Hey y’all! A Texas-sized Hello from AUSTIN!

It’s time to tell you about all the great things happening deep in the heart of Texas. Our Austin office has grown steadily since we first opened our doors in 2018. We started with four pioneers and have flourished into a bustling office with 13 fantastic designers. These last three years have flown by and we cannot hide how exhilarating it has been to establish a practice in one of America’s greatest cities.

We started in Austin with a boutique space on the sixth floor of 800 Brazos Street. It was the perfect place to start our practice here, but it’s time to move into a new space that is over twice as large to accommodate our continued growth. On July 1st we cut the ribbon on the opening of a new Austin Downtown home, located in the historic Norwood Tower at 114 West 7th. We will miss Willie (our favorite doorman of all time) at 800 Brazos, but are thrilled to be in a larger space where we can continue to grow our team and provide design for our clients at the highest level, along with a much improved guest parking experience! We would be lying if we told you we aren’t also excited about Porkchop Fridays at one of our favorite restaurants next door.

Our office has moved to historic Norwood Tower – 114 W 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

As we look forward to a post-pandemic world, we are excited to welcome the four new GFFers we hired during the work-from-home era into the office space. Our workplace culture has been strong throughout and will be elevated by the addition of young talent experiencing our workplace for the first time. Below we offer you the opportunity to get to know our people a little better. We adore all of them and we think you will too!

We are designers committed to excellence for our city and our clients. View the posts below to learn more about the people who make our office a memorable place to work.

As our office continues to grow, so does our ability to do great design work throughout Central Texas. We have had successful projects in Austin, San Antonio, College Station, and many places in between. Jim West, the managing director of our Austin Office, and Associate Sara Good bring time tested leadership to all the work we do, with an emphasis on mixed-use and multifamily residential projects that are adding delightful density to our hip town.

Our Austin team’s recently completed residential work includes Garza Ranch, Heritage Plaza, Magnolia Heights, and Aspen Heights West Campus. Building on GFF’s history of designing stunning luxury automotive facilities, Jaguar-Land Rover of North Austin successfully weaves a beautiful, branded building between gorgeous Live Oak trees. Our church project experience was a differentiator in our being hired to design a unique outdoor venue for Life Austin Church that really came in handy this last year. And our ability to deliver all types of corporate office space made a place for renowned Austin brand YETI in the divine hills of West Austin.

West had this to say about designing in Central Texas.

“Whatever the project type, our team is committed to Creating Memorable Places and delivering the best client experience and end results achievable. The fantastic energy and personality in our office translates directly into design that enhances the human experience and meets the expectations of those that we work for.”

Reach out to us! You’ve heard all about us and now we want to learn more about you and how we can help you realize your vision through powerful, memorable design.

Construction at Fair Park

GFF currently has two historic preservation projects under construction at Fair Park – the Pan American Arena and the Tower Building.

Civic

Our civic design team specializes in creating beautiful and functional civic buildings that reflect the unique character of the communities they serve.

Bella Dane

Marketing Professional

Chris Andersen

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Beth Schmidt

Senior Design Leader

David Boone

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Jamie Wallace

Associate + Design Leader

Shannon Fahey

Senior Office Manager / Accounting Coordinator

David Swaim

Associate Principal + Director of Construction Administration

Drake Johnson

Landscape Architecture Leader

The Church Network National Conference is Almost Here!

Mark your calendars! The 2023 Church Network Conference (TCN) will take place July 18th through July 21st at the Irving Convention Center in the DFW Metroplex.

Moody Family YMCA

University Park, Texas

Can We Go Beyond Sustainability?

Resilient, restorative, and regenerative approaches all rely on a comprehensive team and systems approach to creating better built environments

Portrait of a GFFer: Becca Vahldick

“I love going to shows, playing guitar, and even occasionally moshing. I generally go to smaller concerts or support local bands but tend to be at a concert 4-5 times a month!”

