alterstudio architects, LLP of Austin, Texas, focuses its attention on the relationship between the material facts of architecture and the social occasions it shelters and invites. The work is rooted in deep-seated virtues of architecture – rich, generous spacemaking, shrewd manipulation of daylighting, and meticulous attention to detail. The heightening of direct human experience and the framing of the complex circumstances of their situations are at the core of each project.
alterstudio architects is recognized as one of ‘the most innovative and progressive architecture firms in Texas,’ has won many design awards and has been published regionally, nationally and internationally. Rather than a traditional, top-down structure, the office operates more collaboratively, and relies on the talent and independence of each of its six staff.
At a symposium focusing on alterstudio architects’ first institutional building, Texas Hillel - The Topfer Center for Jewish Life, internationally renowned architect Merrill Elam commented that the building had been designed “as if light had no other home.” This level of poetics—be it the quality of light, the character of a certain space, or the beauty of a specific detail, is what binds alterstudio to its clientele and its projects.
We at alterstudio believe that good architecture is not about special materials or arbitrary form. Rather, it is about finding the best and most efficient way to meet the needs of a client’s program by combining a building’s parts in an extraordinary way. Our approach is to synthesize structure and building systems to create an architecture that is simultaneously responsive to program, site, climate and budget. Our overarching research into the role of how institutions shape and are also shaped by the human communities from which they thrive has led us to a better understanding of how buildings are meaningful to the people they serve.
With over 20 years of professional experience, Kevin Alter has focused on the design of elegant buildings over a wide variety of building types and scales. He has been published nationally and internationally, and he was one of seven architects featured in the “Young Americans” issue of Architecture magazine. In addition, Mr. Alter is the Academic Director of Architecture Programs, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Sid W. Richardson Centennial Professor of Architecture, Director of the Summer Academy in Architecture, and Associate Director of the Center for American Architecture and Design at The University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in design, construction and theory.
With over 12 years of professional practice, Mr. Cragnolino has focused on the design of institutional, commercial and residential projects for a variety of clients and at a variety of budgets. In addition he teaches design and construction at the University of Texas School of Architecture.