The Best Industrial Architects in Houston, Texas

Overview

Once primarily an oil and gas town, today’s fourth-largest city is a varied, vibrant metro with a dynamic quality of life and a diverse range of expanding industries, including healthcare, digital technology, manufacturing, and trade. The Houston region provides a dynamic infrastructure to support these robust, fundamental businesses, including its own range of sectors: energy, health sciences, manufacturing, and aerospace. Houston has evolved into one of the world’s major global cities, with the 12-county region providing considerable opportunities for a diverse range of businesses. If you’re looking to expand into the Houston area, our editorial team has put together this list of The Best Industrial Architects in Houston, Texas.

Top Industrial Architects

Kirksey Architecture – Houston

Address:
6909 Portwest Drive, Houston, TX 77024

About Kirksey Architecture – Houston

Born from the determination of John Kirksey, Kirksey Architecture is a Houston and Austin-based architecture firm that merges innovation with sustainability. The firm has been on a one-way road to being one of the best in the state since its inception in 1971, and it has become a leader in the architectural field in Texas. Numerous monumental locations were conceptualized and designed by Kirksey Architecture, and the firm has won a long list of awards over the years, including the IIDA TX-OK Design Excellence Award in 2017, the Houston Business Journal Landmark Award in 2014, and the most recent 2021 AIA Firm of the Year Award. They are a multi-specialized practice housing more than 150 professionals.

Featured Projects

Their portfolio features their work on The Dow Texas Innovation Center, which is The Dow Chemical Company’s new Research and Development Hub in Lake Jackson, Texas. The project contains a 230,000-square-foot Administration Structure, a 60,000-square-foot Amenities Building, two 4-story Laboratory buildings totaling 568,486-square-feet, and a 60,000-square-foot central plant and warehouse building that services the entire campus. For the 2,000 employees who will be stationed here, this multi-building campus complex will feature cutting-edge laboratory facilities, technological competence centers, administrative, engineering, and amenity facilities.

Energy Architecture

Address:
2777 Allen Parkway, Suite 460 Houston, TX 77019

About Energy Architecture

Energy Architecture Proudly has been presenting its architectural prowess for more than a decade. This firm is headed by Jay Ernst who has taken on numerous projects that have contributed greatly to the built community in Texas. But Energy Architecture is more than your regular Architecture firm; they are a community of output-driven architectures, designers, and planners who aim to develop high-performing buildings and environments that are highly beneficial not just for the clients they serve, but for the overall betterment of the people and our planet.

Featured Projects

Energy Architecture was behind the design for Completions Tool Manufacturing in Houston, Texas. This location was built through a thorough analysis of the process, a detailed and definite program, and step-by-step coordination with the client. The firm was involved in major aspects of the project, assessing logistics, inventory, equipment, and the movement of internal materials.

PDG Architects

Address:
10000 Richmond Avenue, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77042

About PDG Architects

With a rich history of successful pursuits, PDG Architects is a full-service architectural practice with a reputation for excellence in the industry. For more than two decades, the firm has built a steady performance record resulting in repeat business with many of their past clients. Building upon years of dedication and good customer rapport, their total revenue is what it is thanks to recurrent contracts. Their workforce provides great technical skills to their clients and is dedicated to executing the client’s vision on time and on budget.

Featured Projects

The US General Services Administration hired PDG to develop temporary Houston laboratory facilities for the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection division. The PDG Team collaborated with CBP and GSA staff to offer programming, design, and construction oversight for the 3,600-square-foot facility on the top floor of the Leland Tower and the 4,000-square-foot facility in the Federal Building Complex’s Garage. PDG built the administrative offices for laboratory workers on a lower floor of the Leland Tower along with the development of the laboratory facilities.

ABC Building Design

Address:
5450 NW Central Drive, Suite 127, Houston, TX 77092

About ABC Building Design

With values heavily banking on honesty and integrity, ABC Building Design is a commercial, industrial, and residential building design and construction organization with 15 years of expertise in the architectural industry. ABC Building Design is immensely cognizant of the varying tastes and preferences clients bring to their projects; the firm has become seasoned in handling a wide range of project types from commercial, to custom homes, additions, and remodels. The firm takes the time to listen to your ideas and requirements, no matter how challenging they may appear, the staff then uses that information to create a custom design that is unique to your project. Their processes are built on the belief that active cooperation between designer and client is essential, they embrace site and financial constraints to create extremely imaginative, cost-effective solutions.

Featured Projects

ABC Building Design’s portfolio contains the work they did for Hahlo, Inc. a couple of years prior. This was one of the biggest projects they did in the area. The warehouse was built to provide long-term sustainability, ensuring that the operation house remains in prime condition no matter what demands might be put on it in the years to come.

The Best Interior Designers in Houston

Overview

Design is famously said to be 99 percent invisible. That’s because you mostly notice it when it doesn’t work, like a door with the wrong handle, or a room that just doesn’t feel right. But the interior designers of Houston — where entertaining is an important business, literally and socially — are showing just how noticeable the art form can be. From a “man cave” with an artful arrangement of TV sets and an elegant, kid-proof home to functional work spaces and high-luxury beach getaways, these Houston firms are creating spaces that re-envision what’s possible, and they have the education, certifications, and awards to prove it.

Top Designers

Decoré | Gerty Portillo

Address:
4719 Merwin St. Houston, TX 77027

About Decoré | Gerty Portillo

Certified Interior Designer (CID) Gerty Portillo studied Interior Design in her native Guatemala. An expert in fabrics and color coordination, Portillo’s extensive portfolio includes work for clients in The Woodlands, Katy, Magnolia, and other greater Houston areas. She started Decoré | Gerty Portillo in 2010 and leads her team in collaborating with each client, whether the project is a single room, an entire home, or even a commercial space.

Featured Projects

This home showcases Portillo and her team’s expertise, having worked alongside Julee Ireland. A sophisticated neutral palette runs through the interior, from the double-height great room to the more private living spaces. The living room area is anchored by a massive gray fireplace wall. Behind the white couch, you’ll find the exquisite black and white marble waterfall-edge kitchen island. An elegant gray wooden six-seater dining table sits beside it, fronting the French doors to the porch. A wine cellar is tucked away beneath the glass-railed staircase, which ascends to another lounge area on the second floor. The master bedroom is spacious, with space for its own sitting area. Geometric patterned walls and hex tiles line the double vanity master bath where a knee wall and glass panels enclose the shower area.

Wendt Design Group

Designers:
Amilee Wendt

Awards:
ASID Gold Awards,
ASID Silver Awards,
ASID Product Design Awards

Address:
3135 Fairhope Street, Houston, TX 77025

About Wendt Design Group

The Wendt Design Group works on a range of residential, commercial, hospitality, and large estate projects. The firm was started in 1975 by its owner and Principal Designer Amilee Wendt, who attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The firm is based in Houston. Wendt’s great uncle, Eugene Wendt, was a founding member of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Amilee Wendt is also a member of the local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and served as its professional development director. The Wendt Design Group has won numerous design awards, including Silver, Gold, and Product Design Awards from ASID. The firm uses what it calls a seven-step approach to working with clients: meet and agree; collaborate; inspire; concept; specify; develop and construct; install.

Featured Projects

Wendt Design Group reconceptualized a sterile 1,300-square-foot post-industrial Midtown Loft into an exciting, modern bachelor pad. Wendt tossed some furniture the oil-industry- turned tech-worker had bought, and painted the condominium with cool, gray tones. She found vintage furniture for an empty space under the stairs and expanded the kitchen. The whole process expanded her client’s ideas of how to make a home. “One thing that really blew me away is the difference a good rug can make,” he told the Houston Chronicle. Wendt Design Group was more playful with its Bathroom design for the recent American Society of Interior Designers annual Showhouse. A frizzy, black-and-white rug melds with drawings of birds that cover the wallpaper. A dark black sink complements its white base, while the shower’s yellow tile adds a light accent to the room.

Marker Girl

Designers:
Karen Davis

Address:
Houston, TX

About Marker Girl

Karen Davis named her design business Marker Girl because of something that happened at home: One day when the house felt a bit too quiet, she discovered her toddler daughter in the living room, black Sharpie in hand, “doing some decorating of her own.” The incident crystallized Davis’ approach to design, which she calls “family-friendly.” Her work incorporates sturdy fabrics and furnishings that can withstand the needs of a modern family without sacrificing style. Davis was raised in New Orleans and studied interior design at the Paris American Academy. Marker Girl offers a one-day design consultation service and full renovations, with an emphasis on the Sugar Lands, Woodlands, Cypress, and Katy areas.

Featured Projects

Karen Davis dispenses regular design advice on the Marker Girl blog and has recently been detailing the makeover of her own master bedroom. One pro tip: a good master bedroom should only have items that represent the couple — so no pictures of the kids. Davis used lightly decorated shelves with wedding photos, cards, and images of remembered art pieces for hers. The bedding was covered with custom upholstery and the walls painted with Benjamin Moore’s Brittany Blue. Shelves and nightstands hold lamps from Circa Lighting. At the Katy Home in Cinco Ranch, Davis used her family-friendly style on a 5,000-square-foot home for parents who had a 5- and 2-year-old to protect the house from. Davis upholstered the decorative furnishings in the living room with Sunbrella, a washable fabric. A stain-resistant light-blue rug was used in the center of the room, while stain-resistant carpets lined the stairway and playrooms.

Dodson Interiors

Designers:
Julie Dodson

Awards:
Paper City Design Award

Address:
675 Bering Drive, Houston, TX 77057

About Dodson Interiors

Julie Dodson learned her design skills at a young age while working for her mother, Tricia Dodson, who owned an interior design firm. She later studied at Ole’ Miss — the University of Mississippi — where she earned a Bachelor of Interior Design. Dodson calls her personal style “casual glamour.” She was named a Star on the Rise by the Houston Design Center in 2012 and one of Traditional Home Magazine’s 20 young designers to watch in 2010. Patty Henriquez serves as design assistant for Dodson Interiors. She earned a Bachelor of Interior Design at Louisiana State University, where she graduated with honors. Henriquez’ enthusiasm for creating hand-crafted jewelry informs her design work. Dodson Interiors offers services in new construction and remodeling. The firm is an active participant in the Pink Ribbon Project, which works to fund breast cancer research.

Featured Projects

Dodson Interiors won a Paper City Design Award in the Residential Interior Design or Architectural Design category in 2015 for its Bedroom entry. The room used a beige-and-white color palette, with thoughtfully placed pillows, artwork, and lamps for a relaxing, welcoming look. A large, purple-tinted shaded drawing of a tree filled out a wall to the left of the bed, which was centered with folded, elegant blankets and footrest. At a Houston Mansion featured in Luxe magazine, Dodson created a dramatic European flair with modern touches. She started with a white color base, accented by “pops” of blue, black, lilac, and coral. Concrete floors were replaced with French oak planks. “I love to design in the French style, but in fun and fresh ways,” Dodson told Luxe.

Pamela Hope Designs

Designers:
Pamela O’Brien

Awards:
ASID Ruby Awards (8 from 2015-2017)
Houston Design Center Leader in Design 2015
Deck the Tables 2017, People’s Choice and Best Use of Color
Deck the Tables 2014 Media Award – Best in Show and tie for People’s Choice
Houston House and Home Best Bathroom Remodel 2014
Legrand Adorne Summer Award

Address:
6218 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77007

About Pamela Hope Designs

The principal designer and owner of Pamela Hope Designs, Pamela O’Brien, has a more interesting background than the average interior designer: She studied French and Italian at the University of Houston and held three different jobs for the U.S. Customs Service — including as an intelligence research specialist. Somehow, O’Brien squeezed in executive courses at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She founded Pamela Hope Designs in 1999. The firm does residential and commercial work. Pamela O’Brien is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Greater Houston Builders Association and has co-hosted the popular Houston show Home Improvement Hotline with Tom Tynan. Pamela Hope Designs won the Legrand Adorne Summer award in 2014 for the design of a Galveston beach house.

Featured Projects

Pamela Hope Designs worked on the renovation of the former Star Bottling Works building — which had once held Houston’s oldest soda bottling business. The restoration team gutted everything but the structural walls and redesigned the interior from floor to ceiling, with custom-made staircase handrails, a new bell tower, and chandeliers. The new office walls, of what’s now called the Warrant Building, were decorated with historic photos of Star Bottling Works’ horse-drawn delivery vehicles. Hope partnered with architects Lori Arnold and Ashley LaBauve of Prevot Design Services, based in Shreveport, on the project. At what Food and Beverage Insurance Exec Matt Morgan deemed his “Manplex” in Fort Bend County, Pamela O’Brien focused on an absolutely essential ingredient for any sports fan: the TV. She arranged three sets for the Manplex, two 50-inch and one 100. There was also a poker table and a 300-gallon aquarium. Game on.

Lucas/Eilers Design Associates

Designers:
Sandra Drews Lucas
Sarah Brooks Eilers

Awards:
ASID Design Awards,
ASID Ruby Awards

Address:
5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 3009, Houston, TX 77056

About Lucas/Eilers Design Associates

Sandra Drews Lucas and Sarah Brooks Eilers started Lucas/Eilers Design Associates in 1995. The firm has worked on design projects in Houston, New York, California, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington DC, and New Mexico, among others. Eilers and Lucas pride themselves on their philosophy of creating thoughtful spaces through a dedicated attention to detail. Sarah Eilers studied interior design at the University of Texas at Austin. She was the senior interior designer at Bryan Design Associates for 15 years and a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers for 32 years. Sandra Drews Lucas studied interior design at the University of Texas at Austin as well and taught design at the Art Institute of Houston. Lucas/Eilers Design Associates has won numerous Design and Ruby awards from the American Society of Interior Designers.

Featured Projects

Lucas/Eilers Design Associates commissioned a local art piece made from antique rolling pins found in its client’s Houston Home in the Memorial neighborhood. Co-founder Sarah Eilers prefers to make her design projects personal. She started this home with inspirational photos provided by the owner, Jamie Sanford. The firm got a sense of her style, took her shopping, and created a theme based on her family’s personal taste. The final version had a second art piece, this one crafted by Eilers — an arrangement of fishing rods and baskets that spoke to the husband’s interest in fishing. Sandra Drews Lucas brought a similar artistic approach to the 3,400-square-foot house she renovated for herself in Tanglewood. She created a new drink-serving island covered in Texas Lueders limestone and arranged a row of cabinets around a painting by the famed Houston artist and muralist Janice Parsons.

Jane Page Design Group

Designers:
Jane-Page Crump
Ashley Tisius

Awards:
ASID Design Awards,
Prime Living Reader’s Choice Best Interior Designer

Address:
500 Durham Drive, Houston, TX 77007

About Jane Page Design Group

The Jane Page Design Group was founded in 1977 and focuses on high-end commercial and residential design. The president and founder of Jane Design Group is Jane-Page Crump. She holds an MBA in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and is a former president of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Texas Association of Interior Design. Crump was named one of Houston’s 50 most influential women by Houston Woman Magazine in 2010. The firm’s senior designer, Ashley Tisius, studied architecture and interior design at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She volunteers often with Covenant House Texas, a Houston homeless-services nonprofit. The Jane Page Design Group won an American Society of Interior Designers award every year between 2008 and 2015.

Featured Projects

The Jane Page Design Group created an opulent home life at a private residence on a golf course in Montgomery. Drawing from the greenery present in the area, the house has a light, natural theme. Materials were chosen carefully, with metallic touches and fabrics that underscored the firm’s attention to detail. The family room featured embroidered, blue-and-white linens and a custom-designed fireplace. The study held LED in-cabinet lighting, built-in benches, and a gray handrail. Jane Page Designs created something completely different for the offices of the family-owned, Houston produce company Latin Specialties. Here, the focus was on functionality. Desks with clear, rectangular lines provide an easy space to focus, while interior and exterior green accents fit with Latin Specialties’ pre-established branding. Ample windows allow for the use of natural light.

William W. Stubbs & Associates

Designers:
William Stubbs

Awards:
IIDA Outstanding Design Award,
ASID Design Awards

Address:
1502 Augusta Street, Suite 150, Houston, TX 77057

About William W. Stubbs & Associates

William Stubbs is Houston’s very own celebrity architect. He hosted the Emmy-nominated PBS show Moment of Luxury and has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, People magazine and Good Morning America. Stubbs’ energetic personality has been compared to a carbonated drink, and he’s sometimes called “the Indiana Jones of interior design.” But Stubbs is no media darling who stumbled into success. He has industry credentials, too: Architectural Digest placed him on its AD 100 list of the world’s top designers and architects. Stubbs’ frequent travels — he’s worked everywhere from Moscow and London to Hawaii and Acapulco — means he doesn’t do as much work in Houston as some designers on this list, but the firm is still based in Houston, and he’s an important local figure.

