Episode 32

As Built Interview with Carolyn Kiernat, AIA

Architect Carolyn Kiernat, AIA is a Principal of architecture, design, planning, and preservation firm Page & Turnbull. In her work, Carolyn strives to balance innovative new design with complex regulatory requirements for historic buildings. She has been both prime architect and preservation consultant on major adaptive reuse projects, and has been involved in such projects as the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco and the new Exploratorium at Pier 15.

As Page & Turnbull celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Carolyn shares how the firm was established largely as a reaction to the demolition and rapid redevelopment that was occurring in 1970’s San Francisco. The firm developed a “preservation, with needed change” approach that combines reuse with modern design and technology to support how people live and use spaces now. Carolyn also explains the origins and roles of the firm’s Cultural Resource Studio and Preservation Technology Studio.


  • The idea of “an architect who works on historic buildings” vs. “a preservation architect”
  • The firm’s work on the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio
  • How to work with project stakeholders who have competing views
  • The importance of being able to convey to clients where the opportunities are, especially when they aren’t always possible at first glance
  • Why the best way to preserve a building is to use it
  • The role of reuse in today’s market

Episode Resources:

Connect with Carolyn Kiernat, AIA

Connect with Brian Jones and Patience Jones

August 9, 2023

As Built Interview with Carolyn Kiernat, AIA.