Described as a “powerhouse” in Houston architecture, studioMET, a design/build firm led by former Texas A&M environmental design students Stephen Andrews and Shawn Gottschalk, earned 2016 Firm of the Year honors from the Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The former students have also established a scholarship at their alma mater’s Department of Architecture.
The award, announced August 25 at an AIA-hosted ceremony, is presented annually to a Houston firm that has consistently produced distinguished architecture for a period of at least ten years.
“The firm’s partners are setting a new paradigm for architecture in Houston with the quality and rigor of their residential designs, their collaborative approach to design/build and the diversity of their staff,” said Rusty Bienvenue, AIA Houston executive director.
studioMET seeks to bridge the gap between architect and builder with a multidisciplinary approach, said partner Shawn Gottschalk, who earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree at Texas A&M in 2004. Firm partner Stephen Andrews earned a BED degree at Texas A&M in 2003. They head the firm with a third partner, Yoonchul You.
“Our work is about a way of living, not a specific style,” said Gottschalk. “We strive to redefine what it means to be modern and strongly believe in an architecture that honestly expresses structure and materials, is environmentally conscious, and is appropriate to time and place.”
In an additional honor for the firm, its design of Pavilion Haus, a 2,500 square-foot Houston residence with an open plan uniting exterior and interior spaces for living, entertaining, exercise and playing, earned an AIA Houston Design Award from a jury that considered quality of design, resolution of the program idea, sustainability, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.
The firm has also established the studioMET Scholarship, a $1000 merit- and need-based award for a second-year or later environmental design student. The scholarship, which begins in fall 2017, will be awarded to a different student each year for five years.