Menil Drawing Institute

According to Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee’s proposed design for the Menil Drawing Institute (MDI) is both serene and revolutionary. Helfenstein likened the achievement, which displays fragile works on paper in the modulated presence of natural light, to “squaring a circle.” The 30,150-sf, $40 million MDI will be the first free-standing facility in the country dedicated to the exhibition, study, storage, and conservation of modern contemporary drawings. It is also the first installment in a planned reinvigoration of the Menil Collection’s campus in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. The 30-acre enclave includes the main…

Steel Strings

The Outdoor Learning Center at Casis Elementary in Austin has transformed a formerly neglected plot of land next to a parking lot into an open-air classroom in a garden setting. Designed and built by Baldridge Architects with the help of a crew of parent and student volunteers, the Learning Center has become a much-loved spot on campus. “We wanted to build a structure that would go beyond just meeting the school’s programmatic needs for outdoor and hands-on learning,” said Burton Baldridge, AIA. “The classroom is designed to teach the kids about math, science, architecture, and the environment.”  The Learning Center…

A New Sculpture Garden for Austin’s Laguna Gloria

Boston-based landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand is expanding its Texas portfolio and leading the re-imagination of The Contemporary Austin’s historic Laguna Gloria site. Situated along Lake Austin in the Tarrytown neighborhood, Laguna Gloria is home to the 1916 Driscoll Villa and its surrounding gardens. The Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park redesign will provide a much-needed space for the display of contemporary art and an overdue facelift for the gardens.  Reed Hilderbrand, working in collaboration with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Urban Design Group, has been charged with re-imagining the 12-acre site along the water’s edge. Principal-in-charge Chris…

The Rise of Video as a Tool for Documenting Architecture: An Interview with Frazer|Pogue Collective

When did you introduce video into your portfolio? We began looking for different ways to capture architecture on film in 2008. At that time, video hadn’t been developed as a tool for marketing architecture. It required a large crew and expensive equipment and was too costly for small firms. With the advent of using digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) to capture high definition (HD) video with architectural lenses, we saw an opening to create high-quality videos using a relatively inexpensive and unique format, which could help us better tell the story of an architectural project.  Ultimately, as architectural photographers, our…

Clients’ Corner: Vicki Faust’s Boutique Hotels

Within Vicki Faust's growing collection of boutique hotels exists the miniature retreat of the Art Barn. As a stand-alone addition to the Kimber Modern SOCO, the Art Barn remains true to the hotelier's theme of architectural connectivity to the community through the chalkboard facade treatment displayed on the prominent elevation of the building. – photo by Julie Pizzo Wood​ Vicki Faust and Kimber Cavendish have got it right. As Austin’s hospitality industry reaches skyscraper heights, they've established a niche within the industry. Their intimate boutique hotels began with the petite Kimber Modern in the city’s South Congress neighborhood. Designed by Austin-based Baldridge Architects, the hotel…

Soto: The Houston Penetrable

The first question I ask myself when walking into (and I mean into) Jesús Rafael Soto’s "Houston Penetrable" is, “What would Mies think?” Granted, I ask myself that a lot, having spent a good deal trying to think as Mies van der Rohe did; however, in this case, with the work installed inside Cullinan Hall, the van der Rohe-designed addition to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Caroline Wiess Law Building, the question truly makes sense. It is necessary to walk through the work, experiencing the piece from all angles. The PVC tubes gather around your body, tangling up and hanging onto you…

2014 Conference: Frequently Asked Questions

< Back to Annual Conference Home Page   REGISTRATION / SCHEDULE How do I register for the Annual Conference? I’m a Texas AIA member. Why don’t I see member registration options when I register? Who has to create an account? I forgot my password. What do I do? I forgot my email address. What do I do? What do all the colors along the side of the schedule mean? Why does the site allow me to book multiple things in the same timeslot? I want to register for a specific tour, but it is full. What do I do? The…

Advocacy Update: Understanding Texas’ Political Climate

As many of you know, the Texas Society of Architects (TxA) maintains an active government relations presence through our involvement in the Texas Architects Committee (TAC) and several additional advocacy-charged committees. In my latest meeting with the Government Affairs Steering Committee (GASCOM), Kathy Grant, one of TxA’s contract lobbyists, shared several interesting documents outlining the Texas political landscape. Whether at the state or local level, an understanding of the Texas politics and electoral results is crucial. Those who are elected and hold office determine budget allocations and taxes for the next legislative session. These decision makers dictate regulatory practice, which…

500 Chicon: Fallen Tree to Get New Life

On the evening of June 11, a Texas-sized thunderstorm hit the Austin area. The next morning, once the winds had died down and the rain had ceased, the staff at 500 Chicon discovered one of our prominent pecan trees felled by lightning. In the parking lot of the Texas Society of Architects office, our fallen pecan tree goes through various stages of dismantling. – photos by Elizabeth Hackler The removal of the tree was necessary, but the consensus around the office was to do something more. Texas Architect editor Catherine Gavin reached out to a local furniture studio, Hatch Workshop, in hopes they could…

2014 Design Expo Attractions

  DESIGN EXPO HOURS Thursday, Nov. 6 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm Friday, Nov. 7 11:00 am – 5:30 pm   ATTRACTIONS ON THE EXPO FLOOR Center Square/Acme Brick Pavilion Come visit this year’s Center Square, which will focus on green roof technology. Located at the center of the Design Expo floor, the Center Square will feature emerging green roof technologies.Take the opportunity to relax in its informal seating, and chat with knowledgeable representatives about the products on display. Expo Welcome Party Kick off the 2014 Annual Conference with our Texas-Sized Happy Hour featuring Cajun, Italian, and Tex-Mex cuisines; cocktails, beer, and wine; and a chance to reconnect with…