Top Architects and Designers
Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design
Stephen J. Kramer
4733 Shavano Oak Drive, Suite 103, San Antonio, TX 78249
About Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design
Stephen J. Kramer Architecture + Design, founded in 1988, works on large-scale office and other commercial projects throughout Texas. 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, Greater San Antonio Builders Association, and the San Antonio Kidney Disease Center. President and owner Stephen Kramer has, over the years, worked on several corporate headquarters, retail stores, and restaurants for national, regional, and local chains. Kramer worked for several architectural firms in San Antonio and Austin before going out on his own. 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. The firm has worked on projects throughout Texas, including in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas and Houston, as well as in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Illinois.
Among his many office projects, the design for the San Antonio Apartment Association’s first stand-alone building, in northwest San Antonio, features a regionally appropriate structure made of stucco and limestone, with a metal roof and covered porches. Kramer also designed a 10k-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.
1633 Broadway, Pearl Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78215
About Insite Architects
Insite Architects has nearly 30 years of experience working on a diverse set of design projects in San Antonio, but the firm specializes in interior spaces and has created office spaces for dozens of major corporate, healthcare, retail, and education clients, including Price Waterhouse, USAA, the American Red Cross, the City of San Antonio, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The firm is led by Michael Schroeder, Marcia McKinley, and Mark Fenton. Schroeder and Fenton each earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, and McKinley, the firm’s interior design principal, earned a bachelor’s degree interior design from the same university.
Insite Architects has worked on a host of office projects for San Antonio’s corporate and professional sector, including offices for the Hanke Group, a major San Antonio-based accounting firm. Some of the firm’s best office projects are in the Pearl Brewery development downtown, a lauded and beloved adaptive reuse project that has helped to transform the city’s urban center. The development features restaurants, hotels, and apartments, as well as many offices in the refurbished Full Goods Warehouse. Within the two-story space, Insite has designed offices for the Nature Conservancy with exposed ductwork, wood floors in the lobby, and a cozy library space for strategy meetings. The firm has also designed attractive, bright, and sleek contemporary offices here for the CE Group, a local marketing firm, featuring exposed ductwork and open workspaces with glass partitions.
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. The firm was founded by Principal Michael Beaty. A local architect since 1976, Beaty has worked on more than $600M in construction projects over his many years in San Antonio, and he 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. Cory Hawkins, the firm’s third principal, received a master’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University and joined the firm in 2012. The firm has won Historic Preservation Awards from the San Antonio Conservation Society and Downtown’s Best Awards from The Downtown Alliance, and its work has been featured in Texas Architect and other publications.
Beaty Palmer has worked on several large-scale office projects for Port San Antonio, a large local firm that manages the real estate holdings of the former Kelly Air Force Base. Beaty Palmer designed a 30k-square-foot, five-building office/warehouse complex for the company’s headquarters, with an emphasis on natural light and the efficient use of power and water. The offices include meeting rooms, lounges, open workspaces, and private offices. The firm is also working on a Project Tech Class A Office Building in the Port San Antonio complex. Designed for cybersecurity and other tech-related uses, the energy-efficient, 90k-square-foot, three-story office features a 60-foot tall, 30-foot in diameter cylindrical glass entrance and lobby.
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 many 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 an Associated Builders & Contractors’ Excellence in Construction Award for its renovation of the historic Playhouse San Antonio. The firm 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. In addition to five partners the firm has a staff of 28.
Chesney Morales 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, 34k-square-foot expansion, as well as a two-story, 33k-square-foot expansion onto the historic structure. The firm also built the Shavano Oaks office building, creating 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 has decades of experience designing, renovating, and repurposing structures in San Antonio. In addition to working on more than 150 church and church-related projects, the firm has experience designing hotels, retail, and offices, among many other projects. President and Principal Lewis Fisher received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Jim Heck, senior vice-president and principal, is a past president of AIA San Antonio and the Construction Specifications Institute. He is also a past vice-president of the Texas Society Of Architects, and a member of the Association of Consultants for Liturgical Spaces and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and with a Bachelor of Architecture, Hack has been designing buildings in Texas since 1976.
Among other office projects, Fisher Heck recently renovated the lobby of the Toyota Texas Motor Manufacturing Plant, which offers tours to the public and is a popular tourist draw in San Antonio. To create a more inviting first impression, the firm added lots of “Toyota red” to the space, as well as 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 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.
