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.

Uptown Station

Dallas, Texas

Custer Bridges

Frisco, 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

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.

Janet Spees

Project Leader

New River Fellowship

Hudson Oaks, Texas

Beth Schmidt

Senior Design Leader

Cielo Vista Church

El Paso, Texas

Fort Worth Academy

Fort Worth, Texas

Lakeline

Austin, Texas

Loren Boynton

Senior Design Leader

Alta Left Bank

Fort Worth, Texas

Ricardo Montoya

Principal + Director of Technical Resources

Bryana Cozart

Interior Design Coordinator

Factory Six03

Dallas, Texas

Jeff Swanson

Associate + Senior Project Leader

Signazon

Plano, Texas

Zach McLain

Design Leader

Cascades

The Colony, Texas

Grant Wickard

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Ervin Hirsan

Senior Project Coordinator

Portrait of a GFFer: Lance Abaya

"My favorite thing about GFF is how they value each individual of the firm, and the importance of inclusiveness in every facet of the practice."

Ben Wade

Landscape Architecture Coordinator

Under Construction

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

Alexan Cityline

Richardson, Texas

Sam Stribling

Associate + Studio Director

Brad Smith

Senior Landscape Architecture Leader

Pegasus Park

Dallas, Texas

Kent Pontious

Associate Principal + Studio Director

Jeremy Roehr

Associate Principal + Studio Director

Aventerra

Southlake, Texas

Russell Hagg

Associate Principal + Senior Interior Design Leader

9001 Cypress Waters

North Dallas, Texas

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!”

Woody Owens

Project Coordinator

VantagePoint Church

Eastvale, California

Park Place DFW Jaguar – Land Rover

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Portrait of a GFFer: Yasmin Al-Jafari

"My favorite part about GFF is working on our housing projects and their high quality of design. I appreciate the thoughtful and meaningful places created by GFF.”

Did you know that May is Historic Preservation Month?

In honor of Historic Preservation Month, we would like to highlight some of the historic church projects we have worked on.

Cardinal Health

Dallas, Texas

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

Park 17

Dallas, Texas

Anna Eliese Ridgley

Landscape Architecture Leader

Historic Preservation / Adaptive Reuse

Committed to the value of historic buildings as a cultural resource, our firm has more than thirty years experience in preserving, restoring and rehabilitating historic buildings

Northwood Club

Dallas, Texas

Weir’s Plaza

Dallas, Texas

IBP 18

Plano, Texas

Emily Carvell

Operations Professional

Joshua Brown

Senior Project Coordinator

Harvest Lofts

Dallas, 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.

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!

David Rosenbloom

Design Leader

1407 Main Street

Dallas, Texas

Heather Abaya

Senior Project Coordinator

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.”

2nd Annual Portfolio Workshop

GFF is hosting it's second annual FREE Portfolio Workshop to assist students in navigating the conceptual and practical aspects of portfolio design and assembly. The virtual workshop will take place on May 31, 2024 followed by an in-person workshop on June 7, 2024 in our Dallas office.

It’s the People Who Make the Place / Jacquelyn Block

Jacquelyn joined GFF in 2011 and has extensive architectural experience leading faith-based, non-profit, and educational projects.

Phil DeLaughter

Associate Principal + Director of IT and IT Services

Jenna Ross

Interior Design Leader

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.

Todd Toupal

Associate + Senior Project Leader

The Westwood School

Farmers Branch, Texas

Lyra on McKinney

Dallas, Texas

Marissa Clinesmith

Project Coordinator

M Line Tower

Dallas, Texas

Construction at SMU’s Cox School of Business is Underway

The project will fully reconfigure and renovate the existing three buildings, constructing an additional 65,000 SF while increasing the buildings’ overall efficiency.

Jake Chavez

Senior Project Coordinator

Chase Oaks Church – Local Good Center

Chase Oaks Church’s Local Good Center was recently featured on the cover of Church Design’s May issue, in the article titled ‘Design Helps Practice What’s Preached.’

Alexan Henderson

Dallas, Texas

Allison Hubbard

Principal + Chief Operating Officer

Sabina

Austin, Texas

Maxine Kraft

Design Leader

Trailhead Social

Austin, Texas

Denargo Market

Denver, Colorado

Lance Braht

Associate Principal + Senior Design Leader

Todd Burtis

Design Principal

New Project Opportunities

Please contact us if you are a prospective client with a new project opportunity that you would like to discuss with out experts.

Sydney Galloso

Project Coordinator

Honda of Burleson

Burleson, Texas

Emily Mendez

Associate + Director of Sustainability / Interior Design Leader

Corporate / Office

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

Pinehaven

Harrison County, Mississippi

Blake Thames

Associate + Design Leader

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.

Civic

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

Anthem Church Master Plan

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

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.

Woodcreek Church

Richardson, 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!

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.

Evan Beattie

Principal + Chief Executive Officer / Chairman

Trinity at Left Bank

Fort Worth, Texas

Burgher Haggard Office

Fort Worth, Texas

Village 121

Plano, Texas

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.

