Overview

The architectural scene in the booming city of Austin reflects a commitment to sustainability, the natural landscape, and contemporary elements. Architects are especially curious as to how they can incorporate adaptive re-use elements. Because the city is growing rapidly, commercial space is constantly being developed and designed, especially office space, hotel and residential space, and retail. The following list ranks the best commercial architects in Austin. These are architects who specialize in creating commercial space based on the requirements and aspirations of the diverse clients they serve. From company campuses and summer camp facilities to multi-use developments, the designs on this list are remarkable. The firms on this list deliver the highest quality spaces with innovative and sustainable designs that have won them industry recognitions.

Top Architects

A Parallel Architecture

Address:
803 1/2 West Avenue, Austin, TX 78701

About A Parallel Architecture

A Parallel Architecture is a full-service design firm with an award-winning portfolio spanning both residential and commercial markets. In 2008, Eric Barth and Ryan Burke established the architecture firm. Barth is a University of Texas School of Architecture alumni who graduated with honors, including AIA School Medals and a Certificate of Merit. The prominent expert once worked for Aidlin Darling Design as a luxury residential project designer. Burke is a graduate of the same university and started his career with a commitment to green building and design. The principal architect was formerly a project architect for Sant Architects and worked on many residential and commercial projects. The decade-long partnership between the co-founders has become the foundation of the firm, and they take a collaborative and dedicated approach to every project.

Featured Projects

Note the Abbot Kinney Mixed-Use structure, which was completed by A Parallel Structure in collaboration with Sant Architects, Ryan Burke, and Co-D firm. The California-based property covers 3,000 commercial and 10,500 residential square feet and provides a safe haven for residents of the region. The building’s design promotes a collaborative atmosphere with a grounded aesthetic that combines public and private commercial spaces. Its layout includes street-level commercial and seven two-story residential units, two levels of parking, and four skylit stair towers for upper unit residential access. Other projects by the studio include the East 6 Restaurant and the Manor Road Pizzeria, Austin-based dining establishments that offer high-end and casual dining, respectively.

Antenora Architects

Architects:
Michael Antenora

Awards:
AIA National Honor Award,
Texas Society of Architects Design Award,
AIA Austin Design Award,
Engineering News Record Best of the Best Projects

Address:
3410 Far West Boulevard, Suite 330, Austin, TX 78731

Contact:
512-462-1848 |
[email protected]

About Antenora Architects

Founded in 1997 by principal Michael Antenora, Antenora Architects specializes in services focused on architectural interiors, historic preservation, reuse, planning, and graphics. For the last 20 years, the firm has built a national reputation for professionalism, innovative design, and business integrity. Antenora Architects strives to design each space in a holistic way, to achieve the right balance for each client’s unique needs. The firm focuses on various project types, including commercial, public and institutional, restaurant and hospitality, single-family and multi-family residential, and mixed-use. They have been recognized as a thought leader and design innovator for their work with adaptive reuse and restaurant/hospitality projects. Their work has been recognized with awards at the local, state, and national level, including the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Award, 2016 Texas Society of Architects Design Award, 2016 AIA Austin Design Award, 2016 Engineering News Record Best of the Best Projects and Texas & Louisiana Best Project Winner, 2016 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards for Adaptive Restoration, and 2016 ABC Central Texas Chapter ‘Excellence in Construction’ Award. Their work has been published nationally and internationally in publications such as Architecture Digest, Texas Architect, Austin Home, and Austin Business Journal.

Featured Projects

A 2.2 million project required Antenora to renovate a building within the Penn Field adaptive reuse development. Created for The Design Center of Austin, the heart of the building is an atrium big enough to host gatherings and is lined with a double-height wall of glass. There is also space within the building for a local theater company. The design incorporated some of the vintage elements of the old building. The space was designed to be flexible for different gallery layouts. Antenora also worked on a mixed-use project for the old Varsity Theatre. They adapted the bottom levels of the old theatre to better serve ground-level restaurants and second-story offices. They even reconstructed the vintage original “blade” sign and put it on the Guadalupe Street façade.

