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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Community First! Village Micro House 2

scroll View Description
  • The exterior of a tiny home at dusk.
  • t=The screened in porch of a tiny home.
  • The front facade of a small home.
  • The front door and wooden kitchen of a tiny home.
  • A small wooden bedroom with a sliding door.
  • A small wooden bedroom and closet.
  • The quaint interior desk of a tiny home.
  • Leonid Furmansky Tiny Home by McKinney York Architects


Project Details

Our second pro-bono micro house, designed for Community First! Village’s phase two expansion applied lessons learned from phase one.  We also had the opportunity to work directly with a resident in the design of their home.  The house is slightly over 200 square feet with a 60-square-foot screened porch, an integral feature that helps enhance the sense of community by allowing residents to enjoy the mild Texas weather while providing protection from insects.  Inside, a sliding barn door separates the sitting area from the sleeping area and provides additional privacy, while framed openings above the sliding door allow for airflow between the two spaces.  The 12-foot ceilings create a sense of a space larger than its efficient footprint. Carefully configured windows maximize natural light and views while maintaining privacy.  The butterfly-shaped roof not only represents transformation and growth but also captures rainwater, which is shared as a communal resource for watering houseplants.  Durable materials include fiber cement board-and-batten exterior siding and clear-sealed pine shiplap siding on the interior.



  • AIA Austin, Design Award of Merit, 2023
  • Austin Home & Design Magazine, Commercial: Community Project Award, 2022



  • Dewell, Austin’s Community First! Village Unveils Affordable New Micro Homes, Feb 021
  • EASTside Magazine, Austin’s Community First! Village Unveils Affordable New Micro Homes, May 2021
  • Architect Magazine, Small Houses, Big Impact, Apr 2021
  • Inhabitant, Mckinney York Architects designs a micro-house for the homeless, Jan 2021