Ask An Architect: Q&A With MSA Architecture + Interiors
We at CKC Custom Homes sat down with a few of the esteemed partners of MSA Architecture + Interiors to ask them some questions about their background and experience in the field.
MSA Architecture + Interiors has worked with highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals all over the region, including commercial developers, building contractors, and individual business owners. MSA Architects + Interiors projects include commercial retail centers and tenant finish outs, medical and dental offices, specialized office buildings, laboratories, educational facilities, food service, hospitality, industrial facilities, land planning developments, and custom residential projects, as well as residential interior design.
ABOUT GEORGE KLEIN AND LESLIE ANDERSON
George Klein and Leslie Anderson are both partners at MSA Architecture + Interiors and they handle the residential side of the office. Leslie’s husband, Brent Anderson, is the third partner in the firm and he oversees the commercial side of the firm. All three partners are graduates of Texas A&M University. George and Leslie graduated in 1993, and were both hired by the same residential architectural firm in Houston. After working for the Houston firm for one year, both George and Leslie were asked to move to San Antonio to run a satellite office, and were both made partners in the firm 5 years later.
What factors led to you becoming an architect?
Leslie: My dad had a wood shop as a hobby while I was growing up, so I was constantly building things in it and have always enjoyed the mix of creative thought put to practical use. I also took several art and sculpture classes in college and architecture for me seemed to be the best of both worlds. It was a career where I could be creative and also provide a useful service.
George: I always liked building and drawing things. My father worked at a bank, and one day when I was a senior in high school, he took me to a construction site where they were building a new bank. I met the architect and he invited me to his office where I saw the designs for the Alamodome, and I was hooked. That’s when I fell in love with architecture.
Who are some architects that you admire?
Leslie: Lake | Flato of San Antonio. The firm is very regional in their designs with a focus on sustainability. I have also always like Alvar Aalto.
George: Frank Lloyd Wright…he pioneered a creative new approach to residential architecture that had a dramatic impact on Architecture and home design in America.
What are a few favorite projects that you have worked on?
Leslie: We designed a lake house on the Guadalupe River that was incredibly fun to work on, it had great indoor-outdoor spaces. Designing homes that fit the land they are being placed on and that functions for the people living in them is very important to me.
George: The timber frame homes are a favorite of mine…the beauty of the exposed timber columns, trusses, and beams make the spaces interesting and unique.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of the job?
Leslie and George: Being able to create something for a family that will shape their everyday life is the most fulfilling aspect of doing residential architect. By creating a custom home, we make a daily impact on their lives.
What are some of the most-requested architectural elements to incorporate into a custom home?
Leslie: Really nice indoor-outdoor space are a popular request.
George: An open floor plan. Combining the kitchen, dining room and living room into a shared space has become increasingly common. The open nature of the layout is better for entertaining and increases views in addition to natural light.
What are a few misconceptions about designing a custom home?
Leslie and George: Because technology has advanced in our field, many think that designing a home has become as easy as punching a bunch of numbers in a computer, but that couldn’t be more inaccurate. It actually takes much thought, sketching, creativity, and ironing out all of the small details to create a home, which is very time consuming.