News

Format: 2024-02
Format: 2024-02

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David Lake, FAIA and Ted Flato, FAIA Awarded 2024 AIA Gold Medal

December 2023

We are tremendously honored that David Lake, FAIA and Ted Flato, FAIA have been awarded the 2024 AIA Gold Medal.

This recognition is especially meaningful as we prepare to celebrate Lake|Flato’s 40th anniversary and reflect on four decades of place-based, sustainable and inclusive architecture. Together, David and Ted have built an enduring design practice driven by resonant and sustainable architecture, meaningful collaborations and an unwavering commitment to design excellence. From the firm’s initial ranch houses, to a breadth of work including nature centers, STEM buildings and mixed-use urban developments, David and Ted have continuously pushed the boundaries of architecture, always designing to connect people to the land. Their leadership, tenacity and significant body of work has inspired the next generations of architects within the firm and beyond.


"Through the confluence of nature, beauty, and resilience, Lake and Flato  have made sustainability exciting in a way few other architects have accomplished. The projects they envision have raised the collective consciousness surrounding our climate crisis while simultaneously captivating a broad audience with buildings that are both beautiful and sustainable. While Texas, a region grappling with unprecedented growth and climate change, seems an unlikely place for a firm focused on sustainability to thrive, they have nevertheless helped clients see architecture and sustainability as inextricably linked." - AIA Gold Medal Jury

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Architect Magazine: The Future of Sustainability

October 2023

In the latest issue of ARCHITECT magazine, Lake|Flato’s Director of Design Performance Heather Holdridge was featured as one of ten visionaries to sound off on the importance of sustainability and the significant role architects play in environmental stewardship. The latest issue features Confluence Park on the cover, which was recognized with a 2023 AIA COTE Top Ten Award, the industry’s best-known awards program for sustainable design excellence.

"Buildings are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector, including transportation and industry. This presents a great challenge to building professionals, but also a great opportunity, as we have the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce the carbon impacts of buildings. Climate change is one of the biggest threats of the 21st century and endangers national security, human health, food supply, natural ecosystems, and global economies. As stewards of this planet, architects and designers need to do our part in reducing global carbon emissions to protect our world for future generations.” – Heather Holdridge, Director of Design Performance

Click here to read the full Q+A in ARCHITECT Magazine. 

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Lake|Flato Achieves B Corp Certification

July 2023

We are proud to announce Lake|Flato has achieved B Corp certification, joining a select pool of 30 B Corp architecture firms certified across the U.S. committed to balancing financial success with positive environmental and social impact.

 

Since our founding, Lake|Flato has operated with a strong environmental and social ethos. To demonstrate accountability and further the conversation around social justice and equity, we began tracking and sharing our progress as a firm through the JUST Label offered by the International Living Future Institute. As a continuation of our commitment to equity and accountability, Lake|Flato underwent the rigorous process of pursuing B Corp certification. In June 2023, we became the first Texas-based architecture firm to become a certified B Corporation.

What is B Corp?

B Corp is a global, third party-verified certification that evaluates not only a product or service but also the positive impact of the company itself. Certified corporations – known as B Corps – are global businesses who have met high, defined standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

How did we do it?

The certification process, overseen by the nonprofit B Lab, is rigorous and typically takes multiple years. Certification assesses the impact of a company's business model on five categories: workers, community, environment, customers and governance. To achieve certification, a B Corp must: 

  1. Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or more. According to B Lab, the median score is 55. Lake|Flato achieved a score of 104.9.
  1. Exhibit transparency by allowing their performance to be measured against B Lab’s standards and be made publicly available online.
  1. Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.

These steps demonstrate that a B Corp is following a fundamentally different governance philosophy than a traditional shareholder-centered corporation. To encourage continuous improvement and long-term resiliency, B Corps are are required to undergo the verification process every three years.

Why did we do it?

