The places that draw us in, the ones that make us want to stay awhile and return to again and again are not the result of great architecture alone. The places that capture our imaginations, inspire contemplation and connection with others are the product of strong vision, intentional design, and a symphony of interdisciplinary contributions that usher them into the world.
Clayton Korte is an architecture firm with interior design and brand services that creates rich places that respond to local context, connect to their environment, highlight craft, and celebrate the human experience. Since 2005, we have offered a humanist approach to architecture and design from our offices in Austin and San Antonio. Though our Texas architecture roots run deep, work on winery, ranch, and residential projects have taken us to California, Maryland, Hawaii, and beyond.
Clayton Korte built its reputation over several decades on historic, residential remodeling but steadily expanded its capabilities over the past fifteen years under Paul Clayton’s leadership to become much more than a residential design firm. Today, Clayton Korte’s portfolio is balanced with a mix of residential and commercial projects including restaurants, hotels, hospitality, retail, public, and institutional work.
In 2016, Paul Clayton named Brian Korte, FAIA; Sam Manning, AIA; and Nathan Quiring, AIA, partners, and George Wilcox, AIA an associate partner. In 2020, the firm changed its name from Clayton & Little to Clayton Korte to reflect a change in firm leadership, ownership, and design direction.
Paul leads the Austin office and has been responsible for the firm’s growth since 2005. His wide-ranging design capabilities span project typologies and styles. In addition to being a skilled architect and designer in his own right, Paul is an accomplished entrepreneur who has led Clayton Korte (formerly Clayton & Little) with a disciplined approach since 2005 when he bought Emily Little Architects after working at the firm for 4 years. Over the next fifteen years as principal, he grew a five person architecture firm into an interdisciplinary design firm with offices in two cities, and a team of more than 30 full time professionals.
Having strengthened the firm’s core capability with a mix of hospitality, restaurant, retail, and other commercial work, Paul expanded the firm’s offer to incorporate Interior Design (2014), Brand Services and Experience Design (2017). The expanded offer stems from Paul’s deep-seated humanist philosophy: remarkable experiences result from a thorough response to sensory details beyond architecture.
In October 2020, the firm changed its name to Clayton Korte to reflect a change in leadership, ownership, and design direction. Today, together with three partners, Paul continues to grow Clayton Korte with a steady hand and an unerring commitment to quality, design, and operational excellence.
AIA, LEED AP | Principal
Brian leads the San Antonio office and the firm’s residential, ranch, and vineyard related projects currently in California, Hawaii, Maryland, and Texas. With a passion for authenticity, richness and well-crafted materials, Brian’s work champions the honesty of modernism with a commitment to practical yet artful solutions. Each project maintains a focus on the convergence of distilled design, regional ecology, ingenuity, and resilience that allows the structures to step back in favor of the surrounding natural landscape.
Brian’s work has been recognized with national, state and local AIA design awards, and additional awards from related industries. Most notably, Armstrong Oil and Gas in Denver received the 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture; Saxum Vineyard Equipment Barn in Paso Robles received an AIA Small Projects Award in 2019. Clayton Korte projects led by Brian have been published nationally and internationally, most recently with the Hill Country Wine Cave on the cover of Interior Design magazine’s September 2020 issue.
In February 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.
FAIA | Principal
Sam joined Clayton Korte in 2010 and was named partner in 2016 after leading many of Clayton Korte’s signature hospitality projects including 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.
Growing up in Alaska instilled a sense of simplicity and inventiveness in Sam, which he endeavors to translate in his approach to architecture. He works from a vast base of technical knowledge to artfully solve complex projects, with a penchant for skillfully crafted details. His forthright manner puts clients and team members at ease, while he maintains the highest standards of performance, regardless of project style or scope.
A Washington state alumnus, he enjoys creating meaningful experiences, memorable spaces and purpose-driven architecture. When he’s not designing residences, restaurants or projects at the Pearl, Sam enjoys woodworking and crafting his own home-brew to drink on the back porch with his wife, Lindsay, and their dog Nellie.
