San Antonio has a lot of work to do, and it’s increasingly doing it in innovative and unique office spaces, many of them created in neglected buildings that used to house something else entirely. The city’s new officescape includes stylish workspaces set in old breweries, abandoned malls, and long-closed trailer factories. San Antonio is also deep into the coworking and collaborative office-space trend: several new and developing office projects have the potential to draw a new wave of tech startups, entrepreneurs, and creative workers to Alamo City. The architects listed here are involved in many of these projects and have been recognized by the San Antonio community.
Top Architects and Designers
Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award,
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choice Award
1512 S. Flores, San Antonio, TX 78204
About Alamo Architects
Alamo Architects is a leading San Antonio design firm that has worked on many large-scale and innovative office, civic, and university projects throughout Texas. Because of this experience, Alamo Architects has won awards from AIA San Antonio and the Architecture Firm of the Year Award from the TSA. The firm is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Alamo Architects was founded by Principal Irby Hightower who is a local leader in urban design and helped realize the popular San Antonio Riverwalk as a longtime member of the River Oversight Committee. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and spent time in New York before dedicating himself to San Antonio.
Part of the redesign and revitalization of the 1813 Rand Building in downtown San Antonio as a new tech-hub, Alamo Architects’ acclaimed Geekdom Headquarters is a 44,000 square foot coworking and collaboration office on the Rand’s 7th Floor. The owners know that the tech company may outgrow the current space and move into the 6th-floor offices as well. The co-work space is a fantastic example of a nationwide office-space trend and includes bike racks, a shower room, a napping area, and sliding glass doors that give the offices an open feeling. There are 20 offices available for tech startups, alongside conference rooms and removable wall panels to change the configuration easily. Alongside this project is the SoFlo Office Studios in downtown San Antonio, which Alamo designed for its studio and LPA’s San Antonio offices. A great example of an architecture firm that exhibits the best-designed office spaces, SoFlo Office Studios was built in an old industrial warehouse that used to manufacture trailers in the 1940s. Many of the aging materials were repurposed to create an industrial-chic: the offices feature exposed steel trusses, salvaged concrete structures, reused steel panels, and lots of natural light. It was the first LEED Silver building in San Antonio and includes rainwater collectors and two solar arrays that offset 40% of the building’s energy use.
17038 Redland Rd. Suite #101, San Antonio, TX 78247
About Architectura SA
Crafting designs focused on efficiency, Architectura SA is an architecture firm that has been serving clients in San Antonio for the past 12 years. With a lot of collective experience in design, the firm provides services for government agencies, corporations, religious groups, entrepreneurs, organizations, educational institutions, and individuals looking to design their own homes. Most of these projects are famous for being created with innovative energy-efficient design strategies and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) to protect projects from any natural disaster. One great example that resulted from this careful process is a new custom office designed for Roten & Company Insurance.
Aside from its use of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) to dramatically simplify and quicken the construction process, it has design elements unique to the client. This includes elegant corner windows that define the exterior and allows natural light to filter into the offices. Projects like these have been crafted with a team of skilled professionals and years of experience supported by associations with industry organizations like the AIA. Such designs have also gained the firm awards like the ICF Builder Magazine Award and ABC’s Excellence in Construction award.
Beaty Palmer Architects
AIA Honor Award,
SAMCA Golden Trowel Awards,
San Antonio Conservation Society Historic Preservation Award
110 Broadway, Suite 600, San Antonio, TX 78205
About Beaty Palmer Architects
Founded in 1993, Beaty Palmer Architects works on large-scale commercial, corporate, civic, and residential projects that require expertise in architecture, interior architecture, and planning. Thanks to the experience the firm has acquired over the years, the firm has won the American Institute of Architect (AIA)’s Community Impact Award, the Historic Preservation Awards from the San Antonio Conservation Society, and Downtown’s Best Awards from The Downtown Alliance. Some of its work has also been featured in Texas Architect and other publications.