Key to improving environmental and social commitments is the continuous act of tracking, recording and benchmarking data. Our journey has allowed us to evaluate where we are internally and compare our impact with organizations around the world and across many different industries.

 

The B Corp community currently includes over 6,500 certified companies in more than 80 countries working across more than 150 industries. By joining the global B Corp community and holding ourselves accountable to these high standards of verification and transparency, we aspire to serve as a model for other firms and contribute solutions to the pressing environmental and social challenges we face as a society.

 

Click here to read more about our process for pursuing and achieving B Corp.

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Lake|Flato Recognized in 2023 Best of Practice Awards

July 2023

We are honored to be recognized by the Architect’s Newspaper with a 2023 Best of Practice Award! The Best of Practice Awards honor firms of all sizes working in all regions, with criteria ranging from culture in the workplace to sustainable design practice. Lake|Flato was recognized as the Best of Practice - Architect (XL Firm) in the Southwest region. This year’s winners offer a snapshot of innovation and excellence in architecture practices across the country.  

 

For details on the Best of Practice Awards, click here.

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2023 Texas Society of Architects Design Awards

May 2023

Each year, the Texas Society of Architects recognizes design excellence among outstanding architectural and urban design projects. We are honored to announce Verde Creek Ranch and the Will Smith Zoo School are among Texas Society of Architects' 2023 Design Award recipients!   

 

Verde Creek Ranch acts as a haven tucked between the tall Cypress trees along the creek and the rocky hillside, blending seamlessly into the natural landscape. The home’s structures are pushed to the edges and spaced apart, maintaining the original experience of walking into a hidden clearing. Cypress wood siding used throughout will weather naturally while local Lueders limestone anchors the home against the hillside. The outdoor walkways and porches offer views to the neighboring creek and are the best place to catch a cool Texas breeze. 

 

The Zoo School is the largest nature-based preschool and the first LEED Platinum Certified preschool in the country. The school uses nature as the thread that ties together the school's philosophy, pedagogies, building design, and outdoor spaces. Students spend at least half of their school days outdoors, with a percentage of that time spent at the adjacent San Antonio Zoo learning about wildlife conservation. 99% of regularly occupied spaces have quality views to the outdoors, 89% of structural walls, floors, and the roof were adaptively reused from an existing building, and 17% of electricity costs are offset by a solar PV array.

 

For more details: 2023 TxA Design Award recipients 

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Announcing Lake|Flato's 2023 Advancements

May 2023

We are thrilled to announce 26 well-deserved promotions within our firm, including a new Associate Partner. As architects, designers, environmental stewards and community advocates, each has committed thoughtful leadership that drives our practice and advances our work together as a firm. Please join us in congratulating these individuals for their passionate commitment to design excellence!

 

Associate Partner

Vicki Yuan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

 

Associates

Grace Boudewyns, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Evan Morris, AIA LEED AP BD+C 

Daniel Mowery, AIA LEED AP BD+C 

 

Associate, Director of Urban Design & Planning 

Justin Garrison, AIA, AICP

 

Project Architects

Ben Hartigan, AIA

Jeff Olivares, LEED AP BD+C

Garrett Jones, AIA

Jef Snyder, AIA

 

Project Directors 

Ashley Grzywa, AIA, WELL AP, LEED Green Assoc. 

Kelly Weckman, LEED AP BD+C

Justin Ford, AIA, LEED AP

Braulio Hurtado Jr., AIA

Sean O'Brien, AIA

Allison Peitz, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP

Sarah Dede

Camille Lane, LFA

Cameron Patterson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

 

Project Designers 

Matt Cooper, AIA, LFA

Caroline Cox

Scott Needham, LFA

Prarthan "PK" Shah 

 

Design Performance Manager 

Kate Sector, LEED GA, LFA, WELL AP

 

Project Accounting Manager

Jessica Suarez

 

Contracts Manager & Scheduling Coordinator

Maria Fishback

 

