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It might seem intimidating to find the right company to design your new home, but we’ve got good news — when you’re working with an architect, you aren’t really limited by geography, so you can hire a top-tier architecture practice in Austin, even if you live in Houston. And luckily for you, our editorial staff spent time researching hundreds of architecture firms working in Texas to come up with a list of the best.
The companies on this list have earned recognition for beautiful custom homes constructed throughout the state. Not only are their custom homes designs published nationally and internationally, but they have also earned many of the top awards in the design field: inclusion on Architectural Digest’s prestigious AD100, an annual list of the best 100 architect and interior designs in the world, Firm of the Year awards from local American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapters, and the Architecture Firm of the Year Texas Society of Architects. So whether you are looking to design a sprawling ranch home, a beach house on the Gulf Coast or a modern city home, one of the Texas architectural practices below can help you design your dream home with the right floor plan, budget, and size for your lifestyle and tastes. These firms have experts who can integrate sustainable and green design into custom homes and design site-specific residences. These firms also frequently collaborate with the area’s best general contractors, home builders, and high-end interior designers. That means your custom home will be designed for your needs, built to last, and furnished with a design that highlights every beautiful aspect.
We considered hundreds of professionals while making this list of the best custom home architects and residential designers in Texas. In addition to professional associations, we heavily weighed the recognition each firm has received in the form of awards and press, the prestigious clientele they have worked with, their collaborations with other top industry professionals, and the specializations they provide. We also took into account the value of the projects they undertake, their years in the business, any customer reviews for quality and service, and the range of services the firms offer. We also considered geographic location in order to give you a good sampling of the best companies across the state.
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.
5126 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78756
Boutique architecture and design studio Aamodt/Plumb Architects is an award-winning firm that maintains multiple offices in Massachusetts and Texas. Aamodt/Plumb has been celebrated in a number of publications for designing with the principle of “slow spaces” that provide a welcome contrast for the busy lives of their inhabitants. The firm has been featured in major publications including Luxe, The Boston Globe, Builder, Contemporist, Curbed, Fast Company, Hypebeast, and Architectural Digest. The slow spaces approach helped the film gather major awards including the 2017 Architizer A+ Jury Winner in Architecture + Prefab, 2017 Architizer A+ Jury Winner in Architecture + Stone, and 2015 – AIA Austin Design.
The firm is led by the formidable partnership of Mette Aamodt and Andrew Plumb. Aamodt is a renowned design activist and a product of the Urban Affairs and Urban Planning program of Barnard College; Plumb has a degree in design from MIT. Both earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Their capacity in design is evident in the thoughtfulness and holistic nature of their firm’s projects. This Lake Austin home captures the firm’s slow spaces approach, which involves the values of “space not form,” “less but better,” “offer empathy,” and “(w)holistic thinking.”
Alterstudio Architecture, LLP
1801 Lavaca St., Suite #106, Austin, TX 78701
Recognized widely for their compelling designs, Austin’s Alterstudio Architecture has won over a hundred local and national design awards, including the Firm Achievement Award: the highest honor that AIA Austin can bestow on an architecture firm. They also laid claim to the 2019 Society of Registered Architects (SARA) National Design Award, the 2019 Texas Society of Architects Design Award, and the 2019 AIA National Small Projects Award. Their work is regularly published regionally, nationally, and internationally, including in Architectural Record, Residential Architect, Dwell, Austin Monthly Home, Locale Magazine, Luxury Home Quarterly, Homestyle Magazine, Contemporary Home Design, and Western Interiors and Design. Alterstudio’s portfolio is also the subject of the book Alterstudio Architecture: 6 Houses published by Miami University.
Alterstudio Architecture is run by partners Kevin Alter, Tim Whitehill, and Ernesto Cragnolino. Ernesto was recently elevated to the prestigious AIA College of Fellows. The firm focuses on the “relationship between the material facts of architecture and the social occasions it shelters.” Each project focuses on constructing generous spaces, the careful manipulation of natural light, and an obsessive attention to detail. The firm is known for its ability to frame and orchestrate human experience through its home designs. Alterstudio is committed to enhancing and protecting cultural and natural environments around their projects through careful craftsmanship. They are experts in green, sustainable design processes: they create homes that act in harmony with their cultural context and natural surroundings.
