Beyond the Boardroom: AIA Repositioning/Grassroots

"Beyond the Boardroom" is a new blog column by Texas Society of Architects EVP James T. Perry.  As a relative newcomer (2+ years) to the Texas Society of Architects and AIA, last week I attended Grassroots for the third time, participating with great interest and learning a good deal more about the Institute’s processes, staff and board. The AIA “repositioning” effort seems to me to be a very good development for all. As someone who has regularly witnessed the wry expression on members’ faces when AIA is discussed, I’m glad to know the need for change is recognized. Through member surveys…

Campus Health Care

Reprinted from Architectural Record, March 2013 A Prescription for Campus Care Lake|Flato renovates and expands an outdated health-services facility at Arizona State University, Tempe Built as two structures in 1953 and 1968, the Health Services–Tempe Building (HSTB) at Arizona State University (ASU) had become inefficient and out of rhythm with the vibrant, growing campus around it. Designed by San Antonio–based Lake | Flato in collaboration with architect of record Orcutt | Winslow of Phoenix, the overhauled, 36,900-square-foot HSTB is light-filled, inviting, and designed for LEED Platinum certification. Its gardenlike environment is a refuge for the campus's 60,000 students when they need…

Paperwork: Plans for a New Campus at Austin’s Highland Mall

As Highland Mall sits largely shuttered and surrounded by empty parking lots in northeast Austin, Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects is at work wrapping up the design development for a new Austin Community College (ACC) campus to occupy the shopping center’s former JC Penny department store. The building was chosen for its central location, access to major roadways, proximity to public transportation, and the ample space for future growth.  The architectural team, Jay W. Barnes, FAIA, N. Thomas Kosarek, AIA, and Lauren Goldberg, AIA, is proposing to renovate the facades, activate the sidewalks surrounding the building, and open up the interior…

VIDEO: 20×20 With Michael Malone, AIA

Last fall, the Texas Society of Architects treated our annual convention attendees and the public to our first-ever PechaKucha Night, 20×20@500 Chicon. The event featured nine Texas artists and architects waxing poetic on what inspires them. The full list of presenters included: Elaine Bradford / Houston Artist Michael Ray Charles / Austin Artist Brantley Hightower, AIA / San Antonio Architect Matthew Johnson / Austin Stone Carver Max Levy, FAIA / Dallas Architect Michael Malone, AIA / Dallas Architect Elizabeth Price, AIA / Brenham Architect Larry Speck, FAIA / Austin Architect Steven Tomlinson / Austin Playwright Click on the video above to watch the…

Restoring Cuero

In 2001, the small town of Cuero participated in the Texas Historical Commission's “Visionaries in Preservation” community workshops, and in 2003, the Dewitt County Courthouse received a THC Courthouse Preservation Planning grant. This new public interest in historic preservation inspired others in town to re-examine old buildings. Robert Oliver, chairman of the board of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, began restoring the Knights of Pythias Hall at the corner of Esplanade and Courthouse Streets into a new home for the museum and multi-purpose community facilities. The exterior restoration was started by preservation architect David Hoffman and completed in April 2010 by FisherHeck Architects of San Antonio,…

Artworks by Renowned Artist Sol LeWitt Come to Austin

Landmarks has added two new Sol LeWitt artworks to the public art collection of The University of Texas. The monumental pieces are located at the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall.  At the Speedway entrance to the complex, the concrete block structure Circle with Towers provides the community with an opportunity to interact with world-class art. Inside the building Wall Drawing #520 depicts brightly-colored floating cubes on three walls leading to the auditorium of the complex.  Sol LeWitt is recognized as a pioneer of minimal and conceptual art. His pieces are found in noteworthy museums worldwide,…

PubCom Travels To Tyler

Last weekend, the Texas Society of Architects Publications Committee gathered in Tyler for its annual "PubCom" Retreat. Past retreat destinations have revealed a unique architectural presence from earlier times, and Tyler, with its abundance of fine architecture and really talented architects, was no exception. Retreat tours have often focused on mid-century modern residential and commercial architecture, and there is plenty to be had in Tyler — so much in fact, that a group called The Mod Squad was recently created specifically to promote awareness of the wealth of the city’s modern architectural heritage. The "star architect" of this retreat turned out…

Radiating Pattern Exhibit Transforms Rice Gallery

Rice Gallery, on the campus of Rice University, invites artists and architects to create site-specific installations in their simple and well-proportioned space. Currently, the Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg explores her interests in everyday consumerism and Eastern spirituality by focusing on the gallery floor plane with an intricate and compelling pattern made of supermarket, fast food, big box store and common household logos in an ornate form that recalls a sacred mandala. Klingberg’s beautifully complex mandala is forceful; it pushes through the limits of the front gallery glass wall, into the foyer, and up the exterior façade, blurring the separations of…

Buy Local

Downtown Austin is experiencing unprecedented growth — towers of hotel rooms, condos, and offices are going up, and many of them are banking on retail at the ground floor. This flurry of construction has its roots in a Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team (RUDAT) hosted by the AIA in Austin in 1992; recommendations for the redevelopment of downtown as a viable and vibrant community day and night supported the reintroduction of residential development and all of the amenities that go along with it. Local retail was central to the equation, and as the community armed itself with the “Keep Austin Weird”…

Creating Community with Ardis Clinton, AIA

It was another hot Texas July — many in the Perkins+Will Houston office were at their desks seeking shelter from the scorching day. As they studiously focused on their work, the office was almost silent. Suddenly their thoughts were interrupted by the clanging bell of … wait, was that the sound of an ice cream truck? Down the studio floor came an ice cream cooler on a dolly. It was filled with traditional frozen treats like Drumsticks and Eskimo Pies, and an old-fashioned ice cream jingle played over a phone. Ardis Clinton, AIA, had decided that things were too stale…