CTA receives IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter ‘Firm of the Year’ Pinnacle Award

By: CTA Staff
27 October 2017
Header photo by AndyPhanography (L to R): CTA’s Jennifer Jenkins Moore, Interior Designer; James Foster, AIA, Architect; Nena Martin, IIDA, RID, Interiors Lead; Tiffany D. Wikstrand, IIDA, Interior Designer; and Amanda Meininger, IIDA, RID, IIDA Tx-Ok President.

Late last month in Houston, CTA Austin was presented with a “Firm of the Year” (medium size) award at the annual Pinnacle Awards ceremony held by the Texas-Oklahoma Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). The Pinnacle Award represents the highest honor IIDA TX-OK can bestow upon a design firm and is granted only to firms that have consistently contributed to the highest aspirations of the profession of interior design, to the community, and to IIDA.

For CTA, this award is an incredible honor as it represents more than design talent alone — it recognizes CTA’s reputation of excellence in service. We are proud this award reflects the strong role CTA plays both professionally and as champions of our community, and it’s a great tribute to the whole CTA Austin team, and to the entire firm.

FROM THE AWARD SUBMISSION

CTA Architects Engineers is a multidisciplinary A/E firm established in 1938 in Billings, MT, by Ralph Cushing and Everett Terrell — visionaries with a better plan. In 2004, CTA Architects Engineers started up its Austin location to better serve local clients, and since then, the Austin office has grown from two to more than team members. CTA Austin (#CTAATX) pioneers environments. With a creative, resourceful, and collaborative approach, we currently serve clients within commercial, retail, government, and hospitality markets. We are passionate about innovative architecture, engineering, and design that results in transformative experiences for our clients.

Who Does What at CTA Austin?

  • Total team members | 37
  • Registered Interior Designers | 2
  • Interior Designers | 4
  • Licensed Architects | 8
  • Architects in Training | 6
  • Mechanical Engineers | 2
  • Electrical Engineers | 2
  • Structural Engineers | 3
  • Support Staff | 11

Team Member Professional Memberships

  • IIDA – International Interior Design Association
  • ULI – Urban Land Institute
  • RECA – Real Estate Council of Austin
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • ICSC – International Council of Shopping Centers
  • NAPW – National Association of Professional Women
  • USGBC – LEED

Community

#CTAATX is a mission-driven design firm and environmental stewards taking responsibility in our communities. We love all things local: music, coffee, beer, breakfast tacos – and supporting our neighbors and community. Since 2008, we have quarterly creek clean ups at Barton Springs for Keep Austin Beautiful’s Adopt-A-Creek program, and participate in their annual Austin Clean Sweep. We continually support Foundation Communities raising money and collecting items for their annual Back-To-School Drive and for their Family Holiday Assistance Program, during which we adopt a family making their holiday wishes come true. When Austin Pets Alive! needed a remodel of their office and pet adoption area, CTAATX raised money, designed and donated man hours to make it happen. We rappel down tall buildings to raise money for Make-A-Wish and volunteer countless hours at the Central Texas Food Bank — including participation in CANstruction, a fundraising completion. In all, we’re a super tight team of creative professionals who are passionate about our community and its interaction with the environment.

Professional Leadership

CTA supports and engages emerging professionals throughout all phases of their careers. We encourage all of our staff members to become registered and licensed professionals, and reimburse for testing fees upon completion. We are active in IIDA and AIA activities and competitions, which inspire us to become more innovative in the way we approach design. We are proud to support IIDA events right in our office, as well as having representation at IIDA sponsored competitions, educational events, and fundraisers throughout the Austin design community. We are passionate and committed to inspiring future interior designers in the making. CTAATX regularly attends Career Days, as well as host students and aspiring designers for shadowing days at our Austin office; allowing young minds to explore and experience the design world first hand.

IIDA Involvement

CTA is honored to be affiliated with the IIDA. All six Interior Designers are registered IIDA members and we offer reimbursement of membership fees to employees. Multiple team members have been or are currently on the IIDA Austin City Center board: Kaare Sola, Co-chair for Programs Committee, 2016/2017; Tiffany Wikstrand, Graphics Chair, 2017/2018; Jennifer Moore, Advocacy Chair, 2017/2018. We participated in Revolution Redesign in 2015 and won People’s Choice in 2016, and consistently donate and volunteer to IIDA’s Zero Landfill program. CTA sponsored two team members to attend the 2015 Advocacy Symposium in Austin, and Nena Martin participated in the 2016 Austin Principals Round Table. Designers, architects, and engineers alike are encouraged to attend IIDA CEU’s and events.

We are mindful of our responsibility to influence the communities beyond the walls we design; this is why we are intimately involved in individual and community development. Team members are encouraged to pursue volunteerism, and given time off to accomplish it. We are volunteer tutors, mentors, coaches, and public board and committee members — where our professionals take on a great many leadership roles. CTA is also involved in supporting local art, music, and theater; historical building preservation projects; and fundraising activities. Our communities are our homes — we’ve chosen to live there for a reason, and we feel it’s our responsibility to make a difference.

SELECTED PORTFOLIO

Google; Austin, TX

Design context often has two parts — the “man-made” environment and the “natural” environment. The man-made environment included considerations such as precedents (both historical and architectural), impact of adjacent structures and program to the project, and the impact of circulation around the space (both vertical and horizontal). Many design cues were also taken from the natural environment and included climate considerations, solar orientation, predominant vegetation, site features (landmark trees, water features, etc.), and geological makeup.

Images by permission of Google.

Aristocrat; Austin, TX

Aristocrat is a technology company that creates digital games for casinos across 90 countries worldwide. The design embraces the unique company culture and enhanced health and productivity of their employees. Design challenges included an accelerated schedule and branding of this regional office with a local Austin vibe. The design team developed unique spaces including: a centralized coffee bar, arcade, collaborative meeting rooms, test lab, and bright internal offices with direct access to natural light. The finishes selected were sourced regionally to provide a local feel and create a sustainable approach.

C3 Presents/Front Gate; Austin, TX

We began our work with C3 Presents by doing a series of test fits for prospective lease spaces. This led to CTA being hired for full Interior Design services from programming through construction administration for the finish out of two floors for their headquarters. The main driver for this project was creating a funky “Austin warehouse” vibe that matched the culture of the company, while moving them into a brand new building in one of Austin’s up and coming districts.

Accruent; Austin, TX

Accruent is a technology company offering facility and real estate management solutions for best-in-class operational and financial performance. The design is a fresh, energetic space for a largely millennial workforce that still meets the needs of the leaders of the firm. The design challenges included an aging building with unique existing conditions, one very large single floor plate and lack of natural light to the deeper spaces. The design solution resulted in a dynamic balance of flexible, open work spaces to comfortable collaborative areas that promote innovation and wellness.

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