807 Brazos St., Suite #800, Austin, TX 78701
Andersson / Wise is a prominent architecture firm led by renowned architects Arthur W. Andersson, FAIA, and F. Christian Wise, AIA. Their designs have caught the attention of many leading shelter publications, including Architectural Digest, Interior Design Magazine, Austin American-Statesman, Introspective Magazine, Texas Architect, Mountain Living, and Remodelista. Their work has received awards from the AIA Austin and the Texas Society of Architects Design Award. It also won the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Texas Engineering Excellence Award – Gold Medal Winner.
Design Director Arthur W. Andersson, FAIA, integrates clients into the collaborative process. He has been designing homes across the country for over four decades. His previous practice, Moore/Andersson Architects was recognized with the prestigious Texas Society of Architects’ Firm of the Year award in 1996. Andersson is joined in his practice by design collaborator and Managing Partner F. Christian Wise: he holds unparalleled technical knowledge of design and construction and ensures that the design concepts of each home are integrated throughout the process.
Dick Clark + Associates
2120 E. 7th St. Austin, TX 78702
With dozens of awards earned during more than 40 years of experience, Dick Clark + Associates is a prominent feature of the Austin architecture and interior design scene. Founded in Austin in 1979 by Dick Clark III, the practice has been influenced over the years by the creative environment and technology boom that has driven Austin to become a first-class city. Clark, a Fellow of the AIA, was often referred to in Austin as the “Godfather of contemporary architecture” and helped build a vibrant architecture community in the city. Under his leadership, the Austin Chapter of the AIA awarded his practice with its highest honor in 2009, the AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award. The firm also won the 2018 Texas Society of Architects Firm Achievement Award.
Today, the team is run by Principal Mark Vornberg. With Vornberg’s leadership, it is no surprise that Dick Clark + Associates has been named by Architectoid as one of the top 10 architecture firms in Texas, included in the prestigious Luxe Gold List, or that it has been invited to participate in 18 AIA Austin Home Tours. The firm’s work has garnered numerous awards from the Austin Business Journal, AIA Austin, and the Professional Builder Design Awards competition.
While Dick Clark + Associates’ work covers a wide range of project types, their custom single-family homes truly stand out from the crowd. The tight-knit team believes that great design can create a sense of place and enhance lives: they want to create inspiring places that capture the unique quality and lifestyle found in Austin. Dick Clark + Associates is also deeply committed to environmentally conscious design, encouraging their clients to employ green building strategies. Their work and involvement in the community has helped them shape the spirit and image of the city, Texas, and beyond.
Furman + Keil Architects
1211 E 11th St., Suite #200, Austin, TX 78702
For over 25 years, Furman + Keil Architects have designed residential and commercial projects that caught the attention of the design media and gathered major industry awards. Furman + Keil has been featured by The New York Times and LUXE Interior and has received citations including the 2019 Luxe RED Award National. They have brought home multiple awards from AIA as well.
The firm’s namesakes—Gary Furman and Philip Keil—lead the full-service design team. That team makes picture-perfect homes like the Bridge House, an estate in Austin. The project is a renovation of a 1980’s home. Furman + Keil Architects transformed the outdated design of the home with a modern aesthetic. The firm completely redesigned the flow of the residence with additional square footage and updated home features, which included a gym, steel finishes, and an eponymous bridge. The house seen above was built by Shoberg Homes.
JAUREGUI Architecture Interiors Construction
3660 Stoneridge Rd., Bldg. A-102 Austin, TX 78746
Jauregui Architect Builder — the National Association of Home Builders’ 2016 Custom Builder of the Year—is one of the most respected and sought-after residential design/build companies in Texas. With offices in Austin and Houston, the Jauregui offers comprehensive service to their clients including architecture, building, interior design and whole-house furnishings. With over 30 years of luxury home expertise, Jauregui Architect Builder is a wealth of vision, talent, and knowledge. The company has won numerous Best in American Living Awards and dozens of awards from the Texas Association of Builders.