Facilities Manager & Studio Coordinator

Gwen May

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AIA COTE Top Ten Awards: Confluence Park

April 2023

We are honored Confluence Park has been recognized with a 2023 AIA COTE Top Ten Award! Confluence Park, a collaboration with Matsys Design, is a living laboratory for the San Antonio River Foundation designed to provide visitors with a greater understanding of the San Antonio River watershed and the ecotypes of the South Texas region. A one-of-a-kind cultural pavilion with education at its core, the park is an intricate teaching tool that inspires visitors to become more involved with the river and practice sustainable habits by allowing visitors to learn through observation, engagement, and active participation.

“This project is both architecturally functional but also just a beautiful space where I’d want to be in.”
-2023 COTE Top Ten Jury

The pavilion geometry is inspired by “petals” imitating the form of plants that are structured to funnel dew and rainwater to their roots. These concrete petals are designed thoughtfully to sit lightly upon the land providing shade and shelter, simultaneously collecting rainwater used on site and engaging visitors to visualize the cycle of water at Confluence Park and how it relates directly to the San Antonio Rivershed.

The AIA COTE Top Ten Awards are the highest recognition for sustainable design, selecting ten innovative projects each year for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance. Lake|Flato leads the industry with 15 COTE Top Ten Awards, demonstrating our commitment to design performance & sustainability.

For details on the 2023 AIA COTE Top Ten Award recipients: 2023 COTE Top Ten Awards.

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2023 Residential Design Architecture Awards

April 2023

We are thrilled to announce that three of our projects, Verde Creek Ranch, Aegean Pool House, and Courtyard House have been distinguished as recipients of 2023 Residential Design Architecture Awards (RDAA). With nearly 400 entries in 11 categories, the 2023 Residential Design Architecture Awards honor residential work all over the country.

 

  • Aegean Pool House: Citation Award for Custom Outdoor Living Design 
  • Courtyard House: Honor Award for Custom Urban House
  • Verde Creek Ranch: Honor Award for Custom Accessory or Outbuilding & Honor Award for Custom Outdoor Living Design 

Congratulations to all of the projects and teams recognized this year! See the full list here.

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Celebrating One Year of House Zero

March 2023

House Zero is turning one!

 

One year ago, ICON and Lake|Flato revealed House Zero’s 3D-printed technology at SXSW, unveiling a new architectural language that optimizes the performance capabilities and design opportunities of 3D-printed concrete.

 

Designed to address the need for resilient housing solutions, House Zero reveals new ways to create shelter by striving for more efficiency in the waste-prone home-building process. Built for permanence and resilience, the house’s flexible plan, healthy interiors, and climate-responsive design support ever-evolving patterns of living and aging-in-place that a family experiences over the course of a lifetime. 

 

Watch the full short film “Inventing Architecture: The 3-D Printed House Zero” here.

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New San Antonio Airport Terminal Preliminary Design Plans Unveiled

March 2023

As a proud San Antonio based firm, Lake|Flato is  honored to be a part of the design team for the San Antonio International Airport’s new terminal in partnership with Corgan Inc. The preliminary design will include a 17-gate expansion, more than 850,000 square feet of new terminal space, and a landscaped, riparian paseo between the curb and terminal that references the River Walk experience and tells the story of San Antonio’s creeks and spring-fed waterways. Outdoor courtyards will showcase the Texas sun, and additional concession space will allow new shops and restaurants to thrive.

 

The airport is the doorstep to our beautiful city. The paseo, as you enter, will say you’ve arrived in San Antonio. We’re putting San Antonio on the map with every step of this much-needed project. We’re building a world-class airport to give people more options domestically and internationally.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg

 

Read more about the preliminary design here

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Tenna Florian Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

February 2023

Lake|Flato Partner Tenna Florian is one of 73 AIA members honored with elevation to the 2023 AIA College of Fellows! This prestigious honor is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to architecture and society on a national level.