Baldridge Architects

Architects:
R. Burton Baldridge

Awards:
AIA Design Awards

Address:
1010 West Lynn Street, Unit B, Austin, TX 78703

About Baldridge Architects

At Baldridge Architects, the belief that well-designed space can go beyond merely providing shelter and amenities guides the firm’s practice. The firm, best known for its residential work, splits its time between commercial and residential projects, taking care to craft and execute each project deliberately and curate space, light, mass, and texture. Going beyond trends to provide a sense of transcendence and permanence, the firm’s nine architects work with clients to fashion enduring designs that are classic and timeless. Their work has been featured online and in print in publications such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Dwell, Design Bureau, Luxe, Conde Nast Traveler, and Metropolis. The firm has also won a myriad of awards, including several AIA Design Awards in recent years.

Featured Projects

One of their biggest current projects is Arrive, a 77k-square-foot development housing 83 rooms, apartments, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and parking. Baldridge notes that this is their most ambitious hotel design to date. The facade, constructed of concrete and masonry, undulates and captures a dynamism that reflects the spirit of Austin. Through the structure’s cantilevering and tessellated mass, shade is preserved on the sidewalks. In 2010, Baldridge donated their architectural services to Casis Elementary to construct an outdoor classroom. The open-air space was to be used in conjunction with their growing garden program. The structure provides workspaces for up to 40 students, as well as plenty of storage. A vine supporting enclosure is also a feature of the project, as well as a rain collection system.

Barley Pfeiffer Architecture

Address:
10101800 West 6th Street, Austin, TX 78703

About Barley Pfeiffer Architecture

Comprehensive design and innovative building are synonymous with Barley Pfeiffer Architecture, traits that have propelled the company to prominence in the Austin region. Sustainable building is central to the firm’s work: the Barley Pfeiffer team is committed to eco-friendly designs with minimal environmental impact. The company’s portfolio includes zero energy homes and energy-efficient structures, with over 700 projects designed across Texas, California, North Carolina, and even Hong-Kong.
Barley Pfeiffer Architecture is affiliated with the AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) and AIA Austin. The firm was established by Alan Barley and Peter Pfeiffer in 1989, co-founders and principals with strong industry backgrounds and well-decorated resumes. Barley’s design savvy and Pfeiffer’s building knowledge form the foundation of the studio, both renowned for high-performance designs that are cost-efficient and long-lasting. The architects’ catalog includes residential, renovation, and commercial projects, a diverse collection showcased in industry publications like Fine Homebuilding Magazine, Better Homes and Garden, and The Washington Post.

Featured Projects

The featured project is the Lost Pines Art Center. It features an art gallery, community gathering space, offices, studios, and other amenities. In the 1900s, the site once housed the Powell Cotton Seed Mill and Silos, a historic local facility. Barley Pfeiffer integrated natural daylighting, metal roof and sidings, and a heat-avoiding ventilated radiation barrier system to the structure.

Bercy Chen Studio

Architects:
Thomas Bercy
Calvin Chen

Awards:
“Emerging Voices” prize from the Architectural League of New York,
Architizer A+ Award Jury & Popular Winner in the Sustainability

Address:
1111 E. 11th Street, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78702

About Bercy Chen Studio

Founded in 2001 by partners Thomas Bercy and Calvin Chen, Bercy Chen Studio is an architecture and urban planning firm based in Austin. Bercy Chen Studio collaborates with clients to create innovative designs based on environmentally sustainable and financially viable business models, both in private and public sectors. The partners’ backgrounds — Bercy hails from Belgium while Chen is from Taiwan and Australia — create a design philosophy with a unique perspective that has garnered national and international recognition for the firm. Bercy Chen Studio won the prestigious “Emerging Voices” prize from the Architectural League of New York in 2006 for their innovative designs. That same year, the firm was chosen as one of the top 10 emerging design firms worldwide and was profiled in Architectural Record’s December 2006 “Design Vanguard” award issue. The firm is a member of the City of Austin’s Green Building Program and USGBC with certified 3-Star projects. Publications and media that have featured the firm and its work include HGTV, Entrepreneur, Dwell, Austin Home, Hill Country Houses, GA Houses, and Icon.

