We are pleased to announce the Texas Society of Architects’ 2023 Honor Awards! These awards recognize exceptional members, firms, individuals, and organizations for outstanding achievements in support of the profession of architecture, the built environment, and quality of life in Texas. Recipients will be recognized at our upcoming 84th Annual Conference and Design Expo on November 2–4. Congratulations to all the honorees!
Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Honor of Llewellyn W. Pitts, FAIA
Jeff Potter, FAIA
Jeff Potter, FAIA, is founding principal and vice president of POTTER in Dallas. Throughout his 42-year career, Potter has contributed to the future of the profession through leadership at all levels of the AIA. He was president of TxA in 2004 and became a member of the AIA Board of Directors in 2006. Most notably, he served as the 2012 president of AIA, where he led the initiative to re-position the Institute to better communicate the value of architecture and its benefit to society. After his presidency, Potter joined the Architects Foundation Board of Directors, leading it as president for two terms and securing its Diversity Advancement Scholarships program. In recognition of his significant contributions, Potter has also been named the winner of AIA’s 2023 Edward C. Kemper Award.
– photo by Christina Childress Photography
Architecture Firm Award
Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects
Founded in 1992 as Michael Malone Architects, MMDA has championed the role of architects in society for more than 30 years. Each of its principals — Michael Malone, FAIA, Audrey Maxwell, AIA, and Paul Dennehy, FAIA — has served as TxA president and established a long record of service in the AIA, encouraging their firm members to do the same. They are also leaders in their community, bringing their skills as architects to the forefront of their engagement with local organizations. In addition to MMDA’s commendable record of service, the firm is also creating beautiful, thoughtful work at a variety of scales. Their designs are known for being rigorous, well organized, and environmentally suited to their sites. Notable projects include the Sumner Bohannon House, the Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology, and Highland Capital Management in Dallas.
Robert Furgason served as president of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi from 1990 to 2004 and was instrumental in elevating the level of design on the campus. His vision for a leading university led to the school achieving $250 million in funding for numerous capital improvement and development projects, including the Performing Arts Center, University Student Center, and Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. He also focused on creating and developing research programs exclusive to the coastal environment and leading-edge technology. Those programs, among others, work to enhance the quality of life for the Coastal Bend and promote Corpus Christi as a center for research. Following his tenure as TAMUCC president, Furgason served as the first director of the Hart Research Institute.
– photo by Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express-News
O’Neil Ford Medal for Design Achievement
Carolyn Peterson, FAIA
Carolyn Peterson, FAIA, is principal emeritus of Ford, Powell & Carson and has been a driving force for preservation of historic architecture in Texas for more than 50 years. She joined the firm now known as FPC in 1964 and became partner in 1979. Beginning with a project for Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1966, she has worked for decades preserving and restoring the Spanish missions in San Antonio. She has also led the restoration of the Texas State Capitol, several county courthouses, the Governor’s Mansion, and buildings in Galveston’s Strand Historic District. The selection committee noted that Peterson’s work “engages the eye and mind, consistently advances the art and tectonics of architecture, is considerate of the environment and society, and serves as a source of inspiration for other architects.”
Award for Community Service in Honor of James D. Pfluger, FAIA
Darren L. James, FAIA, NOMA
Darren L. James, FAIA, NOMA, president and equity partner for KAI Enterprises, leverages his passion for civic leadership, advocacy, and architecture to improve the lives of the communities he serves. James has distinguished himself as a true servant-leader, generously sharing his experiences and values daily and passionate about engaging with multiple communities at many levels. His nonprofit board service since 2001 includes leadership and strategic direction for 20 organizations, including Fair Park First, the Dallas Citizens Council, Trinity Park Conservancy, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, TBAE, and NCARB. James is known for seeking complex, culturally conscious, politically sensitive projects, and for highlighting opportunities for investment that can alter communities’ narratives and provide positive generational change.
Award for Equitable Practice in Architecture in Honor of John S. Chase Jr., FAIA
Donna Carter, FAIA, NOMA
Donna Carter, FAIA, NOMA, is president of Carter Design Associates. A force for equity and justice, she has used her architectural education and mastery of the profession’s problem-solving skills to lift up issues and solutions that benefit the least served by our society. In the mid-1980s, Carter helped make Austin a more equitable place through her work with the Austin Revitalization Authority, AIA Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team, Seton Family of Hospitals, and Texas Historical Commission. More recently, her firm provided planning and design for the George Washington Carver Museum and Library expansion. Carter also helped form and has served as a “guiding light” for the Central Texas chapter of NOMA and has led local conversations on how to inspire, empower, and celebrate JEDI principles in the profession.
Award for Outstanding Educational Contributions in Honor of Edward J. Romieniec, FAIA
Rebecca Boles, AIA
Rebecca Boles, AIA, is professor of practice and assistant dean at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs and has taught for 28 years, primarily in interior design. As the longest serving administrator in the college’s history, she has helped guide the school through a period of intense change, including a rapid expansion in student enrollment, curriculum adjustments due to societal/ professional changes, and the integration of design tools requiring modification of facilities and academic infrastructure. Described as an educator of transformative influence, Boles has worked to emphasize the connections between interior design and architecture, and to bridge academia and professional practice. She has also been an active member of AIA Fort Worth and TxA.