Sarah Wheeler

Project Coordinator

Scott Williams

Senior Project Coordinator

Fort Worth Academy

Fort Worth, Texas

23Springs

Dallas, Texas

Automotive

Our automotive team is renown is known for creating stunning spaces for displaying high-end luxury vehicles.

The Westwood School

Farmers Branch, Texas

Tegna

Dallas, Texas

Meet GFF’s Historic Preservation Team: Chris Andersen

With GFF for over 24 years, Chris has worked on a wide variety of project types including both new construction and renovation/rehabilitation of old and historic properties

IBP 18

Plano, Texas

West 7th

Fort Worth, Texas

Riverside

Austin, Texas

Leah Coley

Architectural Professional

Stephen Pickard Transitions Into A New Role

Stephen Pickard, FAIA, former Principal-in-Charge of the GFF faith-based and non-profit market sector, including the Church Works studio, transitioned to a different role at the end of 2022.

Under Construction

The GFF Church Works Studio has been busy working on projects under construction recently.

The District

Edina, Minnesota

Maria Gomez

Principal + Studio Director

Yesenia Brena

Architectural Professional

Village 121

Plano, Texas

Mueller

Austin, Texas

Sarah Hamzeh

Project Leader

Honda of Burleson

Burleson, Texas

Trinity at Left Bank

Fort Worth, Texas

Crate&Barrel

Locations Nationwide

Kelsey Kohlmeier

Project Coordinator

Ricardo Montoya

Principal + Director of Technical Resources

Alexan Henderson

Dallas, Texas

Denargo

Denver, Colorado

IBP 190

Carrollton, Texas

Jacqueline Sullivan

Interior Design Professional

QIP East End

San Antonio, Texas

People

Our staff of 140 offers architecture, interior design, planning and landscape architecture throughout the US

Woodlake Church

Bixby, Oklahoma

Cascades

The Colony, Texas

Donald R. Kubala

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Corporate / Office

We have extensive experience in Corporate / Office facilities, having worked on such projects almost continuously for the last 25 years.

MedAssets

Plano, Texas

HG Sply Co.

Trophy Club, Texas

South Lamar

Austin, Texas

David Anderson

Project Leader

Architecture’s Balancing Act: Beauty, Function, Cost, and Sustainability

In the world of design, finding the perfect blend of beauty, functionality, cost, and sustainability can be quite a challenge. However, as we celebrate the 2nd annual Earth Week at GFF, we aim to demonstrate that these goals can coexist harmoniously.

City Cafe

Dallas, Texas

Jason Cave

Associate Principal + Director of Civic Practice

Firewheel Market

Garland, Texas

Maya Pavon

Architectural Professional

Alta Luna

Farmers Branch, Texas

The Cooper

Fort Worth, Texas

Portrait of a GFFer: Amanda Kalescky

Outside of work, Amanda loves supporting her kids whether that is speaking at career day, leading the Girl Scout Troop, or cheering them on at their sporting events.

Weir’s Plaza

Dallas, Texas

Deniz Soydan

Project Coordinator

CityLine Market

Richardson, Texas

Burgher Haggard Office

Fort Worth, Texas

Scott Kanaga

Associate Principal + Studio Director

Town Lake

Austin, Texas

John Jacobson

Senior Design Leader

Fort Worth

GFF’s history in Tarrant County has deep roots and the firm opened the doors to its Fort Worth Office in 2014. 

Recreation & Private Clubs

Our firm has extensive experience designing highly-functional recreation facilities and private clubs. We understand the specific needs of an client's end-users, personalizing each project to meet the distinct requirements of the individuals who will utilize these facilities.