Sarah Wheeler

Project Coordinator

Carson Guy

Project Coordinator

CityLine Market

Richardson, Texas

Maya Pavon

Architectural Professional

Jason Fedors

Planning Leader

Keven Randolph

Senior HR Leader

Hope Fellowship

Prosper, Texas

Heep Ranch

Austin, Texas

Pearl Bee Cave

Bee Cave, Texas

Nardine Mansi

Associate + Senior Project Leader

Shannon Fahey

Senior Office Manager / Accounting Coordinator

The Container Store

Locations Nationwide

Jason Cave

Associate Principal + Director of Civic Practice

Roberto Oviedo

Senior Project Coordinator

Alexis Kaleri

Senior Project Coordinator

Cafe R+D

Dallas, Texas

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!

Quest

The Colony, Texas

Firewheel Market

Garland, Texas

Cecilia Garcia

Project Coordinator

Coleman Brink

Design Coordinator

AG Hill Partners

Dallas, Texas

Ten50 BBQ

Grapevine, Texas

Riverside

Austin, Texas

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!

Gavin Newman

Planning Leader

It’s the People Who Make the Place / Laura Cornell

Laura Cornell, PLA, LEED AP joined GFF in 2023 as an Associate Principal and Director of Landscape Architecture

Taylor Wade

Senior Project Coordinator

The Foundry

Fort Worth, Texas

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

The Bond

Austin, Texas

Heritage Plaza Landscape

San Antonio, Texas

Lance Abaya

Associate + Senior Design Leader

Aura on Lamar

Austin, Texas

23Springs

Dallas, Texas

Chris Andersen

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

We Are Hiring!

We offer a dynamic and stimulating work environment, competitive salary/benefits and advancement potential at all levels for Architects, Interior Designers, Landscape Architects, Planners and our Operations Team.

Milestone Church

Keller, Texas

Donald R. Kubala

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Alpha Plaza

Dallas, Texas

Knox Heights

Dallas, Texas

Caruth Properties TOD

Richardson, Texas

Alix Rios

Associate Principal + Studio Director

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.

Trailhead

Fort Worth, Texas

Santasha Hart

Senior Project Coordinator

Chisholm Trail

Fort Worth, Texas

Jonathan Moebius

Architectural Professional

Portrait of a GFFer: Coleman Brink

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!

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.

3700M

Dallas, Texas

Mercer Crossing Landscape

Farmers Branch, Texas

The Cooper

Fort Worth, Texas

Life Fellowship

McKinney, Texas

John Jacobson

Senior Design Leader

Automotive

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

Scott Kanaga

Associate Principal + Studio Director

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.

AvreaFoster

Dallas, Texas

The Langford

Dallas, Texas

Addison Buntin

Interior Design Coordinator

Interior Design

Our Interior Design team specializes in creating unique and compelling atmospheres for a variety of projects, including corporate offices, fitness facilities, higher education institutions, private schools, banks, and retail spaces.

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.

1900 Lofts

Dallas, Texas

Thomas Castro

Senior Project Coordinator

John Laurence

Senior Project Coordinator

David Anderson

Project Leader

West 7th

Fort Worth, Texas

Cityline

Dallas, Texas

Coram Deo Academy

Flower Mound, Texas

Jim West

Principal + Managing Director – Austin

CB2

Minneapollis, Minnesota

Jamie Wallace

Associate + Design Leader

Announcing Our 2024 Promotions

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

Crate&Barrel

Locations Nationwide

Tuesdie Alonso

Senior Project Coordinator

Alejandra Rodriguez

Architectural Professional

Leah Coley

Architectural Professional

Monitronics

Farmers Branch, Texas

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.

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.

Sara Good

Associate + Studio Director / Project Leader

Matt Frame

Project Leader

Talon McCart

Project Coordinator

Market East

Mesquite, Texas

Hollyann Friloux

Interior Design Professional

Asana Deep Ellum

Dallas, Texas

1000 Weatherford

Fort Worth, 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.

David Boone

Associate Principal + Senior Project Leader

Mike Lehr

Associate + Studio Director

North Burnet

Austin, Texas

Heritage Plaza

San Antonio, Texas

Stephen Pickard

Principal Emeritus

Aaron Hunt

Associate Principal + Managing Director – Fort Worth

Becky Baker, RID, NCIDQ, ASID

Senior Interior Design Coordinator

Spanish Fort Container Park

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Taylor Catalano

Associate + HR Leader

Royal & SH 161

Irving, Texas

Deniz Soydan

Project Coordinator

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.

John Shiver

Associate Principal + Director of Education Practice

City Cafe

Dallas, Texas

Camille Vigil

Project Coordinator

Levi Hooten

Associate + Creative Leader

West Love Retail

Dallas, Texas

Jacquelyn Block

Principal + Director of Faith & Community Practice

David Swaim

Associate Principal + Director of Construction Administration

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.

Construction at Fair Park

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

The Braden on Fifth

Fort Worth, Texas

The District

Edina, Minnesota

Moody Family YMCA

University Park, Texas

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.