Jauregui Architect Builder is run by Luis Jauregui, FAIA, is a distinguished graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Environmental Design and a Masters of Architecture. A registered Architect and registered Interior Designer, Jauregui was elevated to the rank of Fellow within the AIA in 2017 as well as recognized as an Outstanding Alumni at Texas A&M, School of Architecture in 2017. He is past president of Austin AIA and a founding and long-term member of the leadership committee of the national AIA’s Knowledge Community Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a founding member of Austin’s AIA CRAN committee, and an active board member of the Austin Chapter of AIA. He served as president of the Home Builders Association of Austin and as director with local, state, and national homebuilder’s associations. He co-founded Austin’s Custom Builder Council and was elected to NAHB’s Elite Builder 20, a nationally selected group of million-dollar homebuilders. In the 2017 City of Austin Mayor Proclamation, Luis Jauregui received a commendation for his contributions to the architecture scene in the city.
311 Third St., San Antonio, TX 78205
Lake|Flato has received wide critical acclaim. The firm was recognized by ARCHITECT Magazine as the top firm overall in the 2019 ARCHITECT 50, the American Institute of Architects honored them with its prestigious Firm of the Year Award in 2004, and the firm earned a Texas Medal of Arts in 2009. Fast Company named them one of the “Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms in the World” and the LOCUS Foundation honored Lake|Flato with a Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, recognizing their architectural approach to addressing the needs of society. Their 11 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Awards, a certified Living Building and numerous LEED Platinum and Gold certified projects attest to their passion for an architecture that thoughtfully engages and enhances its place. In all, their work has been recognized with more than 300 international, national and regional awards, and their designs have been featured in many of the field’s most prominent publications.
In addition to residential work, the company designs a range of projects in type and complexity, including higher education facilities, botanical gardens and arboretums, and development work. They believe that architecture should be rooted in its particular place, responding in meaningful, organic ways to the natural or built environment. As architects, teachers, environmental stewards and community advocates, they strive to elevate the public’s appreciation of architecture and foster the next generation of architects.
Matt Fajkus Architecture
900 E 6th St., Suite #100, Austin, TX 78702
Matt Fajkus Architecture is an award-winning Austin-based architecture practice that is 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, Dezeen, Dwell, Eater, Curbed, National Public Radio, and The Wall Street Journal.
Founder and Principal Architect Matt Fajkus is a Tenured Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Design at the University of Texas Austin. In addition to Fajkus, the office is led by Principal Architect Sarah Johnson, who has been an important part of the practice since its inception. Fajkus and Johnson believe in the power of the team’s collaborative efforts – that they are better than the sum of their parts. The team aims for clear and simple solutions to complex problems by blending expertise and experimentation. The result: exceptional, sustainable buildings driven by the client, the site, and each project’s unique functional requirements, rather than by a preconceived aesthetic.
Fajkus, an Austin-native, trained under some of the world’s best architects before launching the practice in 2010 and subsequently adding Sarah Johnson and building the team. While earning his Masters in Architecture degree 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 before working under several architectural firms in the US. 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 annual Austin Under 40 Awards in 2015. The practice has also recently received recognition for its commercial work, including the 2019 National AIA Award for the Westlake Dermatology Marble Falls building. MF Architecture enjoys designing residences throughout central Texas and beyond, and has had multiple homes selected to be on the AIA Austin Homes Tour and Austin Modern Home Tour. For more information on Matt Fajkus Architecture, you can view their website here.
McKinney York Architects
1301 E 7th St., Austin, TX 78702
McKinney York Architects was established in 1983 by AIA Fellows Heather H. McKinney and Al York. Their work has appeared in Wired, The Wall Street Journal, HGTV, The Globe and Mail, NPR, Architectural Record, Architecture, Southern Living, and Texas Architect. The firm is the winner of local, regional, and national awards and is a frequent AIA Homes Tour participant. They have been recognized with the Firm of the Year award from the Texas Society of Architects, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a practice by the organization, as well as the 2007 AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award and the 2019 AIA National Design Award.
McKinney York Architects’ portfolio reveals the true range of their ability – rarely is a style, strategy, or solution from one project applied to the next. Rather, each custom home is approached with fresh eyes and an individualized understanding of the client’s personality and unique needs. The firm seeks to uncover a client’s wishes and reveal the unique qualities of their project and site. The company is especially known for its collaborative approach and enthusiastic design professionals. They are committed to sustainability, with LEED professionals on staff, Austin Green Building Program certification experience; the firm is also a City of Austin Platinum-Level Green Business Leader.
