To celebrate the firm’s new Houston outpost, Michael Hsu tapped local culinary clients and abstract artists for a party in the studio
Houstonians braved a surprising cold front in Bayou City last night to celebrate Michael Hsu Office of Architecture’s expansion to the city. Known for hip dining and hospitality projects like Heights Mercantile and Uchi, the Austin-headquartered firm opened its studio in August in a former antiques shop in the Heights at 1906 Ashland.
“The folks we’re working with in Houston, they are just an incredible group of owners and developers. They all love Houston, and they all love architecture and design, and they all believe in what they’re doing,” Hsu tells AD PRO. “We are incredibly grateful to have this group of clients, and it’s so fun for us to get them together here.”
The converted space—complete with a curved stucco facade, an exposed wood-beam ceiling, and a custom dried floral sculpture by Austin florist Davy Gray hovering above the office’s large conference table—serves as the studio office for four Houston-based designers and architects, led by Austin-based managing partner Maija Kreishman with a strong influence from Michael Hsu himself, who grew up in Houston.
At the party, Hsu and Kreishman welcomed more than 75 colleagues and clients into the space with a massive installation of silver balloons over the entrance. Fittingly, given the firm’s hospitality portfolio, the food was a standout. Guests enjoyed boxes of Korean braised goat and dumplings, along with fried green tomatoes and prime beef sliders from Underbelly. Wine, beer, and Topo Chico–infused cocktails flowed throughout the night.
Though MHOA has worked in Houston for about a decade, Hsu says that lately many of its most significant projects have been based here.“The jobs we are working on now are larger and complicated. I feel like we need to be Houston natives to participate and get the culture,” Hsu adds. “[Tonight] is really a thank-you to our clients for allowing us to open this office in Houston.”
Originally posted on Architectural Digest