Featured Projects

William Stubbs transformed a family mansion at a River Oaks home. He updated the interior to give the family a great space to entertain guests, with the luxurious atmosphere you would expect in River Oaks. A series of smaller rooms were reorganized into one large great room that connects to the gardens outside. A landscape painting on a wall panel rests above a marble fireplace from France. But flip a switch, and the panel rotated to expose a large TV. Stubbs used textiles and family antiques to give the estate a mix of Old World English and French country style. The challenge was in the selection. “It’s like baking a cake,” Stubbs told the Houston Chronicle. “You can’t have too much sugar, and you have to have enough flour.” A similar process played out at another Houston home, where Stubbs was tapped to downsize the 12k-square-foot interior of a “classic Texas Mansion” for a married couple looking for a fresh start. Stubbs began the project with his real estate hat on by scouting a new location. Then he switched back to consultant mode to help the couple decide what should stay and what should go from the first house’s decades of accumulated artwork and furnishings. He used color-coded stickers to keep track of everything — the collection was so extensive that some pieces were donated to a museum. Items that made it to the new mansion included 17th-century chairs, 19th-century tables, and the dining room’s long serpentine-front buffet.

Laura U Interior Design

Designers:
Laura Umansky

Awards:
ASID Ruby Award,
Design Society International Design & Architecture Award

Address:
4306 Yoakum Blvd., Suite 150, Houston, TX 77006

About Laura U Interior Design

Laura U Interior Design has offices in Houston and in Aspen, Colorado. It was founded in 2006 by Laura Umansky. A true Texas personality, Umansky was born in the state and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Design at the University of Texas at Austin and Master of Architecture at the University of Houston. Umansky still serves as the firm’s president and creative director, where she guides its “classically current” philosophy. The firm was included on Luxe magazine’s National Gold List, won an International Design & Architecture Award from the Design Society in 2016, has been granted more than 20 awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and is one of Decorilia’s top 10 interior designers in Houston.

Featured Projects

Laura U Interior Design’s entrepreneurial spirit showed in its bold retail experiment Studio U. The studio worked almost like an Apple genius bar for design. Clients could walk into the white, open-floored space attached to Laura U’s office and connect with design professionals for smaller, a la carte projects. Samples of textiles and interior furnishings could be viewed, with personal storage trays available. Studio U closed after three years, but that didn’t dampen the firm’s business instincts. Umansky recently purchased Custom Designs by Greenerobin and renamed it House and Town. Umansky focused on the view of her recent design of a Galveston Beach Home. An easy color palette and light curtains gave the main room an airy, natural feel. “What I really love is how it’s so cozy and warm,” Umansky told Houstonia. “The whole interior is based around that concept.”

Ginger Barber Interior Design

Designers:
Ginger Barber

Awards:
Paper City Design Awards,
Houston Design Center Designer of the Year

Address:
2025 West Alabama Street, Houston, TX 77098

About Ginger Barber Interior Design

Ginger Barber moved to Houston from Florida 30 years ago to start Ginger Barber Interior Design. Her guiding philosophy is “keep it simple,” which shows in the natural, relaxing colors found in her work. Ginger Barber studied interior design at the Ringling College of Art and Design, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts. The firm expanded with a design shop called The Sitting Room in the West Alabama section of downtown in 1993. Ginger Barber Interior Design received two Paper City awards in the Residential Interior Design or Architectural Design Under 3,500 Square Feet category in 2015. In 2014, Ginger Barber was named Designer of the Year by the Houston Design Center. In her personal life, Barber advocates for equestrian rescue and is actively involved with Habitat for Horses.

Featured Projects

At a hilltop hideaway an hour-and-a-half outside Houston, Ginger Barber Interior Design helped its client create a residence reminiscent of an English country estate. An 18th-century library staircase purchased from Memorial Antiques & Interiors complemented a custom-built fireplace with a table-and-chair set. An antique Italian Regency sofa and iron table filled out a cozy sitting room. Ginger Barber showed her love of city escapes in a completely different fashion at the Galveston Bayfront Home, where she created a weekend getaway with a Texas feel. The building had whitewashed wood instead of drywall, with a blue-gray stain on the wooden floors inside. A huge Cypress stump was bleached, whitewashed, and turned into a coffee table. A fireplace in Leuders limestone completed the living room, while reclaimed wood and bamboo chairs filled out the kitchen.

Paloma Contreras Design

Designers:
Paloma Contreras

Awards:
Design Bloggers Conference Best Overall Design Blog Award

Address:
Inner Loop, Houston, TX 77024

About Paloma Contreras Design

Paloma Contreras launched her design career through writing. She started the La Dolce Vita Blog in 2007 and quickly gained a loyal readership interested in her take on all things design. Paloma Contreras Design, a natural fit, followed in 2013. The blog, and Contreras’ design business are well awarded: At the Design Bloggers Conference in 2014, La Dolce Vita received the Best Overall Design Blog Award and Contreras was inducted into the Design Bloggers Hall of Fame. Contreras was listed as No. 4 in the home category on Forbes’ list of the top 30 influencers of 2017, Elle Decor placed her among the 10 most influential designers who use Instagram (she has more than 67k followers), and House Beautiful dubbed her a Next Wave designer to watch in 2015.

Featured Projects

Contreras’ Cinco Ranch home design was on the cover of the March-April issue of Luxe magazine. She started with a rug by one of the client’s favorite designers, David Hicks, and then hung two black-and-white paintings above the bed to center the room. The black-and-white theme resurfaced in the bathroom with the mosaic marble, and again on paintings in the living room. Gold accents added flourishes throughout. Contreras was more playful in another room that was divided by a fireplace, which she decorated with long sofas, bronze and brass lamps, and antique mirrors. The La Dolce Vita Blog started as a series of posts about designing her own home, which has two living rooms. One has a funky, salon feel, with comfortable couches and prominent modern art. The other has beige-yellow tones and no overhead lights, to maintain intimacy and encourage conversation.

The Best Industrial Contractors in Houston, Texas

 

Overview

Houston is the world’s gateway to space: NASA’s Johnson Space Center conducts spaceflight training and coordinates flights. Prior to becoming the epicenter of aerospace, Houston had already become a world capital for the oil and energy industry. Now, it is home to numerous manufacturing establishments as well.

To answer the booming demand for industrial construction, expert contractors are required. Our editors have gathered five outstanding industrial contractors excelling in the field. These contractors are masters in handling industrial, manufacturing, and oil and gas projects. All these companies have been industry leaders for several decades.

Top Industrial Contractors

Kilgore Industries

Address:
10050 Houston Oaks Drive, Houston, TX 77064

About Kilgore Industries

Established in 2000, Kilgore’s pride comes from its versatile staff. Its reliable staff can handle cooling, power distribution, and process piping and control systems. Through its team’s outstanding skill set, the firm ensures well-designed, well-fabricated projects. Having the firm’s team of experts can finish a project more economically and faster than hiring multiple contractors.

Featured Projects

For more than two decades, the firm has provided expertise in high-profile commercial and industrial construction. It is a leader in MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) systems and the fabrication of custom projects. The firm is a top choice for mechanical contractors and commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). With a 50,000-square-foot Houston-based facility, Kilgore Industries efficiently handles complex industrial projects.

The firm plans to remain an industry-leading contractor. It will achieve this goal through its inspired employees and an innovative approach that delivers excellence on each project.

FUSED Industries

Address:
14155 West Hardy Road, Houston, TX 77060

About FUSED Industries

Founded in 2008, this Houston-based firm is a single-source contractor. It is a master in industrial, commercial, and heavy civil construction. With over a decade in the field, the firm has gathered a wealth of experience in constructing petrochemical plants, manufacturing facilities, and refineries. Its status in the industry has been solidified through its team of experts led by owner Terry Tyler. Tyler guides the firm’s safety-focused employees including fabricators, engineers, and project managers. The firm’s skilled craftsmen are experts in foundation installation, structural steel erection, equipment setting, and piping fabrication and installation. Through collaboration, the firm serves as a one-stop shop by handling projects from beginning to end.

Featured Projects

This contractor’s exemplary work is showcased in its Brewery Industrial Project in Houston. The firm assisted a company owning popular beer brands in creating a brewing facility. Using its team’s expertise, FUSED Industries set up large fermenting and yeast brink tanks inside the facility. The perfect construction of the project ensures the facility’s smooth day-to-day operations. This project is a display of the firm’s commitment to delivering high-quality facilities.

Summit Industrial

Address:
2100 Travis Street, Suite 610, Houston, TX 77002

About Summit Industrial

Safety is at the core of Summit Industrial’s operations. With licenses and registrations in over 35 states, the firm has a world-class safety record. It has a TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) and LTIR (Lost Time Incident Rate) of 0.00. The company’s low safety-related incident rate is due to its commitment to HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment). With safety at the forefront, this company provides high-standard facilities for the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Featured Projects

Summit Industrial is a full-service engineering, procurement, and construction company. It provides direct hire for structural steel erection, mechanical, instrumentation, electrical, and specialty fabrication services in Houston and the surrounding areas. One of its clients in Texas is ONEOK. This project in Mont Belvieu required fabrication and installation of a 1,200-linear-foot 6-inch pipe and a one-meter skid. In this project, the firm provided quality material, labor, and equipment.

For over two decades, this Houston-based contractor has consistently applied excellence in safety and quality control.

PCL Construction – Houston Industrial

Address:
2322 W. Grand Parkway N., Suite 200, Katy, TX 77449

About PCL Construction – Houston Industrial

PCL Construction looks towards the future. Using its vast experience in the field and the latest technological innovations, the firm remains committed to realizing each client’s vision. It is a highly experienced firm and has the diverse portfolio that proves it. The firm’s mastery includes services for the industrial, oil and gas, mining, and petrochemical sectors.

Featured Projects

In Texas, PCL Construction provided engineering, procurement, and construction services for the Enterprise Ethylene Export Facility project. This project entails the construction of facilities capable of processing 255,000 pounds of ethylene per hour. The firm also built a 53,000-cubic-meter double-walled storage tank for the project. Its expertise in building underground firewater piping, blast-proof facilities, and craft parking are showcased in the project. The firm expertly executed this without a Lost Time Incident. For this impressive build, the firm received many awards including the ABC Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors.

As a next-generation construction firm, PCL Construction anticipates challenges and develops new capabilities to address clients’ changing needs. It creatively uses innovations to build better products and create new opportunities.

Austin Industries

Address:
3535 Travis Street, Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75204

About Austin Industries

Austin Industries is an award-winning industrial contractor. Its numerous recognitions include the ABC 2019 National Diversity Excellence Award in the General Contractor Category. The firm attributes its success to its 6,000 employee-owners. By creating a sense of ownership, every member of the firm is invested in the company’s growth. Through employee partnership, this contractor provides outstanding civil, commercial, and industrial construction services in Dallas and the surrounding areas.

For more than 60 years, Austin Industries has been one of the nation’s largest construction companies. In the industrial sector, it is a leading provider of construction, maintenance, and plant services. Its plant services encompass packaging and material handling, warehousing, and facilities and grounds maintenance.

Featured Projects

The company’s diverse expertise serves different industries including oil and gas, chemical, energy, and manufacturing. The company takes a sustainable and cost-effective approach to all of its projects. That approach, combined with a dedicated team keeps Austin Industries at top of the industrial contractor game.

The Best Hospitality Contractors in Houston, Texas

Overview

Houston is a city that attracts a large crowd of visitors every year. The city also has a robust economy that allows hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality institutions to prosper. Hoteliers and restaurateurs know how important it is to invest in the physical infrastructure for businesses to operate without frills. To achieve a frictionless construction process without compromising the thoroughly-calculated construction budget, professional contractors are vital to get the job done.

This list features the best hospitality contractors Houston has to offer. Our team has compiled a list of local contractors equipped with the necessary skills, experience, and credentials to assure that hospitality businesses will acquire the coveted five stars rating. We considered each firm’s work history, capabilities, and overall quality of work in the shortlisting process.

Top Hospitality Contractors

A-Affordable Construction

Address:
6406 Treaschwig Rd., Spring, TX 77373

About A-Affordable Construction

A-Affordable Construction is a hospitality construction expert specializing in hotel renovation and construction. The firm has a strong footing in the state of Texas, having worked with major clients, such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts. A-Affordable has completed projects at an affordable rate and stellar customer service. The A-Affordable team puts an emphasis on reaching the client’s goals through diligent communications and hands-on process.

The firm’s portfolio consists of high-value projects, such as the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas DFW Airport North. The Embassy Suites is a popular destination for locals who want staycation and San Antonio visitors alike. The hotel has a reputation for being relaxed, easy-going, clean, and well-serviced.

Arch-Con Corporation

Address:
1335 W. Gray Suite #210, Houston, TX 77019

About Arch-Con Corporation

Founded in 2000, Arch-Con Corporation is an award-winning general contractor experienced in commercial construction. The firm has operations offices in Dallas and Houston and has a thorough experience in office spaces, industrial buildings, retail spaces, corporate interiors, and hospitality facilities, along with other commercial subcategories. Arch-Con is a well-regarded name in the local construction industry, having been named one of ENR Top 400. Michael G. Scheurich, the firm’s principal, continues the culture of workmanship and professionalism instilled upon establishing the company. Scheurich and his team of industry professionals operates with a high level of organization, enabling swift action and precise construction procedures.

Arch-Con has completed several hospitality projects including the Embassy Suites at Hughes Landing. The 166,000-square foot hotel shows Arch-Con’s capability in large-scale projects. The hotel packs 206 rooms, a large conference space with breakout boardrooms, full-service bar, lounge and dining areas and an outdoor courtyard.

Capital Reconstruction

Address:
1123 Witte Rd., Houston, TX 77055

About Capital Reconstruction

Since 2003, full-service commercial construction company Capital Reconstruction has provided premier services all over Houston and surrounding areas. Capital has established a name for itself by establishing a professional service characterized by consistent communication, diligent quality control, and emphasis on value for money. The Capital team has built major projects in key industries in the commercial sector. From industrial to retail, office, healthcare, hospitality, Capital has touched on multiple projects.

Featured Projects

Looking at the firm’s hospitality experience, a neighborhood hangout spot, By Popular Demand, stands out from the rest of the hospitality projects. The space mimics the ambiance of a common home, having a living room as the main area. By Popular Demand has a commercial kitchen, a full bar, and an exterior patio.

Case & Associates General Contractors

Address:
6315 Skyline Dr., Houston, TX 77057

About Case & Associates General Contractors

Run by a close-knit team of construction professionals, Case & Associates General Contractors is a hotel and hospitality construction specialist operating all over the country. Case has worked with leading names in the industry, including Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Hotel Derek. The firm has pre-construction, construction proper, and construction maintenance services. Company Principals Allen Case and Gary Connolly take over the company leadership, pushing the boundaries of local hospitality construction for about 30 years.

Case’s arsenal of hotels and hospitality projects include the adored Magnolia Hotel Houston. Built in a 1920’s neoclassical building, the hotel has a unique connection with the local culture and history. Once served as the headquarters of multinational oil company Royal Dutch Shell. The Magnolia is now a 314-room hotel with exciting facilities and services.

Clark Construction

Address:
5353 W. Alabama St. Suite #310, Houston, TX 77056

About Clark Construction

Clark Construction is a leading name in the construction industry. With more than a 100 years of operational experience, the firm is unmatched when it comes to history, tradesmanship, and time-tested techniques. Since its inception in 1906, the company has gained accolades, most recently the 2020 NAIOP DC MD Award of Excelle National Award of Merit. This consistent top-tier performance of Clark is credited to its team members who perform above and beyond their duties. Clark has 12 offices all over the country, covering major regions and metropolitan areas.

The Clark portfolio reflects the firm’s long years in the industry and unmatched skill set. In terms of hospitality buildings, Clark has completed a good number of hotels and accommodations with leading hoteliers and industry leaders. Clark has built several hotels for Marriott, Hyatt, and other prestigious chains.

Construction Concepts

Address:
5633 S.W. Fwy., Houston, TX 77057

About Construction Concepts

Houston’s Construction Concepts is a design-build firm capable of providing architectural design, general construction, and project management. The firm is a decorated firm lauded with awards, such as Fast 100, Houston Business Journal Landmark Awards, and Inc 5000. Construction Concepts is proficient in commercial construction projects, including restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality spaces.

In addition to these markets, the firm is also experienced in high-end projects. It’s track record of hospitality works include The Marque City Center, Banquet Hall Event Center, and Blendin. The massive coffee shop and space takes note of Scandinavian furniture and minimalism.

