Skip to Content

AIA Austin Honors Prominent Architects

See the show-stopping projects that picked up impressive honors at the 2023 Design Awards

Photo by Charles Davis Smith

The American Institute of Architects Austin annually bestows their Design Awards to highlight incredible designs by talented architects in town. The awards are juried by established architects from around the country who are looking to honor projects that showcase innovation, social impact, environmental response and more. Take a look at the breathtaking projects that got AIA Austin’s attention in 2023. 

Photo by © Albert Vecerka/Esto

200 West 6th St. 

Design Award of Excellence: Page

Situated in the heart of the city, this mixed-use structure boasts 36 floors of floor-to-ceiling vision glass, making it the tallest building downtown. The architects at Page honored the past by preserving the post office adjacent to the tower, while looking to the future by creating a new urban plaza and LEED® Platinum Certification. Page was honored for marrying an historic building with a brand-new high-rise in this gorgeous block of space. 

Photo by © Dror Baldinger, FAIA

ACC Highland Phase II 

Design Award of Excellence: Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects with Perkins&Will

The indoors and outdoors merge together at this ACC Highland Phase II project, designed by Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects with Perkins&Will. What started as an enclosed mall has been transformed into a floorplan that features a carved outdoor walkway, leading students into the art gallery, theater, restaurant and dance studio. 

Photo by © Dror Baldinger, FAIA

ACC Rio Grande Campus Renovation 

Design Award of Excellence: Studio 8 Architects and Overland Partners

Studio 8 Architects and Overland Partners completed a full revamp of the historic ACC Rio Grande campus, now a comfortable and welcoming hub for students to learn, study and unwind. The 100-year-old building was renovated to increase accessibility and add natural light, while maintaining the original Elgin-Butler brick façade. 

Photo by © Albert Vecerka/Esto

AISD Rosedale School 

Design Award Commendation: Humancentric Design: Page 

Rosedale School was designed by Page to serve learners with special needs, and the community-focused structure allows staff to monitor and work with students as they move throughout the space. Honored by AIA Austin for its human-centric design, Page crafted the space to hold sensory details that students at Rosedale will appreciate, including a variety of textures and colors and aromatic materials. The school even holds special learning spaces for the Medically Fragile, Social/Behavioral Disorders and Transition to Life in the Community student populations.

Alta Vista Residence 

Design Award of Merit: alterstudio architecture 

This Travis Heights residence, designed by alterstudio architecture, looks as if it was dropped into the trees due to its location among them. The living room transforms into an outdoor living area with to its expansive sliding glass panels, giving visitors a chance to be among nature. The alterstudio architecture team, led by partners Kevin Alter, Ernesto Cragnolino and Tim Whitehill, specializes in precise projects that utilize environmental elements, making this home an incredible example of their meticulous attention to detail. 

Photo by Whit Preston

Belmont Park

Design Award of Excellence: Cuppett Kilpatrick Architects 

The beauty of nature shines through at Cuppett Kilpatrick Architects’ Belmont Park project on the bank of Shoal Creek. The AIA Austin judges were impressed by the thoughtful design as the very specific floor plan pays tribute to its unique lot and reflects the tastes of the owners through the combination of weathered exterior materials and finer interiors. 

Photo by Jason O’ Rear

Block 185

Design Award of Merit: STG Design and Pelli Clarke & Partners

An interesting take on the high-rise, Block 185 is quickly becoming an iconic part of the Austin skyline thanks to its sculptural look and spot on the lake. Perched in the Green Water Redevelopment area, this is a stunning work environment that holds approximately 930,000 gross square feet and 1,400 parking stalls. Pelli Clarke & Partners worked as the design architect, and STD Design functioned as the executive architect on this landmark piece of work. 

Community First! Village Micro House

Design Award of Merit: McKinney York Architects

Community First! Village offers affordable, permanent housing and a welcoming community to people experiencing homelessness in Austin. This particular micro house was designed by McKinney York Architects, who created a sleeping area, living area and more functional space in a very compact structure. The screened-in porch expands the home, while adding a sense of privacy for the resident. 

Photo by Ibai Rigby

DogTrot House

Design Award of Merit: Charles Di Piazza Architecture

By preserving the character of the 1926 bungalow on the outside and thoughtfully renovating the interiors, Charles Di Piazza Architecture elevated this home to new heights. Natural light abounds as two breezeways connect four separate “cabins” to one another. Charles Di Piazza’s design takes what surveys indicate was originally a two-unit “dog trot” and reconfigures it into a welcoming and spacious home that brings the outside in. 

