AUTOARCH Architects: 25 Years of Designing Excellence


By Subcontractors USA News Provider

For 25 years, AUTOARCH Architects (AUTOARCH) has been a familiar and well-respected name in the architecture industry, having a reputation for accountability, passion, and design excellence.  AUTOARCH believes strongly in the power of good design and its effect on the built environment, the end user, and the community.  Those beliefs are not just of the co-founders and principals, Michael and Lina Sabouni, but that mindset permeates through the firm, from principal to project manager. AUTOARCH has built a great reputation for innovative design, superb delivery, and efficient management of its teams and projects since 1991.  AUTOARCH has not only survived for the past 25 years, but the company has thrived, having been recognized as a leader in this industry by Mayor Sylvester Turner and throughout Texas.  Today with the exponential growth of technology and computing advancement, the company is optimistic for the future growth in both quantity and quality of projects.

AUTOARCH does not consider themselves as only an architectural firm, but rather a valued partner to their clients. Their goal each and every time is to make the client’s goal a reality.  “The most important factor underlying this mutually successful relationship is trust.  Our company has built a solid reputation of trust over the last 25 years. We come to the table as a trustworthy partner who offers innovative ideas, a passion for the project, and the experience to take the project from an idea to a built reality,” says Michael Sabouni.

AUTOARCH – The History

AUTOARCH co-founders and architects Lina Sabouni and Michael Sabouni with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (middle).

AUTOARCH was founded in 1991 by architects Michael and Lina Sabouni, who both had a passion for design and were excited about the technologies that were emerging in this industry. This was a period that saw growth in personal computer use and the shift from hand-generated drawings to the reliance on computer programs. AUTOARCH’s focus was not only on the technologies available, but even more important was the quality of service. This emphasis went into creating their founding core beliefs that remain as the mission statement of the firm today.

AUTOARCH’s projects have changed drastically since the beginning.  AUTOARCH’s entry into the education sector over 20 years ago was an auditorium renovation project for Houston ISD. From that project’s success, they were awarded a larger renovation package which had a drastic impact on the image and functionality of the school. Twenty years later, AUTOARCH is watching one of their newly designed high schools get built for the same client.

AUTOARCH started as a firm of Architects, and now consists of architects, planners, facility assessors, LEED AP (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professionals), interior designers, and technical and graphic designers. This diversity in expertise adds greatly to their organizational knowledge and the quality of their designs.

AUTOARCH – Meeting the Challenge

Members of the AUTOARCH Team

The biggest challenge facing this industry today is the rapidly changing business environment caused by the exponential advancement of technology. AUTOARCH sees these challenges as the biggest opportunity ahead.  The company utilizes a “think tank” mentality for developing new trends of innovation, creativity, and sustainability in the built environment.  Today, after 25 years of practicing architecture, this firm has more passion and excitement about the future and what the exponential technology and computing power will enable them to do.

The success and the continued growth of AUTOARCH over the last 25 years is due to the insistence on producing quality products and services that are the best available in the design profession.

AUTOARCH team members have been recognized for the unique ability to both create and deliver buildings of distinction through their award-winning architectural, interior design, and planning services. 90% of AUTOARCH projects are from repeat clientele, and that speaks to the quality of services and commitment to the firm’s mission statement. It delivers successful projects for clients and the end users. To ensure effective delivery, AUTOARCH has quality assurance in-house backed by decades of experience and highly qualified professionals who oversee the project from initial sketches to the final built form and beyond. After the project, they will still be there. From 4:00AM concrete pours, to midnight punch lists and walkthroughs, they have done it all to ensure successful projects.

A competitive advantage for AUTOARCH is firm size. The firm size allows it to place the best talent on a project, while maintaining the proper people resources to back them up. Their firm size is the perfect balance, not too large so it can remain nimble, and not too small so it has enough manpower, depth, and resources to complete quality projects.

AUTOARCH – Innovative

AUTOARCH is not only current with the trends, but an active contributor in creating trends in this industry. As a knowledge-based firm, AUTOARCH is continuously innovating, which means it takes the firm’s history and experience and continues to build on it. The firm conducts its own research in-house and strives to educate its team and community. For example, through lessons learned from over 20 years of school design, the principals at AUTOARCH are pioneering a design shift to address the challenges of building 21st century schools within budget.

AUTOARCH’s work – FBISD Madden Elementary School

AUTOARCH currently is using cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art programs and methods that allow for a high level of digitizing and improvements to the design process. Moving forward, the firm will continue exploring new trends and potentials that advancements in computing will empower it to achieve. The design process will be more engaging, and future breakthroughs will add layers of technology and sensors to designs that will enable these buildings to be smarter and more interactive for the end users in its functionality.

AUTOARCH – A Diversity Champion

Though there are less female architects than male in the industry, AUTOARCH believes that there should be no difference between the capabilities of a male or female.  AUTOARCH focuses on performance and productivity as the main drive for business success.  AUTOARCH’s Director of Planning, Farrah, is a great example.  She is an MIT graduate with two graduate degrees from the prestigious university, a Registered Architect, a Registered Planner, and a LEED AP.  AUTOARCH has blossomed with the employment of female architects and offers equal opportunities for architects as well as great mentorship.  It is an environment where one can truly excel.


AUTOARCH – Community-Driven

Michael and Lina Sabouni have a life-long commitment to education and community, which is deeply engrained in the firm and has helped form AUTOARCH’s focus on education and emphasis on paying it forward in the community. As a community-based firm, they firmly believe in contributing to this profession, the local business community, and the community at large.  Because AUTOARCH has received help along the way, the company pays it forward, helping others find their way, giving them hope and providing them opportunities.

AUTOARCH is an active local business that believes in improving Houston and the surrounding community just as much as they believe in quality design. For the last 25 years, AUTOARCH has been a major supporter and contributor to public education, local teachers and students, young architects, and a variety of community causes ranging from education foundations to the American Cancer Society.

On a personal level, with a lifetime commitment to education, Lina Sabouni has served as a board member for the Houston ISD Foundation, Fort Bend Education Foundation, Houston Community College Foundation, the Arab American Education Foundation, and the Bilateral US Arab Chamber of Commerce as the Education Chair.

Lina Sabouni says, “‘Do the right thing’ is our motto.  It’s simple, but it is 100% percent what we believe.  As we move into the future, with our entrepreneurial ability and drive for excellence, we will continue evolving and using a ‘think tank’ mentality for developing new trends and exploring new potentials.”  AUTOARCH understands that a client’s project is a long-term commitment, backing up their designs with strong project management, honed over decades of experience.  To read more about AUTOARCH Architects, please visit


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