October 22, 2020 – Celebrated design firm marks 15th anniversary with a new name.
Austin- and San Antonio-based architecture and interiors firm Clayton & Little has changed its name to Clayton Korte. The new name reflects a recent change in firm leadership, ownership, and design direction. Though the firm’s name has changed, the practice will continue to focus on creating layered, experience-rich places that respond to local context, connect to their environment, highlight craft, and focus on the human experience. The announcement coincides with the firm’s fifteenth anniversary.
Co-founded by architects Paul Clayton, AIA and Emily Little, FAIA in 2005, Clayton & Little was itself a successor practice to Emily Little Architects, founded in 1983. Clayton, the firm’s owner since 2005, led its growth from a five-person architectural practice into the interdisciplinary design firm it is today, with offices in two cities and a team of more than 30 full-time professionals including architects, designers, and support staff. In 2016, Clayton named Brian Korte, FAIA; Sam Manning, AIA; and Nathan Quiring, AIA, partners, and George Wilcox, AIA an associate partner. Emily Little remains at the firm as partner emerita and continues to work on projects with historic buildings and those she has personal interest in.
Brian Korte joined the firm in 2015 following 17 years at Lake|Flato, where he was a partner. Korte has been recognized with more than 20 national, state and local AIA design awards, as well as dozens of awards from related industries, including the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Architect’s Newspaper, Residential Architect and most recently with the Hill Country Wine Cave on the cover of the September 2020 issue of Interior Design magazine.
In February of 2020, Korte was elevated to The College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects, an honor awarded to only three percent of all AIA members that acknowledges personal achievements, architectural excellence and those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. “Brian brings incredible design experience to the firm,” notes Clayton. Korte is leading a number of wine-related projects in Central California, including wineries, estate residences, and vineyard barns, in addition to several Texas ranch houses. “These landscape-centric projects allow us to create buildings that represent a merger of regional ecology, ingenuity and resilience; they step back and let the natural landscape be the star of the show,” adds Korte.
In addition to residences, the firm is known for signature hospitality projects, many led by Manning, which include the restaurants Eberly, Clark’s, and Jeffrey’s in Austin; Savor, Southerleigh, and The Bottling Department Food Hall in San Antonio’s historic Pearl District; and notable Austin properties including Hotel Saint Cecilia, and the recently completed Commodore Perry Estate, which is part of the Auberge Resorts Collection. “We strive for a balance between residential and commercial projects, as each informs the other,” notes Clayton. “How we live and come together with family and friends make up some of our most important shared rituals. Studying these rituals and the spaces that host them serve as a springboard for everything else.” adds Manning.
Other public and institutional work, led by Quiring, includes San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas and the Mack Dick Pavilion at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas Panhandle. Current work includes Pease Park and Fiesta Gardens, both in Austin, Texas. “In addition to hospitality and commercial projects,” adds Quiring, “we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many surrounding city, county, and state agencies on important public spaces. We work hard to find ways to add to our community, particularly to its mix of urban and natural amenities, which make it so beloved.”
Additional work in progress includes single-family and ranch residences throughout Texas and in California, Hawaii, and Maryland, as well as a variety of hospitality and civic projects, including Veramendi House in San Antonio (a boutique hotel along the San Antonio Riverwalk); the new Albert Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas; a revamp of the historic Wo Fat Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii; and wineries in California, including Fulldraw Winery, Copia Winery, and Alma Rosa Winery.
Clayton Korte will continue to embrace interdisciplinary collaboration. In recent years the firm added a full range of interior design services to ensure that building interiors support the firm’s architecture to create a holistic design expression. In-house custom furniture design and art curation provide further integration. The firm’s brand strategy and identity design team, led by Creative Director Wendy Smith, offers a complete suite of related services, including research, strategy, brand and identity design, and creative execution.
As for the future, Clayton notes, “With the name change, we are signaling new leadership and driving new design direction. While we will continue to build on the firm’s solid foundation, we remain committed to delivering world-class architecture, design, and service.”
About Clayton Korte:
The architecture firm established its Austin office in 2005 and in 2015 expanded to San Antonio after completing several high-profile projects in the Alamo City. The second office joins more than 30 architects and designers with a long history of working together in the two cities while broadening the firm’s range of services to incorporate architecture, interior design, experience design, and brand. The beneficial exchange of ideas across the region has impacted locations outside of Texas; recent expansion includes projects in California, Hawaii, Maryland and beyond.