Turtlewood Manor Company Site Visit

Keeping up with the progress of the Turtlewood Manor Senior Living Condominiums! The STOA team traveled to the heart of Chinatown, where the 62-luxury condominium building is located, to keep up with the construction progress.

At this stage of construction you can start to see how each apartment integrates Feng Shui and green design principles for harmonious spaces that resonate from both the inside and out to promote healthy and peaceful lifestyle.

One of the most captivating elements noticed during our visit were the stunning panoramic views provided on the top floor. Perched on the highest floor, the penthouse apartments offer the best views. From this floor you are able to get an excellent unobstructed view of the downtown skyline while enjoying the exclusive amenities provided by the roof top terrace. Great vantage points of the surrounding context can also be seen at any level of this 5 story building.


Green TEA in Taichung

During a brief visit to Taiwan, Feng Shui Master C.C. Lee traveled to the industrial city of Taichung to give a presentation for the Taichung Architects Association lecture series over suitable living on September 6, 2019. Mr. Lee promotes his firm’s practice of environmentally conscious design by using his extensive knowledge of the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui. By uniquely combining traditional Feng Shui practices with green design, the Total Environmental Alignment Methodology, also known as the ‘Green TEA’ Approach, generates a sense of harmony and balance when creating suitable living designs.

On the Boards: Senior Living Development

The senior living development features active adult living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. It will include specialized services and amenities that encourage social interaction and personal well-being.

Senior Living Development

Senior Living Development Vine Wall

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Welcome to our newest team members!

Join us in welcoming our newest team members, Chardae Jones and Azeez Aleshe!

Chardae Jones joins the team as the Assistant Project Manager for our Houston Airport System Mickey Leland International Terminal project. She attended Houston Baptist University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities/Humanistic Studies. Chardae brings a broad skill set and experience in a number of professional arenas. Her expertise in facility management and administration is an excellent asset for coordinating project planning and scheduling within the fast-paced environment of our aviation projects.

Azeez Aleshe joins as an Architectural Designer utilizing his CAD and 3D modeling skills to contribute in all aspects of design and construction administration that help our clients visualize the design of their projects. Since graduating from Prairie View A&M University with a Master of Science in Architecture in 2018, Azeez has interned for Paragan Solutions, LLC and the Harris County Engineering Division. His knowledge of design and software elevates our team and our projects.

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We are pleased to announce recent promotions!

STOA Architects goal is to continue to identify talent and provide a career path that benefits our employees as well as our firm and the recent promotions of Victor Lee, Cynthia Ramirez, and Sarah Kataka, along with welcoming back Suzanne Lee are an integral part of STOA’s success.

Welcome Back!

Suzanne Lee, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB – Principal QA/QC
With over three decades of architectural experience, Suzanne Lee leads the firm’s quality control effort to ensure the production standards of STOA’s designs are of the highest quality. Throughout her career, she has acted as both a project architect and project manager, working with clients in corporate, education, and aviation sectors. Suzanne specializes in code and accessibility reviews and places particular emphasis and understanding of the fact that our clients need this information early in the design process so that its effect on their facility can be managed to address critical safety and accessibility concerns in the most efficient manner.

Congratulations to our newest Project Managers Cynthia Ramirez and Sarah Kataka!

Cynthia Ramirez, M. Arch
Pursuing her passion in architecture, Cynthia graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Master of Architecture in 2012, having previously completed a Bachelor of Architecture at the university. While attending the university, she received recognition from the School of Architecture as an Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal Recipient, a National Association of Home Builders Scholarship Recipient, and graduated Cum Laude. Cynthia plays a critical role at STOA supporting architectural and interior design projects with a skill for both aesthetics and technical accuracy. Prior to STOA, she held positions at Matrix Design Companies and SHW Group, both of Houston.

Sarah Kataka, Associate AIA
Sarah graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Master of Architecture in May 2018, having previously completed a Bachelor of Architecture at London South Bank University. While attending the university, she received recognition for her exceptional design work by being honored with the Race to Net Zero Award, Studio Honor Award, and completed her degree with First Class Honors. Embodying STOA’s holistic design approach, she helps the firm’s effort in multiple projects from pre-design through construction and post construction in STOA’s public and private market service sectors.

Congratulations to Victor Lee on his promotion to Vice President of Operations!

Victor Lee – Vice President of Operations
Having previously served as STOA’s Business Development Director for the past six years, Victor will play a more prominent role in supporting the firm’s leadership and project management teams. In his new role, Victor Lee will lead the overall strategic direction of STOA’s growth into new market sectors, including oversight of revenue and profitability; business development initiatives; budget management; and other general operational plans.