EBCO General Contractors

Address:
804 E. 1st St., Cameron, TX 76520

About EBCO General Contractors

For more than 50 years, EBCO General Contractors has completed construction projects all over the state of Texas. Over the years, EBCO built a name synonymous with safety and professional conduct. The firm adheres to modern practices while combining it with time-tested practices. Company Principal John Egger and his team of construction professionals move the needle in local construction by putting quality work consistently.

The EBCO portfolio of hospitality projects include the famed Lancaster Hotel. Originally built in 1926, the hotel is a prominent spot in Houston popular culture. Nowadays, Lancaster has a full-service hotel with a five-star restaurant.

EE Reed Construction

Address:
333 Commerce Green Blvd., Sugar Land, TX 77478

About EE Reed Construction

Founded in 1977, EE Reed Construction is a family-owned enterprise run by second-generation builder Mark Reed. The Reed family is well known for providing detailed and hands-on construction services all throughout the Western States. Reed’s team of talented contractors are known for providing award-winning services. The firm garnered the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Awards, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) Awards, and several safety accolades.

EE Reed’s portfolio consists of high-value projects, such as the Four Seasons in Palo Alto. The firm delivered an outstanding work that finished the 203,425-square-foot hotel with more than 200 rooms, a conference room, a meeting center, a restaurant, and full spa.

Gold Key Construction

Address:
1322 Space Park Dr., Houston, TX 77058

About Gold Key Construction

Gold Key Construction is a hotel design-build specialist capable of doing a wide variety of hospitality accommodations from luxury hotels to budget motels. For more than 20 years, the firm has kept a consistent record of performing high-caliber construction, designing, planning, and development all over Greater Houston. Alex Brown takes charge of the Gold Key leadership.

He assures that all projects are up-to-standard and in line with the firm’s values of high workmanship. The Gold Key portfolio consists of residential and commercial projects with high regard for functionality. The firm has experience in high-profile projects, such as the Holiday Inn as well as motels and hotel interiors.

Hoar Construction

Address:
3700 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. S. Suite #220, Houston, TX 77042

About Hoar Construction

With a nationwide scope of service, Hoar Construction is an established general contractor known for client-focused and process-driven construction. For more than 80 years, Hoar has committed a great deal of craftsmanship to each project on any scale. The team garnered the 2018 Company of the Year award by Construction Dive and ranked on the Building Design + Construction Hotel Sector shortlist. Hoar was able to work with major projects in the hospitality industry, including Hyatt, The Grand National, and the Inn at the Ballpark.

The Inn at the Ballpark stands out among the long list of Hoar-built works. The space has a restaurant, bar, and lobby overhung by a 3,300-square foot skylight.

JE Dunn Construction

Address:
675 Bering Dr. Suite #700, Houston, TX 77057

About JE Dunn Construction

JE Dunn Construction has been a construction institution in business since 1924. Over the long years in the construction industry, JE Dunn has completed major projects all over the country and won prestigious awards, such as the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) best construction safety and health plans in 2020. The firm has a long history advancing equality for women and minority groups in the workplace. JE Dunn also invokes an employee-owned system that gives more fair compensation to employees.

This system fostered the right environment for teamwork and seamless organizational integration, which resulted in effective and efficient business operations. The firm has completed award-winning projects all over the country in various market segments and industries. In terms of hospitality facilities, the firm has a number of significant projects, such as the Omaha Marriott Downtown at Capitol District. The hotel has a 310,000-square foot plan distributed in 12 storeys. It has a massive 10,500-square foot ballroom, a fully licensed Starbucks, and a restaurant with three kitchens.

Maxx Builders

Address:
4150 Bluebonnet Dr. Suite #102, Stafford, TX 77477

About Maxx Builders

Since 1995, Maxx Builders has provided top-tier commercial construction all over key locations in the Lone Star State. Maxx is a respected figure in the local construction scene, having won accolades, such as the Inc 5000 list. Houston Business Journal also named Maxx Builders the largest commercial construction company in the Houston area. Maxx’s large-scale operations are matched with high-caliber workmanship and a strong sense of commitment to the local community.

The firm has extensive commercial construction experience spanning industries from retail to restaurants, offices, and hospitality. Maxx has worked on several projects, including a Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites, and Home2 Suites by Hilton Hotels. The Home2 Suites is a 105-unit hotel marketed towards extended stays.

McCarthy

Address:
3800 Buffalo Spdwy. Suite #250, Houston, TX 77098

About McCarthy

Founded in 1864, McCarthy is a long-standing commercial construction company that operates nationwide. The firm has accomplished a great deal of milestones in its long years as a company. ABC awarded the firm with the 2020 National Excellence in Construction Pyramid Award as well as several major awards. The firm adheres to the highest professional standards in construction and uses innovative development practices, allowing for exceptional quality in all projects.

The McCarthy portfolio reflects the meticulous and intensive process that the firm abides by. Projects, such as the 100,000-square foot Hyatt Place, demonstrate the firm’s strong capacity in development. The hotel has 151 rooms spread across 12 levels, and is equipped with a café and dining area complete with a bar and lounge, several meeting rooms, and a business center.

Oak Commercial Construction

Address:
7603 Dowdell Rd., Spring, TX 77389

About Oak Commercial Construction

With a strong network enlisting local architects and international clients, Oak Commercial Construction is a major force in hospitality construction. Oak specializes in hospitality projects, banking on a strong track record of strip centers, restaurants, and other institutions. In completing each project, the firm follows a tedious process that structures the development process in an orderly and efficient manner.

Previous customers, who are also business owners, note how dependable and trustworthy Oak’s personnel are. This fosters trust with local businesses, especially in the hospitality industry. The firm has a number of hospitality projects under its belt, including the El Chaparro Bar and Grill as well as other restaurants and bistros.

VCC USA

Address:
7906 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W. Suite #201, Houston, TX 77064

About VCC USA

There is a notion within VCC that espouses excellence in construction. VCC is a large-scale commercial construction company experienced in various market sectors and project types. The firm was founded in 1987 by pursuit of providing better construction services. Over the years, the firm has maintained a consistent high level of construction standards in retail, office, multifamily, hospitality, and industrial buildouts.

The firm’s steady services are matched with a strong team known for integrity and having strong values. The firm also uses the latest building technology and practices to provide optimal results. The AC Marriott Hotel, Archer Hotel, the Chancellor Hotel, and Montelucia Resort are some of the hospitality projects completed by VCC. Archer Hotel, a popular choice for those seeking a luxurious accommodation, is a chic hotel complete with quality chef-driven restaurants, boutiques, and other high-end amenities.

The Best Commercial Architects in Houston

Overview

Expansive, experimental, resilient, energetic, and athletic—these vibrant words capture Houston’s commercial architecture. The firms and architects on this list create work that mirrors the culture of southeast Texas, whether it’s through a connection to the environment on the Gulf Coast or the freedom that comes with a city that eschews zoning regulations. The famous Texas commitment to sports is prevalent in the design, so is the desire to protect the environment. From innovative indoor airflow systems to football stadiums designed to help guide fans through them and even in the glass-bottom pools suspended above the city, the creatives at these firms find uniquely Houstonian ways to conceptualize, innovate, and execute their work.

Top Architects

Brave / Architecture

Architects:
Fernando L. Brave

Awards:
Texas Society of Architects Honor Awards,
AIA Architecture Design Award

Address:
4200 Montrose Boulevard Suite 400 Houston, TX 77006

About Brave / Architecture

Fernando L. Brave founded Brave / Architecture in 2002. He is a member of the prestigious American Institute of Architects College of Fellows—often abbreviated FAIA—which is the highest honor awarded by the AIA and a designation shared by only 3 percent of its members. He has been active in Houston architectural circles since 1988 in professional organizations like the Rice Design Alliance and the Texas Society of Architects. Brave is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and teaches design at the University of Houston’s Graduate Architecture Program. The firm’s emphasis on site-specific design leads to projects that feel personal and that fit with their environment, regardless of size. With only two principals and a nine-person office team, Brave / Architecture is smaller compared to many firms on the list but its accomplishments are still impressive. CultureMap Houston called its work “a stunning game changer” and the firm has received multiple awards from AIA Houston and the Texas Society of Architects.

Featured Projects

Fernando Brave embraced the challenge of creating a new gallery on a small, urban lot for Sicardi Gallery. To ensure a wide range of art could be viewed, Brave designed the building with a high-ceiling section and created smaller rooms for more intimate art pieces. To distinguish the commercial nature of a gallery from the more observational uses of the nearby Menil Collection and Houston Center for Photography museums, Brave placed the office and workspaces within earshot of the door. The Sicardi Gallery received an AIA Houston Design Award in 2014. Fernando Brave is also responsible for creating the Houston Police Museum, located at 1200 Travis Street. Located in the Houston Police Department’s lobby, this museum uses an eye-catching contrast of deep blue and shimmering white for its displays, which include a police helicopter hanging from the ceiling. Brave / Architecture used UV protective film to wrap the 3,000 square foot exhibition area and help preserve the historic items inside.

DLR Group Houston

Architects:
Filo Castore

Awards:
American Council of Engineering Companies Gold Award,
AIA Excellence in Architectural Detail Award

Address:
Milam Street, Suite 100 Houston, TX 77002

About DLR Group Houston

The DLR Group celebrated its 50th anniversary by opening an office in Texas. The firm tapped Italian native and longtime Houston architect Filo Castore to lead operations. Castore brings a lifetime of enthusiasm for community and environmental stewardship to the culture of the Texas headquarters. The office is located in the LEED Gold certified, 24-story 919 Milan in downtown Houston. It features a coworking space where design professionals from around Houston are encouraged to collaborate, with rotating art exhibits and easy access to Houston’s six-mile pedestrian tunnel network. The DLR Group is an initial signatory to the AIA 2030 commitment, a 2006 call for all new buildings, developments, and renovations to be carbon neutral by 2030. Architect Magazine ranked DLR Group No. 1 on its 2012 list of the top 50 U.S. firms.

Featured Projects

DLR Group’s commitment to environmental stewardship and enthusiasm for design converged in its Solar Installation at NRG Stadium. Completed in 2015, the project added 600 solar panels spread across four locations on pedestrian bridges and an hourglass-shaped 4,500 square foot canopy in front of the stadium. The panels produce enough energy to power 22 Houston homes each year. The canopy is decorated with energy-efficient LED lights that complement NRG Stadium’s lengthy columns and domed roof. The NRG Stadium Solar Installation received a Gold Award for energy from the American Council of Engineering Companies. DLR Group partnered with Page to overhaul the player and fan experience for the University of Houston’s basketball teams. The 53,000 square foot Guy V. Lewis Development Facility emphasizes the technological needs of a modern sports team, with docking stations in locker rooms, video walls, and interactive flat-screen displays for play review. Opening in 2015, the building was named after famed Cougars basketball coach Guy V. Lewis, who led the men’s team to the Final Four five times. The Guy V. Lewis Development Facility was awarded Best Sports/Entertainment Project from the Engineering News-Record Texas & Louisiana in 2016.

Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler
David J. Calkins

Awards:
ENR #1 Green Building Design Firm in Commercial Offices,
Building Design + Construction Giants #1 Office Sector Architecture Firm,
Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award,
Preservation Houston Good Brick Award for Renovation

Address:
711 Louisiana Street, Suite 300, Houston, TX 77002

About Gensler

Gensler was founded in 1965 and opened its first Texas office in Houston in 1972. Gensler’s projects in Houston range from multi-use planned-neighborhood developments to hair salons and media centers. The global firm has an enormous reach that extends across Texas and uses its size to provide a “one-firm” experience for clients. The Houston regional managing principal is David J. Calkins, FAIA, who earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University. The Houston Business Journal ranked it No. 1 on its list of the largest Houston area architectural firms in 2014. The company received the Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award in 2015 and a Good Brick Award for Renovation from Preservation Houston in 2016.

Featured Projects

The Southwestern Energy Headquarters is a 10-story campus that links two buildings and 1,000 employees. Opening in 2014, the headquarters consolidated employees of Southwestern Energy from five different locations. It sits on a 26.5-acre development in Springwood Village near The Woodlands. The bright combination of glass, metal, and trees evokes thoughts of energy, while the building design encourages collaboration. The two towers are connected by a pedestrian sky bridge and a rooftop deck. The Houston Business Journal credited Gensler’s River Oaks District with ushering in a wave of high-end retail and restaurants. The mixed-use development, opened in the fall of 2014, was a lesson in planned urbanism. The design was modeled off of traditional city blocks, with space for 270 apartments and 100,000-square-feet of offices.

HOK Houston

Architects:
Bill Hellmuth
Carl Galiato
Roger Soto

Awards:
ENR Califrnia Design Firm of the Year,
USGBC Organizational Excellence Award,
USGBC Natural Leader Award,
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award,
AIA Houston Design Award,
AIA Merit Award

Address:
3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 900, Houston, TX 77027

About HOK Houston

HOK was founded in 1955 in St. Louis and specializes in a wide range of commercial work from sports stadiums to airports and hotels. It currently has 23 offices nationwide including the Houston branch, which opened in 1984. The local team designed its own LEED-Platinum open-floor office, which is led by Roger Soto as the principal and regional design director. It’s hard to imagine Houston without the space program or the energy sector, and its work with NASA and BP is what makes HOK’s local office uniquely Houston. The global firm worked on NASA’s first LEED Platinum project and a BP computing center. HOK Houston’s portfolio has won several architectural and design awards, including the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award.

Featured Projects

The NASA Johnson Space Center’s Building 20 is 57 percent more energy efficient than a typical office building. HOK achieved this with an underflow air system, an energy wheel that pre-conditions outdoor air, and a solar hot water harvesting system. The firm’s stated aesthetic for Building 20 was a “less-is-more” approach, with understated, rectangular angles on the sparsely decorated building. Johnson Space Center Building 20 won an AIA Houston Design Award and an Engineering News-Record Texas & Louisiana Judges Award for Best Green Building Project.
With the vision of a forward-thinking company, HOK helped update the Houston Metro Light Rain for modern urban needs. The firm created a recognizable design that was flexible enough to allow for unique flourishes at individual stations. Each of the 16 stations in the transit corridor was covered by a translucent, 350-foot canopy, while landscapes and platform patterns varied. The Houston Metro Light Rail design received an AIA Merit Award for Urban Design.

Huitt-Zollars

Architects:
Chris Hudson

Awards:
Quality Texas Foundation Engagement Level Award,
Quality Texas Foundation Pioneer Level Award,
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award for Hospitality,
AIA Houston Design Award

Address:
1717 McKinney Avenue, Suite 1400, Dallas, TX 75202

About Huitt-Zollars

Huitt-Zollars is an award-winning firm with projects across the globe, but it makes this list for having the good sense to partner with the Houston-founded Morris Architects. Morris Architects was founded in 1938, and the two firms merged in 2012. Its president and CEO Chris Hudson received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The firm was one of 10 that worked on the Regent Square development near Buffalo Bayou, and it was the local associate for Philip Johnson and John Burgee on the Williams Tower, also known as “the Transco.” Huitt-Zollars has consulted on development projects with the city of Houston and received multiple environmental awards, including one for Ingenious Waste Reduction and Reuse. Morris Architects operated as a Huitt-Zollars company until 2017, then changed its name to Huitt-Zollars proper in March of the same year.

Featured Projects

When Super Bowl LI came to Houston, the 29-story, 1.1 million-square-foot Marriott Marquis Convention Center Hotel Houston became its headquarters. Guests staying in one of its 1,000 rooms could see more than the game. A Texas-shaped lazy river flows on a rooftop. The Marriott Marquis Houston won the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award for Hospitality. Morris Architects also redesigned The Lone Star College Engineering and Manufacturing Institute. This 70s-era suburban campus was transformed into a school the Houston Chronicle called “sleek” and “integrated.” The 70,000 square foot campus has five classrooms, 28 labs, and a lightly wooded aesthetic. The Lone Star College Engineering and Manufacturing Institute received an AIA Design Award in 2014.

Jackson & Ryan Architects

Architects:
Guy Jackson
Jeffrey D. Ryan

Awards:
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award,
U.S. Green Building Council Award,
AIA Design Award,
Golden Trowel Award,
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award

Address:
2370 Rice Blvd., Suite 210, Houston, TX 77005

About Jackson & Ryan Architects

Jackson & Ryan Architects was founded in 1986 and runs a design-focused operation dedicated to Houston. The firm has remained in the same location in Rice Village for 30 years with a 35-person team that takes a collaborative, concept-to-build approach to its work. At Jackson & Ryan, the same team sees a project through from start to finish. The firm doesn’t stick to any particular theme, preferring instead to focus on the merits of each individual project. Jackson & Ryan brings the same approach to churches, sports stadiums, and luxury apartments. The team’s work has received numerous awards, including the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award, a Green Building Award from the U.S. Green Building Council, and an AIA Design Award.

