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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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Texas School for the Deaf Administration and Welcome Center and Early Learning Center

scroll View Project Description
  • Accessibility ramp leading to the entrance of a building.
  • A lobby with a reception desk and seating area.
  • Town hall style meeting.
  • Small meeting in a sleek conference room with floor to ceiling windows.
  • Kids playing in a white and yellow room of a school.
  • Kids playing om a blue and white classroom.
  • children playing in small playground connected to a building.


Project Details

The Texas School for the Deaf, the oldest continuously operating public school within the state, has added a new campus gateway building developed under the Texas Facilities Commission. By engaging with both the rich heritage and exciting future of the school, the 25,000 SF Welcome Center and Early Learning Center offers innovative and inspiring new administrative and educational environments that foster a sense of belonging for the Deaf community of the state and beyond.

The new building was designed to adhere to DeafSpace principles – a set of design concepts that recognize the unique human experience of deafness and encourage community building, personal safety, communication, and occupant well-being with a focus on the Deaf community. The Welcome Center and Early Learning Center design balances the different functional needs of public and educational spaces within one structure via skillful handling of the building massing to clearly denote the formal entry to the administrative areas separately from the semi-private entry to the classrooms.

The new Welcome Center entry is light and airy, with a double height, glazed lobby with wood finishes that provides a warm and welcoming focus for new visitors. Strategically placed openings between classroom and workspaces for both adults and children in the Early Learning Center facilitate unobstructed visual communication between students and teachers. Round and curved spaces forming generous communal areas are featured throughout the design, enhancing the efficiency of sign language communication and actively encouraging formal and informal gathering. In embracing the spirit of inclusivity of the Texas School for the Deaf, the Welcome Center and Early Learning Center creates spaces of engagement and belonging for all.


  • Learning by Design, Award of Excellence, Outstanding Project, 2022
  • American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase, Outstanding Design, Pre-K/Early Childhood Education, 2022
  • American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase, Outstanding Design, Administrative Areas/Offices, 2022
  • Associated General Contractors Austin Chapter, Outstanding Constuction Award, 2021


  • Community Impact, Expansions, March 2022
  • Building Design & Construction, Texas School for the Deaf campus gateway enhances sense of belonging for deaf community, May 2022

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