Overview

San Antonio has a storied and still-evident past, as well as a dynamic and bright future — two lucky realities that the city’s many innovative and active architects and designers must always keep in mind. The seat of Bexar County and the seventh most populous metro area in the country, San Antonio is a fast-growing military town with a romantic Spanish Mission past that is still celebrated. San Antonio is also a national leader in urban revitalization and creative historical preservation. The best architects in the city are exploring the relationships between the old and the new, using cutting-edge techniques, materials, and technologies while working hard to preserve the city’s unique cultural touchstones and built memories.

Top Architects and Designers

10
Chesney Morales Partners

Featured Principals:
Mac Chesney
Richard Morales

Awards:
Associated Builders & Contractors Excellence in Construction Award

Address:
4901 Broadway, Suite 250, San Antonio, TX 78209

Contact:
210-828-9481
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About Chesney Morales Partners

Founded in 1977 by Principals Mac Chesney and Richard Morales, Chesney Morales Partners has worked on many hospitals, clinics, and other medical buildings within San Antonio, throughout Texas, and around the country. The company is also known for its civic projects, restaurants, schools, and homes. Chesney Morales Partners’ major projects in the San Antonio metro area include buildings for the University of Texas at San Antonio and the San Antonio Medical Center. The firm has received an Associated Builders & Contractors’ Excellence in Construction Award for its renovation of the historic Playhouse San Antonio.

Featured Projects

Chesney Morales designed the City of San Antonio Fire Station 51, an up-to-the-minute “green” fire station with solar power, extra-efficient insulation, daylighting, and other sustainable touches. The firm used recycled materials to build the station and installed specially glazed windows to cut down on heat gain. The projected Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building has a community room, dorms, offices, and ambulance bays. The firm also worked on the redesign and expansion of a favorite local landmark in San Antonio: The Bakery Building on Broadway. Chesney Morales worked with another local firm to remodel, expand, and repurpose the historic Butterkrust Bakery building, originally built in 1941. The project completely retrofitted and modernized the facilities to be more energy efficient for its mixed-use tenants, adding a three-story, 34k-square-foot expansion and a two-story, 33k-square-foot expansion onto the historic structure.

9
Robey Architects

Featured Principals:
Thom Robey

Awards:
AIA San Antonio Design Award,
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choice Award,
National AIA Citation Award

Address:
314 E. Commerce Street, Suite 103, San Antonio, TX 78205

Contact:
210-224-6900

About Robey Architects

Robey Architects has designed singular education, civic, library, recreation, health care, and residential spaces, and is dedicated to using “low-impact” and recycled materials, energy efficient and sustainable techniques, as well as historic conservation and renovation. Principal and founder Thom Robey opened the firm in 2007 after 16 years as managing partner with Sprinkle Robey Architects. Robey received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston. The firm’s work has been featured in Dwell, Architectural Record Magazine, Residential Architect Magazine, and many other publications. Robey Architects has won the Design Award and Mayor’s Choice from American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Antonio, and a national AIA Citation Award, among others.

Featured Projects

Robey Architects designed the Holy Spirit Convent for the Sisters of the Holy Spirit Mary Immaculate, a 46k-square-foot replacement for 90-year-old building. The new building features green design techniques like air conditioning condensate collection and reuse, natural light and ventilation, and energy-efficient building technologies. The firm created a stylish, comfortable, and modern facility for the 60 sisters, which includes exercise areas, offices, and a chapel. The firm also worked on the Cyprus Student Campus Center for Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, a 56,814-square-foot, three-story building with a dining area, bookstore, computer labs, a community room, and a fantastic gathering place under a shade structure that looks out on a lake. The whole structure is open and airy, and conducive to learning and sharing.