Featured Projects

The glass-bottom pool that sticks out from the roof of Market Square Tower, a 40-story apartment building in downtown, was the talk of Houston and a few other towns when it opened. A video of a Market Square Tower resident calmly sauntering over the Houston skyline was picked up by Business Insider, POPSUGAR, CNN, and the New York Post, among others. The tower also provides an excellent view of its namesake, Market Square Park. Market Square Tower received the 2017 Golden Trowel Award for excellence in the construction of flat and level floors. Another Jackson & Ryan project, the Looscan Branch Library, was the first LEED-certified building in Houston. It was designed with large expanses of glass so passersby would feel invited to come inside. The 20,400 square foot branch holds approximately 100,000 items. The Looscan Branch Library received the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award for Public/Private Partnership in 2008.

Kirksey Architecture

Address:
6909 Portwest Drive, Houston, TX 77024

About Kirksey Architecture

Kirksey Architecture is an architectural firm that operates in Houston and Austin, two of the most prominent cities in Texas. The practice has a strong commitment to innovative and collaborative design, one that integrates high performance and sustainability in its process. Founder John Kirksey serves as chairman of the company, and he is one of the pioneers of sustainable design in the state. He is a member of several civic and professional boards in Houston and a Fellow of the AIA, whose main focus centers on how every project affects the community’s culture, people, and the environment in a positive way.
The architectural firm divides its massive roster into several teams, each one operating on a specific field. These markets extend across 25 areas of expertise, which include collegiate and higher education, healthcare, industrial, science, technology, and multifamily sectors. The company’s proficiency and efficiency in its craft have earned the recognition of many industry bodies, including the AIA, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and several local organizations.

Featured Projects

The featured Kirby Collection is a 1,200,000 square foot building completed by Kirksey Architecture in partnership with Keating Kahn Architects. It is a LEED-certified structure designed to bridge the River Oaks and Western University and the downtown business district. The 25-story high-rise features 199 units, two levels of retail space, a 13-story commercial Class-A office tower, and 5 floors of parking space.

Natalye Appel + Associates Architects

Address:
6909 Portwest Drive, Houston, TX 77024

About Natalye Appel + Associates Architects

Natalye Appel, FAIA, founded Natalye Appel + Associates Architects in 1987. The small partnership’s five members work on offices, art projects, and public spaces; most of their work is located in Texas. Appel, an alumna of the Rice University School of Architecture, is a regular presence in Houston. She is a member of the board of the Hermann Park Conservancy and previously served on the boards of AIA, the Rice Design Alliance, and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. She is a LEED Certified Accredited Professional. Natalye Appel + Associates Architects was the Houston AIA Firm of the Year in 2012.

Featured Projects

Natalye Appel + Associates Architects led the 2011 project to modernize the Oak Forest Branch of the Houston Library. The renovation reimagined the 7,500 square foot original and created a 4,500 square foot addition. The library uses a mix of glass and natural light to create indoor and outdoor reading areas, each with individual entrances to minimize distractions. Appel partnered with Architect Works Inc. and James Ray Architects on the project. The Oak Forest Branch Library received an AIA Houston Design Award, a Swamplot Award for Best Neighborhood Upgrade, and the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award for Community Impact. When Levy Park was renovated in 2016, Natalye Appel designed the Levy Park Central Pavilion. Its design features a boardwalk that winds through the oak trees and a curved concrete pavilion that houses the Levy Conservancy offices. It even includes enough space for a symphony orchestra. The Houston Chronicle called the pavilion the park makeover’s “most prominent feature.”

Page Southerland Page, Inc.

Architects:
Larry Speck

Awards:
Texas Society of Architects Medal for Lifetime Achievement,
AIA Design Award,
AIA Firm of the Year,
Urban Land Institute Houston Development of Distinction Award

Address:
1100 Louisiana St., Suite 1, Houston, TX 77002

About Page Southerland Page, Inc.

This 500-person firm, with offices across the world, has maintained a strong presence in Houston since 1973. Beginning in the early 1990s, Page worked to revitalize Houston’s downtown through adaptive reuse of old buildings. The Houston office members are so proud of their downtown location that they sometimes lead architectural tours on a red, double-decker bus. The firm assisted the Houston Medical Center after it was damaged in a then-record flood in 2001 and has been outspoken in the wake of Hurricane Harvey about what architects should do to protect cities from floods. Page’s Buffalo Bayou Park renovation project elements survived the hurricane and rains despite the high water. Page’s Houston projects have received numerous design and architectural awards, and Page’s Senior Principal Larry Speck, FAIA, received the 2017 Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Society of Architects.

Featured Projects

Page collaborated with the DLR Group to create TDECU, the perfect experience for football fans at the University of Houston. The 40,000-seat TDECU stadium emphasizes easy functionality, clear sightlines, and colors loyal to the school’s Cougars football team. A permeable white and red corrugated metal wrap uses red accents to guide fans toward the entry. Locals call it the “Cougar Cage” or just “the Cage.” TDECU stadium won a Design Award from AIA and received the 2015 Landmark Award for Public Assembly from the Houston Business Journal. For Page, The Rice was the building that started it all. The firm renovated the former 1,000-bed Rice Hotel—which had once been the site of the Texas State Capitol but had sat empty for two decades—into the Rice Lofts in 1998. This kickstarted a wave of development in downtown Houston. In 2015, Page returned to the 18-story building, now dubbed The Rice under new ownership, to design a sleek update to its interiors and lifestyle amenities. The Rice renovation earned an Urban Land Institute Houston Development of Distinction Award.

Pickard Chilton

Architects:
Jon Pickard
William D. Chilton
Anthony J. Markese

Awards:
AIA IDP Outstanding Firm Award

Address:
980 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

About Pickard Chilton

Pickard Chilton has designed public and private sector projects in Houston since 1997 and has built strong relationships throughout its over two-decade industry tenure. Its 50-person team takes a collaborative approach to work on commercial high-rises, corporate buildings, and university campuses, creating ambitious projects without neglecting the people who occupy them. Principal Architect Jon Pickard has lectured at Rice University and collaborated with the Houston-based global development firm Hines on two significant buildings that opened in recent years. The two firms received an award together for architectural innovation from Architectural Record Magazine. Pickard Chilton has more than 15 Fortune 500 clients and received more than 160 architectural awards, including the IDP Outstanding Firm Award from the AIA. The firm is also part of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001.

Featured Projects

The Houston Chronicle called 609 Main “one of the more ambitious skyscrapers developed downtown in years” when it was completed in May. Reaching 48 stories with its glass walls, 609 Main looks something like a sister building to principal architect Jon Pickard’s other recent collaboration with Hines, the BG Group Building. The design for 609 Main was inspired by one of Houston’s most famous buildings, Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s Pennzoil Place from 1975. The building has Houston’s first underfloor air system, which saves energy and allows tenants to set the temperature on their individual floors. Pickard Chilton also handled planning and design for the sprawling ExxonMobil Energy Center in Springwoods Village. The centerpiece, a 10,000 square foot cube that looks like it floats over a plaza, speaks to the scientific endeavors of the company it’s named after. The Energy Center received honorable mention in the Steel Erectors Association of America’s 2013 Steel Erection Project of the Year.

Studio RED Architects

Architects:
Pete Ed Garrett
Trung Doan
Brady Vinje

Awards:
AIA Houston Firm of the Year,
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award,
ULI Development of Distinction Award,
Texas Architect Design Award

Address:
1320 McGowen St., Houston, TX 77004

About Studio RED Architects

TreeHouse Memorial City “is the kind of project that you dream about as a kid,” says Micah Simicek, principal architect with Studio RED. “So as an adult, the chance to build a treehouse or help someone else build a treehouse, it’s even more whimsical.” Studio RED brought environmental harmony along with the whimsy to this two-story, 14,700 square foot office and event space. The building boasts a rooftop garden with solar panels that collects rainwater and indoor lights that adjust automatically. Studio Red collaborated on the project with the Acumen Design Group. TreeHouse Memorial City received two LEED Platinum certifications for interior design and construction. Studio RED Architects worked with Lake | Flato on the design for the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston in 2015. A hub for the vibrant art and performance communities in Houston, the 46,000 square foot MATCH houses a 350-seat theater, rehearsal areas, and smaller black box spaces. MATCH received the Urban Land Institute 2017 Development of Distinction Award in the nonprofit category.

Featured Projects

TreeHouse Memorial City “is the kind of project that you dream about as a kid,” says Micah Simicek, principal architect with Studio RED. “So as an adult, the chance to build a treehouse, or help someone else build a treehouse, it’s even more whimsical.” Studio RED brought environmental harmony along with the whimsy to this two-story, 14,700-square-foot office and event space. The building boasts a rooftop garden with solar panels that collects rainwater, and indoor lights that adjust automatically. Studio Red collaborated on the project with the Acumen Design Group. TreeHouse Memorial City received two LEED Platinum certifications for interior design and construction. Studio RED Architects worked with Lake | Flato on the design for the Midtown Arts And Theater Center Houston in 2015. A hub for the vibrant art and performance communities in Houston, the 46,000-square-foot MATCH houses a 350-seat theater, rehearsal areas, and smaller black box spaces. MATCH received the Urban Land Institute 2017 Development of Distinction Award in the nonprofit category.

ZieglerCooper Architects

Address:
700 Louisiana Street, Suite 350 Houston, TX 77002

About ZieglerCooper Architects

Since it was established in 1977, ZieglerCooper Architects has completed projects that cover over 18 million square feet across the country, an impressive feat for the Houston-based practice. Among the projects completed by the studio are corporate facilities, urban residential buildings, resort-style amenities, hospitality, and mixed-use establishments. The architecture firm upholds inspirational methods in its practice, a trait that makes them stand out from the architectural landscape. Four internal teams work on every project, each one assigned with a specific field and led by a senior principal—Scott Ziegler for the Urban Residential Studio, Mark Nolen for the Workplace Interiors Studio, Jim Zemski for the Corporate and Commercial Architecture, and the Stephen Lucchesi for Worship, Education, and Community Studio.

Featured Projects

Though focused on different markets, the team shares a mission to provide not only stellar structural designs but to enrich people’s lives through its work. Its commercial subsidiary, in particular, has earned acclaim for its top-of-the-line design seen in over 80 high rise buildings throughout Texas. The Lockton Place, an example of its work, is a notable commercial project designed for Triten Real Estate Partners. The eight-story building features a sustainable energy-efficient design with numerous amenities including a café, a fitness center, a conference room, and an improved landscape for an outdoor gathering space.

The Best Restaurant Architects in Houston

Overview

Japanese restaurants modeled on a classic style theater. An elegant French bistro. A New Orleans-inspired cafe perfectly suited for sipping boutique coffee and a burger outpost with an actual school bus inside the restaurant. The restaurants on this list showcase the quirky, the upscale, and the excellent from Houston’s diverse food landscape. And the architects, as any restaurateur will admit, are as much a part of the process as the chefs and waiters. From established and award-winning to promising upstarts, these are the firms serving up Houston’s hottest, state-of-the-art restaurant buildings.

Top Architects

Abel Design Group

Address:
777 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 350, Houston, TX 77056

About Abel Design Group

Established in 2001, Abel Design Group is an acclaimed firm built on the foundation of passion and excellence. Values that uphold quality work and service have propelled the studio to industry prominence, and commendations from former clientele attest to its team’s professionalism and promptness in the field. The studio’s talented roster is made up of 7 architects and 11 interior designers who worked with top design firms all around the world, ensuring design output of the highest standards. The team is spearheaded by Jeffrey Abel and Beth Abel, managing principal, principal, and CFO, respectively. The well-decorated leaders have overseen the company’s growth and vast body of work throughout the years, which spans the commercial, restaurant, retail, fitness, and education sectors, among others. Abel Design Group’s stellar work has earned accolades including the AIA Design Award and the IIDA Best Mid-Sized Firm from the Texas and Oklahoma chapter.

Featured Projects

Mastro’s Steakhouse is a fairly new restaurant located at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston. The Abel Group infused the interior’s aesthetic with Southern influences to separate the Texas branch from its New York, Malibu, and Chicago counterparts. The fine dining establishment features high-end fixtures and surfaces such as grandiose chandeliers, a large outdoor fountain, and a wine storage room considered one of the largest in the state.

Browne McGregor Architects

Address:
520 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 880, Houston, TX 77027

About Browne McGregor Architects

Browne McGregor Architects’ dedication to its craft begins with the planning phase and extends to post-construction check-ins, guiding clients hand-in-hand through every step of the way. The full-service studio has a core focus on quality architecture and interior design completed with meticulous planning. Founders Charles Browne and Jim McGregor established the architecture firm in 1995 and still serve as current principals together with Cory L. Porter. The firm has an award-winning portfolio that spans various commercial fields including retail, educational, restaurant, and science and technology sectors. A vast majority of the team’s projects are LEED-certified, reflecting the firm’s commitment to environmentally-responsible and energy-efficient work.

Featured Projects

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is a project by Browne McGregor Architects in partnership with Tony and Phyllis Mandola. The 6,700 square feet restaurant has a quaint, contemporary design that evokes a welcoming and open atmosphere. The stylish interiors feature wood furniture and standard light fixtures, a flanking dining room, and a private banquet area and patio. Exterior amenities include a porte-cochère for guest reception, on-site parking, and two outdoor dining areas. The patios display decorative gas lamps and wrought iron fencing, traditional touches that offer a classic ambiance complemented by the site’s excellent view of the Houston skyline.

Collaborative Projects

Architects:
Jim Herd

Address:
2727 Fondren Road, Suite 5N, Houston, TX 77063

About Collaborative Projects

Jim Herd doesn’t let the rather unusual lack of any serious web presence by his firm Collaborative Projects keep him from working. Herd has designed restaurants across Houston, working often in the famed Rice Village eating district. Herd studied architecture at the University of Houston and has worked with his former professor John Zemanek on the Hungry’s expansion in Rice Village and on the donut and coffee favorite Morningstar in Houston Heights. Hungry’s offers students at Rice 10 percent off, which might figure into its rating on Eater as one of the “14 essential rice village restaurants.” Herd-designed restaurants have been noticed by Zagat, OutSmart, and the Houston Business Journal, and the Houston Press listed the Herd-designed Haven as one of 10 closed restaurants it would “miss the most at the end of 2014.”

Featured Projects

Bernie’s Burger Bus, a Bellaire burger-and-fries spot, is exactly what it sounds like. Collaborative Projects designed the brick and mortar outpost for this food bus. The firm kept the school theme, with desks that jut out at the edges as food tables, rectangular yellow and black-brick patterns, and a counter attached to pieces of an actual school bus installed during the building process. Thrillist Houston called it “the best school lunch ever.” FM Kitchen + Bar’s sliding windows, picnic tables covered with red canopies, and a courtyard with classic yard games led Eater to call this indoor-outdoor restaurant “Houston’s hottest new spot for patio hangs.” The Houston Press put FM Kitchen + Bar on its list of the 20 restaurants it was looking forward to in 2017 and Zagat included FM Kitchen on its 14 most-anticipated Houston openings. Chef Ryan Hildebrand tapped Jim Herd because he knew Herd could deliver a casual feel. “It’s really in his wheelhouse—the style of place we wanted to do,” Hildebrand told the Houston Press.

CONTENT

Architects:
Jesse Hager

Awards:
AIA Houston Design Awards,
Ben Brewer Architect of the Year Award

Address:
3221 Milam Street, Suite 1, Houston, TX 77006

About Content

Content is a collaborative architecture firm that specializes in design and small-scale commercial projects. Most of its work is with offices, retail stores, and private homes but its foray into the Houston food and drink scene has been a jittering success. Its six-person, in-house team list is topped by Jesse Hager, a LEED Accredited Professional who was the 2017 Ben Brewer Award recipient for Architect of the Year. Content has won two AIA Houston Design Awards, and the firm’s first restaurant in Houston, Honeymoon Cafe, was included in a Zagat list of five Houston restaurants with stunning design.

Featured Projects

The Houston Press hailed The Honeymoon Cafe and Bar, a coffee and snack-breakfast-brunch shop, as “just what downtown needs.” Cofounder Charlotte Mitchell of Boomtown Coffee drew inspiration from sidewalk cafes in Europe and New Orleans. Content was tapped to see the vision through and took full advantage of its location by Congress and Main, near the rail line. Wicker seats and natural light allowed the Honeymoon Cafe to remain flexible enough with a coffee shop vibe during the day and a bar feel at night. Another Content project, Montrose, is right in the middle of “the heart of Houston” and exudes real character through its aesthetic design. The bar and nightspot Goodnight Charlie’s is billed by Context as a “honky-tonk,” with a bar, dance area, and decorative fences that reference rural Texas. Content is partnering with the award-winning Gin Design Group—also on this list—for the interiors.

