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Celebrating 40 Years of Design!

McKinney York Architects is pleased to announce our 40th anniversary!

Architecture, by its very nature, is a collaborative process. We actively seek the perspective of the communities we serve to create more authentic designs. This integrated, empathetic approach allows us all to experience the built environment with a sense of engagement, inspiration, and belonging. In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we take a closer look at each word of our mission statement that influences our approach to practice.


headshot of Michelle Rossomando

“This anniversary celebration is a testament of gratitude to our clients, consultants, trade partners, and local artists and artisans for contributions to concept-driven design over the past 40 years. We look forward to future successful collaborations continuing for decades to come.”

– Michelle Rossomando, AIA, RID, President and Principal


straight on view of stairway that also functions as a social gathering space in elementary school, books are displayed on the levels and children and teachers are in the foreground

Austin ISD Sánchez Elementary School View Project


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


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


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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River Ranch County Park

scroll View Project Description
  • Family walking into a stone building with sloping metal roof.
  • Man holding a toddler standing on a sidewalk in front of a building.
  • A man standing in front of a wooden reception desk.
  • Travel trailer parked across the road from a stone building.
  • People sitting at picnic tables in a covered outdoor seating area surrounded by trees and landscaping.
  • Interior of a park bathroom with white tile walls and three stalls on the right wall.
  • Concrete path underneath a brightly colored roof.
  • A covered outdoor pavilion with a U-shaped stone bench.
  • Outdoor pavilion in a field of wildflowers.
  • A concrete path leading to a building with a slanted metal roof and a tall stone chimney.
  • Outdoor picnic tables under a brightly lit roof at dusk.

Sun Shelters for Outdoor Life

The buildings at River Ranch were developed in an agrarian building typology with the intent to make shade for park visitors. This typology was articulated to address five types of buildings, including general use pavilions, a bathhouse, the Headquarters, and the Interpretive Center. Each building features a formal variation of a common hip roof with deep, low-hanging eaves, and structural steel ridge caps and gutters.

  • Site map showing location of the Interpretive Center and other park amenities.

    River Ranch County Park site plan.

  • Diagram of two buildings, their roofs, and the building floor plans.

    Conditioned buildings include the Headquarters and the Interpretive Center (L to R).

  • Diagram of three roof structures.

    Unconditioned buildings include the Small Pavilions, Bathhouse, and Large Pavilion (L to R).

Project Details

In the Texas Hill Country, between Leander and Liberty Hill, River Ranch County Park preserves and conserves over 1,350 acres of former ranch land along the South Fork San Gabriel River. Owned and operated by the Williamson County Parks Department, the land will offer visitors miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails along with tent and RV campsites. The Day-Use area features a large pavilion, playground, horseshoe pits, and a 4,800 square foot Interpretive Center for exhibits, events, and classes. The design of the buildings takes cues from the agrarian vernacular and intense Texas heat. Expansive, corrugated metal roofs with deep overhangs provide much needed respite from the summer sun and afford ample gathering space. The simple form and understated exterior are complemented by a punch of color on the underside of the roof that defines a reference point for the landscape’s seasonal greens and creates a unique sense of place – subtly distinguishing this park from others in the visitors’ visual memory.

McKinney York Architects was the architect working with the prime consultant, Design Workshop.


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