Levi Hooten

Associate +Creative Leader

Mark Holsinger

Associate Principal + Senior Design Leader

508 Park Avenue

Dallas, Texas

Nardine Mansi

Associate + Senior Project Leader

Sydney Galloso

Project Coordinator

Blue Star

Irving, Texas

Milestone Church

Keller, Texas

Pearl Bee Cave

Bee Cave, Texas

Emily Carvell

Operations Professional

Brian Kuper

Design Principal

Ten50 BBQ

Grapevine, Texas

Multifamily Residential

Our designers strive to create vibrant, pedestrian-oriented residential developments that offer modern living in aesthetically and formally pleasing buildings.

Taylor Wade

Senior Project Coordinator

The Braden on Fifth

Fort Worth, Texas

Faith & Community

The Faith & Community Studio is GFF’s team committed to creating compelling environments for Worship, Fellowship and Education that are spiritually, environmentally and community driven.

The Container Store

Locations Nationwide

23Springs

Dallas, Texas

Amanda Kalescky

Senior Project Coordinator

River Cafe

New Braunfels, Texas

Portrait of a GFFer: Talon McCart

Outside of work, Talon likes to bike, snowboard and wakeboard. Other hobbies include woodworking, home renovations, traveling and flying his drone. He also loves to spend time with his family!

Evan Chavez

Operations Coordinator / Office Manager

The Trevor Project

GFF is proud to partner with The Trevor Project to make sure that every LGBTQ young person can live their story of pride fearlessly and authentically.

Brad Smith

Senior Landscape Architecture Leader

Lance Braht

Associate Principal + Senior Design Leader

Equinox

Dallas, Texas

It’s the People Who Make the Place / Aaron Hunt

Aaron Hunt joined GFF in 2023 with a portfolio of achievements assembled over 25 years in New York, California, Texas, and Colorado.

Designing Spaces that Reflect Our Clients’ Mission

In honor of Historic Preservation Month, GFF will be a Bronze Sponsor for the 2023 Preservation Dallas Preservation Achievement Awards on May 17th, 2023.

Aaron Hunt

Associate Principal + Managing Director – Fort Worth

Cecilia Garcia

Project Coordinator

Blake Thames

Associate + Design Leader

Landscape Architecture

Our Landscape Architecture Studio is dedicated to creating beautiful and enduring landscapes that enhance the quality of life for all who experience them, while remaining mindful of the demands of the Texas climate and our clients' financial constraints.

Todd Toupal

Associate + Senior Project Leader

Taylor Catalano

Associate + HR Leader

Mixed-Use

Our firm is committed to designing contextually appropriate mixed-use projects that add value to the neighborhoods and communities they are specifically designed for.

Cultural / Arts

When we are designing a museum, gallery, performance space, or a cultural project, we strive to create spaces that inspire and enrich the lives of those who use them.

New River Fellowship

Hudson Oaks, Texas

1407 Main Street

Dallas, Texas

Bryana Cozart

Interior Design Coordinator

Dallas

GFF has been a staple of the Dallas design community for over four decades. Over the years, we’ve carved a memorable path through the city’s skyline to our current headquarters location in Victory Park.

It’s the People Who Make the Place / Ricardo Montoya

Ricardo is a licensed architect, Principal and Director of Technical Resources at GFF with experience managing a broad range of project types of various scales.

Josh Frederick

Associate + Project Leader

Bernabe Longoria

Senior Project Coordinator

Ross & Peak

Dallas, Texas

Jefferson Tower

Dallas, Texas

Tyler Porter

Senior Project Coordinator

Marisa Dominguez

Architectural Professional

Knox Heights

Dallas, Texas

Alta Henderson

Dallas, Texas

Magnolia Heights

San Antonio, Texas

Chad Kyzar

Senior Project Coordinator

The Ascent

Dallas, Texas

It’s the People that Make the Place / Alix Rios

With an eclectic portfolio ranging from build-to-suit corporate interiors and tenant finish-outs, to higher education and retail, she thrives under the challenge of multi-faceted interiors and diverse teams.

