Format: 2024-06
Format: 2024-06
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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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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) 



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!



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 


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.