Although Burton Baldridge, 48, entered the profession later than some, he has made up for lost time since founding his eponymous firm less than 10 years ago. Following law school at the University of Texas in Austin, and a four-year stint as a commercial litigator in New York, Baldridge switched gears, graduating from Columbia University’s architecture program in 1999 and going to work for Peter Gluck. He moved to Austin in 2002 to serve as construction manager and on-site architect for Gluck’s ambitious Floating Box House, then stayed in the city after the project wrapped up, establishing his own shop in 2006.
A native Texan, Baldridge has spent roughly half his life in the capital city and witnessed its evolution over the years. He recoils at the idea that Austin has one singular identity. “We don’t embrace the faux narrative of an in-your-face, alt-country, hillbilly Frankenstein, Disney World version of Austin,” the architect says. Instead, the firm imbues designs with “an exuberant sense of sobriety”—treating each project’s site and program with a quiet reverence.