The Texas Society of Architects announced its 2021 Honor Awards on August 12. The awards recognize exceptional members, firms, individuals, and organizations for outstanding achievement in support of the profession of architecture, the built environment, and quality of life in Texas. Recipients were recognized at TxA’s 82nd Annual Conference and Design Expo in San Antonio.

Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Honor of Llewellyn W. Pitts FAIA
David Richter, FAIA, and Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA
Corpus Christi

Partners in life and work for more than four decades, David Richter and Elizabeth Chu Richter have made an indelible mark on the architectural profession and the state of Texas. Their firm, Richter Architects, is a globally recognized design and sustainability leader whose work radiates intrinsic natural beauty, useful function, and cultural pride. Together, they have dedicated countless hours to nonprofit groups, city planning agencies, and local organizations. They have also both served as presidents of their local chapter and the Texas Society of Architects, championing several programs, including The Shape of Texas, Tour des Monuments, and the Consortium for Sustainability. Chu Richter was president of the American Institute of Architects in 2015.

Architecture Firm Award

Established by Fernando Brave, FAIA, in 2002, BRAVE/architecture is a multidisciplinary firm that nurtures the free flow of ideas between education and practice. The firm’s designs are characterized by clarity, resolution, and honest detailing of materials, and award-winning projects include Houston’s Recenter, Sicardi Gallery, and De Santos Gallery as well as Baytown’s New Horizon Family Center and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall. Firm principals Brave and Christian Sheridan, AIA, teach design studios at the University of Houston and have supported TxA and their local chapter through various board leadership roles. Their firm has completed many pro-bono projects on their own and through national forums and champions a generous culture of mentorship. 

O’Neil Ford Medal for Design Achievement
Mark T. Wellen, FAIA

Mark Wellen is a co-founder and principal of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland. He was elevated to Fellowship in 2014 in the category of design and is known for creating buildings and spaces imbued with vernacular beauty. With a palette that incudes raw and galvanized steel, concrete, and glass — materials appropriate to their setting in the West Texas landscape — Wellen creates timeless structures characterized by rigorous detailing, capacity for shade and shelter, and inherent durability.  His projects vary in typology and size and range from ranch shelters and residences to museums and downtown office towers. Among his iconic designs are Becky’s Birthday, Cinco Camp, Parkside House, and Sombreada Hasta.

Award for Community Service in Honor of James D. Pfluger FAIA
Milton E. Hime, AIA
Founding Principal, Studio8

Award for Equitable Practice in Architecture in Honor of John S. Chase Jr. FAIA
Darren L. James, FAIA
President, KAI Enterprises

Award for Young Professional Achievement in Honor of William W. Caudill FAIA
Sophia Razzaque, AIA
Associate, Lake|Flato Architects

Associate Member of the Year
Dennis Chiessa, Assoc. AIA
Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs
Fort Worth

Mentorship Award
AIA Dallas Women in Architecture Network

Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Architecture through the Media in Honor of John G. Flowers Hon. AIA
Herman Ellis Dyal, FAIA

Artisan Award
Christian Klein
Founder, Drophouse Design

Honorary Membership
Jill Magnuson
Director of External Affairs, Nasher Sculpture Center 

Honorary Membership
Mitchell Milby
Founder and Principal, Milby 

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