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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Windsor Park Residence

scroll View Description
  • Corner view of the exterior of a house and its surrounding patio and plants.
  • Two people in covered patio area against home.
  • Sleek dining room with glass table and large window that show front yard landscaping.
  • MOnder furnished living room with white walls and a slanted ceiling.
  • Man working at desk with a glass door to an outdoor patio area.
  • A small bench against a brick wall in a bathroom.
  • Opaque glass shower soor with blue tiled wall in bathroom.
  • His and her sink with dark wood cabinets and blue tile on walls.
  • short hallway connecting a master bath to a bedroom.
  • glass sliding doors leading to back yard from a bedroom.
  • A large bed in a white modern room with e a slanted ceiling.
  • A dog peering through large window in bedroom.
  • A brick front entrance to a one-story house.

Project Details

This modest mid-century ranch sits quietly at the end of a cul-de-sac on a wedge-shaped lot in one of the first planned neighborhoods in Austin. This addition and renovation–designed and executed by the architect owner–sought to bring the home into the 21st century by enhancing its most desirable mid-century elements while remaining sensitive to the existing structure and surrounding neighborhood. Like many of its era, the house had only one bathroom and little connection to the backyard. The rear addition of a primary suite melds with the existing architecture without matching.

To complement the original brick exterior, a panelized rainscreen is used to clad the primary bedroom. Vertical cedar siding wraps the new primary closet and bathroom, along with the existing carport. The existing brick exterior is retained on the interior of the addition, inserting rich color and texture to the neutral palette. Tall slot windows allow for this masonry to visually reach from outside to inside, enhancing the connection to the outdoors. Sliding doors lead out to a large patio covered with a new wood and steel trellis.

On the front of the house, the original clerestory windows are retained, drawing attention to the gabled roof and vaulted ceilings emblematic of this architectural style. The roof angle of the addition matches the low pitch of the existing structure while also opening up to the northeast to capture early morning light and views of the backyard. Vertical wood slats created from an extension of the trellis structure help to baffle the light as the sun arcs to the south. A low window next to the bed balances the high light from the tall window while retaining privacy–and provides views for the family dog.