8
Alamo Architects

Featured Principals:
Billy Lawrence
Mike McGlone
Mike Lanford

Awards:
Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award,
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choice Award

Address:
1512 S. Flores, San Antonio, TX 78204

Contact:
210-227-2612

About Alamo Architects

Alamo Architects has worked on many civic and state university projects in San Antonio and throughout Texas. Founding Principal Irby Hightower graduated from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and spent time in New York before dedicating himself to San Antonio. A local leader in urban design, Hightower helped realize the popular San Antonio Riverwalk as a longtime member of the River Oversight Committee. The firm’s other founding principals — Billy Lawrence, Mike McGlone, and Mike Lanford — also graduated from UT Austin and spent time in New York. The firm has won awards from AIA San Antonio and the Architecture Firm Award from Texas Society of Architects.

Featured Projects

Alamo Architects has designed a state-of-art, forward-looking STEM education building for University of Texas at San Antonio. The Science and Engineering Building is a 148,250-square-foot, four-story work-in-progress that the firm is working on with TreanorHL. It will include classrooms, offices, and labs and is scheduled to be complete in 2020. With the celebrated international firm Adjaye and Associates, Alamo Architects is also working on Ruby City, a 14k-square-foot art museum scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018.

7
Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects

Featured Principals:
Gabriel Durand-Hollis
William G. Rupe
Alicia Trevino

Awards:
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choice Awards

Address:
14603 Huebner Road, Building 18, San Antonio, TX 78230

Contact:
210-308-0080
office@dhrarchitects.com

About Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects

Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects has been working in San Antonio for about 30 years and has put its distinctive stamp on the city with both new designs and historic remodeling. President and Principal Gabriel Durand-Hollis, an AIA fellow, graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Texas at Austin in 1981. Principal William G. Rupe, who has been an architect for 50 years, graduated from UT Austin in 1953. Vice President Alicia Trevino is the firm’s director of interior design and is a past president of AIA San Antonio. Durand-Hollis Rupe has been honored with the AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choice Award and many others.

Featured Projects

One of Durand-Hollis Rupe’s more interesting designs was for the Scobee Education Center at Alamo College, a $12M, 22k-square-foot space-education center named for Dick Scobee, an astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger disaster. With blue towers and silver domes for its telescopes, the playful building recalls something out of Star Trek and is the perfect style for inspiring imaginative trips to the cosmos. The firm worked with local fellow architects Lake|Flato on the remodeling and reuse of the Full Goods Warehouse, part of the Pearl Brewery Redevelopment Master Plan to revitalize an inner-city neighborhood with green and sustainable design practices. The 67k-square-foot, $9M mixed-use development is a gathering place for the local community and a model for revitalization, keeping the history of the neighborhood alive while updating it with sustainability and a modern style.

6
Ford, Powell & Carson Architects & Planners

Featured Principals:
Chris Carson
Carolyn Peterson

Awards:
Texas Historical Commission Award for Preservation of Historic Architecture,
San Antonio Conservation Society Building Awards

Address:
1138 E. Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Contact:
210-226-1246
info@fpcarch.com

About Ford, Powell & Carson Architects & Planners

Ford, Powell & Carson Architects has contributed mightily to San Antonio’s built environment since it opened in the 1930s, designing and restoring such legendary local structures as the Tower of the Americas and Trinity University. The firm has seven principals, including two AIA fellows. One of them, Chairman Chris Carson, has a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington and is dedicated to green design. Partner and Principal Carolyn Peterson, also an AIA Fellow, is a renowned expert in historic restoration and has worked on the Alamo Mission. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and received the Texas Historical Commission Award for Preservation of Historic Architecture. The firm has received numerous honors, including from the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Texas Society of Architects.

Featured Projects

The South Texas Heritage Center at the Witte Museum is an intricate combination of historic restoration and a new, modern design. With lots of windows and light, the center melds perfectly as an addition to an Beaux-Arts building and with the natural setting of Brackenridge Park on the San Antonio River. The building has fantastic views of the river, an overhanging roof for shade, and UV filtering windows. One of the firm’s recent historic preservation projects is the renovation of the Plaza de Armas Renovation, a complex of four historic buildings built in the late 19th century that the firm is completely remodeling and revitalizing to house government offices, television studios, and retailers.