GFF, Fair Park, and The State Fair of Texas: A Thirty-Year Relationship

We are excited about the opening of this year’s State Fair of Texas and proud of GFF’s role in the preservation and ongoing revitalization of Fair Park

Planning

Our talented Planning team possesses a deep knowledge of the component building types which comprise livable, walkable, mixed-use developments, and we use our civic relationships effectively as we navigate the entitlement process for our clients.

Janet Spees

Project Leader

Jeff Swanson

Associate + Senior Project Leader

Monitronics

Farmers Branch, Texas

Alta Strand

Dallas, Texas

Park Place DFW Jaguar – Land Rover

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Hollyann Friloux

Interior Design Professional

Hillary Hamilton

Senior Interior Design Coordinator

Custer Bridges

Frisco, Texas

Brian Moore

Principal + Director of Planning

It’s the People who Make the Place / Jon Rollins

Jon Rollins is a leader in GFF’s institutional practice, focusing on university projects, independent schools, cultural facilities and communities of faith, with an additional emphasis on historic preservation and adaptive reuse.

Portrait of a GFFer: Sam Stribling

“My favorite things about working at GFF include its egalitarian approach to every facet of the design process; a stated focus on project continuity and collaboration; and concern for individual employee well-being.”

GFF Announces Three New Principals

GFF is excited to announce three new principals as our firm continues to expand its reach and add diversity of expertise and perspective to our Principal team

AvreaFoster

Dallas, Texas

Hope Fellowship

Prosper, Texas

SMU — Cox School of Business

University Park, Texas

The Alton

Dallas, Texas

Alpha Plaza

Dallas, Texas

Andrew Adkison

Associate Principal + Senior Design Leader

Jacob Thibodeaux

Senior Project Coordinator

Mike Reyes

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Park Place Volvo

Dallas, Texas

Heritage Plaza Landscape

San Antonio, Texas

Zoning Cases

At GFF, we have been engaged by clients seeking to secure zoning changes in these areas to create more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable communities.

40 Years / 40 Facts

GFF is turning 40. Here are 40 numbers to celebrate the 40th year of our firm.

Becca Vahldick

Senior Project Coordinator

Stockyards Station

Fort Worth, Texas

Denargo Market

Denver, Colorado

Sabina

Austin, Texas

Jim West

Principal + Managing Director – Austin

John Shiver

Associate Principal + Director of Education Practice

Portrait of a GFFer: Gabrielle Duran

Outside of work, Coleman loves to travel. During his school years, he used his longer breaks to visit many national parks, with Zion National Park being his favorite. In his senior year, he visited Cairo, Egypt, and he recently took a trip to Copenhagen which he said was incredible!

Quest

The Colony, Texas

Two Arts Plaza

Dallas, Texas

Cardinal Health

Dallas, Texas

Pinehaven

Harrison County, Mississippi

Pegasus Park Tower – A Center for Business and Social Impact

The newly renovated Pegasus Park Tower consists of more than 500,000 square feet of office and amenity space that intentionally connects strategic business partners, social impact organizations, academic institutions, and biotech startups.

Historic Preservation Month

In honor of Historic Preservation Month, GFF will be a Bronze Sponsor for the 2023 Preservation Dallas Preservation Achievement Awards on May 17th, 2023.

1900 Lofts

Dallas, Texas

North Burnet

Austin, Texas

Coram Deo Academy

Flower Mound, Texas

Arlington Highlands

Arlington, Texas

Dallas Academy

Dallas, Texas

Lakeshore

Austin, Texas

John Eagle Acura

Houston, Texas

3700M

Dallas, Texas

St. Andrew Methodist Church – Hasley Chapel

Designed as “a chapel in the woods” overlooking the creek and pond on campus, it is reminiscent of Robert’s beloved Arkansas home.

Zach McLain

Design Leader

Sam Stribling

Associate + Studio Director

Portrait of a GFFer: Marissa Clinesmith

Outside of work, Marissa is involved in the AIA Fort Worth chapter Board of Directors as Director at Large, which she says has been an amazing opportunity to be more involved in the Fort Worth architecture scene- especially with the TxA conference coming to town this November 2023!