Gin Design Group

Architects:
Gin Braverman

Awards:
HGTV Faces of Design Awards Editor’s Pick for First Impressions

Address:
3227 Milam Street, Houston, TX 77006

About Gin Design Group

Gin Braverman got her start in Houston’s restaurant scene by designing the beloved Oxheart, a defunct local establishment. (One Houston critic lamented that the thing he would miss most was the angled 11-seat counter.) Despite its acclaim, the diner wasn’t her start in the Houston design scene. Braverman has moved in and out of the city since she was a teen, and in between stops had a stint at the Taiwanese design firm MLD and as a lead designer in New York City on HDTV’s home remodel show Home Rules. She founded the Gin Design Group in 2008, which specializes in contemporary designs that eventually catapulted the practice to prominence. Braverman won the HGTV Editor’s Pick for First Impressions in the 2016 Faces of Design Awards and received two runner-up nods in the 2015 PaperCity Design Awards. A bar designed by Gin Design Group was listed as one of America’s best wine bars by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2015.

Featured Projects

Light, airy, and casual sum up the feel of this Gin Design Group renovation of Ruggles Green in The Woodlands. The patterned tiles set with indoor and outdoor gardens make an easy stopover for residents of the 28,000 acres planned community and for visitors exhausted from tromping through all those acres. The Ruggles Green restaurant was rebranded as Bellagreen in August 2017.
The Gin Design Group went full-on Texas for the Goode Company Barbeque, a spot for Gulf Coast specialties in Shenandoah, just north of Woodlands. Light fixtures look like repurposed chicken feeders—in a good way. The walls and tabletops are made from reclaimed wood from old Texas farmhouses and the doors are mahogany. The Goode Company Barbeque shares a patio with its sister restaurant, and part of Goode’s collaboration with Gin Design, the Goode Company Kitchen & Cantina.

Issac Preminger

Architects:
Issac Preminger

Awards:
American Society of Interior Designers Best Commercial Design Firm Award,
Good Brick Award for Preservation and Renovation

Address:
3262 W. Main Street, Houston, TX 77098

About Issac Preminger

If Houstonians weren’t thrilled when Issac Preminger Architecture & Design International moved from South Miami Beach to Houston, they must be now. Preminger was born in Israel and received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston in 1980. He’s been the principal of his own firm for 37 years and can communicate in four languages. Preminger has worked on everything from his wife’s retail store Indulge to restaurants that change menus once a week, with around 30 design credits on restaurants and bars in Houston. Issac Preminger Architecture & Design won the American Society of Interior Designers Best Commercial Design Firm Award in 2000. The firm won a Good Brick Award for Preservation and Renovation in 2016 for its work on the 90-year-old Dittman Bakery Building.

Featured Projects

The family-run Eloise Nichols Grill & Bar, which serves up a modern take on Southern classics, was named one of Eater’s Most Beautiful Restaurants of 2016. There were only 19 of them and only two in Texas. The vintage wallpaper, globe pendant lights, light-blue glasses, and strategically-placed family photos make for a beautiful, intriguing setting. Houston doesn’t have as many celebrities like New York or L.A., but it can claim birthright to the best celebrity—that’s Beyonce—who has been seen at the Washington Heights butcher shop B&B Butchers. Preminger helped renovate the historic building and former bakery into a two-story, 7,500 square feet restaurant and meat counter with 120 seats. B&B kept a classic butcher look to fit the building’s brick facade. They even saved the original fire doors.

Kirksey Architecture

Architects:
John Kirksey

Awards:
AIA Houston Associate Member of the Year

Address:
6909 Portwest Drive, Houston, TX 77024

About Kirksey Architecture

Kirksey, in true Texas fashion, was founded on youthful energy and a dream, with a bit of stylish charm. Founder John Kirksey, who is a member of the prestigious American Institute of Architects College of Fellows—often abbreviated FAIA—started the firm in Houston one year after he left the University of Texas. He still serves as president and recently received the Wild Life award for environmental contributions from Houston Wilderness. His firm isn’t as prolific in restaurant design as some of the others on this list, as its work leans toward larger-scale civic, religious, and corporate projects. Kirksey’s work in restaurant design was well-commended and located in prominent places in the city, like inside Minute Maid Park. In 2015, Melika Mirzakhani, a member of the hospitality team, was named Associate Member of the Year by AIA Houston.

Featured Projects

The caged Bengal tigers caused a bit of a stir and some protests but there’s no denying that this 175,000-square-foot Landry’s Downtown Aquarium and Restaurant Complex made its mark downtown. The four-story building holds a cafe, a bar, a restaurant, and the world’s tallest fish tank. It’s housed in a former fire station and repurposed with a celebratory, sea-lovers outdoorsy feel, with palm trees, decorative portholes, and incredible views of its 500,000-gallon fish tanks. Houston Astros fans might recognize the numbers behind the 5 & 7 Grill inside Minute Maid Park. It was named after two star Astros, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. The space has a loft upstairs for drinks and a pool and a patio outside for game watching. Kirksey designed the space with comfortable urban living in mind, and it shows. The 5 & 7 Grill received a design award from the American Society of Interior Designers in 2009.

MC2 Architects

Architects:
Chuong Nguyen
Chung Nguyen

Awards:
PaperCity Design Awards First Place,
AIA Houston Design Awards

Address:
5600 Rose Street, Houston, Texas 77007

About MC2 Architects

MC2 Architects was founded in Houston by two brothers in 1995. Chuong and Chung Nguyen both have a background in labor and construction, which they use to great effect with MC2. The brothers see the process of design and the actual work of building as inseparable. They prefer to be involved in every aspect of a project from start to finish. The company website treats design as an almost spiritual pursuit: “The joy is seeing what you have accomplished in the end,” it reads. The approach is clearly working for the firm. MC2 Architects was one of only three finalists nationwide for the James Beard Award for Restaurant Design, and the firm won two Design Awards from the Houston AIA in 2016.

Featured Projects

Triniti restaurant changes color based on where you’re standing. What Forbes called an “ingenious metal mesh curtain” wraps the building, with one side of the curtain painted green and the other orange, so viewers see one of the two colors based on where they approach. The project was a renovation of a 5,000 square feet historic Art-Deco building constructed in 1936. Triniti received an AIA Houston award for Renovation/Restoration in 2012. The Museum District sushi restaurant MF Sushi was inspired by Japanese traditions and set design. The backdrops decorated with mountain landscapes give a nod to the Japanese style of theater called kabuki, while the 25 feet-long counter references omakase, where the patron allows the chef to select the best fish. MF Sushi was completed in 2015 and won a design award for interior architecture from PaperCity in 2016.

McGarr Design & Interiors

Architects:
Julie McGarr

Awards:
Decorative Center of Houston Star on the Rise

Address:
2449 South Blvd., 101 Houston, TX 77098

About McGarr Design & Interiors

At McGarr Design & Interiors, the focus on aesthetics is literally a family affair. Principal Designer Julie McGarr’s mother was a professional designer, and McGarr credits her mother’s imagination as a key influence, along with trips to France and watching her son play in the park. McGarr Design & Interiors is based in Houston and focuses on residential and small-scale commercial projects. It has worked on several notable Houston restaurants, including Brasserie 19, Coppa Ristorante, Coppa Osteria, and the elegant-casual Punk’s Simple Southern. Julie McGarr attended the Art Institute of Houston, where she graduated with honors. She was honored as a “star on the rise” by the Decorative Center of Houston at its annual Spring Market in 2014 and as a “Designer Crush” by the style blog The Peak of Tres Chic.

Featured Projects

The French restaurant Brasserie 19 has been called everything from “drool-worthy” to “essential” and was listed as one of CultureMap’s 10 Houston spots to find A-listers hanging around. The understated black-white-brown theme and long, light-beige long bar have become an essential part of Houston society’s life. There’s even an Instagram account dedicated to eavesdropping at the restaurant, where people are heard discussing everything from astrology to healthcare and interior design. Old meets modern at Coppa Osteria, a fast-casual handmade pasta and pizza favorite near Rice University. The vintage-style and candle-bedecked room lead to a natural focus on the glass-covered “Dough Room,” where the families, academics, professionals, and pedestrians who frequent the area can watch the action or grab pizza from the single-slice window. Coppa Osteria was something of a sister restaurant to Coppa Ristorante until it closed down in 2014.

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Architects:
Michael Hsu

Awards:
Interior Design Association Design Excellence Award

Address:
4910 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78756

About Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Michael Hsu has become a bit of a rock star, or, perhaps, a starchitect in his home base of Austin. His compelling restaurant portfolio includes local projects as well as credits in his hometown abroad. Hsu was born in Taiwan but raised in Houston. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture in 1993 and spent 11 years at the Austin firm Dick Clark + Associates before founding the 21-employee Michael Hsu Office of Architecture in 2005. It has notable restaurants in its client list like Ushi, Bullfight, P. Terry’s Burger Bar, and Shake Shack and has some interesting commercial work as well, like the indoor skydiving chain iFLY. The Michael Hsu Office of Architecture won the International Interior Design Association Design Excellence Award in the retail, residential, and hospitality categories in 2017.

Featured Projects

A favorite among local foodies, the Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market is a casual food spot known for its gourmet sandwiches and farm-fresh salads. Founded by Michael Pero and Ellen Chen, it serves farm-fresh meals and seasonal selections through 35 locations across California and Texas. The store’s second Houston outpost boasts an inviting atmosphere through a sleek white palette both inside and out. Crisp wooden surfaces and sustainable elements add to the hub’s aesthetic charm, which complements the dining experience and social ambiance.

Schooley Design

Architects:
Palmer Brook Schooley

Awards:
AIA Columbus Honor Award

Address:
3262 W. Main Street, Number 11, Houston, TX 77098

About Schooley Design

This local firm’s restaurant designs mirror the diversity of the city it serves. From “Houston’s first gastropub” Izakaya in Midtown to the futuristic decor of Chinese spot V-Star in South Houston and the sunken dining area at the American classics restaurant Benjy’s, Schooley Design has worked on a little bit of everything in the Houston food scene. The prolific three-person restaurant design firm’s principal, Palmer Brook Schooley, founded it in 1990 after working as an associate at Texas Four Architects for four years. He earned his Master of Architecture at Rice University, where his design director Craig Alan Guy also studied in 1985. Schooley is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and received an Honor Award from the AIA chapter in Columbus, Ohio, where he worked with Schooley Caldwell Associates.

Featured Projects

Given the firm’s eclectic and diverse portfolio of restaurant designs, it’s no surprise the duo behind Roostar, the extremely popular banh mi shop, tapped Schooley Design for its Galleria location. The new location emphasized casual functionality with fluted metal while sticking with a red theme that mimicked the established logo. “They are masters at their craft, artists really,” Linda Nguyen told the Houston Press. Schooley Design worked with another prolific designer of restaurants, Jim Herd, on the second building for the expanded Hungry’s in Rice Village that opened on New Year’s Eve last year. Schooley Design handled the interiors while Herd did the building. The new space incorporated remnants of the old building and used natural light to emphasize the American and Mediterranean menu. Schooley Design was hired again when Hungry’s updated its Memorial Drive location.

Studio RED Architects

Architects:
Pete Ed Garrett
Trung Doan
Brady Vinje

Awards:
AIA Houston Firm of the Year,
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award,
ULI Development of Distinction Award,
Texas Architect Design Award

Address:
1320 McGowen Street, Houston, TX 77004

About Studio RED Architects

Studio RED Architects creates unique projects that fit their locations and their design influence is felt in several sectors across Houston. Bisnow ranked it No. 1 on its list of the five most influential architectural firms in the area and many of its larger projects are LEED certified. Studio RED was founded in Houston in 2004 by Pete Ed Garrett, Trung Doan, and Brady Vinje, who are still partners at the firm. Doan was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Asian Chamber of Commerce in 2010 and handles most of the restaurant and hospitality work with Garrett. Studio RED has been nominated for three Houston Business Journal Landmark Awards and won for Public Assemblies in 2017. It was also named the AIA Houston Firm of the Year in 2015.

Featured Projects

Brennan’s, a multiple-award-winning Houston staple founded in 1967, sustained serious fire damage in 2008 during Hurricane Ike. Studio RED architects handled the redesign, which kept a favorite restaurant open and drew rave reviews from the staff. The 16-month replacement even included bringing twin oaks to replace a 40-year-old oak tree in the courtyard. Brennan’s flooded again in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey, but it is so beloved in the South that restaurants as far as New Orleans held fundraisers for the historic institution. When restaurateur Michael Paolucci wanted to overhaul a former Mexican restaurant into the upscale American eatery Cook & Collins, he turned to Studio RED. The space was cramped, so the firm rearranged the interiors to improve workflow. Exposed brick, high ceilings, padded benches, and metal surfaces added an upscale touch while subway tiles and a lunch counter kept it rooted in an old-school vibe, which distinguished Cook & Collins from the many bars nearby in Midtown.

The Best Custom Home Builders (Design-Build) in Houston

Overview

Houston might be the best place to build your own home. Residents who don’t want to settle for a cookie-cutter version of their dream home or have to hire designers and builders separately have plenty of options, and they come with a lot less piggy-bank bashing than other cultural hotspots. Fewer regulations and wide-open spaces have helped Houston maintain its affordability amid a national housing price increase — the city was No. 1 on Forbes’ 2015 list of metro areas where your salary stretches farthest. From luxury architects and NBA stars in The Woodlands to designers with environmentally friendly home kits, there’s a structure to design-build for just about everyone in Houston. This list includes design-build firms who create unique spaces, win awards for their work, and are in demand from top clients.

Top Architects

Brett Zamore Design

Architects:
Brett Zamore

Awards:
Ben Brewer Young Architect Award

Address:
1501 Laird Street, Houston, TX 77008

About Brett Zamore Design

Brett Zamore Designs is best known in Houston for its environmentally friendly, affordable kit home designs. The firm offers seven different kits that borrow from traditional Southern architecture and can be customized by the home builder. The sizes range from 330 to 2,200 square feet. A common style is the “shot-trot,” which combines elements of a shotgun home with a dog trot to improve airflow, lower the temperature — crucial in the Houston summer — and decrease utility cost. Brett Zamore was inspired by his home kit designs while studying at Rice University, where he earned a master’s degree in architecture. Brett Zamore Designs was founded in 2007. The LEED-accredited firm also works on a variety of commercial and residential projects. Brett Zamore was given the Ben Brewer Young Architect Award in 2016.

Featured Projects

Brett Zamore Designs renovated the Dezevallos Hangar at the West Houston airport for a family of four — and their collection of airplanes. The 3,500-square-foot space maintains the open-spaced feel expected of an airport hangar but divides living quarters to provide the privacy of a residence. A red steel box with the master bedroom and hallway float above the main bay, with large windows to view the planes. At Brett Zamore Designs’ Gite House in Houston’s 3rd Ward, the narrow stairways and walls emphasize the impressive African art collection of gallery owner Lloyd Gite. An outdoor alcove creates a 15-foot outdoor section between two areas of the house, leading to a porch-and-living room feel upstairs. The firm built and designed the 2,850-square-foot Gite House in 2014. The Houston Chronicle called it “out of this world,” and it was included on the Rice Design Alliance’s spring architecture tour in 2015.

Frankel Building Group

Architects:
Jim Frankel

Awards:
National Association of Builders Best in Green Award

Address:
5701 Woodway Drive, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77057

About Frankel Building Group

The Frankel Building Group is a true family affair. The firm, often called FBG, was founded by Jim Frankel, who now runs it with his sons Kevin and Scott. Jim Frankel has more than 30 years’ experience in design and homebuilding. He was president of the Greater Houston Builders Association and a founding member of the Custom Builders Council. FBG strives to build in an environmentally sustainable way and was the first firm to adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program. After Hurricane Harvey, Jim Frankel reported that his properties survived the storm. He admitted that this would bring attention to his firm, but he still lamented the city’s loss. “It’s no way to get business,” Frankel told the Houston Chronicle. FBG has received numerous awards, including the National Association of Builders Best in Green award.

Featured Projects

All 55 of the BFG homes in the Woodlands Preserve survived Hurricane Harvey, thanks to an architectural technique called pier-and-beam foundation. The foundation allowed water to flow underneath the home, which saved the structures. “It was like I was in the middle of a river. I was super impressed with how the home was engineered,” homeowner Armando Saenz told the Houston Business Journal about the BFG-built home. “It was amazing.” Pier-and-beam can add an additional $10-$50k to building costs, but FBG co-President Scott Frankel expects it to be used more often. A focus on green building doesn’t mean the houses have to be dull. At BFG’s Palladian Estate, a vast, checker-patterned courtyard surrounds a fountain in a plaza with palm trees. Complex banisters, chandeliers, and artwork adorn the interior throughout.