The firm was founded by Principal Michael Beaty. A local architect since 1976, Beaty has worked on more than $600 million in construction projects over his many years in San Antonio and has won more than 20 awards for his designs. Beaty earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University. Architect Terry Palmer is also a principal with the firm and graduated from Texas A&M University. He joined what then became Beaty Palmer in 1994. The firm’s third principal, Cory Hawkins, received a master’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University and joined the firm in 2012.
Beaty Palmer Architects has worked on several large-scale office projects. Among these is Project Tech Class A Office building—its most recent project completed in 2017. A bilaterally symmetrical, 90,000 square foot, three-story building, it is constructed of durable, site-cast concrete panels with rich, terracotta-toned, monumental-scaled masonry. Accompanied with an approximately 60-foot tall, 30-foot diameter cylindrical glass curtain wall entrance that faces General Hudnell Drive and South General McMullen Drive, it is complemented by a lobby and core design composed of custom detailing that highlights the fusion of Spanish Colonial and Art Deco styles. Committed to “green initiatives,” this building design boasts environmentally friendly yet durable finishes that go hand in hand with energy-efficient materials and systems.
Chesney Morales Partners
Associated Builders & Contractors Excellence in Construction Award
4901 Broadway, Suite 250, San Antonio, TX 78209
About Chesney Morales Partners
Founded in 1977 by principals Mac Chesney and Richard Morales, Chesney Morales Partners has worked on several offices, hospitals, clinics, and other medical buildings in San Antonio, throughout Texas, and around the country. The company is also known for its civic projects, restaurants, schools, and homes. The firm has received Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)’s Excellence in Construction Award for its renovation of the historic Playhouse San Antonio. As a firm that has been around for several years, the firm now offers a full range of services, from architecture and interior design, to construction administration and master planning. 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.
Chesney Morales Partners contributed to San Antonio’s officescape in a big way with its 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 and be more energy efficient for its mixed-use tenants, adding a three-story, 34,000 square foot expansion, as well as a two-story 33,000 square foot expansion onto the historic structure. The firm also built the Shavano Oaks office building which exhibits a wonderful, native limestone entryway in front of a clean-lined building featuring slate tile and granite in the interior and a patio on the third floor.
Fisher Heck Architects
AIA San Antonio Mayor’s Choirce Award
915 South Saint Marys Street, San Antonio, TX 78205
About Fisher Heck Architects
A firm focused on sustainable design, infill, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation, Fisher Heck Architects has worked on several interesting office projects in San Antonio. Founded in 1982, Fisher Heck Architects has decades of experience designing, renovating, and repurposing structures. In addition to working on more than 150 church and church-related projects, the firm has experience designing hotels, retail spaces, and offices. This firm’s talented crew is guided by a great and experienced leadership team which includes co-founders Lewis Fisher and Jim Heck, both known for their involvement in many of the firm’s religious architecture projects. Currently, the firm is guided by president Mark Navarro who specializes in sustainable urbanism, master planning, and religious architecture where he has worked on a variety of projects that range from $50,000 to $2 billion.
Among other office projects, Fisher Heck Architects recently renovated the lobby of the Toyota Texas Motor Manufacturing Plant which offers tours to the public and is a popular tourist spot in San Antonio. To create a more inviting first impression, the firm added lots of “Toyota red” to the space alongside a few Japanese accents, new furniture, window treatments, and floors, and changed the lighting. The firm also designed new offices for the Free Trade Alliance, updating the company’s space in the International Center Building on the Riverwalk. Another Fisher Heck Architects office project involved transforming a former Studebaker dealership downtown into offices for the advertising agency Creative Civilization, creating a colorful and open space with a lot of natural light and a cool contemporary design.
Ford, Powell & Carson
Texas Historical Commission Award for Preservation of Historic Architecture,
San Antonio Conservation Society Building Awards
1138 E. Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX 78205
About Ford, Powell & Carson
Ford, Powell & Carson has been designing San Antonio’s cityscape since opening in the 1930s. The firm has worked on many office spaces for local and international clients. Led by seven principals, the firm has received numerous honors including those from the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Texas Society of Architects (TSA). Chairman Chris Carson is an AIA Fellow and has a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. 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.