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 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 Inc. Firm President George P. Vaughn has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University and has been a principal in the firm since 1976. Principal architect David Bombersbach has a master’s degree in architecture from Texas A&M University. He started working for the firm in 1982 and became a principal in 1994. Judy Zimmerman is the firm’s head interior designer and has a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Iowa State University. She joined the firm in 1986 and became a principal in 1998.
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 also designed renovations and additions to CST Brands Corporate Campus in San Antonio, a 147,594 square-foot, two-story facility which the firm completely revamped. The project, which included a new cafeteria and training center and features a large, steel-framed outdoor pavilion, also called for the addition of a 171,520-square-foot concrete parking garage that fits more than 500 cars. RVK also worked on a 50k-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.
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 15-year-old firm, which has a studio in Austin and in San Antonio’s Olmos Park, designed the LEED CI Platinum HID Global Headquarters in Austin, as well as numerous LEED Gold, Silver, and Certified projects for a list of high-profile clients that includes Dell, Dupont, Texas Tech University, YMCA, US Department of Veterans Affairs, the University of Texas, and Rice University. The firm was founded in 2003 and has five principals: Milton Hime, Lisa Cuddy, Jennifer Carter, Paul Detke, and Robert Byrnes. Studio8 has 16 other architects and 11 interior designers as well. The firm has won many honors, including awards from the International Interior Design Association and the Engineering News-Record, which has awarded the firm a Best Project Award for Office/Retail/Mixed-Use design.
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 a bit of a renaissance in the area. The 346k-square-foot project added a new main entrance, lobby, offices, conference rooms, and 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, and it won an IIDA Excellence in Design award. In another San Antonio office project, Studio8 revamped the tired San Antonio Call Center, completely renovating the 450k-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, and more efficient, and especially more inviting to employees, who now work in a sleek and contemporary space with stylish furniture and elegant touches.
Ford, Powell & Carson Architects & Planners
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 Architects & Planners
Ford, Powell & Carson Architects 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. 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.
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. The firm 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. Billy Lawrence, Mike McGlone, and Mike Lanford are the firm’s other principals. They also graduated from UT Austin and spent time in New York. The firm has won awards from AIA San Antonio and the Architecture Firm of the Year Award from the Texas Society of Architects.
Part of the redesign and revitalization of the 1813 Rand Building in downtown San Antonio as a new tech-hub, Alamo Architects’ lauded Geekdom Headquarters is a 44k-square-foot coworking and collaboration office on the Rand’s 7th Floor. The owners envision that a tech company may outgrow the Geekdom space and move into the 6th floor offices as well. The co-work space, a fantastic example of a nationwide office-space trend, 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, and also conference rooms and removable wall panels to change the configuration easily. It’s no secret that architecture firms have some of the best-designed office spaces in the world, and this is definitely true for the SoFlo Office Studios in downtown San Antonio, which Alamo designed for its studio and LPA’s San Antonio offices. Built in an old industrial warehouse that was used to manufacture trailers in the 1940s, now with many of the harsh and aged materials used for an industrial-chic style, 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 it has rainwater collectors and two solar arrays that offset 40 percent of the building’s energy use.
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 89-person firm is led by Principals Ted Flato and David Lake, who are both AIA Fellows. The firm has won numerous awards, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and AIA’s Firm of 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. Lake|Flato has offices in San Antonio and nearby Austin and has played an active role in many urban renewal projects in both cities.
Lake|Flato is currently working on a major adaptive reuse office complex called the Energy Partners Innovation Center, turning a disused, old power plant into a office complex for a think tank and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. This kind of project is really the future of offices: collaborative, flexible, and sustainable. According to the developers, the space is meant to be a “hub for new energy technology innovation” that will, like other current adaptive reuse office projects in the urban Southwest, draw tech start-ups and other dynamic companies to San Antonio. Designed to be energy efficient and deep green, the project will repurpose the vacant Mission Road Power Plant, which is about two miles from downtown San Antonio. Among many other office projects, Lake|Flato worked with longtime local company Security Service Federal Credit Union on its new corporate campus, a 270k-square-foot facility, designed in collaboration with RVK Architects, for the credit union’s more than 900 employees.