Greymark Construction

Address:
1207 Bingham, Houston, TX 77007

About Greymark Construction

Founded in 1995 by Leslie King, Greymark Construction is a design-build home construction specialist based in Houston. King was one of the pioneering women in local construction. Her work resulted in a reputation for excellence that has lasted across multiple generations. Her daughter Kelly Kirk continues the family legacy of doing outstanding residential works. Under her leadership, the firm won the Greater Houston Builders Association’s Texas Remodeler of the Year award and Grand Remodeler prize from 2010 to 2015.

Featured Projects

The firm’s portfolio sports traditional and contemporary Texan home styles. The modest Bungalow with neutral tones shown in the photo is among the firm’s best whole house projects. The home has a cozy appeal that doesn’t overlook functionality. All in all, the home shows that unpresuming homes can be grand without overdoing the size and details.

GSMA

Architects:
Carrie G. Shoemake
Ernesto L. Maldonado

Awards:
AIA Houston Design Awards,
AIA Houston Firm of the Year,
Preservation Houston Good Brick Award

Address:
5305 Jackson Street, Houston, TX 77004

About GSMA

The staff at GSMA see themselves as character architects. The firm was founded in 1996 — as Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects, Inc. It works on civic, commercial, and residential projects. Founding partner Carrie G. Shoemake, FAIA, is a LEED Accredited Professional and Houston native who attended the University of Texas at Austin. She was the president of the Rice Design Alliance and active with the Houston Design Sub-Committee and Museum of Fine Arts. GSMA partner Ernesto L. Maldonado is a longtime advocate for Houston’s homeless population. GSMA has received 10 AIA Houston Design Awards and was AIA Houston’s firm of the year in 2013.

Featured Projects

GSMA received a Preservation Houston Good Brick Award in 2017 for its work on the Hobby House. The house was first built in 1929 and served as the residence for the newspaper publisher and Texas Governor William P. Hobby. The house fell into disrepair, and GSMA was tapped to restore the home, while respecting its historic design. The firm rebuilt a previous addition, added extra kitchen space, and restored the garden. The Bluegate House, constructed and designed by the firm, was the second LEED Platinum residential house in Houston. The design was based on the owner’s childhood home. The environmental elements were secured through efficient construction, with LED lighting, tankless water heaters, and yard elements that don’t require constant watering. The Bluegate Street home was included on the City of Houston Green Building Tour in 2013.

HarrisonKornberg Architects

Architects:
James Harrison and
ion-details”>Awards:
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award,
Associated Masonry Contractors Of Houston Golden Trowel Award

Address:
3800 Buffalo Speedway, Suite 550, Houston, TX 77098

About HarrisonKornberg Architects

This medium-sized firm was founded in 2003. The name is a combination of its two principals, James Harrison and Daniel Kornberg. Harrison received his Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University in 1991 and holds an NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) Certificate. Kornberg attended Duke and the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Master of Architecture in 1990. He is an LEED Accredited Professional. The firm works on a variety of commercial, civic, and residential projects, with an emphasis on design that supports people, and architectural techniques that lower cost. A minority-owned business, HarrisonKornberg is registered with the state of Texas as a Historically Underutilized Business. The firm’s buildings received the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award and the Associated Masonry Contractors Of Houston Golden Trowel Award in 2017.

Featured Projects

In the historic Southampton neighborhood, the HarrisonKornberg-designed Albans Residence was made to blend into its neighborhood. The 4,800-square-foot space is built in the shape of a C, allowing for efficient use of space and maximum area for the swimming pool. HarrisonKornberg used unglazed clay tile, metal wall panels, and a metal roof to lower future maintenance needs, which shows the advantage of a design-build approach. At a house in Montrose, the firm helped lower construction costs by providing a simple frame for the TNT Residence. The 3,500-square-foot building has full living, dining, and kitchen areas; two bedrooms; a garage; and an art studio for the couple — both artists — who purchased it. With a rectangular footprint of 23 x 85 feet, the house is an example of efficient space usage.

Jauregui Architect

Architects:
Luis Jauregui, FAIA

Awards:
2017 College of Fellows – American Institute of Architects,
2016 Texas Custom Builder of the Year,
2017 National Builder of the Year NAHB,
‘Outstanding Alumni 2017’ of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M

Address:
25317 Interstate 45 North, The Woodlands, TX 77380

About Jauregui Architect

This Austin-based firm was the National Association of Home Builders 2016 Custom Builder of the Year. The Jauregui architecture firm has worked on custom building and design services for over 30 years. Its team is fully committed to the design-build process. The firm only does design for build clients, and only builds spaces it designed. In Austin, the firm’s president, Luis Jauregui, FAIA, is something of a local hero. He was presented with an official proclamation from the mayor in 2017. Jauregui has thrived in Houston as well as Austin, with a strong following in The Woodlands since 2001. Luis is a leading champion of design-build among architects and builders, speaking regularly at national, state and local AIA and NAHB conferences. He is 2018 Past President of AIA Austin and a founding member of the Custom Residential Architects Network within AIA national. Luis earned a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University and was honored as Outstanding Alumni by the College of Architecture in 2017.

Featured Projects

For the Johnson Residence, Luis Jauregui built a mansion in the Woodlands that was a lesson in luxury, with a spiral staircase, elaborate columns in its master bedroom, a circular spa resting under a Venetian chandelier, and a game room with a pool table, bar, and flat-screen TV. The client was NBA coach Avery Johnson, who wanted to collaborate with his wife, Cassandra, on a home that would mix Italian, French, and Mediterranean architecture. CultureMap Houston called it “one amazing mansion.” Jauregui built another house in the Woodlands he called Texas Chic. The 7,200-square-foot house has a more modest design, with brick walls, wide gardens, and fountains that recall the open space of rural Texas. A wing-sized covered section near the pool provides an indoor-outdoor effect.

Jay Baker Architects

Architects:
Jay Baker

Address:
3815 Montrose Boulevard, Suite 205, Houston, TX 77006

About Jay Baker Architects

Jay Baker, shares a designation held by only three percent of American Institute of Architects members — he is in its prestigious College of Fellows, the highest honor awarded by the institute, which is often abbreviated FAIA. Baker believes that architectural work should express a sense of place. That’s the guiding philosophy behind his firm, Jay Baker Architects, founded in 1991. Most of the firm’s work is on private, residential homes. It provides services for new construction, renovations, additions, and long-term planning for ambitious house projects. Jay Baker received his Master of Architecture from Rice University, which he attended with a full merit scholarship, in 1980. Baker later taught architecture at Rice University and was on the board of the Hermann Park Conservancy. A home designed by Jay Baker Architects was included on architect James Evans’ list of his 10 favorite Houston homes compiled for Houstonia magazine. Another Jay Baker home was featured in the Rice Design Alliance’s 2016 spring showcase

Featured Projects

For the Arlington Residence, Jay Baker Architects connected two buildings on three lots, one for each building, with a pool filling the center lot. The rooms in the house were arranged enfilade — where each room opens to the next in an interconnected series — to provide better views and create a feeling of progression as a resident or guest passes through the property. The Arlington Residence was included on the 2011 and 2016 Rice Design Alliance home tours. In Broadacres, Jay Baker Architects received a request to build a house that would be “comfortable for two people as well as 200.” This was achieved by placing the largest portion of the estate in the center of the property, with more spare buildings toward the edge, which blends with the woodland feel of the planned subdivision

Lake|Flato

Architects:
Ted Flato
David Lake

Awards:
Global Award for Sustainable Architecture,
AIA Firm of the Year,
American Institute of Steel Construction Merit Award

Address:
311 Third Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

About Lake|Flato

Ted Flato and David Lake, the founding partners of Lake|Flato, are both members of the AIA’s prestigious College of Fellows. Lake is an urban development enthusiast and Austin native. He supervised the opening of the firm’s Austin office. Flato is an active member of the AIA Committee on the Environment. He focuses on sustainable design. The firm has won over 270 architecture and design awards, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and the AIA Firm of the Year award. It was named among Fast Company’s list of the 10 most innovative architectural firms in the world. Lake|Flato is based in San Antonio but offers services in Houston. The firm was founded in 1984 and now has an 89-person staff that includes 31 registered architects and 42 LEED Accredited Professionals.

Featured Projects

Lake|Flato’s Bayou Residence received the Merit Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction, and it was Architecture Magazine’s Home of the Year. The steel structure has expansive glass windows that allow natural lighting to fill the space, which is separated into three parts by rolling panels. This lets the residents reconfigure the space as desired — into smaller, intimate rooms or larger sections for entertaining. Mild browns on the exterior walls help the building blend in with the neighborhood’s many trees. Lake|Flato used exterior light- and dark-brown tones with white ceilings, domed lamps and black, metal beams inside at its Bellaire Residence. A narrow pool behind the house helped maximize space. Extended, covered sidewalks and wall-length greenery added a touch of luxury on the outside.

MC2 Architects

Architects:
Chuong Nguyen
Chung Nguyen

Awards:
PaperCity Design Awards First Place,
AIA Houston Design Awards

Address:
5600 Rose Street, Houston, TX 77007

About MC2 Architects

The brothers behind MC2 Architects planned a true design-build firm. Chuong and Chung Nguyen both worked in construction before starting MC2 Architects. They came to see design and the physical work behind it as inseparable and prefer to be involved in every aspect of a project — from idea to completed building. The Nguyen brothers see this as a more efficient, holistic approach to creating a home. In 2016, MC2 Architects won first place in the PaperCity Design Awards, and they received two design awards from the Houston AIA. A spa designed by MC2 Architects was profiled recently in Texas Architect magazine. The MC2 name came from an old family nickname — Chuong and Chung’s sister used to call them “C squared,” because their names are so similar.

Featured Projects

The Nguyen brothers partnered with an oil industry family on Memorial Drive to fulfill their vision of a unique home with Mediterranean flair. On the 5,700-square-foot King Residence, MC2 used a technique that’s more common in commercial building, called tilt-wall construction, which uses concrete instead of wood to make the structure feel more permanent. The final design included a long, rectangular pool, wide panes of glass placed on the west side of the building to avoid the sun, and a pond with koi fish. At its more modest Three Square House, MC2 built a house centered around a large, live oak tree. The 2,000-square-foot structure features three distinct sections that are rotated 10 degrees around the tree. The smaller squares are closer to the street and hold the house’s secondary areas, while the master bedroom and main living quarters are in the larger, farther square.

On Point Custom Homes

Architects:
Kayla Philbrook
Maria Mast

Awards:
Texas Association of Builders Custom Home Builder of the Year

Address:
940 Corbindale Rd Houston, TX 77024

About On Point Custom Homes

On Point Custom Homes was the Texas Association of Builders 2017 Custom Home Builder of the Year. It was also a finalist on the Houston Business Journal’s 2017 list of the best places to work in Houston. On Point’s founder and CEO, John Leggett got his first taste of building watching his father run a construction business. As a young man, Leggett wanted to do anything but construction, so he studied accounting and business at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. But Leggett came back to his family roots by starting a home-building business in 2005. Since then, he’s been called the “boy wonder of Houston real estate” and built the firm into a local institution.

Featured Projects

An on-the-market On Point Custom Home in Briargrove shows the firm’s commitment to excellence. Timeless elegance was the term used when first sitting down with the clients to design their home. A combination of formal and open concept spaces blends the contemporary with the traditional in this transitional home. Privacy from the street while maintaining an open flow was integral to the design. The design centered on family life with an emphasis on entertaining. This is apparent in the flow from the formal dining room to the bar to the outdoor kitchen and covered veranda.

Oreon Design Group

Address:
2030 N Loop W., Suite #205, Houston, TX 77018

About Oreon Design Group

Houston-based Oreon Design Group is a design-build offering full-service architectural services that include consulting, design, interior design, and construction. The firm’s multidisciplinary approach as a consultant, guide, and advocate was introduced by Yota Papadopulos, University of Houston Architecture, Construction Administration, and Art alumnus. Ms. Papadopulos is active in several professional organizations, including AIA, National Association of Professional Women, and USGBC.

Featured Projects

The eclectic home in Houston Heights displayed in the photo is one of Oreon’s best. In collaboration with Sigma Engineers, the firm brought to life this highly detailed home. The house combines stonework, brickwork, and metal. This proves the firm’s capacity to build detail-oriented and functional homes.

StudioMET Architects

Architects:
Yoonchul You
Stephen Andrews
Shawn Gottschalk

Awards:
AIA Houston Firm of the Year,
HGTV Faces of Design Award,
Decorative Center Houston Stars of Design Award

Address:
2500 Summer St. Studio 3112, Houston, Texas 77007

About StudioMET Architects

This 2007-founded design-build firm is dedicated to its Texas location. The company provides an architectural scholarship to students at the University of Houston, The University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas A&M University. The firm has three principals: Yoonchul You, Stephen Andrews, and Shawn Gottschalk. Yoonchul You has two Master of Architecture degrees, one from the University of Houston and another from Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. He was the senior project designer at Korean Architects Collaborative International for six years. Andrews received his master’s from the University of Houston, and Gottschalk earned his at the University of Texas at Arlington. StudioMET was AIA Houston’s 2016 firm of the year, and it received the Decorative Center Houston Stars of Design Award for Architecture in April 2017.

Featured Projects

StudioMET Architects’ Wharton Home was included on the 2017 Houston Modern Home Tour. The tour is held annually by Houston’s Modern Architecture + Design Society and focuses on that one house “you always drive by and wonder what it must be like to visit it, design it, or even live in it.” The Wharton House sits on a 5,000-square-foot lot in the Energy Corridor. It uses wood and earth colors for a modern, natural look. StudioMET’s 5,500-square-foot Underwood Home mixed black, yellow, and brown color schemes with gray, inset gabion wall, a two-island kitchen, and a small pool for a relaxed, suburban experience. The Underwood Home was included on the AIA Houston Home Tour, featured in Modern Luxury Interiors Texas, and a semi-finalist for HGTV’s Faces of Design Award, in 2016.

The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Houston

Overview

Skyscrapers hog the headlines when it comes to Houston’s architectural scene. Most everyone has heard of Pennzoil Place or is at least vaguely familiar with the look of Johnson Burgee-era buildings. But Houston’s architects and builders have never limited themselves to a single style. They live here too, after all, and they want to create interesting structures. And Houston has many of those: from shipping-container homes on the cutting edge of hip, urban living to planned high-rise villages on the Woodlands waterfront. Here are 10 architects who help make Houston home, and who are receiving impressive accolades from regional and national associations.

This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.

Top Architects

Collaborative Designworks

Architects:
James Evans
Adriana Camacho
Matt Peterka

Awards:
AIA Houston Young Architect Award,
AIA Houston Design Award

Address:
4415 Woodhead Street, Houston TX 77098

About Collaborative Designworks

Collaborative Designworks is a small firm staffed by lifelong architecture professionals. They offer construction, design, and planning services. The firm is owned by James Evans, who spent six years as an associate architect at Kirksey. Adriana Camacho rounds out the design team. Camacho received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s of Architecture from Tulane University and spent five years as a designer at Energy Architecture. The firm’s projects appear regularly on the annual AIA Houston Home Tour and their work has been featured in the Houston Chronicle, Houston Modern Luxury, and Texas Architect Magazine, among others. Evans received the AIA Houston Young Architect Award in 2010.

Featured Projects

Collaborative Design Works showed its commitment to community planning and environmental preservation with House 1700 in Cherryhurst. The 4,357 square foot home was designed around the location of a mature oak tree. The firm worked with the Houston Planning Department and the local homeowner’s association on a plan that made room for the tree and the building on the 5,000 square feet lot by increasing the setback. Dark walnut covered the home’s second-floor exterior while terraces and outdoor spaces were placed under the tree for a “modern treehouse effect.” House 1700 was included on the AIA Houston Home Tour in 2017. House 2045 was arranged for a client concerned about future mobility issues and grants full access on one floor. The house employed few doors and a design that relied on two intersecting, rectangular tubes. House 2045 was included on the Rice Design Alliance Home Tour in 2010 and received a Design Award from AIA Houston in 2006.

Dwight Patterson Architects

Address:
1334 Brittmoore Road, Houston, TX 77043

About Dwight Patterson Architects

Dwight Patterson Architects, also known as DPA, is guided by a client-inspired and design-driven principle, one that has elevated its status to prominence on the Houston architectural landscape. The award-winning studio has a core focus on modern and functional design and offers key services that center around residential, commercial, restaurant, and worship architecture. Customer-relationships are also integral in its operations, and fortifying bonds through positive collaboration and dedicated service is well-ingrained in its team. Its talented roster of craftspeople is led by eponymous principal Dwight D. Patterson, an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience and expertise in architecture and design. Patterson is a registered architect in Texas and California and his firm is an affiliate of the AIA’s national, Houston, and Orange County chapters as well as the Texas Society of Architects (TSA).