Featured Projects

One of the firm’s most renowned works is the vertical mixed-use project The East Village in the Revitalization District of Austin’s East 11th Street. The development includes 11 office and retail spaces as well as 20 residential condominiums. Solar screens on the southern and western exteriors as well as other sustainable aspects have earned the building a 3-Star Green Building rating. The storefronts on the ground floor have floor-to-ceiling windows that give the illusion that the building is floating on cubes of glass. The Nahua Tower, an ambitious project with a unique and futuristic design, is the brainchild of Bercy Chen. It will be built in collaboration with the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin. The project would serve as an annex to the current cultural center, as well as an extension of MACC’s facilities and residential condominiums. The design is inspired by pre-Columbian pyramidal architecture and uses copper and onyx.

Cornerstone Architects

Architects:
Rodney Palmer
Bob Wetmore

Awards:
National Commercial Builders Council Awards of Excellence,
Merit Award,
Grand Award Spa

Address:
7000 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78746

About Cornerstone Architects

Cornerstone Architects is an architectural design firm that specializes in custom commercial and residential buildings. The award-winning firm was founded in 1989 with an approach that seeks to blend architecture and interior design in order to create cutting-edge aesthetics. Cornerstone Architects has received many awards over the course of its history, including several Awards of Excellence from the National Commercial Builders Council, a Grand Award for Belterra Amenity Center and Gateway Community Church, a Merit Award for Northwest Hills Medical Center, and Project of the Year for Fiori Day Spa. Water Enjoyment, Austin Home, American Style Villa, and Modern Home Tour Austin have all featured Cornerstone Architects.

Featured Projects

A key project is Austin Sunshine Camps, which is located in Zilker Park. Cornerstone designed Zilker Lodge, a 21,000 square feet indoor space within the property. There are five meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen and restrooms, a covered pavilion, and children’s play area. Surrounded by the beautiful Texas landscape, the lodge features dormitories with bunks and a shower space that accommodates 120 people at a time. It has become a popular event spot for all sorts of community groups in Austin. Another interesting project is The Barn at The Reserve at Lake Travis. They redesigned old horse stables and arenas into an entertaining activities center. The original structure was preserved with modern rustic elements added. Big-screen TVs line the walls of former horse stalls, and the barn has been outfitted with a new pop-up roof. New floor-to-ceiling windows add lots of light to the gathering space.

Furman + Keil Architects

Architects:
Gary Furman FAIA
Philip Keil AIA

Awards:
AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award,
AIA Austin Honor Award

Address:
708 Rio Grande Street, Austin, TX 78701

About Furman + Keil Architects

Since it was founded in 1995 by firm principal Gary Furman, Furman + Keil Architects has been dedicated to serving residential and commercial clients in the Austin area. Building sustainable, timeless structures that strike a fresh balance between local tradition and creative design is key to the firm’s success, which has expanded its scope in recent years to include small-scale commercial projects. Under the leadership of Furman—an honored Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (2011), and Philip Keil, winner of the AIA Austin’s FAIA Community Service Award (2016) and past president of AIA Austin (2014) —the firm itself has won several awards such as the AIA Austin Honor Award (2016). Publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, Austin Home, Urban Home, Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, American Architects, and Luxe Interiors + Design have also featured the firm.

Featured Projects

Two key projects include the Greater Texas Foundation, completed in 2011 and housed in the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building in Bryan, Texas, and Easy Tiger North, a combination bake shop and beer garden concept from the ELM Restaurant Group. The latter opened a second location at The Linc, which includes a drive-through coffee bar, 250-seat outdoor pavilion, ping-pong tables, a dog park, and an outdoor stage that hosts live music. The firm also worked on the vibrant East Eleventh Street corridor in the East Austin district. The site serves as the studio’s new home and features 3,100 square feet of street-level retail space as well as 5,700 square feet of office space.

