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Collaboration: McKinney & Rossomando They are the founder and principal of McKinney York Architects (Austin, TX), a certified HUB and WBE that creates beautiful, responsible architecture in a culture of collaboration.


H aving just completed a six-year ownership transition, Heather McKinney, founder of McKinney York Architects, has handed over the reins to Michelle Rossomando, the firm’s new president. McKinney has stepped away from the day-to-day firm management to focus more on design, mentorship, client interaction and community engagement. Here, we’ve interviewed both women as they requested to tag team the column to further illustrate the successful transition. “Both of us love to design and hope to inspire everyone at McKinney York Architects to work like they remember why they wanted to become architects in the first place,” McKinney says. A CONVERSATION WITH HEATHER MCKINNEY AND MICHELLE ROSSOMANDO. The Zweig Letter: Your website highlights the importance of collaboration. Can you provide an example that illustrates how the power of successful collaboration can lead to exceptional project success?

Rossomando: On our recently completed project, the Austin Shelter for Women and Children, we successfully collaborated with the City of Austin Health and Human Services, Travis County, and the Salvation Army to renovate and expand a historic building and transform it to a place of respite and assistance for women and children experiencing homelessness. Located in a natural setting in East Austin, this project provides crucial expanded bed capacity and fosters healing and growth. The collaboration included participation in the Art in Public Places that incorporated whimsical art by Virginia Fleck into a nature play-focused playground shaded by a magnificent live oak. Working with the artist, the landscape architect, and the client, the collaboration produced a unique outdoor space for the children to enjoy every day. TZL: How much time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” Rossomando: Each of the business owners spends approximately half of their time working on architectural projects and the other half working on leadership


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