Award for Early Career Professional Achievement in Honor of William W. Caudill, FAIA
Adrianna Swindle, AIA
Adrianna Swindle, AIA, is a partner at Lake|Flato Architects and has made service to the local chapter a defining aspect of her career. In 2021, Swindle served as president of AIA San Antonio, establishing a JEDI Taskforce, leading funding efforts for a new scholarship in memory of the city’s first licensed Black architect, and overseeing the chapter’s hosting of the TxA Conference. She is active in ULI San Antonio and NOMA Central Texas, has taught at UTSA, and serves on numerous advisory groups and committees. At her firm, Swindle has worked on a variety of large-scale sustainable projects including the Central Library in Austin, a new municipal complex in McKinney, and the new headquarters for El Paso Water.
Associate Member of the Year
Stephanie Aranda, Assoc. AIA
Engaged with the AIA since her high school days, Stephanie Aranda, Assoc. AIA, graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she was active in AIAS and the National Architectural Accrediting Board. She joined AIA San Antonio as an associate member in 2021 and graduated from its Professional Practice Leadership Program. She now co-chairs the 2PLP and is working to create an Emerging Professional Friendly Firm program for the chapter. In addition, Aranda has written for Texas Architect, served as a juror for a San Antonio College studio crit, volunteered with the ULI and Junior League of San Antonio, and produced a podcast on the future of architecture and design.
Associate Member of the Year
Katie Hitt, Assoc. AIA
Katie Hitt, Assoc. AIA, is managing director of the Dallas Architecture and Design Exchange, where she fosters valuable connections between the design community and North Texas. She is described as a catalyst for innovation, driven to educate everyone on the value of architecture and design. Just three years into her role at AD EX, Hitt has helped make the profession more accessible by founding a successful K-12 Architecture Camp series and establishing a committee that has quadrupled scholarship funding. She previously managed communications, branding, public relations, and advocacy for AIA Dallas and continues to work with the chapter as managing editor of COLUMNS magazine.
Emerging Professionals Success Teams
Part of the larger AIA Dallas Emerging Professionals Network, Success Teams is a program focused on increasing licensure by providing support and resources for individuals preparing for the ARE. Participants are helped to build a structured path to licensure, gain a valuable network of peers and mentors, and have the opportunity to give back by becoming leaders in the program. Success Teams has been in existence for 15 years and remains a consistent first step for EPs seeking career advancement and AIA involvement. It has also served as a foundation around which the EP Network has been able to grow other new and exciting initiatives.
Robert Diaz de Leon
Master blacksmith Robert Diaz de Leon is one of the great jewels in San Antonio’s storied legacy of craft. From small hinges to monumental chandeliers, his work is impeccably detailed and magical in its execution. De Leon is well known for his contributions throughout The Pearl and Hotel Emma, where he has incorporated salvaged brewery artifacts into functional art — everything from custom door handles and valet stands to curated collections of brewery tools for wall mounted sculptures. Nominators commented that his work lifts our spirits and excites curiosity, compelling us to take a closer look and think about our past in new ways.
Citation of Honor
Transform 1012 N. Main Street proposes to occupy and repurpose a surviving 1924 Ku Klux Klan auditorium in Fort Worth. Built to serve as the Klan’s headquarters in Texas and to intimidate Northside Black, Hispanic, and immigrant residents returning home from the city center, the auditorium will be converted into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing. This reparative justice project was founded by eight local community groups bringing together leaders in the arts, social justice programming, and building design. It seeks to transform the monument to hate into a beacon of truth-telling, reconciliation, and liberation, and has already received widespread local and national support.
Citation of Honor
UTA CAPPA Design Build Studio
Since its start in 2002, the University of Texas at Arlington’s Design Build Studio has impacted hundreds of students, community members, and professional and industry partners. The program gives students full-scale design and construction opportunities while working with community partners in North Texas. Through a well-crafted process, projects apply innovative research, develop a critical advocacy platform, deepen design education, and foster engagement to support community-driven ideas. Students have completed a range of works — from installations and gardens to single-family residences and civic projects for local municipalities — creating a diverse array of typologies, material/technology benchmarks, and community interaction.
With his focus on collaboration and community outreach, Nate Eudaly has advanced architecture and design as executive director of the Dallas Architecture Forum for the past 18 years. Under his leadership, the Forum has partnered with many organizations and presented hundreds of lectures, panel discussions, special events, and symposia reaching more than 67,000 people, including members, professionals, and the general public. The Architecture Forum reaches, and includes on its board, members of the public who recognize and support excellence in architecture, serving as a bridge between the profession and the public while supporting AIA Dallas.
Brooks County Safety Rest Area
Designed by Richter Architects, the Brooks County Safety Rest Area opened in 1998 as the first project of a multi-decade program to replace aging infrastructure at rest areas across Texas. Pre-dating current sustainability metric tools, it embraced virtually all the guiding principles of modern sustainable design. Rather than clearing the site, the architects thoughtfully integrated the program of picnic and restroom structures into an existing oak grove, with not a single tree removed or damaged. Mexican adobe bricks were laid in patterns that incorporated pieces from old buildings on site, and shade arbors and nature trails were included to encourage motorists to prolong their visit. The immense success of project, which won a TxA Design Award in its first year and a national AIA Honor Award for Architecture in 1999, cemented TxDOT’s commitment to design excellence.
Architectural Landmark Award
Republic National Bank Building
The Republic National Bank Building was completed in 1954 as the headquarters for Republic National Bank. It was the first significant office building completed after World War II in downtown Dallas and instantly became a city landmark. A 36-story tower with a low-rise base, it was designed in the International Style by the New York firm of Harrison & Abramovitz with Dallas-based architects Gill & Harrell. The building was one of the first in the country to specifically utilize aluminum cladding and was topped with a spire and half-billion candlepower beacon visible up to 120 miles away. The tower shaped the then-next generation of skyscrapers in Texas in the mid-century and remains one of the most recognizable buildings on the Dallas skyline today.