Recognized for her design leadership and distinguished portfolio of work, Tenna is a leader for today but also for tomorrow. Tenna finds purpose in creating architecture that promotes environmental stewardship through high-performance design that is elegantly functional and a pure expression of what is essential and beautiful. As a leader of Lake|Flato’s Eco-Conservation Studio, she has earned a national reputation for designing well-crafted, climate responsive buildings that thoughtfully engage with the landscape and strengthen the essential bond between humans and nature. Embracing the belief that good design is about people, Tenna’s work expands the definition of sustainable design to embrace inclusion, equity, and wellness, which is not only evident in her work, but also in her civic involvement and practice leadership. Her integrated approach to architecture responds holistically to pressing environmental and social needs, setting a standard of accountability and collaboration that moves the profession towards a more just and beautiful future.

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Marine Education Center Seleted as the Winner of America by Design: Architecture

December 2022

The Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory has been named the season one winner of America by Design: Architecture, a television series produced by CBS that shines a spotlight on American architectural innovation, ingenuity, and design excellence to a broad audience. The competition brought together creative architectural projects from residences to skyscrapers, with an esteemed panel of judges comparing the merits of each. Impressed by how the Marine Education Center harmonizes with its surrounding environment through environmentally-sensitive design strategies that also support coastal resiliency and educational efforts, the judges unanimously selected the project as the season’s winner. This University of Southern Mississippi (USM) facility includes outdoor classrooms, laboratories, administration offices, assembly spaces, exhibition areas, and a pedestrian suspension bridge where researchers have an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the ecologically critical bayou and tidal wetlands of Mississippi.

 

Jessie Kastler, the Director of the Marine Education Center, hopes this recognition will encourage people to visit the center again or perhaps for the first time. “When they do visit or participate in an educational program, the recognition reinforces the concepts we teach about environmental sustainability and hazard resilience. It also brings attention to USM’s linked, multidisciplinary efforts to understand the ocean and coasts, improve coastal resilience and support the blue economy,” shares Kastler in this press release from USM.

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University of Denver Career for Career Achievement Receives LEED Platinum v.4 Certification

December 2022

A showcase of sustainability on the University of Denver campus, the Burwell Center for Career Achievement recently received LEED Platinum v.4 certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Each layer of the building provides functionality for students and alumni, comprehensively integrating Career Advising and Advancement initiatives across the building’s three floors. Designed in collaboration with Shears Adkins Rockmore, the Center uses 70% less energy than comparable university buildings and contributes a 62% reduction in estimated global warming potential through its all-mass timber structural system – one of the first in Colorado. A recipient of a 2022 Mayor’s Design Award for the City of Denver, the Burwell Center creates a biophilic space for students and alumni that harmonizes with the natural and built context. 

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2022 AIA San Antonio Design Excellence Awards

November 2022

We are honored to be recognized by our local AIA San Antonio chapter with 2022 Design Excellence Awards for the Holdsworth Center and Bridge House.

 

The Holdsworth Center demonstrates that "Education Holds Worth" and that educators are deserving of a place where they can grow their skills. Envisioned as a timeless destination that emphasizes a sense of community, the Holdsworth Center is a retreat for public educators that promotes reflection, thought and dialogue. As a new resource for world-class training and leadership development for Texas’ public educators, the campus thoughtfully connects users to the native landscape and neighboring Lake Austin.    

 

Bridge House is a LEED for Homes Platinum house sited next to a private ravine that connects to Houston’s greater bayous and was designed as a place of respite within the city. By building on the existing footprint, protecting existing trees, harvesting geothermal energy for mechanical systems, collecting rainwater, and storing it underground in the existing pool cavity, Bridge House minimizes its environmental impact in innovative ways. Bridge House explores the use of a variety of bridges: a raised entry walkway through the site, a hanging bridge on the second floor of the house, and a walkway from the house to outdoor amenities and is aptly named for these exterior and interior bridges. The result is an artful, original, and sustainable home set within a peaceful natural environment.  
   

