Close this search box.

Civic and cultural buildings and spaces are signifiers of shared community values.

The civic and cultural projects we work on are an expression of the trust a community place in us.

We have found unique opportunities to create exceptional buildings for our civic and cultural clients. Together, we succeed when the architecture uniquely reflects the values of the organization and constituency it serves. Fire stations, animal shelters, libraries, and parking garages, can signal the highest community values in the same way that churches and beautiful parks can do. “In a nutshell, our civic work demonstrates our commitment to projects that advance the public good. We actively seek ways to introduce the unique element that creates an indelible sense of place,” explains Jim Bailey.

“Our work with civic clients here in San Antonio has resulted in buildings that go beyond expectation, and because of that, often helped us build bridges to significant work in other areas of our practice,” notes Mike Lanford. Our partnership with civic clients has resulted in unique, memorable architecture that exceeds the design expectation of single-note functionality. These are the buildings that a neighborhood or community can claim as its own, as part of its identity. For example, our recent parking garage addition to the San Antonio Zoo campus now acts as the welcoming gateway to the park because of the design enhancement of bold, building-wrapping branded graphics. So, not just a parking garage.

In the case of the ASPCA Humane Society campus, a relocation catalyzed a profound sea change for the organization. Moving operations from a cramped urban quarters to a centrally located suburban campus with abundant open space and communal enclosures provided a fresh, new take on the pet adoption experience. The collaborative way we worked with this client gave them the benefit of our architecture and planning experience, with a strong element of retail and placemaking insight. Not to mention love of dogs and cats – with firsthand experience in pet rescue. We pushed the project beyond expectation, earning it a Newsweek Magazine accolade for the Business of Architecture, and attracting attention from others in the rescue community nationwide.

In any opportunity to work with a public building, we look for the ways we can deliver above and beyond the brief, to add back to the community with a building that expresses identity and aspirational values. It might be a bold color cladding, creating a memorable neighborhood marker. Could be whimsical art incorporated into parking floors. Or it could be a sublime, subtle modeling of a Hill Country river, within the envelope of shared public green space. The opportunity will emerge organically from our processes of actively listening, collaboration, and pushing the envelope.

In a nutshell, our civic work demonstrates our commitment to projects that advance the public good.”

Civic Design Team Leaders: Mike McGlone, Irby Hightower, Billy Lawrence, Trent Tunks