Among many office projects, Ford, Powell & Carson designed a new corporate headquarters for Argo Group—an insurance company with global reach. Reworking the top four floors of the International Bank of Commerce building near the San Antonio Riverwalk downtown, the designers situated the reception area, break room, and boardroom near the outdoor terrace to “encourage activity outside,” The office space features movable walls and screens, so the configuration can be altered easily, as well of a lot of natural daylight and views of downtown. Ford, Powell & Carson also designed downtown offices for the San Antonio Area Foundation in the Lab Building, which is part of the Pearl Brewery mixed-use development. The contemporary and inviting offices feature an open plan and floor-to-ceiling glass, as well as many details inspired by the natural world.
Global Award for Sustainable Architecture,
AIA Firm of the Year,
AIA San Antonio Design Award
311 Third Street #200, San Antonio, TX 78205
One of San Antonio’s top architecture firms—and one that has over the years launched the careers of many of the Alamo City’s best architects—Lake|Flato is a local leader in sustainable design and adaptive reuse. The firm has won over 300 awards which include the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and AIA’s Firm of Year award. Architect Magazine placed the firm in the Top 10 of its annual Top 50 list, and Fast Company has called it one of the Top 10 most innovative architecture firms in the world. Most recently, the firm won two of the TSA’s 2020 Design Awards. With such a reputation, Lake|Flato has expanded its reach and now has offices in San Antonio and nearby Austin. Today it plays an active role in many urban renewal projects in both cities. The 89-person firm is led by Principals and co-founders Ted Flato and David Lake, who are both AIA Fellows. While Flato is known for employing sustainable strategies in a wide variety of building styles and scales, Lake is an outspoken advocate for urban development and he is influential in Austin’s expansion of Shoal Creek’s linear hike and bike trail to Lady Bird Lake in the 1970s.
Among the firm’s many projects, Lake|Flato’s work on the Texas Biomedical Research Institute Facility is its most notable. Acting as a gateway and public face for the Institute’s 200-acre campus, this facility provides both laboratory and administration space and houses the institute’s executive administration. The office portions of the facility are distributed in two linear office bars while labs are located in a separate building. These three elements are connected by two glazed lobbies that act as the main entries for the building. The composition was designed in a way that minimizes exposure to the intense south Texas sun and still defines a landscaped courtyard between the new facility and existing buildings on campus.
237 W. Travis Street, Suite #201, San Antonio, TX 78205
About Lopez Salaz
Lopez Salaz’s award-winning planning and architectural, planning, and interior design services have been witnessed and experienced by clients from all around the state. Known for its client-centric approach to projects, its years of experience designing projects for educational, healthcare, municipal and public, commercial and retail, and religious facilities are evident in every project. And Lopez Salaz has the awards to show for that consistency. Since its establishment, the firm has been given the 2012 Golden Trowel award and the 2016 award for Best Community Impact from San Antonio Business Journal. Among its many award-winning projects, the firm’s most notable work is the Deacon Recruiting Offices. A new 12,594 square foot, two-story structure, it carries a contemporary Texas-style using glass, limestone, and concrete exterior walls poured in place with a standing seam metal roof. The firm’s projects are currently handled and guided by president and founder Robert Lopez who has over 32 years of architectural and interior design experience for a wide range of projects.
Ken Rehler (+)
George P. Vaughn
SAMCA Golden Trowel Awards,
Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Award,
San Antonio Business Journal Best Office Development
745 E. Mulberry Avenue, Suite 601, San Antonio, TX 78212
About RVK Architects
RVK Architects is a full-service architecture firm that has provided architectural, interior design, and landscape design services in San Antonio for nearly 50 years. While working with a long and diverse list of clients that includes Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Trinity University, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and Valero Energy Corporation, RVK Architects has received multiple awards for Best Office Development from the San Antonio Business Journal. The firm has also been honored with the Golden Trowel Award from the San Antonio Masonry Contractors Association and the Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This award-winning firm is currently handled by president and interior designer, Judy Zimmerman. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Iowa State University, Zimmerman is a LEED accredited professional and has participated in community, corporate, healthcare and senior living, and interior design projects.