Congratulations to all the 2022 AIA San Antonio Award Winners! See the full list here. 

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House Zero Named to TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2022

November 2022

Every year for over two decades, TIME Magazine editors have highlighted the year’s most impactful new products and ideas. We are proud to share that House Zero, a collaboration between ICON and Lake|Flato, has been named to TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2022.

 
Pushing the boundaries of traditional home building methods, House Zero is a demonstration project showcasing the performance capabilities of 3D printing. Designed to address the need for resilient housing solutions, House Zero reveals new ways to create shelter by striving for more efficiency in the waste-prone home building process. Built for permanence and resilience, the house’s flexible plan and climate-responsive design supports ever-evolving patterns of living and aging-in-place that a family experiences over the course of a lifetime.

 
TIME’s list of Best Inventions features 200 groundbreaking inventions including life-mapping artificial intelligence, diamonds made from excess carbon in the air, and the most powerful telescope ever – inventions that are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible. We’re proud to be among this list of innovators.


See the full list of TIME Best Inventions of 2022: TIME Magazine Best Inventions of 2022

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2022 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards

November 2022

We are honored that three of our projects, the Holdsworth CenterMarfa Ranch, and Hotel Magdalena have been recognized with 2022 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards. These awards honor the best nationally and internationally significant new buildings, landscape architecture, and planning projects designed and built by the world’s leading architects.

 

The Holdsworth Center is a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated to the training and leadership development of Texas public educators demonstrating that "Education Holds Worth" and that educators deserve a place where they can grow their skills. Designed to encourage feelings of health and wellness, 84% of the site is dedicated to beneficial open spaces that also support water, wildlife, and ecological conservation. This living-learning programming thoughtfully connects visitors to the native landscape and neighboring Lake Austin in a healthy, sustainable, and resilient campus setting. 

 

Situated amongst the vast west Texas skies, majestic mountains, and active desert landscape, Marfa Ranch reflects Marfa’s unique environment and its artistic community. Embracing its ever-changing desert landscape by having the rooms centered around the courtyard, the structures connect users to the surrounding landscape. The house is built of two-foot-thick walls of rammed earth, placing regional materials at the forefront as a nod to how the area’s earliest structures were built while creating a high thermal mass ideal for Marfa’s climate.

 

Hotel Magdalena is an inviting oasis situated in one of Austin's most beloved neighborhoods. Its deeply shaded porches, inviting outdoor spaces and lushly planted terraces were thoughtfully designed to draw guests outdoors, connecting them with the courtyards and landscape. The result is a unique experience that pays homage to Hill Country Lake houses and the slopes of natural artesian springs in the region, where Texans have historically sought relief from the harsh summer heat. The Hotel has become a showcase of innovative design, sustainability, and sense of place within its urban environment. 

 

Click here to learn more about the 2022 American Architecture Awards.  

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Trinity University Celebrates Grand Opening of Dicke Hall

October 2022

We recently celebrated the grand opening of Trinity University’s Dicke Hall, the first mass timber higher education building in San Antonio. Combining beauty and design performance with a unique structural system, Dicke Hall reduces the building’s impact on the environment while expressing the university’s forward-looking commitment to innovation in liberal arts education and environmental stewardship. The craft of the building’s mass timber structure pays homage to the campus’s mid-century modern design heritage, extending Trinity’s tradition of sustainable building into the 21st century by incorporating the latest green solutions, sustainability practices, and construction methods.