Photo by Andrew Pogue

Elizita Ranch

Design Award of Merit: Andersson / Wise

Organic elements and sophisticated design merge at Elizita Ranch, a fantastic property from Andersson / Wise. The ranch buildings are made of plaster walls and corrugated roofing, while the natural cedar posts and trellis structures protect guests from the sun as they traverse throughout the property. The spectacular view of the plains demands attention, and the simple design of the ranch lets the environment shine. 

Photo by Casey Dunn

Festival Beach Restroom

Design Award Commendation: Public Amenity: Jobe Corral Architects 

When you think of fantastic design, you probably don’t think of restrooms, but this Festival Beach Restroom by Jobe Corral Architects is worthy of its AIA Austin honor. Commissioned by The Trail Foundation and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, the bathroom provides shade for trail walkers through the blue tiled columns hanging over the open-air structure. Functionality and innovation combine to create one of the most beautiful bathrooms you’ve ever seen! 

Photo by Charles Davis Smith

Filtered Frame Dock

Design Award of Merit: Matt Fajkus Architecture, LLC

Completed in 2019 by the architecture and design team of Matt Fajkus, David Birt and Ian M. Ellis, this dock has garnered national acclaim for its thoughtful and functional design. The perforated stainless steel screens on the north and south sides of the construction filter the sunlight, while still allowing for guests to experience the outdoor elements and waterfront view. 

Photo by Paul Finkel | Piston Design, © Miró Rivera Architects

Five Yard House 

Design Award of Merit: Miró Rivera Architects 

This dwelling is known as the Five Yard House because of the series of outdoor spaces on the lot. Each yard has its own landscaping look, including a well-kept front lawn, inviting courtyard and outdoor shower space. The century-old bungalow was restored by Miró Rivera Architects, a firm that focuses on “responsible architecture.” The architecture team successfully preserved the home’s traditional look, which fits within the neighborhood, and showcased their creativity by adding on significant space behind the bungalow.

Photo by © Dror Baldinger, FAIA

Hillside House 

Design Award Commendation: Site Specificity: Furman + Keil Architects 

Just a few blocks from South Congress sits the Hillside House, an architectural feat executed by Furman + Keil Architects. With a wedge-shape lot and significant local zoning ordinances, the design team of Gary Furman, Philip Keil, Troy Miller and Drew Wilson created an excellent floor plan to maximize space and give their clients a home inspired by their Toronto roots. The interior design by Blair Burton Design and landscape design by Austin Outdoor Design both add to the beauty of the home.  

Pleasant Valley House 

Design Award of Merit: Lemmo Architecture and Design

Ryan and Stephanie Lemmo, owners of Lemmo Architecture and Design, built this Pleasant Valley House for their own family. The lot came with some restraints, prompting the duo to get creative. They built a walled-in courtyard in the front of the lot to create outdoor space for their children and to block street noise, and the house itself is a two-story structure with an efficient floor plan consisting of four bedrooms. Special touches like drought-tolerant native planting and a built-in dining table constructed from an old pecan tree from the lot add to this stunning family home. 

Sánchez Elementary School

Design Award of Excellence: McKinney York Architects

McKinney York Architects impressed the AIA Austin jurors with the vibrant and bold tributes to local culture they included in their modernization of Sánchez Elementary School. The themes of connection and flexibility are reflected through the bevy of communal spaces and the welcoming canopy entries. Plus, the entire project was completed on a tight budget, making it all the more awe-inspiring.  

Photo by Andrea Calo

Roosevelt Gardens

Community Impact Award: hatch + ulland owen architects

Roosevelt Gardens was redeveloped to hold 40 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for HIV-positive individuals and families below 30% MFI experiencing chronic homelessness. With an important mission in mind, hatch + ulland owen architects designed the project to earn a 5-star rating from Austin Energy Green Building in an effort to reduce operating costs. The pre-existing structure was reimagined to double the amount of units and quintuple the amenity and support space, an incredible feat pulled off by the architecture team. 

Photo by Matthew Niemann

Talavera Lofts

Design Award of Excellence: Nelsen Partners, Inc. 

This housing development in East Austin sits alongside the new Red Line, making it accessible both in price and location. Ninety-one of the 93 units are income restricted, including a number of options at 30% Area Median Income. Intelligently designed by Nelsen Partners, Inc., the Talavera Lofts notably feature a corrugated metal panel with Talavera-inspired custom tile and a sleek flat-iron shape. 

Photo by Chase Daniel

University of Texas Moody Center Basketball and Events Arena

Design Award of Merit: Gensler 

The Moody Center took Austin by storm when it opened in 2022, and much of that success is due to its incredible design by Gensler. With blended indoor-outdoor spaces and sustainable features, the landmark sports area and entertainment venue has brought artists like Harry Styles, Dave Matthews and Kendrick Lamar to Austin, while also working as home to Texas Longhorns Basketball. Gensler’s local office is directed by Todd Runkle, RID, and Kirk Funkhouser, AIA.