5
Overland Partners

Featured Principals:
Timothy B. Blonkvist
Robert L. Shemwell
Richard M. Archer
Madison Smith

Awards:
Texas Society of Architects Firm of the Year,
AIA Design Citation of Honor

Address:
104 E. Jones Avenue #104, San Antonio, TX 78215

Contact:
210-829-7003
peopleandprojects@overlandpartners.com

About Overland Partners

Opened in 1987, Overland Partners has built unique and important structures all over Texas and the world, including museums, university buildings, visitors centers, corporate headquarters, and private homes. The firm has won more than 200 local, national, and international design awards. Overland has been named one of Architect magazine’s Top 50 firms and a Top 50 sustainable design firm. They have also received Firm of the Year honors from the Texas Society of Architects. Focused on combining technology, high aesthetics, and cutting-edge sustainability techniques, Overland is led by Founding Principal and Chairman of the Board Timothy B. Blonkvist, an AIA fellow and renowned architect. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Architecture, Blonkvist also held a fellowship in urban planning at the Royal Danish Academy. Principal Robert L. Shemwell, also an AIA fellow, has a sustainable design focus and earned his Master of Architecture from University of Texas at Austin. Other principals include AIA Fellow Richard M. Archer, and Madison Smith, both graduates of UT Austin.

Featured Projects

Overland has done a lot of work for the San Antonio Museum of Art over the years, and perhaps the most memorable is the Asian Art Wing, a 13k-square-foot modern glass module attached to the stately old museum, which added a new look to the local institution, while referencing the styles of the art collection the building was designed to hold. The addition won an AIA Design Citation of Honor. In nearby Austin, the firm designed a new Liberal Arts Building for the University of Texas: a 212k-square-foot, LEED Gold Certified structure meant to connect the campus’ other liberal arts departments and create a sense community. Interestingly, the architects thought ahead 100 years down the road, designing the building to not only last beyond that, but also making the faculty offices easy to retrofit and change as the college and the world at large change. An inviting community space with glass walls to encourage interaction between professors and students, the building won an AIA San Antonio Design Merit Award and a Design Award from the American Society of Landscape architects.

4
Marmon Mok Architecture

Featured Principals:
Stephen R. Souter
William Reeves

Awards:
Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence,
AIA San Antonio Honor Award

Address:
700 N. St. Mary’s Street #1600, San Antonio, TX 78205

Contact:
210-223-9492
info@marmonmok.com

About Marmon Mok Architecture

Major contributors to San Antonio’s beloved and city-defining Riverwalk, Marmon Mok Architecture is focused on urban development and historic preservation. Among numerous local and national awards, the firm has won the Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence and the AIA San Antonio Honor Award. Managing Partner Stephen R. Souter, an AIA fellow, joined the firm in 1971 after graduating from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Architecture. Partner William Reeves joined the firm in 1980 and is now project director and design leader. A past president of the Texas Society of Architects, Souter has a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University.

Featured Projects

One of the more high-profile projects the firm has worked on in recent years is the historical rehabilitation and renovation of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts along the Riverwalk. The large center was first built in 1926, but fell vacant for many years. Working with other firms, Marmon Mok helped to add a new 183k-square-foot facility onto the locally cherished Spanish Colonial building, while covering the whole structure in an arresting “metal veil.” The $150M new center includes a 1,768-seat performance hall and adds a new light to the San Antonio skyline. Also in the Riverwalk area, the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Expansion had Marmon Mok teaming with other firms for a $325M remodel of the convention center into a state-of-the-art LEED Silver economic development attraction, with large open courtyards connecting the center with the Riverwalk.

3
Fisher Heck Architects

Featured Principals:
Lewis Fisher
Jim Heck

Awards:
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choirce Award

Address:
915 South Saint Marys Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Contact:
210-299-1500

About Fisher Heck Architects

Opened in 1982, Fisher Heck is a leading local firm focused on urban revitalization and designing religious spaces. The firm is a local leader in sustainable design, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation. While Fisher Heck has worked on more than 150 church and church-related projects, the firm has also worked on hotels, retail spaces, and infill projects, among other endeavors. Lewise Fisher leads the firm as president and principal. A passionate urbanist, he received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Jim Heck serves the firm as senior vice-president and principal. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture, Heck has been designing buildings in Texas since 1976 and is a past president of AIA San Antonio.

