It’s hard to throw a stone in San Angelo without hitting a building designed by Kinney Franke Architects.
Toss a rock in one direction and there is the new YMCA; throw out a few more and you’re likely to land them smack into Unidad Park‚ Kirby Park‚ Southside Clinic or the Pediatric Dental Clinic. Go into the suburbs and you’ll find many homes with the Kinney brand.
“We try to respond to each project individually and create a special place for people‚” Craig Kinney says.
A fairly new project still drawing attention is the San Angelo Visitor Center on Highway 87 at the Concho River. Completed in 2003‚ it won an American Institute of Architects Award and was featured in Texas Architect’s November/December 2006 issue.
“It links people to the river‚” Kinney says. “It’s a striking building that grabs people’s attention. The outdoor spaces are a great introduction to San Angelo.”
He describes the design‚ with stone work and curving roof‚ as “modern with one eye looking backwards toward the past.”
Sited on top of a hill‚ the visitors center includes a water garden that has proved popular with tourists as well as local residents. Its water fountain starts at the upper plaza and spills down the hillside toward the river.
“It’s very natural‚ looking like a creek‚” he says. “Lots of weddings and other events have happened there.”
Kinney has been in the design world about 27 years‚ beginning the firm in 2000. He feels he must mention Kye Franke‚ a member of the firm who is the technical expert behind the projects.
“None of these buildings could be built without him‚” Kinney says.
“San Angelo is a great place to live‚” he continues‚ “a great community with great opportunities. Lots of exciting things are starting to happen downtown and along the river. It’s an exciting time to be here.”
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