design and preservation put him in the ideal position to carry Page & Turnbull forward,” says Ruth Todd, FAIA, who served as the firm’s president since 2020. “His work has demonstrated the value of architecture in addressing the biggest challenges society faces.”
Todd adds that with Birkholz’s initiative, Page & Turnbull — which recently achieved certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) in California — is opening a new San Jose office to serve its growing client base as it continues to expand the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento offices. She adds that Birkholz is focused on building Page & Turnbull’s commitment to being a highly inclusive business that values equity and collaboration among practitioners of wide-ranging backgrounds.
“I am honored to lead Page & Turnbull and to continue to work with Ruth and a closeknit, dynamic group of diverse professionals,” says Birkholz, who has also donated his expertise to help preserve the Waterfront Warehouse District and the Artists and Makers enclave in his hometown of Oakland. “We see a wide, bright horizon full of new and inspiring ways we can transform the built environment through design, research and technology.”
Birkholz joined Page & Turnbull in 2007 after serving as project architect while at the firm Tom Eliot Fisch. He received an architecture degree from Iowa State University in 1984 and is a registered architect in California and a LEED Accredited Professional (BD+C) by the U.S. Green Building Council. Birkholz is also a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and past chair of the Oakland Landmark Preservation Advisory Board. Major architecture and planning projects bearing Birkholz’s imprint include museums such as the Exploratorium, rehabilitated historic gems including the acclaimed Pacific Telephone Building in San Francisco, waterfront buildings such as Piers 1-1/2, 3 and 5, and mixed-use projects including Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco’s Market Square. He has led the Page & Turnbull team on the award-winning Livermore Rail Depot Renovation, and he is currently leading privately funded resiliency efforts for several piers in the National Register-listed Embarcadero Historic District, called by the National Trust for Historic Places (NTHP) "one of the most endangered” in the United States.
Birkholz is proud of his pro-bono work to rehabilitate the Oakland Monster, an acclaimed midcentury modern playground sculpture recently honored with a California Preservation Foundation Award and a radio segment on National Public Radio. Along with Birkholz and Todd, Page & Turnbull is led by three other partners: Carolyn Kiernat, AIA; Lada Kocherovsky, AIA; and John Lesak, AIA, FAPT. In addition, Page & Turnbull cofounder, principal and winner of the NTHP’s lifetime achievement Crowninshield Award, Jay Turnbull, FAIA, counsels the firm as Principal Emeritus.
“All of our staff share a mission to balance historic character with adaptive reuse, objective historic evaluation with community involvement, and complex design solutions with technical understanding of historic materials and their conservation,” says Birkholz, affirming Page & Turnbull’s brand pledge. “This is another moment of transition that opens new doors for opportunity for this creative, collaborative enterprise. We are more excited than ever about the possibilities!”