Featured Projects

On the most beautiful of Fisher Heck’s many church projects is the the Saint Anthony Claret Catholic Church, which is called the “Church in the Clouds” because it sits resplendent on the highest point around San Antonio. Clearly designed to evoke the sacred in nature, the nave faces large windows with clear and pure views of the natural setting, and the elegant wood ceilings and warm interiors create an atmosphere both safe and inspiring. Fisher Heck won several historic preservation awards for its restoration of an old Knights of Pythias building in the quaint 19th century small town of Cuero, Texas. This 13.1-square-foot preservation and expansion project for the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum is seen as an important step in the the resurgence of the town’s downtown.

2
Munoz & Co.

Featured Principals:
Henry R. Muñoz
Geoffrey S. Edwards

Awards:
ENR Best of the Best Regional Award,
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choice Award,
AIA San Antonio Honor Award

Address:
1017 N. Main, San Antonio, TX 78212

Contact:
210-349-1163
info@munoz-co.com

About Munoz & Co.

With an interest in promoting community awareness and cultural identity through its design work, Munoz & Co is one of San Antonio’s oldest and most innovative architecture firms. Principal and CEO Henry R. Muñoz joined the firm in 1983 and has since become a leader in historic and cultural preservation. Muñoz has won many local and national awards, and he sits on the Smithsonian Institute’s National Board. Principal and COO Geoffrey S. Edwards joined in 1984. He graduated from the Graduate Architecture Program at the University of Texas, Austin. He has lectured at Trinity University and his work has been featured in Architectural Record, Architecture, and other publications. Muñoz & Co. won an Honor Award from AIA San Antonio and from the National Trust For Historic Preservation.

Featured Projects

Muñoz and Co. worked on the $51.2M, 155k-square-foot expansion of the Academic Learning and Teaching Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, keeping costs for the school down while creating a distinctive and efficient structure that serves as a clinical-education center for the large medical school. The firm also took an old drive-in in San Antonio’s south side and built the inspiring District 3 Mission Branch Library. Near the historic Mission San Jose, the building nods to its “cultural precedent,” incorporating ideas suggested by the historic and storied complex. The building’s sloping roof provides shade and cuts down on heat gain, and it helps collect rainwater for landscaping. The stylish and welcoming library, with its big windows and courtyards, has become a favorite community gathering place. It won the Honor Award from AIA San Antonio was honored by the national AIA and the American Library

1
Lake|Flato

Featured Principals:
Ted Flato
David Lake

Awards:
Global Award for Sustainable Architecture,
AIA Firm of the Year,
AIA San Antonio Design Award

Address:
311 Third Street #200, San Antonio, TX 78205

Contact:
210-227-3335
marketing@lakeflato.com

About Lake|Flato

Pioneers in sustainable design and urban renewal, Lake|Flato has made a deep and indelible mark on San Antonio since the firm opened in 1984. The founders and principals are Ted Flato and David Lake, both AIA fellows and renowned architects. The 89-person firm has won numerous awards, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and AIA’s Firm of the Year award. Architect Magazine has placed the firm in the Top 10 of its annual Top 50 list, and Fast Company has called it one the Top 10 most innovative architecture firms in the world. Dedicated to creating healthy spaces while saving energy and resources, Lake|Flato has played a large role in the ongoing urban revitalization in San Antonio and nearby Austin, where the firm has a second office.

Featured Projects

Lake|Flato designed a new brewery and tasting room complex for Alamo Beer near San Antonio’s Historic Hays Street Bridge. The rust-colored, prefab, corrugated metal buildings reference the old bridge and the industrial past of the neighborhood. The buildings feature large front windows and glass doors and face a spacious outdoor patio for beer-tasting and live music. This 18k-square-foot facility won the AIA San Antonio Design Award. The firm also worked on the 174k-square-foot, $100M remodel of the Witte Museum, an important local museum built in the 1920s along the San Antonio River. Lake|Flato did the master plan and designed a welcoming and open glass-walled entryway, lobby, and retail space with a nod to regional history.

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