Who We Are

Natalye Appel FAIA LEED AP



Natalye Appel established the firm in 1987 following her Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University and Master of Architecture from The University of Pennsylvania. She has complimented her professional career with a commitment to education, teaching and lecturing at universities across Texas. Demonstrating a commitment to the environment and the community, she is a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional and has served for many years on the board and Projects Committee of the Hermann Park Conservancy. In 2000, in recognition of her accomplishments in the profession, Ms. Appel was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. Lately she has been earning her sea legs onboard the official Tall Ship of Texas, Elissa, an 1877 iron - hulled barque sailing out of Galveston Texas. When docked, you might find her with her family enjoying the view of Downtown Houston at the firm's latest project, Saint Arnold Beer Garden.

Stephanie Millet AIA



Stephanie Millet joined Natalye Appel + Associates Architects in 2005 and became a Partner in 2010. Stephanie brings extensive experience in both residential and civic/insitutional design. An enthusiastic proponent of NA+AA's collaborative design methodology, Stephanie has led complex teams including award - winning Levy Park, Fish Camp, and Teas Street Residence. A California transplant with deep southern roots, Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Master of Architecture from Rice University. In her other life, Stephanie enjoys playing Ms. Fixit at her modern East End residence and Mom to her two beautiful boys and two terrible cats.

Donna Kacmar FAIA, LEED AP


Design Partner

Donna Kacmar, FAIA, a LEED Accredited Professional since 2003, is dedicated to developing well designed solutions that are straightforward, cost effective and environmentally responsible. In addition to architectural practice, she is a tenured professor and directs the Materials Research Collaborative at The University of Houston College of Architecture. Donna and Natalye have collaborated on award-winning projects since 1992. Donna was elected into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2009, and received the American Institute of Architects 2004 Young Architects Award. These awards recognized her design work, her teaching, and her participation in many service organizations. Donna has served on the board of the Houston AIA, the Avenue CDC, the Rice Design Alliance, Architecture Center Houston Foundation, and now serves on the board of the Texas Society of Architects.

Lee Olvera






Design Partner + Art Director

Lee Olvera began his career at Natalye Appel and Associates, working on several award-winning projects from 1991 to 1997 and has recently rejoined the firm as Art Director and is also the Director of Communications for Academic Programs and Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California. From 2000 to 2009 Lee was Senior Design Associate at Frederick Fisher and Partners, Architects, participating in the design of a diverse range of projects from art-related spaces such as the Cotsen Textile Traces Collection, and the College Arts Complex at Oberlin College, to civic projects including the Annenberg Community Beach Club at Santa Monica State Beach. He is also the principal of OlveraWorks, a design and research practice interested in exploring a multi-disciplinary approach to design, pursuing projects that allow a process that challenges and reinterprets conventional boundaries between architecture, landscape architecture, art, and graphic design.