McKinney York 40 Years of architecture that engages, inspires and belongs
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Celebrating 40 Years of Design!

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we take a closer look at each word of our mission statement that influences our approach to practice. We create spaces that belong to people through mindful placemaking, identity, and connection.

headshot of Brian Carlson

“As architects we are tasked with meeting the needs of our clients, but we also have a calling to respond to the wider community. We are continually in a posture of listening and learning to create a sense of belonging for those who experience our work, and have found that a project receives its vitality through the contributions of everyone involved – the clients, the users, the community, and members of the design team.”

– Brian Carlson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal


The Montopolis Recreation and Community Center is the centerpiece of the community serving as a central gathering and activity space, and a gateway to the Montopolis neighborhood. Through its materiality and reserved integration into the site, the design reflects the relaxed, unpretentious attitude the neighborhood sought, while providing connectivity and identity through communal spaces such as the gym, multipurpose rooms, and boxing center.

upstairs lobby with view of railings in foreground, building's front windows to the left, and exercise room with boxing punching bags to the right

Montopolis Recreation and Community Center View Project


In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we take a closer look at each word of our mission statement that influences our approach to practice. We create places that inspire people to do and be better through optimistic, thoughtful architecture.

headshot of Al York

“Most of our lives are spent within and around a built environment that shapes our lives and colors our thoughts and feelings. It seems to me that architects have an obligation to elevate that experience. We endeavor to create architecture that lifts and transforms lives by inspiring big ideas and bold actions, or quiet contemplation and simple wonder.”

– Al York, FAIA, RID, Principal


The McGarrah Jessee, an iconic building in downtown Austin exemplifying mid-century architecture, is home to the award-winning advertising and brand development agency. The renovation breathes new life to the building while delicately balancing historic preservation with a level of creative innovation that pairs with its occupant.

image of McGarrah Jessee building looking into red tunnel entrance opening to stairs and escalators towards geometric mural on back wall

McGarrah Jessee Building View Project


In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we take a closer look at each word of our mission statement that influences our approach to practice. We create places that engage people by inviting thought, stirring emotions, and awakening senses.

headshot of Will Wood

“One of our responsibilities as designers of the built environment is to engage our clients and the people that may experience our work. At the most ambitious level, we do that by developing concepts in each of our projects. Through careful planning, we hope our design decisions feel as though they are self-evident, ultimately creating opportunities for that engagement to occur.”

– Will Wood, AIA, RID, Principal


The Rox, Duke, and Danay Covert Admissions Welcome Center is the “front door” for prospective students at the University of Texas at Austin, designed to entertain, educate, and engage visitors while sharing the energy, sprit, and possibilities of the university.

image of Welcome Center at the University of Texas at Austin, wood slat panel wall with longhorn logo detail

Admissions Welcome Center View Project


Over the last four decades, we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate on hundreds of projects, each rooted in our desire to connect people to each other and the world round them by creating architecture that engages, inspires, and belongs.

headshot of Heather McKinney

“We believe our work is better when all voices are heard, and we are deeply committed to improving the built environment through inclusive and sustainable design. As we look ahead to the next decades and our continued growth in central Texas, we remain committed to our mission to create architecture that resonates across the full breadth of people’s humanity – their minds, their hearts, and their senses.”

– Heather McKinney, FAIA, RID, Founder


residence exterior at dusk with lighted interior looking through glass windows into foyer with winding stair

Winter Park Residence View Project

You can explore the studio to gain insight into our design philosophy and approach, or see our ideas come to life by viewing our work.

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City Of Leander Transit Facility

scroll View Description
  • brick rotunda.
  • Transit facility building.
  • Multiple large awning bus stops.
  • Multiple large awning bus stops.
  • A small clock tower.
  • A bike path and bridge next to pond.

“The Leander Park and Ride is a merging of architecture, landscape, graphic design, and public transportation – all beautifully done and integrated and no one element of which overshadows another.”

– Frank Harmon, FAIA

Project Details

This transit facility, which doubles as the terminus for Capital Metro’s commuter rail line, includes six bus canopies and parking for 638 cars. Multiple wayfinding markers connect the site: illuminated pylons identify each bus canopy to ease transit connections, while a large clock tower, synced to official Capital Metro time, can be viewed from the parking lot and highway beyond, relieving departure time anxiety. Careful site planning segregates bus and auto traffic, minimizing conflict, and locates parking to minimize walking time. A terminal building adjacent to the public plaza houses Capital Metro offices as well as restroom facilities for commuters. A canopy around the plaza provides a cool respite from the hot sun. McKinney York developed the requisite storm water pond as an amenity with an exercise trail and native plants for patrons and the surrounding community.

Sustainability: public transit project type reduces the amount of cars on the road and the emissions that they create; exterior lighting with full cut-off to reduce light pollution; reduced energy and water consumption through use of energy-efficient fluorescent light fixtures, occupancy sensors for lighting, water-efficient restroom plumbing fixtures, and native drought tolerant landscaping; post industrial waste (fly ash) in architectural concrete to reduce usage of natural resources; building structure detailed and finished to a level that did not require additional materials to cover up imperfections such as exposed steel frame, bare concrete structure, and stained concrete slabs to reduce usage of natural resources; building masonry and pavers were manufactured locally to reduce emissions associated with transportation; man-made pond created to collect and clean water run-off and also serve as a public amenity; well water from pond is used for irrigation to reduce dependence on city utilities; the project was developed and constructed to sustain for 50+ years.


  • AIA Austin, Citation of Honor, 2007


  • AIArchitect This Week, McKinney York Transit Facility Asks Texans to Park and Ride Off into the Sunset, May 2009
  • Panache Partners Publishers, City by Design: An Architectural Perspective of Texas, 2008
  • Metal Architecture, Award Winning Commuter and Bus Transfer Station, Apr 2009
  • Texas Architect, Portfolio: Service Buildings, May/June 2008