AIA | Partner
Nathan leads the firm’s public works projects which support Clayton Korte’s interest in enhancing public spaces and bringing communities together. Completed work includes San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas and the Mack Dick Pavilion at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas Panhandle. In-progress projects include Pease Park and Fiesta Gardens, both in Austin, Texas. Additionally, Nathan helps lead business development and new business for Clayton Korte.
Nathan is from the east coast, where he practiced in New York and New Jersey after graduating from Virginia Tech. Nathan is a musician and former museum docent who is a Friend of Manda School, a non-profit working to restore and revitalize the last remaining 2-room school house in Travis County. He is also an advocate for the homeless and former board member of Front Steps. The organist at Central Presbyterian Church, he also plays piano and organ with two bands, Lost & Nameless and Golden Lights.
AIA | Partner
The grandson of builders on both sides of his family, George hails from Chattanooga, Tennessee and attended “the real UT” (founded in 1794 in Knoxville) before coming to Austin. He grew up making things by hand and doing small construction projects which, coupled with a lifelong artistic inclination, drew him towards architecture. He joined the firm in 2007 when there were only seven others at the firm. Favorite projects include Hotel Saint Cecilia, The Driskill Hotel, Seaholm Power Plant, and Mattie’s at Green Pastures. His tenure as chair of the Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission combined with 4 years as Construction Director for Carmike Cinemas has given George a depth of knowledge in historic adaptive reuse as well as the stringent requirements of large scale commercial construction and development. Outside of the office, George spends time with his wife and their dog Jasper, playing ultimate Frisbee and backpacking.
AIA | Assoc. Partner
Emily has provided leadership in the preservation and design community in her native Austin for over thirty years. With an emphasis on the adaptive reuse of historic structures, her work has indelibly colored the fabric of Central Texas. In 1983, Emily founded Emily Little Architects, a predecessor firm to Clayton & Little Architects. Elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 2009, Emily has also led award-winning community based art projects that have garnered national attention. She was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2007. A cultural anthropologist at heart, she has built her career on making good design accessible and attainable, often by finding the small gestures that largely improve the quality of a space. At Clayton Korte, Emily remains Partner Emerita and is focused on community-oriented and historically significant projects.
FAIA | Partner Emerita
A native Texan, Wendy is a storyteller, strategist and designer who deals in words and pictures. She followed an atypical path to working in architecture and interiors. First, she taught high school English and learned how to listen. Then she studied design at California College of the Arts and learned how to see. This background gave her a foundational orientation toward empathizing with others and considering the world as they experience it. Prior to joining the firm, she spent over ten years at San Francisco and New York-based brand agencies, and was the principal of her own consultancy, Smith Brand.
Inspired by the architecture of his hometown Chicago, Joseph knew at an early age that he would become an architect. After studying architecture at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, he moved to New York where he worked at an international architecture firm by day and played banjo for an alt-country band by night. Graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin brought him south where he has enjoyed a slower pace, live music and big bright stars. Joseph joins the team after working with Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and Alterstudio Architecture where he cultivated a proficiency in design leadership with an emphasis on collaboration.
AIA | Architect, Design Lead
Cam grew up on a farm in northern Illinois, west of Chicago. After receiving his Masters in Architecture at the University of Illinois in 2010, he taught undergraduate design courses as an Adjunct Professor for 4 years at his alma mater which honed his understanding of the value of teamwork and design dialogue. His interests in architecture stem from an appreciation for the subtleties of materials, light and the procession of space. Following his teaching experience, Cam made the trip south to work for another regional architecture firm before joining the San Antonio office. He is an avid bicycle commuter and has a deep affinity for music.
