Unexpected Encounters with Architecture

The Shape of Texas, Volume 20, Episode 4 Located along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Miro Rivera Architects’ Trail Restroom is the result of a long-standing partnership between the non-profit Trail Foundation and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. With the entire A/E team donating their services, the construction process exemplified the unique nature of the project. The architects printed a full-sized plan and laid it out themselves on the site. The steel fabricator then erected all 49 panels in one day for a captivating work of brutal simplicity.

Book Explores Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sacred Architecture

In Frank Lloyd Wright Sacred Architecture: Faith, Form, and Building Technology, published by Routledge, Anat Geva, Assoc. AIA, introduces a theoretical framework of the conceptual model illustrating the relationship between faith, form, and building technology in sacred architecture. “The book offers scholarly discussion on the application of this conceptual model to Wright’s religious projects with analytical drawings and photographs,” said Geva. “This unique contribution will be useful to all those interested in Wright’s architecture and theory as well as in the study of sacred architecture.” Geva’s analysis applies the model to Wright’s main design concepts of nature, democracy, and freedom…

Member Spotlight: Brandrup, Hays, and Black

Melissa C. Brandrup, AIA, 2011 Award for Young Professional Achievement in Honor of William W. Caudill, FAIA Melissa Brandrup, AIA, is the current President of AIA El Paso. She specializes in urban planning and green building and has worked in locals throughout the U.S. and the world. Recently, she served as a primary architect involved in the urban planning of a 6,700-acre project in China. After arriving in El Paso about three years ago, Melissa joined the AIA leadership and became a charter director for Eco-El Paso. As one of its directors, she helped promote sustainable building practices and teach…

2012 “Best Architecture and Design Schools” Includes Two in Texas

In its entirety, “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” is an annual report comprising several distinct surveys that rank undergraduate and graduate architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design programs. For the 2012 edition, 360 firms in the four professional fields participated. Each respondent has direct responsibility for hiring and/or supervising recent graduate new hires in one or more of those fields surveyed. Practitioners selected to participate were drawn from a DesignIntelligence database of leading firms defined by both revenue and reputation. With regard to architecture programs alone, practitioners from 185 leading U.S. architecture firms participated in the current…

Texas Architects Announces 2012 Leadership

2012 Texas Society of Architects President Craig Reynolds, FAIA Craig Reynolds, FAIA, is a managing principal/president with Brown Reynolds Watford Architects. Established in 1984, the firm found a niche in institutional architecture, working for those within governmental entities, school districts, and universities. Reynolds graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in environmental design and architecture. He served as president of AIA Dallas in 2004 and is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 2009 Award for Community Service in Honor of James D. Pfluger. His community service has resulted in the planning and funding of $2.7 billion of…

Tommy Neal Cowan, FAIA, Receives Lifetime Achievement Medal

Tommy Cowan, FAIA, retired from Graeber Simmons & Cowan in 2009, where he was a founding principal and managing partner of the 50-person Austin architecture firm. Previously, he worked for 3D International and Brooks Barr Graeber & White. A self-described “Austinite for life,” Cowan earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1968 and a Master of Architecture in 1970, while teaching and working full-time for Brooks Barr Graeber & White. . His interest in design and architecture began in the fifth grade when a teacher invited him to compete in Austin’s Wellesley Junior Art…

Fountain Place Featured in The Shape of Texas Podcast

The Shape of Texas, Dallas, Volume 2 Since its completion in 1986, Fountain Place in downtown Dallas has been praised for both the geometrical precision of its 60-story tower clad in green glass and the extraordinary six-acre urban space that unfurls at its base. Originally known as the Allied Bank Tower at Fountain Place and designed by I.M. Pei and Partners with landscape architect Dan Kiley. Fountain Place received the 2011 Texas Architects 25-Year Award. The annual award recognizes one building completed 25 to 50 years earlier that has stood the test of time by retaining its central form, character,…

Speck: Architecture Influences Lifestyle

The professional portfolio of architect Larry Speck, principal at Page Southerland Page, boasts several Texas landmarks, including the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin Convention Center, and Discovery Green, a new 12-acre park in downtown Houston. Over the last 25 years, his design work has won 33 national design awards, 21 state and regional design awards, and 63 local design awards. Speck has been a faculty member at the University of Texas since 1975. I was able to catch up with him and ask about what goes on between developers and architects, and his thoughts on density. Staff Writer Cody Lyon, Austin…

With Launch of New Website, Texas Architects Unveils New Brand

On Oct. 28, during the Texas Society of Architects 72nd Annual Convention in Dallas, President Dan Hart, AIA, PE, formally announced the Society’s newly redesigned website and refreshed brand, which uphold Texas Architects’ mission to be “the voice for Texas architecture, supporting the creation of safe, beautiful, sustainable environments.” The announcement was made at the second General Session and arrived after a year-long taskforce effort, spearheaded by architect Chris Hudson, AIA, of Morris Architects in Houston and nine architects from around the state, along with the Society’s executive committee and staff. “As the voice for Texas architecture, our role is…

Chicon: Before the Renovations