Dicke Hall’s sustainability features include a combination of passive and active system strategies that, based on projected data, will result in an estimated 90% energy savings over baseline expectations for a building of this type. By using mass timber, Dicke Hall reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption while modeling responsible stewardship of the environment. The carbon sequestered by Dicke Hall’s mass timber structure is equivalent to 374 acres of U.S. forest land for one year. 98% of regularly occupied spaces have access to daylight and views to the outdoors, creating a vibrant, productive environment for Trinity’s home for the humanities

We were honored to be a part of the Trinity University Dicke Hall team with Turner South Texas, Rialto Studio, Integral Group, DCI Engineers, Intelligent Engineering Services, Datum Engineers, Martin/Martin, Inc., Design Think Consulting and Studio Lumina. 

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Join us at the 2022 AIA National Conference

June 2022

We are thrilled to be participating in the 2022 AIA Conference on Architecture in Chicago. Please join us for the following sessions: 

 

Building Design Cultures for Climate Action: Technology, Workflows & Teams

Wednesday, June 22 | 12 - 1:30 p.m. | McCormick Place, Room S404

Speakers: Dan Stine, AIA (Lake|Flato); Mark Herter, AIA (Centerbrook Architects & Planners); Jack Rusk (EHDD Architecture); Misha Semenov, AIA (Centerbrook Architects & Planners)

 

Lessons from Post-Occupancy Energy Evaluation

Thursday, June 22 | 2-3:30pm | McCormick Place, Room 2404

Lake|Flato Speakers: Sam Rusek, Assoc. AIA; Sunnie Diaz, AIA; Kate Sector, Assoc. AIA; Gus Starkey

 

Performing Beautifully: The COTE Top Ten Awards

Friday, June 24 | 2:00-3:30pm | McCormick Place, Room S105

Speakers: Lewis McNeel, AIA (Lake|Flato); Margaret Cavenaugh, AIA (Studio Gang); Betsy del Monte, FAIA (Cameron MacAllister Group); Billie Faircloth, AIA (KieranTimberlake/COTE) 

 

ILFI Just Label: Transforming Your Company with Transparency

Saturday, June 25 | 8:30 - 9:30am | McCormick Place, Room S102

Speakers: Heather Holdridge, Assoc. AIA (Lake|Flato); Amy Gilbertson, FAIA (Trivers) 

 

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Announcing our 2022 Firm Advancements

June 2022

We are excited to announce our firm’s 2022 promotions, including five new Partners and three Associate Partners. Our growing next generation of leaders will continue to carry out Lake|Flato’s commitment to thoughtful architecture that responds to both human and environmental needs. Please join us in congratulating our staff for their passionate commitment to design excellence!

 

Partners 

Adrianna Swindle, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C 

Chris Krajcer, AIA, NCARB 

Joseph Benjamin, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

Matt Wallace, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

Todd Wascher, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

 

Associate Partners 

Graham Beach, AIA 

Laura Kaupp Jensen, AIA 

 

Chief of Operations 

Scott Lelieur, AIA 

 

Project Architects 

Jenna Steinbeck, AIA, IIDA 

Melina Phillips, AIA, LEED AP 

Sunnie Diaz, AIA, LEED AP 

 

Project Directors 

Cameron Goldsmith 

Casey Nelson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Dan Carter, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

James Thoreen, Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

John Taylor Schaffhauser, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

Nyssa Sherazee, AIA, LEED AP BD+C 

Sam Xu, AIA 

 

Project Designers 

Catherine St-Pierre 

Darby Prendergast, AIA, NCARB, WELL AP 

Joseph Mills, AIA 

Lindsay Belliveau 

Sameer Rayyan, LEED AP BD+C 

 

Marketing Manager 

Lyanne Guarecuco 

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Texas Society of Architects Design Awards

May 2022

We are honored that four of our projects have been recognized with 2022 AIA TxA Design Awards from the Texas Society of Architects: Courtyard House, Marfa Ranch, Hotel Magdalena and House Zero (in collaboration with ICON).

These awards are a testament to the creativity and ingenuity our design teams dedicate to our clients and the environments where we work. We are deeply grateful for the recognition. Congratulations to all 2022 honorees! To learn more about the 2022 Texas Society of Architects Design Award recipients, click here.