GSC Architects

Architects:
Tom Cornelius
Joe LaRocca
Phil Scott

Awards:
AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award,
Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award

Address:
901 S. MoPac Expressway, Building III, Suite 400, Austin, TX 78746

About GSC Architects

GSC Architects is a prominent firm in the Austin community in multiple sectors, including the medical, corporate, and ecclesiastical markets. GSC Architects is led by three principals—Tom Cornelius, Joe LaRocca, and Phil Scott. Cornelius earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University and his Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Texas at Austin. LaRocca studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; Scott received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Texas Tech University. Together, they are committed to an integrated, “problem-seeking” approach that aims to maximize natural and purchased resources. GSC was awarded the coveted “Firm Achievement Award” by the Austin Chapter of the AIA for their contributions to the community and the industry and for their remarkable designs.

Featured Projects

GSC crafted an innovative design for the campus building of Advanced Micro Device, a global technology company. Set on 59 acres in Hill Country, the design was created to capture the essence of the nature surrounding it. The design is LEED Gold certified and adheres to the firm’s commitment to sustainability and a beneficial working environment. Features include a raised access floor, an underground rainwater collection tank, and original native plants re-vegetated on the site. Another unique Austin-centric design was the company’s work for the Waller Creek Boathouse. The 10,800 square feet public facility overlooks Lake Austin from the north shore. A clubhouse on the second-floor houses space for events as well as an expansive outdoor viewing deck. The design for the roof of the rowhouse was inspired by the hull of a boat with an arching wood and steel structure.

McKinney York Architects

Architects:
Heather H. McKinney
Al York
Michelle Rossomando

Awards:
AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award,
Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award

Address:
1301 E. 7th Street, Austin, TX 78702

About McKinney York Architects

Winner of over 30 design awards and national accolades for its residential and commercial innovations, McKinney York Architects seeks to create places that inspire, serve, and draw people together. The firm, which has served the Austin area since 1983, creates unique designs that reflect their clients’ personality and needs. The firm is led by founding principal Heather H. McKinney, a guiding force behind the firm’s design voice and past president of the Texas Society of Architects (2010), principal and creative thinker Al York, and principal Michelle Rossomando, along with partners Will Wood and Brian Carlson. The firm has an expertise in tackling unusual projects and has earned a reputation for timeless design. McKinney York Architects received the 2007 AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award and the Texas Society of Architects 2013 Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor a Texas architecture firm can receive. The firm’s work has appeared in Wired, The Wall Street Journal, HGTV, The Globe and Mail, NPR, Architectural Record, Architecture, Southern Living, and Texas Architect.

Featured Projects

Hostel 512 is an exceptional commercial project completed by the studio. The design includes both dorm rooms and private rooms. In addition, there is a communal kitchen and numerous amenities and relaxation areas. There are built-in games outside the property as well as picnic tables to take advantage of the outdoors. The design is open and inclusive, tying back to the hostel’s goal of community. Another unique design is the Urban Roof Deck for the McGarrah Jessee branding agency. The unused roof deck was converted into a three-zoned space ideal for different events. One area is a lawn, one a shade canopy, and one a sculpture terrace, all embodying the theme of a helipad, which was inspired by the “Volkscopter” at a rural vintage shop. A drainage bed made of reused rubber tires lines the perimeter.

Miro Rivera Architects

Architects:
Juan Miró, FAIA
Miguel Rivera, FAIA
Ken Jones, AIA

Awards:
Texas Society of Architects Firm Achievement Award,
AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award,
AIA National Small Projects Award

Address:
505 Powell Street, Austin, TX 78703

About Miro Rivera Architects

Award-winning architectural firm Miro Rivera Architects specializes in commercial, industrial, and residential architecture as well as urban and interior design. The firm’s approach to commercial work reflects a clear commitment to design excellence based on the belief that architecture should engage in a positive dialogue with the community. The firm has received more than 80 design awards including the 2016 Texas Firm Achievement Award, 2016 Architecture Firm of the Year from the Texas Society of Architects, The International Design Awards (2009), Best New Venue in the 25th Annual Pollstar Awards, and a spot among the Top Ten Selection in Project of the Year 2010 by Architecture of Israel. The firm’s work was featured in leading publications such as USA Today, Austin Home, Ambiente y Color, Architect, and more.