Featured Projects

The Seidel Residence featured is a residential project designed by DPA. The three-story Houston home features monumental mass elements that ground its structures and clear glass walls that allow homeowners to enjoy its scenic natural surroundings. Minimalist exterior design complements the crystal and stone elements, giving off a stylish elegance fit for a magazine spread. At night, the open layout is illuminated by bright lights installed all throughout the house, rendering the modern manor a beacon in the neighborhood.

Greymark Construction

Architects:
Leslie King

Awards:
Greater Houston Builder Association Prism Award,
Texas Association of Builders 2017 STAR Awards

Address:
1207 Bingham Street, Houston, TX 77007

About Greymark Construction

Greymark Construction brings a practical approach to its architectural and design-build services. The firm’s focus is mostly on remodeling and design. “We will not design something that can’t be built on a budget because we are the ones who will have to build the project for the stated amount” the firm states on its website. Greymark president Leslie King studied business administration and management at Sam Houston University. Architectural expertise comes from project manager Courtney Doss-Lomas and designer Jorge Arreola. Doss-Lomas, a native Houstonian, earned her Master of Architecture at the University of Houston. Graymark has awards from Professional Remodeler magazine, the Texas Association of Builders, and the Greater Houston Builders Association.

Featured Projects

Greymark Construction remodeled a River Oaks Home in a stylish, upscale neighborhood. The final version had a black, winding metal handrail on curved stairs, black-accented rectangular long-pane windows that opened onto a pool, and a long kitchen island with room for six stools to rest comfortably. Easy-open doors were attached to the entertainment area to quickly create an indoor-outdoor living room.

GSMA

Architects:
Carrie G. Shoemake

Awards:
AIA Houston Design Awards,
AIA Houston Firm of the Year

Address:
5305 Jackson Street, Houston, TX 77004

About GSMA

GSMA was founded in 1996 as Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects, Inc. The name was later shortened to reflect its initials, but the firm’s ethos remained: to create unique buildings with personality. GSMA works on a variety of residential, civic, and commercial projects with services that include architecture, new construction, renovation, preservation, and design. Founding partner Carrie G. Shoemake, FAIA, is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and Houston native who attended the University of Texas at Austin. She was the president of the Rice Design Alliance and an active member of the Houston Design Sub-Committee and Museum of Fine Arts. GSMA has received 10 AIA Houston Design Awards and was named AIA Houston’s Firm of the Year in 2013.

Featured Projects

GSMA constructed the second LEED Platinum residential home in Houston called the Bluegate Street Home. The firm used efficient construction techniques—LED lighting, tankless water heaters, and a yard designed to avoid excessive water waste—to reach the added environmental standards. Its structural design was based on the owner’s memory of a childhood house. The Bluegate Street Home was included on the City of Houston Green Building Tour in 2013. GSMA exhibited its capacity for custom design at the Terramar Beach House in Galveston. The client wanted something small, comfortable, and private. The firm responded with a modest two-story home. A combined palette of light blues and mild browns form a natural, airy theme. The house frame was shifted to improve views of the sky and minimize views of neighboring homes.

Keechi Creek Home Builders

Architects:
Brandon Lynch
Sheri Lynch
Tommy Strong

Awards:
Greater Houston Builders Association Custom Builder of the Year,
Better Business Bureau Award of Excellence

Address:
21175 State Highway 249, No. 328, Houston, TX 77070

About Keechi Creek Home Builders

Keechi Creek Home Builders is run by a married couple and a third-generation carpenter. It’s a full-service design-build firm that helps clients through each phase of the home-building process. Brandon Lynch serves as the firm’s president, and Sheri Lynch is CFO. Tommy Strong, the carpenter for the firm, is also the project manager. Sheri and Brandon both attended Texas A&M University. Brandon is active with the Greater Houston Builders Association and chairs the Custom Building Council. He was named Custom Builder of the Year in 2015. Strong studied English at the University of Texas and has written for Remodeling Magazine, Professional Remodeler, and the Houston Chronicle. Keechi Creek Builders is a Better Business Bureau Award of Excellence Winner.

Featured Projects

A 10k-square-foot Teaswood Home in Conroe, north of the Woodlands, has everything required for a large family: four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a game room, a study, and a dining room, with a sauna for relaxing. The home design is contemporary casual, with a curved banister on the stairs, a large yard, and wooden, decorative furnishings in the restrooms and lounging areas. The house was certified Green Built Gulf Coast, a program by the Greater Houston Builders Association that recognizes environmentally sustainable building practices. A pool house addition by Keechi Creek Builders received the award for Best Specialty Room from the Texas Association of Builders in 2011. It was designed with a vaulted ceiling to be spacious enough for comfortable entertaining, while still feeling small enough for intimate conversations.

Lake|Flato

Architects:
Ted Flato
David Lake

Awards:
Global Award for Sustainable Architecture,
AIA Firm of the Year,
American Institute of Steel Construction Merit Award

Address:
311 Third Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

About Lake|Flato

The architects at the San Antonio-based Lake|Flato believe that architecture should have a sense of place. They strive to create buildings that relate to the natural or built environment in which they are constructed, which shines through their Houston work. Founded in 1984, the practice currently has an 89-person staff that boasts 31 registered architects and 42 LEED Accredited Professionals. Six of its partners are accredited fellows of the AIA, including Ted Flato and David Lake, founding partners of the firm. Flato is an active member of the AIA Committee on the Environment and focuses on sustainable design. Lake is an urban development enthusiast and Austin native who oversaw the opening of Lake|Flato’s Austin office. Their firm has won over 270 architecture and design awards, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and the AIA Firm of the Year award. It was named among Fast Company’s list of the 10 most innovative architectural firms in the world.

Featured Projects

A Bayou Residence by Lake|Flato was named Architecture Magazine’s Home of the Year. The steel and glass structure hides in the dense greenery of its residential Houston neighborhood and is separated into three parts. Rolling panels allow the residents to reconfigure the space into smaller, intimate rooms or create larger sections for entertaining. Wall-length glass panels allow for ample natural lighting within the two-story section of the building. The Bayou Residence won a Merit Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction. A Bellaire Residence designed by the firm used white ceilings, domed lamps, and black metal beams for contemporary, youthful elegance. Light and dark brown tones complemented the thin rectangular pool while greenery climbed the short concrete walls around the residence.

Masa Studio Architects

Address:
3211 Edloe Street #107, Houston, TX 77027

About Masa Studio Architects

MASA Studio Architects is one of the most renowned firms in Houston and has earned a stellar reputation in the city’s architectural arena. Its name is short for Mark Atkins Studio of Architecture and operates as a full-service architecture and interior design practice. The studio is formed on the four pillars of architecture, interiors, fine arts, and design and excels in each department through a solid roster of craftspeople and consistent quality workmanship. His team has worked on both small and large scale projects, each one treated with commitment and creative savvy to deliver top-quality results. Their work encompasses residential, ecclesiastical, retail, corporate, and commercial sectors.
The aforementioned Mark Atkins spearheads the firm, a seasoned expert of his craft with an extensive portfolio of projects in Houston and beyond. The detail-oriented principal has spent decades in the industry, mastering the art of efficient and gorgeous designs that transcend trends and form a lasting impression on people. His industry affiliations include the AIA, NAHB, Texas Association of Builders, and the GHBA.

Featured Projects

The Over the Brook residence featured was completed in 2020. The lavish mansion showcases a serene aesthetic and a minimalist design both inside and outside the estate. Its contemporary interior layout exudes a muted palette of predominantly white hues with black accents and strategic pops of vivid colors.

Natalye Appel + Associates Architects

Architects:
Natalye Appel

Awards:
Houston AIA Firm of the Year,
AIA Houston Design Award

Address:
2523 Bartlett Street, Houston, TX 77098

About Natalye Appel + Associates Architects

Natalye Appel + Associates Architects is a small partnership founded in 1987. The five-person firm works on houses, civic projects, and offices. It was founded by Natalye Appel, FAIA and LEED AP, who attended the Rice University School of Architecture and is a regular presence around Houston. Appel designed a curved concrete pavilion with enough room for a symphony orchestra in Levy Park and created an indoor-outdoor eating area and art car design for Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing Company. She is on the board of the Hermann Park Conservancy and has served on the boards of the AIA, the Rice Design Alliance, and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. Natalye Appel + Associates Architects was the Houston AIA Firm of the Year in 2012 and awarded an AIA Houston Design Award in 2017.

Featured Projects

The 2,850 square feet Cohen Residence in Houston Heights exemplifies Appel’s knack for creating indoor-outdoor spaces. The three-story home has the main living areas and master bedroom on the second and third levels, with large balconies that provide an excellent view of gardens on the base level. Guest bedrooms are on the first floor and have quick access to a covered patio and driveway. The Cohen Residence was included on the Houston AIA Home Tour in 2009 and the Houston Heights Association Home Tour in 2011. Natalye Appel + Associates reconfigured a Triebel-Gist Renovation for a client who didn’t want to tear down the historic structure. The firm removed all unnecessary material to simplify the floor plan and added recyclable metal roofing and high-quality insulation for energy efficiency. The Triebel-Grist Renovation received a Good Brick Award from the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance in 2010.

Newberry Architecture

Principals:
Ken Newberry
Clint Johnson
Gina Brown
Jorge Carranza

Awards:
Houston Heights Association Community Improvement Award,
Houston Design Center Leader in Design Award

Address:
6990 Portwest Drive Suite 190, Houston, TX 77024

About Newberry Architecture

Newberry Architecture was founded in Houston in 1997 and has since completed projects across the country and around the globe. Its work can be found on the West Coast, New York, and Connecticut, and as far from Houston as Belize and Italy. Founding principal Ken Newberry is a LEED Accredited Professional who studied architecture at the University of Rome in Italy and at the University of Houston. The firm offers feasibility studies and residential and commercial architecture services. Newberry Architecture received a Community Improvement award from the Houston Heights Association in 2013. Gina Brown, a principal at the firm, was given a Leader in Design award by the Houston Design Center in April. She joined Newberry Architecture in 2006 and has worked on projects featured in Luxe magazine and Architectural Digest.

Featured Projects

After Hurricane Ike destroyed the Jafarnias’ family home, they hired Newberry Architecture for the rebuild. The result was a 7,400 square-foot space with ample room for their three children. Newberry met the family’s request for more natural light with a glass panel that took up an entire wall and made the pool and back patio feel like an extension of the room. Newberry suggested melding the living and dining areas into one room, an idea the client appreciated later. A 1933 Mansion renovated by Newberry Architects was included on Architectural Digest’s list of “nine Texas homes where sophistication is key.” The building had an elaborate trim and was set back behind gates, conjuring images of an Old World estate.

Nonya Grenader Architects

Architects:
Nonya Grenader

Awards:
AIA Houston 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award,
AIA Houston Design Award for Residential Architecture

Address:
2406 Quenby Street, Houston, TX 77005

About Nonya Grenader Architects

Nonya Grenader has received the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor—inclusion in its prestigious College of Fellows, often abbreviated FAIA—a designation shared by only three percent of its members. She is the principal of Nonya Grenader Architects, a small firm that works on residential and civic restoration projects. Sam Grenader joined the firm in 2014, six years after receiving his master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. Nonya Grenader has taught at the Rice University School of Architecture since 1994. She is a professor in practice and the associate director of the Rice Building Workshop, which focuses on affordable housing and architectural community engagement in Houston’s Third Ward. Grenader received the AIA Houston 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual December holiday party.

Featured Projects

Like many great architects, Grenader’s interest in design extends to her home, which received a Design Award for Residential Architecture from AIA Houston in 2009. The 1,800 square feet house is raised with a pier-and-beam foundation, which gives it a treehouse feel and adds privacy and flood protection. The house is linked by a bridge to a small studio nearby and allows for natural use of the elements with multiple rows of awning-style windows. An L-shaped home at 823 Shirkmere designed by Grenader was included on the Rice Design Alliance 2017 Spring Architecture Tour, titled “Living in Floodplains.” The house, located in the deed-restricted Timbergrove Manor neighborhood of mostly ranch-style homes, had an elevated first-floor plate designed for buildings in floodplains. The main windows were configured to face north, which helped the L-shape maximize proper airflow, avoid excess heat from the nearby railway, and provide privacy for the backyard pool.

Shane Cook Designs

Designers:
Shane Cook

Awards:
Paper City Design Awards,
American Society of Interior Designers Awards

Address:
P.O. Box 70247, Houston, TX 77270

About Shane Cook Designs

Shane Cook Designs offers services in architecture, new construction, project management, and interior design for residential and commercial projects. Owner Shane Cook earned a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas and then moved to Houston, where he spent 12 years as a senior designer at Morris Architects. Shane Cook Designs uses traditional architectural practices to create stylish contemporary homes. The firm was featured on a Season 4 episode of HGTV’s House Crashers and has received several awards, including Paper City Design Awards in 2014 and 2015 and American Society of Interior Designers awards from the Gulf Coast Chapter for Single Space Utility, Commercial-Healthcare, and Commercial-Corporate. Cook is also a practicing artist and was featured in the Lawndale Arts Center show “Art by Architects.”

Featured Projects

Shane Cook showed his firm’s forward-thinking stance on land-use when he built a Shipping Container Home for a family in Houston Heights. Two gray containers were stacked with the top container longer than the other; the base consisted of metal beams to allow room for parking. The owners commissioned a local graffiti artist to paint a mural on the lower level for an authentic urban theme. The home won a Paper City Design Award in the Green Project-Use of Sustainable Products category. In a Montrose Condominium, Cook used his expertise in alternative living to help a client renovate a 768 square feet space. Cook took out everything—right down to the drywall—except for the bathroom. The kitchen was elevated and porcelain tiles covered the floor. The bedroom was flipped to create extra space and a privacy divider was added to its interior.

StudioMET Architects

Architects:
Yoonchul You
Stephen Andrews
Shawn Gottschalk

Awards:
AIA Houston Firm of the Year,
HGTV Faces of Design Award,
Decorative Center Houston Stars of Design Award

Address:
2500 Summer St., Suite 3112, Houston, TX 77007

About StudioMET Architects

StudioMET is well respected in Houston, and for good reason. The firm was AIA Houston’s 2016 firm of the year and received the Decorative Center Houston Stars of Design Award for Architecture in April. The studio was founded in 2007 and has remained firmly dedicated to Houston for over 10 years. It offers an architectural scholarship to students at the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas A&M University. The firm’s philosophy is to approach each project as a unique endeavor and to create timely, environmentally sustainable buildings that meld with their surroundings. StudioMET has three principals: Yoonchul You, Stephen Andrews, and Shawn Gottschalk. Yoonchul You has two Master of Architecture degrees, one from the University of Houston and another from Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. Andrews received his master’s from the University of Houston and Gottschalk earned his at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Featured Projects

The Houston Modern Architecture + Design Society hosts an annual Modern Home Tour that takes participants into that one house “you always drive by and wonder what it must be like to visit it, design it, or even live in it.” StudioMET’s Wharton Home was included on the 2017 tour—a structure that uses wood and earth colors for a natural look that blends with the 5,000 square feet lot in the Energy Corridor where it stands. Another tour-favorite from StudioMET was the Underwood Home, which was included on the AIA Houston Home Tour, featured in Modern Luxury Interiors Texas, and a semi-finalist for HGTV’s Faces of Design Award. The 5,500 square feet Underwood Home mixes black, yellow, and brown color schemes with a gray inset gabion wall and a two-island kitchen for a relaxed, suburban experience. A small rectangular pool adds a luxurious finishing touch.

The Best Office Architects in Houston

Overview

Houston is a city of business and industry, which its skyline reflects. And while the Philip Johnson Pennzoil-Place style may have dominated in the 1970s and ‘80s, new generations of architects are finding fresh ways to approach the buildings where Houstonians work. The city still has plenty of skyscrapers and sprawling office campuses — and probably always will — but they’re now being supplemented by repurposed churches, creative coworking spaces for the modern freelancer, and gorgeously designed interiors themed to the work that happens inside them. Here are 10 office architects shaping the future, and present, of work in Houston, recognized for the scale of their projects, the awards their projects have received, and, of course, their innovation.