AIA | Architect, Design Lead
German joined the firm after having lived for almost 8 years with his wife and three children in Central America where he worked as an architect, builder, developer and a farmer. Born and raised in Argentina, he left his home country to continue his graduate education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating with distinction. Certain of the importance of having good mentors, he worked for nearly a decade for a national award winning firm before launching a design-build practice in Nicaragua with his wife. Together they built a portfolio of projects that merge thoughtful design with craft adapted to the circumstances of site, budget and local resources. Now relocated back to Texas, German brings a design rigor and sophistication to projects that add real depth and spirit to his work, leveraging his 17 years of experience.
Architect, Design Lead
Born and raised in South Texas, Courtney developed a love of travel and the outdoors at a young age. Family road trips sparked an early fascination with numbers and problem solving which eventually developed into a passion for business and finance. After obtaining her MBA from Texas State University, Courtney began her career with a public accounting firm. Exposure to multiple industries led her to follow architecture and construction. The various elements of design and its many details are what attract her most to the industries. In her off time, Courtney is either developing her wood working skills, listening to records, or enjoying time with family and her lab/Catahoula pup, Wyatt.
Originally from Houston, Erica moved to Austin after initially working in New York and Seattle. Her post graduate education and early practice in New York City shaped Erica as a designer; she strives to connect people to each other through architecture and is committed to designing sustainable environments. Erica has taught design studios at The UT School of Architecture, Texas A&M, and Parsons School of Design. While studying at Parsons, Erica received the Eileen Gray Thesis Prize and as a professional practitioner, her work has been recognized with multiple AIA design awards. Her commitment to her community drives her to volunteer with AIA Women in Architecture and NOMA of Central Texas. She and her family are avid travel enthusiasts, whether exploring the great cities of the world, or roughing it in the backcountry of a national park.
AIA, LEED AP | Architect
Charlotte grew up in New Orleans and graduated from LSU where she studied architecture. As a little girl, her interest in design was sparked on a tour of Taliesin West during which she realized architecture could be all encompassing – from building form to materials all the way down furniture. After college, living in a tiny house of 150 square feet for a year changed her perspective on space and its impact on the way people live. Outside of the office, Charlotte and her husband run the specialty food company they spun out of an old family pickling recipe.
AIA | Architect
Jenny has long felt a passion and appreciation for design and the act of making. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Virginia, Jenny returned home to Texas where she graduated from the Master in Architecture program at the University of Texas in Austin. While her interests in design are diverse, Jenny’s work is united by the desire to create unique spaces that explore the dynamic relationship between architecture, site, interiors, and human experience. Outside of the office you can find her in a neighborhood yoga studio, experimenting in the kitchen, or working on her latest art project.
Robbie grew up on the South Carolina coast and made his way to Austin via Nashville, TN. He studied music briefly before receiving a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, and worked in the electrical industry for several years until he earned his Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Robbie has practiced in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has cultivated a belief in creating resilient architecture that transcends basic needs and elevates local communities. He is a cine- and telephile who loves Sunday mornings at Barton Springs, board game nights, rock climbing, cooking, and pretending he’s a runner.
A native Texan, Kristen attended Texas Tech University where she earned a Bachelors of Science in Architecture, a Masters of Architecture, and a Masters of Business Administration. Soon after, she resettled in Austin and has called it home since. With the influences of engineer parents, educator grandparents, and a political sister, Kristen understands that excellent design is just one element of many required when it comes to realizing successful projects. In addition to being both a licensed Architect and Interior Designer, she brings knowledge gained from experience as a construction manager, field project manager and estimator. When not in the office, Kristen enjoys playing golf, mindful yoga, and calligraphy.
AIA | Architect
After more than a decade “abroad” in the Pacific Northwest—and a two year sunshine-break in Santa Fe—Thomas returned to Texas where he grew up and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in Seattle at nationally recognized firms The Miller Hull Partnership and Olson Kundig on everything from residences to skyscrapers to museums. Returning to Texas has allowed him to be closer to family and within spitting distance of real breakfast tacos. Outside of the office, Thomas enjoys all things design-related, spending time and traveling with his wife, two children, and their distinguished dog, Eames, and training for the next race on his calendar.
