In 1984 David Lake and Ted Flato founded Lake|Flato Architects which for the past 25 years has produced some of the most respected buildings in the state. Lake, an Austin native and University of Texas graduate, and Flato, a Corpus Christi native and Stanford University graduate, first worked together in the office of Texas regional modernist O’Neil Ford. The work produced by Lake and Flato exhibits an appreciation for the honesty of modernism, the pragmatic solutions of vernacular architecture and a respect for the rich and varied context of the Texan landscape. Long advocates for the integration of sustainable building strategies, their designs conserved energy and natural resources long before this approach began to be adopted by the rest of the profession.
From small vacation homes in south Texas to larger institutional buildings at universities throughout the country, the architecture produced by Lake and Flato all shares a respect for the uniqueness of its place in both the natural and built landscapes. The Australian architect Glenn Murcutt describes their body of work as “Modern and yet not sensational. Many projects possess that all-too-rare quality of serenity. It is simple and joyous architecture rooted within the regions to which it belongs.” This view is shared by the American Institute of Architects, who in 2004 awarded Lake|Flato Architects the prestigious Firm Award – the highest honor an American architecture firm can receive.
From their office located two blocks from the Alamo, Lake and Flato are currently working on a Recreational Sports Center for Rice University and the new central library for Austin as well as a winery in Paso Robles, California, and a visitor’s center in Naples, Florida.