Principal + Managing Director Austin

University of Kansas

Don’t hesitate to reach out! I can answer questions about our work or talk with you about your vision for a new project.

    A black and white portrait of Jim West, a Principal and the Managing Director – Austin with GFF in the Austin Studio, in front of a white background.
    Jim West is a Principal and the Managing Director – Austin with GFF in the Austin Studio.

    Jim West is a 1996 graduate of The University of Kansas where he received his Bachelor of Architecture. A trained pastry chef, he joined GFF in September 2011, became an Associate Principal in 2014, a Studio Director in 2015, Managing Director of the Austin Office in 2018 and was named a Principal in 2019. Jim is also a member of the GFF Management Committee that handles the day-to-day management of the firm. A former Principal at RTKL, now Arcadis, Jim is a Project Manager with 26 years of experience in mixed-use and multi-family housing. His portfolio also includes retail, healthcare, hospitality, master planning and senior housing project types. His experience includes project management through all phases of site-planning, design, production, construction, and administration including the coordination of multiple consultant teams. He has vast knowledge on the Fair Housing Act Design Guidelines, The American’s with Disabilities Act Design Guidelines and the Texas Accessibility Standards, and has a broad depth of knowledge of building codes and building systems.

    Outside of his project and Managing Director duties, Jim leads the recruiting efforts to bring the best talent to the firm. Outside of GFF, Jim is active in ULI and sits on the TOD Local Member Council.

    Jim has over 26 years of experience working in and around Austin and is not only familiar with the current local Zoning Code, Neighborhood Plans and Overlay Districts, but also with the local Building Codes and Amendments. He also has significant project experience in San Antonio, Colorado and Utah. He has in-depth familiarity with the various City departments and agencies and their processes. He is comfortable working with neighborhood groups, presenting projects in front of both the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council.

    In his spare time Jim loves to travel, volunteer with the Austin Animal Shelter, spend time with his dog, Guff, and also makes a fantastic bourbon ice cream.

    Our firm is a dynamic and multi-disciplinary practice with expertise in ArchitectureInterior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Planning. With a staff of 125 and offices spanning across Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin, we bring a Texas-sized commitment to design excellence. We pride ourselves on attracting the most talented and passionate designers who share our dedication to craftsmanship and professional licensure. Over four decades, we have meticulously honed our design process, encapsulated in our guiding Design Maxims. Not only are we creators, but we are stewards of the communities we touch, striving to leave them even better than we found them.

    At our core, we’re a team that thrives on innovation, and we’re always on the lookout for new talent to join us in building upon our storied success. We offer an exhilarating, fast-paced work environment where design opportunities abound at every level. Our firm culture is designed to be both productive and enjoyable, where collaboration and creativity are not just encouraged but celebrated. Our three strategically located offices in vibrant areas like Uptown in Dallas, West Bend in Fort Worth, and downtown Austin offer a lifestyle beyond the office, ensuring that your career with us is complemented by the fun and excitement of these dynamic urban locales. Join us, and let’s shape the future of design together.

    Our People

    Our firm is a dynamic and multi-disciplinary practice with expertise in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning.

    Ricardo Montoya

    Principal + Director of Technical Resources

    Alix Rios

    Associate Principal + Studio Director

    John Shiver

    Associate Principal + Director of Education Practice

    Brian Kuper

    Design Principal

    Our Work

    Our designers are dedicated to Creating Memorable Places.


    Read the latest news about our work and learn more about our firm culture

    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.

    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.

    Life Fellowship Church Unveils Newly Transformed Campus

    GFF developed a new comprehensive campus master plan for Life Fellowship Church (LFC) located in McKinney, Texas, which includes renovation and expansion of their current campus to include a 1,200-seat future worship center, a weekday preschool, additional adult classrooms, and an administrative suite on a very compact site.

    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.


    Learn more about the mission and organization of our practice.

    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.


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


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

    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.