When the firms’ founder, Jack Lionel Warner, established Warner Morris & Wilson Architects in 1966 with partners James Morris and Charles Wilson, they began converting the old lemon packing house in Montecito, naming it Birnam Wood Country Club, an elegant gathering place for its members. Country clubs, golf clubs and private resorts would soon become one of the firms’ recognized specialties.
Their work at Birnam Wood soon led to other prestigious commissions including Monterey Peninsula Country Club at Pebble Beach, Annandale Golf Club in Pasadena, The Bel Air Country Club, La Jolla Country Club, The Los Angeles Country Club, The Valley Club, Sutter Club, Orinda Country Club, Del Paso Country club, and Los Altos Golf and Country Club. The firms work in country clubs and resorts has brought international commissions for resorts and vacation communities in Panama and Costa Rica.
Private estates and high-end residential commission are another of the firm’s specialties, with commissions in the most recognized California neighborhoods such as Bel Air, Manhattan Beach, Crystal Cove, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Shady Canyon, Incline Village, Laguna Beach, Abalone Point, Malibu, and Newport Beach. The Firm has also completed projects in several destination cities such as, Boston MA, Washington DC., Dallas Texas, Park City UT, Haleiwa Hawaii and Kuwait City, Kuwait.
The firm has undergone a number of name and partner changes through the years, becoming Warner & Gray in 1974 and in 1999 entered the new millennium operating as The Warner Group Architects, Inc. Thiep Cung joined the firm in 1995, specializing in high-end residential and exclusive country club projects, becoming President in 1999 and Chief Executive Officer in 2005. His past and current projects with the firm have included the Milken Residence on Lake Tahoe, a Montecito getaway for the actor Paul Hogan, the Monterey Peninsula Country Club at Pebble Beach, a 25,000 square foot ocean-view residence in Newport Coast and a private residence on the ocean in the Abalone Point/Irvine Cove community and several local Santa Barbara residences.