Top Architects

10
PDR

Architects & Designers:
Drew Patton
Larry Lander
Doug Hellmann
Robert Olvera
Marc Bellamy
Peter Fisher
Stuart Harris
Lauri Goodman Lampson

Awards:
AIA Houston Design Awards,
Houston Chronicle Top Workplace Award
American Marketing Association Crystal Award

Address:
2 Houston Center, 909 Fannin, Floor 39, Houston, TX 77010

About PDR

PDR — short for Planning, Design, Research — is a design and architecture firm that was founded during what it calls “Houston’s last great building boom.” That’s the years from 1977 to 1983, when 36 of the city’s 100 tallest buildings were constructed. PDR worked directly with developers at the time, but over the years it has shifted to emphasize the design aspect of its work, and now often contracts directly with the companies that rent space in Houston’s office buildings. The firm has worked with many notables, including Accenture, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, and the Houston-based development giant Hines. In 2012, PDR won three American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston Design Awards, and in 2016, it was included on the Houston Business Journal’s list of the 25 largest architectural firms in Houston.

“My focus is on gaining a deep understanding of the business and its strategy for success and then developing strategic workplace solutions that enable those goals.” – Lauri Goodman Lampson

Featured Projects

PDR designed Headquarters for TPC Real Estate. The companies wanted to create a unique type of coworking space for businesses in the vibrant East Downtown — often called EaDo — section of Houston. EaDo sits near the two largest employment centers in Houston and attracts constant business traffic. The space PDR and TPC Real Estate worked on has a relaxed layout, with mostly white walls and enough splashes of art to make the building feel fun. One prominent painting features an astronaut with a tie. The space offers flexible contracts to small- and midsize businesses and has a variety of rooms for meetings or privacy as needed. At the latest space for its longtime client Vitol, PDR personalized a 65k-square-foot office. The space has a large, open-floor trading area for the commodities company, with occasional flourishes of unobtrusive art and an excellent view of the city.

9
Powers Brown

Architects:
Joe Powers and Jeffrey Brown

Awards:
Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award,
the Engineering News-Record Texas and Louisiana Best Project award,
PaperCity Design Award,
AIA Houston Design Award

Address:
2100 Travis Street, Suite 501, Houston, TX 77002

About Powers Brown

Powers Brown was founded in 1999 by Joe Powers and Jeffrey Brown, who was awarded one of the most prestigious titles in architecture, membership in the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows — often abbreviated FAIA — a designation shared by only 3 percent of its members. The firm specializes in what it calls “neglected territory” — construction technologies, project types, and design methods ignored by most architectural practices. Powers Brown has offices in Houston, Denver, Washington, DC, and Canada, as well as projects all over the world, including planned towns in Egypt and Pakistan. The work Powers Brown has done in Houston has a stronger, more industrial feel than some of the boutique offices on this list. But its inclusion here speaks to the diversity of office needs in the Houston area. The firm has won more than 81 design awards, including the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award, the Engineering News-Record Texas and Louisiana Best Project award, a PaperCity Design Award, and an AIA Houston Design Award.

Featured Projects

Powers Brown was the architect for phase one of the massive Fallbrook Pines Business Park. The 117-acre park consists of four single-story, tilt-wall, office-warehouse buildings designed for businesses that need a large amount of on-site storage. The complex is near the intersection of Beltway 8 and Highway 249 in Houston’s industrial Northwest submarket. The Fallbrook Pines Business Park received the Tilt-Up Achievement Award from the Tilt-Up Concrete Association in 2016. Houston Public Media reported in July that Amazon intends to rent space in the complex for its Amazon Fresh delivery service. Powers Brown’s Intermarine Shipyard Project earned an honorable mention in the 2016 Paper City Design Awards. The 21,765-square-foot space serves as a logistics hub for the international transport company Intermarine. The firm experimented with using shipping containers as building materials, but pivoted from the idea when they weren’t suitable for the site. “No shipping containers were harmed during the making of this building,” the firm joked in a statement in Architect magazine.

8
English + Associates

Architects:
Kathleen English

Awards:
Preservation Houstion Gold Brick Award

Address:
1919 Decatur Street, Houston, TX 77007

About English + Associates

English + Associates is a collaborative architecture and design firm that works on commercial, civic, residential, and conceptual work. The firm prioritizes environmentally sustainable development. It signed the 2030 Challenge in 2010 — which is a 2006 call from the AIA for all new buildings, developments, and renovations to be carbon neutral by 2030 — and 85 percent of its employees are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professionals. The firm has won multiple awards for office culture and architecture. It was a winner of the Houston 101 Best Companies to Work For in 2016 and 2015, among the top three of the ZweigWhite best firms for architecture in 2013, listed as one of the top 20 architects in Houston by Expertise, and placed multiple times in the AIA Houston Gingerbread Buildoff Competition, where local firms make structures with only edible materials.

Featured Projects

English + Associates’ work on the Level Office location in the Theater District was on the Houston Business Journal’s list of coolest office spaces. Level Office rents coworking space to companies, contractors, and self-employed workers on short- and long-term contracts, so they needed a flexible floor plan. The building has multiple conference rooms, a range of office sizes and meeting rooms, and a communal kitchen with rotating beers on tap. For an adaptive reuse project, English + Associates renovated a 100-year-old Baptist church into an open design workspace for its own office building on Decatur Street. The firm brought the 12k-square-foot building into compliance with building codes and ADA requirements, and added a 15k-gallon system to capture rainwater. The project won a Gold Brick Award from Preservation Houston in 2004.

7
Page Southerland Page, Inc.

Architects:
Larry Speck

Awards:
Texas Society of Architects Medal for Lifetime Achievement,
AIA Design Award,
AIA Firm of the Year,
Urban Land Institute Houston Development of Distinction Award

Address:
1100 Louisiana Street, Suite 1, Houston, TX 77002

About Page Southerland Page, Inc.

Page Southerland Page, often just called Page, opened its Houston office in 1973. It’s a global firm with a local outlook. The Houston office was a key catalyst in the revitalization of the downtown’s buildings in the 1990s. Staff members sometimes lead architectural tours through downtown on a red, double-decker bus, and the firm has been outspoken about what architects should do to protect cities from floods in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Page Senior Principal Larry Speck, FAIA, was dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin from 1992 to 2001. In 2017, he received the Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Society of Architects. Page has won numerous awards — including nine for design or architecture of offices.

Featured Projects

When the Houston-based New Process Steel had to move to accommodate a new freeway, the company moved to a new warehouse and hired Page to create its new office. The building was separated into three areas: 30,200 square feet of offices, 40k square feet of parking, and an unbuilt area for future expansions. Page used translucent Kalwall panels, metal beams, and creative greenery to make a space that was comfortable for work, while still retaining and acknowledging its industrial heritage. The New Process Steel headquarters received an AIA Houston Design Award and an Honor Award from the Society of American Registered Architects. The firm’s own office — with a beige-white layout, tall, expansive ceilings, checkered-floor conference areas, and fountains — has even won awards. In 2007 it received the Houston AIA Design Award for Interior Architecture for Suite One, a former bank lobby.

6
Inventure Design

Architects:
James O’Neill

Awards:
Preservation Houstion Gold Brick Award,
BUILD Interior Design Firm of the Year for Texas

Address:
3118 Richmond Avenue, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77098

About Inventure Design

Inventure Design was founded as Architecture + Interiors in 1997. The firm started winning awards — and changing names — almost immediately. It went through four name changes before settling on Inventure Design. The firm places a heavy emphasis on collaboration and technology in its approach to work. Clients are shown potential designs with 3D modeling, which allows for intricate discussion of a project’s structural details. Inventure Design’s founding principal, James O’Neill, prefers to be involved in all projects. O’Neill studied at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of Notre Dame and is a member of the Rice Design Alliance. In 2016, Inventure Design received a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston, and it was BUILD’s Interior Design Firm of the Year for Texas.

Featured Projects

One reason the team at Inventure Design can focus on creating great offices is because their own is so sweet. The Inventure Design office was the first stop on an ABC-13 video tour of Houston’s coolest offices. ABC marveled at the floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for maximum natural light, and the kitchen packed with drinks, food, and wine. “It’s amazing how many 4 p.m. meetings you’ll get scheduled at this place,” O’Neill told ABC-13. The office won a Landmark Award from the Houston Business Journal in 2014. At the Caterpillar Solar Turbines Houston Headquarters, the firm used a striking mix of bright yellow walls and vivid blue screens to create an energetic office. Work spaces are divided into various sizes, with small, firm chairs for quick meetings and glass panels that display an “Innovation Station.”

5
Lauckgroup

Architects:
Alan Lauck
Anne Kniffen
Brigitte Preston

Awards:
Starnet Worldwide Corporate Gold Award,
Shaw Design Award

Address:
5847 San Felipe Street, Suite 2050, Houston, TX 77057

About Lauckgroup

Lauckgroup is an interior architecture firm with offices across Texas, and projects across the country. It was founded in 1984 by Alan Lauck and is now co-owned by Managing Principal Anne Kniffen and Principal of Design Brigitte Preston. Kniffen studied architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and was an associate at the worldwide architecture and design firm HOK for five years. Preston also worked at HOK, for 13 years, and studied architecture at Kansas State University and the Coloma Instituut. Lauckgroup won the Starnet Worldwide Corporate Gold Award for flooring at an office in Austin, and the Shaw Design is… award for work on a women’s center in Dallas. An office it designed in New Orleans was used as a film location for two movies: 99 Homes and Get Hard, which starred Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.

Featured Projects

Lauckgroup designed the new 8,970-square-foot headquarters for the Harris County Sports Authority in Houston. The office had white walls and red chairs throughout, with tall block letters that read “Houston,” and championship memorabilia from local teams at strategic locations. Lauckgroup designed the office to be “tech-forward,” with a prominent 7 x 11-foot audio visual display, and a network of interconnected screens that stream sports content. The breakroom looks out onto Minute Maid Park, where the Astros play. The Harris County Sports Authority was featured recently on officelovin.com. Lauckgroup used a more traditional style for the offices of the law firm Weil. The curated artworks and beige-brown color scheme give the office a classic, modern feel. The staff areas were rearranged to improve workflow and decrease visual clutter.

4
Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler
David J. Calkins

Awards:
ENR #1 Green Building Design Firm in Commercial Offices,
Building Design + Construction Giants #1 Office Sector Architecture Firm,
Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award,
Preservation Houston Good Brick Award for Renovation

Address:
711 Louisiana Street, Suite 300, Houston, TX 77002

About Gensler

Gensler is a global firm, but its Houston office keeps a local outlook. Gensler has a range of projects in Houston, from planned developments to media centers. The Harvard Business Journal ranked the firm No. 1 on its list of the largest Houston area architectural firms in 2014. The Houston office has two managing principals: Stephanie Burrett and Gerald Gehm. Burrett has worked for Gensler for 25 years and is active with the local Boy Scouts. Gehm is a member of the Ace Mentor Program for Architecture, Construction and Engineering. Gensler was founded in 1965 and opened the Houston office — its first in Texas — in 1972. Among other awards, the company received the Texas Society of Architects Architecture Firm Award in 2015 and a Good Brick Award for Renovation from Preservation Houston in 2016.

Featured Projects

BBVA Compass, a Spanish banking firm, wanted Gensler to create an office that would foster employee collaboration. The result was an entirely open-floor plan, with a raised-floor system so employees could work in almost any part of the space. White serves as the base color, with accents in yellow and blue. The 19th floor stairwell shows off a sculpture and light-blue lighting. The BBVA Compass office was included on the Houston Business Journal’s list of the city’s coolest office spaces in 2015. Gensler’s record for LEED building was a key factor in its selection as the architect for the Capital Tower in downtown. Gensler designed the 33-story building to minimize its environmental footprint, with charging stations for electric vehicles, a rainwater collection system, and less parking than a typical office building. Capital Tower was the first Houston project awarded LEED V4 Platinum precertification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

3
Ziegler Cooper Architects

Architects:
Scott Ziegler
Kurt Hukk
Mark Nolen

Awards:
Houston Business Journal Landmark Award

Address:
700 Louisiana Street, Suite 350, Houston, TX 77002

About Ziegler Cooper Architects

Ziegler Cooper Architects was founded in 1977. It works on a variety of civic, commercial, and residential projects, and it takes a particular interest in creating modern, urban residential spaces. The firm splits its practice into four categories, called studios, with a principal leading each. Mark Nolan leads the Workplace Interiors Studio. He graduated from the University of Houston and is a member of the National Council Architectural Review Board (NCARB), the Texas Society of Architecture, and the Houston AIA, among other affiliations. Ziegler Cooper Architects has received the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Award, and its office was included on the Journal’s list of the coolest office spaces in Houston in 2014. The firm participates in various civic events in Houston, including the Houston Food Bank’s annual Canstruction, which invites architectural firms to create structures from canned food for charity.

Featured Projects

When Ziegler Cooper Architects created a space for the collaborative office design showcase DesignHive, it created what was arguably the coolest entry. In contrast to the minimalist themes of the other spaces, Ziegler Cooper used light, bright colors for a playful entry inspired by Casa Giraldi in Mexico City, which was the last house built by famed architect Luis Barragan. The space has blue- and purple-tinted window panels, and lighted, decorative bananas throughout. A jagged “receptionista” table doubled as a coffee bar and reception area. At Ziegler Cooper’s Research Forest Lakeside 4 in the Woodlands, the firm used fountains and its setting on Lake Woodlands for a waterfront theme. The 12-story, nearly 300k-square-foot building faces the south side of the lake. Sunshades help guide natural light into its offices. The building was done in partnership with the international architectural firm Odell.

2
Kirksey Architecture

Architects:
John Kirksey

Awards:
AIA Houston Associate Member of the Year,
IIDA Excellence and Sustainability

Address:
6909 Portwest Drive, Houston, TX 77024

About Kirksey Architecture

Kirksey was founded in Houston, with a Texas-sized dose of chutzpah to match: Founder John Kirksey, FAIA, started the firm one year after he left the University of Texas. He still serves as president. The firm’s work is ubiquitous in Houston. They have designed or built offices all over town, and they’re a regular at design and architectural events across the state. Just recently, Kirksey designed fashion pieces for the International Interior Design Association Product Runway, held a show of art by its employees, and participated with partners Metzger Construction in the 2017 AIA Sandcastle building contest — which they won for the third consecutive year. In 2016, Kirksey won an International Interior Design Association award for design excellence and sustainability, and an American Society of Interior Designers Best in Show award, both for offices.

Featured Projects

The Kirksey-designed office of Smith & Associates, LP, was named one of Houston’s coolest office spaces by the Houston Business Journal in 2015. The company, an electronics distributor, merged two operations teams at the 57k-square-foot space on Clay Road. Kirksey used dark carpets with white walls and whiteboards, with snack and lunch rooms designed for mingling. Kirksey, as one of this list’s larger firms, is also known for commercial office projects. The firm worked on a massive three-building office complex with 1.6M square feet of office space in the Energy Corridor it calls Energy Center Three, Four and Five. ConocoPhillips was initially the anchor tenant but later purchased the building. The energy center complex received a Houston Business Journal Landmark Award in 2014.

1
Rottet Studio

Architects:
Lauren Rottet

Awards:
IIDA Design Excellence Award

Address:
808 Travis Street, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77002

About Rottet Studio

Lauren Rottet, FAIA, the founding principal of Rottet Studio, is often celebrated as the only woman to attain fellow status with the International Interior Design Association and the AIA. But, beyond even those honors, Rottet is one of Houston’s most decorated architects — male or female. She has been named Interior Design Hall of Fame and Interiors Designer of the Year and was among the first members of the Women in Design Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named designer of the year by Boutique Design. Rottet studied architecture at the University of Texas. Through her decades of experience in architecture and design, Rottet has designed offices for Goldman Sachs, Disney, and General Electric. She founded Rottet Studio in 2008. The firm is well-decorated too, with a list of honors that includes several best of the year awards from Interior Design magazine.

Featured Projects

Rottet Studio won a Design Excellence Award from the International Interior Design Association Texas-Oklahoma Chapter in the large corporate office category in 2015 for work on the offices of Seyfarth Shaw. Seyfarth Shaw is a global firm with a 60-attorney office in downtown Houston. The office has large windows and rounded chairs, with a minimalist design that allows distraction-free work. The classic simplicity is reminiscent of Mad Men, if the advertising firm were showcased in the 21st century. Rottet Studio also received a Design Award for Interior Architecture from the Houston AIA in 2014 for Seyfarth Shaw. Earlier this year, Rottet Studio partnered with three other Houston architectural firms — Gensler, Inventure Design, and Zeigler Cooper Architects — on DesignHive, a project in an iconic Houston skyscraper that showed the best in modern office design. Rottet Studio’s 5,305-square-foot space had neutral colors with the occasional flourish — like a Ms. Pac Man machine. The nontraditional angles in the interior of the building create glorious mind games about what’s possible.