Before Miró Rivera
Our founding partners—Miguel Rivera, FAIA and Juan Miró, FAIA—were born only a few days apart in Puerto Rico and Spain, respectively. After studying architecture in San Juan and Madrid, they came to the United States to complete Master’s Degrees at Columbia and Yale. Their paths first crossed in 1991 while working at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects in New York City. They became friends and shortly after Miguel transitioned to work at the New York office of Mitchell Giurgola Architects, where he remained as an Associate for nine years. Juan stayed at Gwathmey Siegel for almost six years.
Miguel’s sister, Rosa Rivera, studied at Barnard College in New York City. It was there that, through Miguel, she met Juan. They married in 1996 and moved to Austin in order for Juan to oversee the completion of a residence as a Project Architect for Gwathmey Siegel. Once settled in Austin, Juan started to teach at the University of Texas School of Architecture, where he has also served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs for four years. Juan and Rosa founded Juan Miró Architects in 1997.
Founding Miró Rivera Architects
Soon after establishing Juan Miró Architects, Rosa and Juan began to collaborate with Miguel, who was still in New York at Mitchell Giurgola. The collaboration prompted Miguel to move to Austin, and the three formed Miró Rivera Architects in 2000. The Deck House, our first project, established the studio as a new voice in Austin architecture. The project won design awards from AIA Austin and TxA, established MRA’s reputation, and set the tone for the quality of our future work.
Ken Jones, AIA joined us in 2001 after earning a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Ken’s superb range of abilities—from research and design to management and execution—has greatly contributed to our success. Ken is now a principal and an integral part of our firm’s leadership. In 2005, Matthew Sturich, RA came on board after receiving his Master of Architecture from Kansas State University; he became an associate in 2011.
The Pedestrian Bridge, an elegant structure connecting a main residence to its guest house, launched our office onto the international stage. The Pedestrian Bridge remains one of our firm’s most memorable and widely-published projects. The accolades for this project included the prestigious international Award for Emerging Architecture from The Architectural Review in London, in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Another notable project, the Trail Restroom at the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, won the same award two years later. It was the first of 14 awards and myriad international publications for the Cor-Ten steel public restroom. The Trail Restroom cemented the firm’s international reach, and in 2008 we were one of five young American architecture firms invited to exhibit their work at the Aedes International Architecture Forum in conjunction with the inauguration of the new United States Embassy in Berlin.
A Growing Portfolio
Our goal since founding the firm has been to work on a wide range of projects. Juan’s father, the late Antonio Miró, was a recognized architect in Spain whose work ranged from residential to commercial and institutional. Our first non-residential project was the Texas Cowboys Pavilion, located in the heart of the University of Texas campus. Other projects followed, among them the renovation and addition of the Texas Exes Alumni Center, Chinmaya Mission Austin, and Ranch Operations. Our residential body of work continued to expand with the Stonehedge Residence, Tree House, Lakeshore Residence, and 1917 Bungalow.
Circuit of The Americas
In 2011, we embraced the challenge of working on a major sports and entertainment complex in Austin, dubbed Circuit of The Americas. The first permanent racetrack to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the United States, the design of the buildings and spaces around the track aimed to create a place that would be functional for its patrons, distinctive in architecture, and emblematic for the city.
Our office designed the major public venues around the track, including the Austin360 Amphitheater, Observation Tower, and Main Grandstand. With the entire complex completed under an incredibly demanding schedule, the Circuit of the Americas represented a remarkable accomplishment not only for its design excellence but also for the quality of the professional services delivered. Among the many publications and recognition, Circuit of The Americas was named by ArchDaily as one of the top 100 most significant works of architecture in the nation.
Over the years, we have garnered over 80 design awards, including 36 local, state and national awards from the American Institute of Architects. In 2016, we received the Texas Society of Architects’ Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor bestowed upon offices in Texas. We take particular pride in those projects that have achieved Austin Energy Green Building certification, including the Spicewood Residence (3 stars), Hill Country House (4 stars), Westridge Residence (5 stars), LifeWorks (5 stars) and AISD Performing Arts Center (5 stars + LEED Gold).
Presently, our firm consists of 16 people, including seven Registered Architects and two new associates: Bud Franck, RA and Nate Schneider, RA. We offer a wide range of architectural services including urban design; institutional, commercial, and residential architecture; interior design; and custom furniture design. We continue to produce work characterized by exceptional craftsmanship and innovation throughout Texas and beyond. And as always, we look forward to whatever opportunities lie ahead.