Alejandra Rodriguez

Architectural Professional

Marissa Clinesmith

Project Coordinator

Portrait of a GFFer: Hollyann Friloux

Outside of work, Hollyann enjoys spending time with her Golden Retriever (Connie), long walks/runs on the Katy trail, and seeing new movies in the theater.

John Laurence

Senior Project Coordinator

It’s the People Who Make the Place / Jason Cave

As Director of Civic Practice, Mr. Cave is passionate about creating memorable places in the public realm

Garrett Barker

Associate + Senior Project Leader

Protecting Our Feathered Friends

As cities grow and buildings become taller, the need to protect the earth's bird population is becoming more urgent. Thankfully, there are solutions to mitigate the problem, including guidelines for bird friendly glazing selections and building design features.

Turning On A New Light

We are excited to start 2024 with a new logo, inspired by our new headquarters in the heart of the vibrant Victory Park neighborhood of Dallas. This transition is more than just a change of logo and address; it is an improved reflection of who we are and where we want to go as an industry-leading, design-focused firm.

Lena Starostine

Senior Project Coordinator

Jason Fedors

Planning Leader

Announcing Our 2024 Promotions

It is with great excitement that we announce the advancement of twenty outstanding individuals who epitomize our core values.

Park 17

Dallas, Texas

So7

Fort Worth, Texas

Ross Charba

Senior Project Coordinator

Northwood Club

Dallas, Texas

Maxine Kraft

Design Leader

Gabrielle Duran

Project Coordinator

The Foundry

Fort Worth, Texas

Mariah Trevizo

Associate + Senior Project Coordinator

Stacy Green

Allen, Texas

Royal & SH 161

Irving, Texas

Austin

With an increasing share of the firm’s workload coming from relationships with Austin-based clients, GFF opened our Austin office in April 2018.

Harvest Lofts

Dallas, Texas

Rocky Owens

Project Leader

Cafe R+D

Dallas, Texas

Promotion Party 2023: Celebrating the Rise of 25 Talented Achievers

As 2023 gets underway, we at GFF are filled with excitement and gratitude as we celebrate the promotion of 25 talented employees.

Portrait of a GFFer: Matthew Long

Outside of work, Matthew enjoys watching movies, playing board and video games, building wooden models, and volunteering!

Heritage Plaza Landscape

San Antonio, Texas

Talon McCart

Project Coordinator

Hear from our Designers – What’s new in Church Seating?

Furniture for church facilities has shifted in recent years. Here are the trends we are excited about!

Thomas Castro

Senior Project Coordinator

Laura Cornell

Associate Principal + Director of Landscape Architecture

Lance Abaya

Associate + Senior Design Leader

Christ United Methodist Church

College Station, Texas

Aventerra

Southlake, Texas

Market East

Mesquite, Texas

Allison Hubbard

Senior Principal + Chief Operating Officer

Camille Vigil

Project Coordinator

Todd Burtis

Design Principal

Jacquelyn Block

Principal + Director of Faith & Community Practice

Michael R. Lehr

Associate + Studio Director

Celebrating ’22 & Ringing in the New!

As we celebrate the new year, we would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the great work we’ve done in 2022.

Sustainability

GFF carefully considers the resources of our clients and our planet to create healthier, higher performing environments.

It’s National Women’s Health & Fitness Day!

On this National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, let’s create a new narrative that celebrates women and all the ways they choose to become better versions of themselves.

Caruth Properties TOD

Richardson, Texas

It’s the People Who Make the Place / Emily Mendez

Emily Mendez is the Director of Sustainability for GFF, where she leads our internal committee comprised of sustainability representatives across all market sectors

Maureen Hellerstedt

Marketing Professional

Heritage Plaza

San Antonio, Texas

Jenna Ross

Interior Design Leader

Grant Wickard

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Cielo Vista Church

El Paso, Texas