A San Antonio native, it was during high school at the historic Thomas Jefferson campus that Javier first noticed the impact of architecture. Subsequently, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Fourteen years later with professional experiences gained in Texas and New York City, he brings perspectives on a broad range of projects to bear from large scale commercial projects to ranches to single family residences. Javier’s enthusiasm for painting and other artistic endeavors lends creativity to his work which he combines with carefully crafted design and attention to detail. In his downtime, Javier is either on a camping/backpacking/kayaking trip, contemplating his next one, or busy with the never-ending process of restoring his 1920’s Tudor Revival house. His pup, Margot, demands the rest of his attention.
AIA LEED AP BD+C | Architect
Christina grew up in Vermont and received her Interior Design degree from Pratt Institute. After studying and working in New York and the United Kingdom, she moved to Austin where she has spent the last 11 years working alongside some of the city’s most celebrated designers. As an interior designer, Christina endeavors to foster emotional connection within the built environment. Drawing inspiration from fashion, film, fine art and travel, she seeks to broaden the boundaries of modern aesthetics with each project. With a foundation in high-end residential work, bespoke furniture and product design, and experience in retail, hospitality, and corporate interiors, Christina brings of mix of perspectives to every project.
NCIDQ | Interior Designer
Born and raised in south Florida, Ari left the Sunshine State to study architecture at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Realizing the cold wasn’t her thing, she moved to Austin after graduating to pursue her Masters Degree at UT and continued to work locally on commercial and multi-family projects before joining the firm. Ari began to travel around the world with her family at a young age, gaining a deep appreciation for new environments, cultures, and the architecture that shapes them. She is passionate about design, music, travel, food, wellness, and her Siberian cat named Zinc.
Assoc. AIA | Project Manager
Sky relocated to Austin from the coast of Mississippi where he worked on many post-Katrina projects. Sky is a graduate of Mississippi State University. He also enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music, and working on low-income housing for developing countries. Though relatively new to the area, Sky has already developed an appreciation for Austin’s local cuisine, music, and people.
Assoc. AIA | Project Manager
Chloe grew up in South Carolina where she cultivated her love of photography, art, design, and psychology. She studied Studio Art and Arts Management at the College of Charleston where she graduated magna cum laude. She has worked in galleries, photography, production, and design studios in Charleston, Seattle, and now Austin. Chloe continues to use her visual arts skills through photography and visual storytelling. As a design-minded problem solver, she has learned the power of design can change lives, communities, and companies. Outside of the firm Chloe takes art classes, travels, thrifts, and spends time with her family.
A licensed architect in Colorado and Texas, Travis’s background is in fine arts and natural sciences. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and Master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining the firm, Travis had his own multi-disciplinary design firm with a landscape architect for 4 years. A project manager for many years at Andersson-Wise Architects, he managed institutional and custom residential work. Travis enjoys playing cello and guitar, and dreams of building a darkroom in his garage. He volunteers on the Board of Trustees at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, the Board of Directors of Preservation Austin, and the American Institute of Architects. Twin daughters keep Travis and his wife on their toes.
AIA | Architect
Born in Dallas and raised in Boise, Christian made his way west to earn his Bachelor of Architecture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He completed a study abroad program in Rome where he developed a love for cities an appreciation for the process of revitalizing historical buildings and knitting them back into the urban fabric. He returned to Texas with a focus on enriching the built environment with an affinity for hospitality projects. Christian believes architecture has a purpose beyond aesthetic impression; it is an opportunity to enhance a city’s vitality. Christian also enjoys camping, fishing, reading, building furniture, watching documentaries, and spending time with his wife, Karli, and their daughter Sawyer.
Assoc. AIA | Project Manager
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Hanna attended the University of South Florida where she graduated at the top of her class with a Master of Architecture degree. Hanna pursued a variety of creative endeavors including painting, jewelry making, and photography before deciding to pursue architecture. She also enjoys cooking, reading, and soaking up Austin’s beautiful natural scenery.