Featured Projects

Miro Rivera designed the striking Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center (AISD PAC). The building was the first district-wide fine arts facility in the district’s 134-year history. A state-of-the-art venue located in the heart of Austin, it serves more than 84,000 K-12 students in more than 100 schools. The AISD PAC is a recipient of an Austin Green Award and carries a 5-star sustainability rating and an LEED Gold rating from the USGBC. Another ambitious project is the award-winning Chinmaya Mission, an eight-acre campus that combined Shastra principles of Hindu design with a contemporary sensibility. The structure’s design emphasizes geometric patterns, symmetry, and directional alignment. It houses the Hindu spiritual organization and features 12 classrooms and a community room for congregations and social gatherings.

Page

Architects:
Bob Burke
Arturo Chavez
Mattia J. Flabiano
Michael J. Mace
Thomas McCarthy
Lawrence W. Speck
James M. Wright

Awards:
AIA Austin Design Awards

Address:
400 W. Cesar Chavez Street, Suite 500, Austin, TX

Contact:
512-472-6721 |
[email protected]

About Page

Page is an international presence in the architecture community, but it’s firmly rooted in Austin. Originally a two-person studio founded in 1898, the firm eventually expanded into an international company with offices all around the planet. Page is a close affiliate of the University of Texas and has won 30 AIA Austin design awards from 1984 to 2013, a reflection of its exceptional work. Since its inception, Page has received several prominent commissions ranging from the Austin National Bank on Congress to the Littlefield building. Its portfolio also includes the Austin Convention Center and a six-block district around City Hall.

Featured Projects

An example of Page’s excellent commercial design is the Four Points Centre. The building is the first speculative office development to achieve an LEED Gold S & C rating in Austin. The 440,000 square feet project is a mixed-use development with space for research and development, office, retail, residential, and hotel components. All of these are situated around a 181-acre natural habitat built of limestone, metal, and glass, designed to create the least disturbance possible. Another featured design is the Mueller Cinema, located within Mueller’s new Town Center District. Since the cinema is located on the second level, the staircase is centralized through the facade to bring visitors through the lobby and upstairs. The 60,000 square feet building features six screens, the movie theater’s bar and lobby, and ground floor space for 10 to 12 retail shops.

STG Design

Architects:
Jim Susman

Awards:
Society of American Registered Architects’ Design Honor Award for Adaptive Reuse,
AIA Austin’s Design Award,
IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter Design Excellence Award for Sustainability

Address:
828 W. 6th Street, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78703

Contact:
512-899-3500 |
[email protected]

About STG Design

Founded in 1976, STG Design is a leading firm with an integrated approach to architecture, interior design, and planning. It is networked across Austin, Houston, and Nashville, with the Austin office led by Principal Jim Susman. The staff’s considerable experience with both local and international projects and commitment to multiple design disciplines allows for successful planning and responsible design solutions. With a philosophy of designing from the inside out by catering to each client, the firm leverages its experience to provide strategic direction for projects of all sizes. The firm has received numerous awards, including the Society of American Registered Architects’ Design Honor Award for Adaptive Reuse (2017), AIA Austin’s Design Award (2017), and is ranked as the number 4 top architecture firm and the number 1 top commercial interior design firm by the Austin Business Journal (2017). The firm’s work has appeared in publications such as Architectural Record, Building Design + Construction, and Interior Design magazines.

Featured Projects

A noteworthy project of STG Design is the 48 East building, a 280,000 square feet high-rise located in the Rainey Street District. The 35-story, 246-unit building offers beautiful protected views of the sunrise and sunset and features 11,250 square feet of retail space on the ground level. The exterior façade on the bottom levels has a reflecting material that shimmers off the street-side. Another noteworthy design is Lamar Central, a 165 square feet LEED-certified building. Designed with pedestrians in mind, the building offers canopies for people to walk comfortably. Lamar Central is a commercial and retail space built with sustainable materials as well as components like a rainwater run-off system installed to provide water for the landscaping features. There’s even an access-controlled bike room, a shower area, and a changing room for tenant employees.