Best Architects in Texas from 2017
by Custom Home Magazine
About our methodology: We considered hundreds of professionals while making this list of the 10 best custom home architects in Texas. In addition to professional associations, we heavily weighted recognition the firm has received in the form of awards and press, any prestigious clientele they have worked with, whether or not they collaborate with other top industry professionals, including architects and interior designers, and what areas they work in, the more exclusive and high-end neighborhoods having greater influence. We also took into account the value of the projects they undertake, years in the business, customer reviews for quality and service, and range of services offered. We also took into account geographic location in order to give you a good sampling of the best companies across the state.
Matt Fajkus Architecture
“We are inspired by the unique conditions that come with each project – including the site, the client’s individual functional requirements, and the context. The overarching inspiration for us is nature, as we apply natural principles to create sustainable and long-lasting architecture, in addition to creating structures the complement their natural setting.” – Matt Fajkus
Matt Fajkus Architecture is an award-winning Austin-based architecture practice that is young, energetic, and committed to pushing the boundaries of design. With accomplishments on a variety of project types and sizes, their work has caught the attention of many leading national publications, including Architectural Record, Deezen, Dwell, Eater, and Curbed, and National Public Radio, and The Wall Street Journal.
Founder and Principal Architect Matt Fajkus is also a Tenured Associate Professor at UT Austin School of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Design. In addition to Fajkus, the office is led by David Birt as the Principal of Design and Delivery, and Sarah Johnson as the Principal of Design and Operations. Fajkus greatly believes in the power of the team’s collaborative efforts, and that they are better than the sum of their parts. MF Architecture Design Architects include Anna Katsios Deere, Kevin Olsen, and Ian M. Ellis; Design Associates such as Sarah Wassel, Andres Moguel, Michael Deere, Alberto Rodriquez, and Ingrid Gonzalez Featherston; and an administrative staff of Yidan DuPre, Atarah Price, and Julie Ligi. The team aims for clear and simple solutions to complex problems by blending expertise as well as experimentation. This results in exceptional, sustainable buildings driven by the client, the site, and each project’s unique functional requirements, rather than by a preconceived aesthetic.
Austin-native Matt Fajkus trained under some of the world’s best architects before launching the practice in 2010 and subsequently building the team. While earning his Master in Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, he completed his thesis work with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo. He trained with Foster + Partners in London for several years and worked on numerous small-scale award-winning projects while with Max Levy Architects in Dallas, Brinkley Sargent Architects, and Julie Snow Architects in Minneapolis. In 2012, Fajkus was awarded two AIA National Emerging Professional Awards. He was named the winner of the Engineering, Architecture and Design category at the 17th Austin Under 40 Awards in 2015, and more recently, was the winner of AIA Austin’s Emerging Professional Achievement Honor Award in 2017.
The Best Office Architects in Austin
by Austin Architects
Overview: The architectural scene in the flourishing city of Austin reflects a commitment to sustainability, the natural landscape, and contemporary elements. Architects are especially curious as to how they can incorporate adaptive re-use elements, especially in the workplace. Because the city is rapidly growing, office space is constantly being developed and designed. Many startup companies have their roots in Austin, as do many national headquarters. The following list ranks the best office architects in Austin. These are architects who specialize in creating office space based on the needs and goals of the diverse companies they serve. The designs on this list are all by award-winning architects. The firms deliver the highest quality spaces with innovative and sustainable designs.
Matt Fajkus Architecture
Bringing a youthful and collaborative energy to every project they take on, Matt Fajkus Architecture is driven to create sustainable architecture, whether through energy-efficient strategies, passive daylighting, or simply buildings that are meant to sustain the test of time by carefully tucking into their given site. The practice is led by Matt Fajkus, Founding Principal; David Birt, Principal of Design and Delivery; and Sarah Johnson, Principal of Design and Operations. In addition to receiving many awards, the work of MF Architecture has been recognized locally and nationally by numerous publications, including Dwell Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Texas Architect, Austin Business Journal, and HGTV Faces of Design.
One of their more unique office designs is the Westlake Dermatology Building in Cedar Park, Texas. In the middle of the facility, patients, physicians and staff circulate around a preparation space which doubles as a centering and wayfinding device. Unlike most medical office prep areas, this one includes a parametrically designed and digitally fabricated elliptic prep area screen. The prep area is designed to both draw the eye toward and around its mass, while providing privacy for staff working within it. In material terms, the elliptic screen is made of water-jet cut aluminum panels with an abstracted graphic of cedar trees. This is in contrast to a separate office facility designed by MF Architecture for Westlake Dermatology in Marble Falls, which exists as a crisp concrete box which frames a view to the Hill Country landscape beyond, while allowing ample amounts of natural light into circulation spaces for the staff. The practice also designed Look + See Vision Care, an eye care office in South Austin. The design includes a display area for over 800 pairs of glasses on unique custom-designed shelves surrounding a reception area and dispensing area for try-ons, an in-house lab, specialty testing areas, three exam rooms, a break room, and individual offices. MF Architecture also practices what they preach in the design of their own office. Their office culture is based on the idea of being an open and collaborative group of individuals, and the MF Architecture office space is designed to reflect that balance of part and whole. The material choices are simple and honest (mostly raw wood, steel, glass, concrete – very little is painted or applied), considering both functional utility and experiential aesthetics. Each of these design moves in their office have not only reinforced and fostered their office culture, but also their design process and interaction with clients and collaborators.