Cal-de-sac Feng Shui

Examine the Residential Property Values in Cul-de-sac: A Case Study of Feng Shui in Harris County, Texas

By Qisheng Pan, Ph.D. (1), C.C. Lee, AIA, LEED AP, AMDP (2), and Tony Jin (1)

  1. Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St. Houston, TX 77004
  2. The STOA Foundation, 6001 Savoy Dr., Suite 100, Houston, TX 77036
From Qi Strength Viewpoint (1 – Better 2 – Good 3 – Worst 4 – Worse 5 – Bad)

Feng Shui, known as Chinese geomancy, reflects the relationship between human beings and the natural environment. As an essential component of culture and tradition in China and East Asian countries, it has played an important role in shaping society and personal life. However, the effects of Feng Shui have been rarely quantified in rigorous studies. This research intends to explore the relationship between Feng Shui and residential properties in North American settings. It employs the hedonic pricing models with spatial and statistical analysis functions to examine the impacts of Feng Shui concepts, especially the cul-de-sac (dead-end), on residential property values. In this paper, the researchers explore the correlation between the location of residential properties and property values in the Greater Houston, Texas region. It is found that houses located at the optimal location in a cul-de-sac have the highest value while those located at the T-Junction have lower values. The empirical study reports that the effects of the spatial arrangement of properties are consistent with the Feng Shui theory.

Feng Shui, or “wind water,” means two of earth’s flowing elements. It represents the process of maximizing the flow of energy to achieve harmony between people, buildings and nature. The concepts of Feng Shui have deeply rooted in the minds of many Chinese people and influenced traditional architecture, designs, and planning in China and many East Asian communities for thousands of years. The principles and practices of Feng Shui aim to develop a harmonized built environment for people to live in. It aims to select favorable locations, as well as a theory for designing cities and buildings (Lee, 1986).

The relationship between humans and their environment guided by the concepts of Feng Shui dominates personal life in all aspects, including fate, luck, virtue, and education, etc. It is considered as the art of living in harmony with the land, and deriving the greatest benefit, peace, and prosperity from being in the right place at the right time (Skinner 1982). Therefore, the spatial arrangement of the properties in a community may generate different benefits to the households, which may be reflected in their property values.

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Retail Reinvented – Texas Parkway Shopping Center

Located in the heart of Missouri City (across from City Hall and the new HCCS Academic Center), the owner of an existing retail center has envisioned a re-energized shopping experience that would unlock the properties potential for both the tenants and the neighborhood. With this vision in mind, STOA Architects designed a new façade, signage, and lighting for the Texas Parkway Shopping Center that will attract customers, increase exposure and improve visibility and safety. The new façade design features Nichiha fiber cement panels in wood and stone effects, standing seam metal roof, metal canopies, and stucco signage facades. The shopping center has a total of 61,100-square-feet of retail space, with 25+ storefronts, including tenants such as Citi Trends, Dollar General, and Shipley Donuts. All tenants will remain in operation during construction which is estimated to complete in late Spring 2020.

Golden Bank Bellaire

A Look Back: Golden Bank Building 25th Anniversary

A Look Back: Golden Bank Building 25th Anniversary

As we close 2018 and look toward our 36th year, we look back at our beginnings and the projects that have made an impact. Being a part of the vibrant, innovative, and the diverse Houston community since 1983, our firm is continually inspired by the growth of the city and the opportunity to create an environment that engages the unique character and vision of Houston.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of one of STOA’s milestone projects – Golden Bank, one of the first major landmarks in Houston’s Chinatown. STOA was tasked with developing a design that met the client’s ideal vision of a modern bank. The overall concept needed to have a contemporary look that incorporated elements of Chinese architecture while still conveying the “feel” of a banking institution. This translated into a modern glass façade building that features red columns and a green standing seam roof to reflect Chinese tradition and harmoniously interact with the Western environment. With respect to Feng Shui principles and methods, our design needed to be stable, elegant, bright, and clean. The mirrored glass panes allow the natural light to extend throughout the interior while the exterior features an artfully crafted curved glass entrance to enhance the profile of the building, and a coffer shaped roof to represent holding valuables.

During the design development, our team considered factors such as the size, shape, form, and layout of the building as well as the landscape and surrounding buildings to create an ideal environment. The best lighting options, color schemes, furniture placement, and materials were selected to enrich people’s experience within the bank. The Chinese coin is displayed on the façade as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Within the first year of the bank’s operations, they experienced significant growth in their total assets – doubling from $100 million to $200 million. The financial institution was recently honored as a “Five-Star Bank” (the highest rating in banking industries) by Bauer Financial.

Golden Bank was first founded under the name of Texas First National Bank by a group of Taiwan immigrants in Houston in 1985. In 2006, the bank changed its name to Golden Bank. The bank is the first, and one of the largest privately owned Chinese-American banks based in Texas was established to meet the growing demands in Houston for boutique banking for Asian communities, businesses, and new immigrants. Since its inception in 1983, Golden Bank now has four branch offices in the Greater Houston area (Bellaire Blvd., Harwin Drive, FM 1960-Champions, and Sugar Land), two branch offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (Richardson and Plano), and one branch office in Tustin, California. It also operates two loan production offices in Southern California (Irvine and Rowland Heights).