The guiding force behind the firm’s design perspective, Heather H. McKinney, served as President of AIA Austin in 1993 and President of the Texas Society of Architects in 2010. She has been elevated to the AIA College of Fellows. Her partner, Al York, earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University and his Masters of Architecture from Cornell University. Al drives creative thought in the office and is known for his “knack for disentangling the most inscrutable problems.” He is active in the AIA Austin, including serving as President from 2005 and Design Awards Chair from 2000-2001. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Architects.
Michael Hsu Office of Architecture
4910 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78756
Critically-acclaimed architect Michael Hsu is a well-known name in the Texas architecture scene. Hsu has created iconic projects that span residential to commercial to urban developments. The firm’s thumb mark lies in locally-engaged, home-like designs. Michael Hsu understands the experience and culture of Texas and translates it to his designs extremely well. Hsu believes in the democratization of design, which explains his eclectic choice of materials as well as bold architectural choices that never feel out-of-place. He trained in Rotterdam-based architecture firm OMA under the architecture legend Rem Koolhas prior to the establishment of his own firm in 2005.
Michael Hsu’s portfolio has garnered awards from a number of industry organizations including the AIA, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and LEED. The firm’s work has been featured in publications including Design Milk, Architectural Digest, Dallas Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, National Geographic, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, D Magazine, Luxe, and Modern Luxury Houston. Homes such as the Zilker Residence display the firm’s masterful use of strong design elements and a talent for transforming those elements into cozy, inviting features.
Miró Rivera Architects
505 Powell St., Austin, TX 78703
Internationally-recognized Miró Rivera Architects is known for outstanding architectural designs that blur the division between art and architecture. The firm was founded in 2000 by Juan Miró, Miguel Rivera, and Rosa Rivera. Ken Jones later joined the firm after acquiring his Masters in Architecture degree from the University of Texas. In addition to its residential projects, the firm works on commercial and institutional projects and offers urban design and interior design services. They have received dozens of prestigious awards, including the 2016 Architecture Firm of the Year Texas Society of Architects as well as numerous AIA National awards. Their work has been featured widely in prestigious publications like LUXE Interiors + Design, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, The New York Times, USA Today, Dezeen, Texas Architect, Casas & Interiors, and Austin Home.
Juan Miró was born in Barcelona and earned his professional degree at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. With a Fulbright Scholarship, he completed a post-professional Master’s degree at Yale University, where he was awarded the William Edward Parsons Memorial Medal. Today he is a Professor at the School of Architecture of the University of Texas at Austin; in 2011, Miró was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows.
Miguel Rivera was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He obtained his Bachelor’s from the University of Puerto Rico and his Master of Architecture from Columbia University. In 2005, Rivera was awarded the AIA National Young Architect Award and in 2014 he was elevated to the College of Fellows. He has lectured across the country and abroad and his work has been exhibited in Berlin, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and at the Hostos Art Gallery in New York.
Rosa Rivera is in charge of all administrative, accounting, and business development output. She is a product of Barnard College at Columbia University and the University of Texas at Austin and an advocate of media and the arts. She founded a Spanish educational and cultural institution named Casa Hispánica and lectured in Latin American art and architecture.
Ken Jones joined the Miró Rivera team after he earned his Masters from the University of Texas. Jones is an active member of the Codes and Standards Committee for the Texas Society of Architects and he is a prominent figure in green energy and sustainable design.
Oglesby | Greene Architecture
1925 San Jacinto St., Suite #300 Dallas, TX 75201
Oglesby Greene Architecture has a rich history in Texas and has earned the respect of clients and peers across the country for their daring, environmentally responsible designs and their commitment to the profession. Over the last three decades, the firm has maintained its timeless design excellence by embracing the leading edge of architectural theory and practice and aggressively pursuing new technologies. Not surprisingly, Oglesby Greene Architecture has earned many honors, including the 2006 Firm Award, the highest award bestowed upon a firm by the Texas Society of Architects. The firm was also named Firm of the Year by AIA Dallas in 2010 and it has been included on D Magazine’s list of the 10 best architects in Dallas. The firm and its principals have earned several AIA/Dallas Design Awards, City of Dallas Urban Design Awards, Preservation Dallas Achievement Awards, and even the ‘Chautauqua’ Award for Historic Preservation.