Among many office projects, RVK Architects worked on the CH Guenther & Son corporate headquarters—a 56,575 square foot office in the old Butterkrust Bakery building. The large office includes a presentation kitchen, a research and design lab, executive offices, boardrooms, collaborative workstations, and even a health club. RVK Architects also designed renovations and additions for CST Brands Corporate Campus in San Antonio, a 147,594 square-foot, two-story facility which the firm completely revamped. The project included a new cafeteria and a training center. It also features a large, steel-framed outdoor pavilion that called for the addition of a 171,520 square foot concrete parking garage that fits more than 500 cars. RVK Architects also worked on a 50,000 square foot office for Norton Rose Fulbright in a downtown highrise, featuring a new emphasis on technology, a staircase connecting three floors of offices, and a sleek and fun design that is casual but also professional.
Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design
Stephen J. Kramer
4733 Shavano Oak Drive, Suite 103, San Antonio, TX 78249
About Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design
Founded in 1988, Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design works on large-scale office and commercial projects throughout Texas including Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Houston. The firm also provides work outside of Texas, in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Illinois. The firm specializes in designing functional and efficient commercial offices, office-warehouses, and medical, law, realtor, and other office spaces for dozens of clients in San Antonio including the San Antonio Apartment Association, the Greater San Antonio Builders Association, and the San Antonio Kidney Disease Center. President and owner Stephen Kramer brings years of experience to the firm. Kramer has worked on several corporate headquarters, retail stores, and restaurants for national, regional, and local chains. Kramer has also worked for several architectural firms in San Antonio and Austin before starting his own firm. Some of his notable projects include the Sea World Shark Reef and Penguin Facility, Arion Business Park, and the Embassy 14 Theaters. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
Among the firm’s many office projects, the design for Gruene Road Office Development is its most recent and notable. A two-building, medical office development, these structures have exterior building materials consisting of limestone veneer with earth tone shades and a muted sage-colored stucco. The entry doors are richly stained wood and glass. Rough-hewn cedar posts, trims, and trellis provide visual accents on both buildings along with several windows that encourage the flow of natural light. Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design also designed a 10,000 square foot office space for Coldwell Banker D’Ann Relators on 1.4 acres in San Antonio. A very Texas-style building that looks a bit like a ranch house, it features native limestone and brick, vaulted ceilings, 20 private offices, and a large break room.
ENR Best Project Award,
IIDA Excellence in Design Award
4217 McCullough Avenue, San Antonio, TX, 78212
Studio8 has designed dozens of office projects in Texas with an emphasis on sustainability and efficiency. The firm has won many honors, including awards from the International Interior Design Association and the Engineering News-Record (ENR) which awarded the firm a Best Project Award for Office/Retail/Mixed-Use design. The 15-year-old firm—from its studio in Austin and in San Antonio’s Olmos Park—designed the LEED-CI Platinum HID Global Headquarters in Austin alongside numerous LEED Gold, Silver, and Certified projects for a list of high-profile clients which include Dell, Texas Tech University, YMCA, US Department of Veterans Affairs, the University of Texas, and Rice University.
For the Rackspace Corporate Headquarters in suburban San Antonio, Studio8 repurposed an abandoned mall and basically created a small town for the cloud-computing company’s 3,000 employees. The project ended up changing the tenor of the whole neighborhood and led to the area’s slight tilt towards a renaissance style. The 346,000 square foot project added a new main entrance, lobby, offices, conference rooms, an espresso bar, all designed with an eye on collaboration and a playful corporate culture. The project was featured in Texas Architect and the San Antonio Business Journal. Alongside such features, the firm also won an IIDA Excellence in Design award. In another San Antonio office project, Studio8 revamped the tired San Antonio Call Center, completely renovating the 450,000 square foot space. The project included new interiors, as well as additional offices, conference rooms, restrooms, and break areas. The firm designed the project with an emphasis on making the office brighter, warmer, more efficient. The overall idea was to make it more inviting to employees, who now work in a sleek and contemporary space with stylish furniture and elegant touches.