Arturo Chavez AIA, LEED AP
Having designed a wide variety of building types throughout his career as an architect, Art Chavez realizes that his greatest skill is helping others discover their own individual talent. He finds value and fulfillment in working with associates to achieve their maximum potential, and then helping them to develop into leaders in their fields of expertise. That’s an unexpected benefit to his job with Page. “Seeing people grow. Seeing people come into their own,” Art told an interviewer for a 2011 profile in the Houston Business Journal, “When you challenge someone and let them do it — that’s a joy. Seeing people flourish.”
The son of a millwork contractor and a native Houstonian, Art joined Page in 1995 and eventually became one of the youngest employees to be made a firm principal. He has personally selected the firm’s design studio architects and designers, whom he describes as being “from all over [and] reflect the cultural diversity of these projects. They also help enhance our reputation beyond Houston.” While he often takes the lead on client presentations and the design of projects, Art’s confidence in his team allows him to act as an observer and encourage his staff to grow professionally by taking on increasing responsibilities.
While Art’s educational and professional roots run deep in Houston, he has built an impressive international portfolio leading design teams for projects in the United Kingdom, the Far East and throughout Africa and the Middle East. His international projects include the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra, Ghana, the Presidential Library and Foundation for the President of Equatorial Guinea and the interiors for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s corporate headquarters. Art also led Page’s expansion into Latin America, a natural move given his fluency in Spanish.
Closer to home, Art’s name is attached to iconic projects in the greater Houston area. Among them are the adaptive renovation of the historic Rice Hotel into the Rice Lofts, which kickstarted the revitalization of downtown Houston, and prominent facilities like the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Pickens Academic Tower, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Training Center and the two adjacent hospitals that comprise the Texas Medical Center West. Under his guidance, Page completed the architecture and adaptation of award-winning urban design projects Buffalo Bayou Park and its underground Cistern.
A graduate of the Gerald Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston, Art has taught classes there as an adjunct professor and was named to the Architecture Alumni Hall of Fame. He’s also active in several volunteer roles, including Board Member of AIA-Houston. He currently serves as chairman of the East End Foundation, which encourages cultural and educational development in the historically underprivileged community, and remains actively involved. “This gives me a strong sense of continuity,” he says, “because [the East End] includes the neighborhood where I was born and my family still lives.” Art also sits on the board of the American Leadership Forum Houston / Gulf Coast Chapter.
Art has successfully taken on a variety of roles at Page, where he has spent most of his professional career. But he also has experience with the structure and culture of other firms, where he also worked on the kind of complex projects in a variety of market sectors for which Page is known. His career began with Hoover & Furr (a 3DI subsidiary) immediately following graduation. Art later joined CRSS and was working for HOK when he was asked to lead the design team for Page Southerland Page, now known as Page.