The team at Oglesby Greene Architecture team is highly experienced, and it consciously keeps small to foster a collaborative environment and an immersive design process. Prior to founding his own firm in 1989, Principal Graham Greene worked on major modernist commissions throughout the world, most notably when he worked in Chicago with Lohan Associates, formerly the office of Mies van der Rohe. Throughout his career he has garnered him dozens of awards, including an AIA/Dallas Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement and an UTA School of Urban & Public Affairs – Urban Entrepreneur Award. Joe McCall has been a principal since 1989. With many 23 AIA award-winning buildings to his credit, McCall has been elected to the AIA’s College of Fellows. He served as president of the Dallas Architectural Foundation, regularly participates as a guest juror for design award programs, and formerly currently chaired the AIA Dallas Fellowship Committee. His design, drawings, writing, and process were featured in the traveling exhibition, “Five Dallas Modernists.”
203 E Jones Ave., Suite #104 San Antonio, TX 78215
San Antonio’s Overland Partners has earned more than 200 international, national, regional, and local design awards for their well-crafted and beautiful projects. Their gorgeous custom homes are not just beautiful: each project keeps the individual homeowner and the home’s particular site in mind. The design firm is run by multiple principals, including three who have been elevated to the College of Fellows by the AIA — Timothy B. Blonkvist, Robert L. Shemwell, and Richard M. Archer. The firm was recognized by Architect Magazine as one of the top 50 design firms in the United States in 2015 and one of the top 50 sustainable design firms in 2016. Not surprisingly, The Texas Society of Architects awarded Overland the Firm of the Year award in 2010.
Overland Partners was founded in 1987. Today, the company brings together diverse talents to provide comprehensive services to clients throughout the world. In addition to their luxury private homes, Overland works on education, civic, cultural, healthcare, hospitality, urban design, and commercial projects. In all of their work, the practice is sensitive to the environmental and aesthetic context. They are experts in the thoughtful integration of art, technology, and craft, which allows them to generate world-class, innovative sustainable design solutions.
5306 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78751
New York Magazine’s Top 100 Architects includes Specht Architects, a proprietor of modern residential and commercial designs. The firm is led by Scott Specht, a Masters of Architecture alumnus of Yale University. He hosted a TEDx talk and had exhibits in two SoHo gallery shows. His efforts enabled the team to acquire major awards, including the Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture, and various AIA Design Awards. Publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, ArchDaily, Architectural Record, and Dwell also feature Specht Architects and their projects routinely.
© Taggart Sorensen
Specht’s portfolio spans all over the nation and overseas in Mexico. The Sangre de Cristo House, the 2019 AIA Design Award-winning project, best represents Specht’s quality of work. The home offers a panoramic view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains as it sits in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This home’s ingenious structural design consists of two perpendicular board-formed concrete walls. In turn, the home’s 125-foot wall casts changing shadows, invoking a unique aesthetic.
Winn Wittman Architecture
1108 Lavaca, Suite #110-488, Austin, TX 78701
With over $167 million worth of homes built over the years, Winn Wittman Architecture is one of the busiest firms around. Winn Wittman, the firm’s principal and namesake, is a prominent figure in the contemporary architecture scene in the region. Wittman garnered over 27 awards and over a hundred press features in 19 countries. His firm holds the Dream Home Award for Best Contemporary Home of the Year among other industry accolades. Publications such as the Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Luxe, Green Building and Design, Hinge, and The Discovery Network have featured the firm’s work.
Casa Tre Cortile translates to the ‘house of three courtyards,’ and the home testifies to Wittman’s famed design prowess. This contemporary home stands in a 50-acre estate in Marble Falls and is comprised of 500 square feet of occupied interior space and 2,500 square feet of covered exterior space, including a plunge pool and an outdoor shower. The home was featured in Architecture Magazine’s Design Bureau special edition.