Gensler Bolsters Sports Practice Area in South Central Region with West Coast Talent

SOURCE: Gensler

Jonathan Emmett, Design Director behind Austin FC Major League Soccer Stadium, continues growth of Gensler’s sports expertise in the South Central region

AUSTIN, TX – Gensler, the global architecture and design firm, announces today that Jonathan Emmett joins its Austin leadership team to continue cultivating the Sports Practice Area in the firm’s South Central region.


Emmett has served as Principal and Design Director for Gensler in Los Angeles, CA since 2009, delivering prominent professional and collegiate sports venues and sports-anchored developments in the United States and worldwide.

“Our Austin office has been extremely fortunate to diversify our architecture, interior design, and digital design practice into specific areas of expertise, or Practice Areas,” said Todd Runkle, Co-Managing Director of Gensler Austin. “Bringing Jonathan onto our team from Los Angeles elevates our region’s Sports Practice Area to new heights with his innovative, human-centered approach to design.”

Emmett’s relocation comes less than a year after Gensler Austin’s Co-Managing Director Kirk Funkhouser joined the Austin office, also as a transfer from Los Angeles. Emmett and Funkhouser are involved in Gensler’s high-profile Texas sports projects, including the Austin FC Major League Soccer Stadium and the University of Texas at Austin Basketball Arena. In the past, they have provided collaborative leadership on major stadium renovation projects for the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. They each bring more than 20 years of experience to the firm’s South Central leadership team and will continue the expansion of the region’s sports expertise.

“Jonathan’s leadership and his exceptional approach to sports design will be a great asset in the South Central region,” said Judy Pesek, Regional Managing Principal of Gensler South Central. “His talent, along with Kirk’s, allows Gensler Austin to join Los Angeles and Washington D.C. as a ‘Center of Excellence’ within the firm for the growing sports design practice.”

During his 10 years at Gensler, Emmett led the design team for the Banc of California Stadium for Los Angeles FC, and supported local teams on sports projects in Texas, including the Ford Center and Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters at The Star. His award-winning sports venue designs have been acclaimed by AIA, IIDA, and Interior Design Magazine, and exemplify his passion for fostering exciting and unique fan experiences. 

Funkhouser, who joined Gensler in 2008, leverages a strong business background paired with his specialized expertise to lead the Sports Practice Area. He served as project manager for the master planning of the Detroit Lion’s Ford Field mixed-use venue and the transformative innovation plan at The Culver Studios. Together, Funkhouser and Emmett will empower the developing Sports Practice Area across Gensler’s four Texas offices and create designs that revolutionize the sports entertainment experience.

“I have worked with Jonathan throughout my tenure at Gensler and his ability to listen to clients and provide innovative solutions has made him one of the most recognized sports designers in the industry,” Funkhouser said. “We are thrilled to have his skills here in our Austin office as we collaborate on key projects such as the new arena for UT and the Austin FC stadium.”

About Gensler

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 48 locations and more than 6,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work, and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful.

Recent accolades: Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2019, Fast Company “Most Innovative Companies 2018”, Forbes “America’s Best Midsize Employers” 2017, Architectural Record “#1 Architecture Firm” 2017, Interior Design “#1 Firm”, “Most Admired Firm” 2019.



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