AIA | Architect
Verónica was born and raised in the tropical island of Puerto Rico. Verónica completed her BFA in Interior Design at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in 2016. During her time in SCAD, Verónica transferred to the Hong Kong campus, where she gained exposure to the eastern design world. She received recognition on various projects selected for CIDA and a nomination for the USGBC Interior Design Award for her final thesis. Through her designs, Veronica strives to not only create spaces that are practical, sustainable and contemporary, but also create a connection between people and space.
Interiors Project Manager
Born in upstate New York, Josh has bounced around the United States and Canada while working and studying to explore and better understand well-crafted, place-based design. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Illinois, he spent three years working for regional architecture firms in Seattle and Texas. Josh completed his Master’s degree at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and then decided to return to the warm, beautifully rugged Texas desert landscape. Josh loves hiking, camping, kayaking, furniture making, fort building, and working toward his goal of visiting every U.S. National Park.
Assoc. AIA | Project Manager
Wendy was born and raised in a small town in northwest Pennsylvania. She left home at 17 to attend college and explore the world. This took her to Zurich, Switzerland, where she lived for 15 months and provided her with the opportunity to travel elsewhere in Europe to explore the many great cathedrals, castles, Roman ruins, and other historic sites. Wendy also lived in Utah and California before finally calling Austin home. Wendy received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from WGU Texas. In her spare time, Wendy enjoys time with her Norwegian Forest Cats (“Wegies”), working on her soy candle business, and relaxing with her husband on their land near Lampasas.
A native Texan, Amy grew up in the Dallas area. She attended Texas A&M where she earned a Bachelors in Environmental Design. To expand her understanding of what good design can accomplish and deepen her architectural knowledge, she attended the University of Texas to receive her Masters in Architecture. After graduation, she decided she loved Austin’s creative culture, active lifestyle and natural beauty too much to leave. When she is not in the office she is often exploring the lakes, hiking trails and swimming holes of Austin.
AIA | Architect
A native Texan, Amy Lou was raised in Amarillo and by the time she moved to south Texas as a young teenager, her passion for numbers was already evident. She’s channeled that passion into an accounting career with experience in several industries including Semiconductor, Aviation and Social Media. After raising three children, she enjoys spending time with her four grandkids, cooking Sunday family dinners, and the quiet moments she can steal with her three beloved pets.
Amy Lou Pedraza
Born in Houston and raised in Houston and Denver, Sydney received her architectural education at Texas A&M University for her BED and University of Texas at Austin for her Masters of Architecture. Her architectural education inspired a passion for placemaking through thoughtful design. Outside of the office, Sydney enjoys travel, cooking, and time with her husband and their dog, Murphy.
Assoc. AIA | Project Designer
An East Texas native, Marc spent his youth exploring stormwater tunnels around his suburban neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Texas, Marc found a home in San Antonio’s old neighborhoods via work on the Pearl Brewery, Main Plaza, and other downtown renovations. Marc helped open the San Antonio office in 2015, building on his knowledge of Texas history and building traditions. He enjoys photography, renovating his 1950s house, and volunteering with organizations focused on growth in central San Antonio. His running partner/wife, Rachel, takes up the rest of his time.
AIA, LEED AP | Architect
Stephen grew up exploring the backwoods of the Texas Hill Country and urban environments of Austin and San Antonio. His parents’ love of road trips sparked an intense interest in understanding the natural and built environment. With a B.Arch from The University of Texas at San Antonio, Stephen set roots to work toward contributing meaningful enhancements to the rich urban fabric of the city he loves. His work experience includes a variety of projects ranging from legacy residential to commercial hospitality, as well as custom fabrication. He tries in vain to maintain a fleet of rusty and inoperable classic cars, making stuff out of metal, and resurrecting a 1920s Craftsman home with his very patient wife.
AIA | Architect