Culture & Practice

Founded in 1987, Overland Partners is a creative, international community of problem-solvers. We create human-centered architecture, master planning and urban design in places of natural significance around the globe. Through a rigorous, collaborative process, we bring our clients’ wisdom to center stage, Unlocking the Embedded Potential™ of their vision to create places that care for the earth, promote well-being and lead to measurable human transformation.

Sensitive to environmental and aesthetic contexts, we integrate technology, materials, art, and craft to make well-loved places that bring people together.

An Architect Top 50 Firm, Overland has received more than 200 international and national design awards and has been widely published at home and abroad.

Designing for Measurable Human Transformation

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

For Overland, design has always been about more than just a place or building. We know good design doesn’t happen by accident. It is intentional. Overland pioneered The Human Handprint to go beyond measuring design performance and positive impact for our planet. It is a human-centered design methodology we apply to all projects to guide and measure holistic sustainability and positive human impact. Listen to Rick Archer, Overland’s CEO, discussing Overland’s commitment and approach to design through the Human Handprint™ at the Texan by Nature 2021 Conservation Summit and at the 2020 Center for Health & Nature Virtual Symposium

Overland is committed to inclusive, just design that empowers human flourishing. Our trauma-informed design work for projects including The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center (Dallas), Haven for Hope Transformational Campus (San Antonio), and ChildSafe (San Antonio) are specific examples of Overland’s work that address cultural, historical and gender issues. They serve a diverse spectrum of people and were designed to create transformational places that are safe, secure, transparent, welcoming, supportive and healing. At Haven for Hope, we designed a gender-neutral section and a series of courtyards to address needs related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

As part of our commitment to transparency, we are in the final phase of earning JUST certification. JUST is a third-party certification program through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) which requires organizations disclose information on their organization surrounding: Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Health, Equity, Stewardship, Employee Health, and Purchasing & Supply Chain. JUST serves as a transparency platform for organizations to disclose how they address their operations, employees, and how they make financial and community investments.

Sustainable Solutions

For more than 35 years, Overland has been a leader in sustainability and conservation beginning with our first design of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Upon completion in 1998, it was the largest water harvesting building in North America and one of the prototype projects that set the standard for the LEED Certification framework SITES, helping to launch Austin’s Green Building movement.

Overland has pledged to the American Institute of Architects 2030 Commitment. Our Sustainability Action Plan has laid the foundation for our commitment as firm to reduce carbon buildings from buildings through sustainable design and operations. Every three years, we reevaluate our commitment to sustainability and in the process reevaluate and retool our processes. Our new goals, strategies, and tactics are rereleased to the public and the profession as a new version of sustainability action plan.

LEED Certified Projects

In our work over the past decades and continuing to today, Overland has remained on the forefront of sustainable and resilient designs. We serve as an industry leader in conservation best practices, with dozens of LEED Certifications over the years and current projects pursuing leading-edge certifications including Living Building, Living Community, WELL, and SITES to include:

LEED Platinum
University of Pennsylvania – Morris Arboretum Horticulture Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bracken Bat Cave and Nature Reserve – Comal County, Texas
Environmental Education Center – Upper St.Clair, Pennsylvania
Grand Canyon Transit Station and Visitor Center – Tusayan, Arizona
Skywater Sales Pavilion – Austin Texas

The University of Texas at Austin Student Activity Center – Austin, Texas
The University of Texas at Austin Liberal Arts Building – Austin, Texas
The University of Texas at Dallas Founders Hall – Dallas, Texas
Hermann Park Lake Plaza – Houston, Texas
Penn State School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture – State College, Pennsylvania
The Autry National Center – Los Angeles, California
Champion Place Office Development – Austin, Texas
Tucson Origins Center – Tucson, Arizona
University Health System – Robert B. Green Downtown Clinic – San Antonio, TX

LEED Silver
The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center – Dallas, Texas
Lower Colorado River Authority Redbud Center Interpretive Design – Austin, Texas
1155 Barton Springs – Austin, Texas
Ballet West – Salt Lake City, Utah
Bozeman Public Library – Bozeman, Montana
Bridger Bowl Base Lodge Facilities – Bozeman, Montana
Chickasaw National Recreation Area – Sulphur, Oklahoma
College of Santa Fe Student Center – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Penn State University Arboretum Overlook Pavilion – State College, Pennsylvania
Rice University Anderson – Clarke Center – Houston, Texas
The University of Texas at Austin Geological Sciences Building – Austin, Texas

LEED Certified
Xanterra Parks & resorts Concessioner Housing – Gardiner, Montana
University of Montana School of Journalism – Missoula, Montana

Our headquarters’ in San Antonio has received national recognition as a 2015 AIA COTE Top 10 Award Winning Building. This attitude of sustainability permeates the culture of Overland with 65% of our staff registered as Sustainability Accredited Professionals within LEED AP, WELL AP, Living Future Accreditation. We currently employ more Living Future Accredited Professionals than any other architecture firm in America.