FCDC Releases Nature Preserve Site Photos

The deadline for early bird registration for the Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC) is quickly approaching. Earlier this month, questions and answers were posted to the competition’s website, fieldconstructs.org. Pithy data, including links to soil reports and images of the site, the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, were included in the document. The site — a former quarry, turned landfill, now nature preserve — encompasses four ecologies: paths, grassland/landfill, wetland, and forest. The images released are striking and show how the topography changes from areas of dense vegetation to open prairie. Several photos are included below; more are available via the FCDC Dropbox folder.  The Field Constructs Design Competition…

Small is Beautiful

Upon arriving in Marfa from the east on Route 90, turn left at the Dollar General onto Spring Street and left again across Alamito Creek, onto Dallas Street. This will bring you to the Marfa 10 x 10 Lightbox, a minimal dwelling of 320 sf by San Antonio-based architect Candid Rogers, AIA. This outpost is an exercise in restraint: Two 10-by-16-ft volumes, a 5:8 proportion, are stacked and offset by 8 ft, creating a double-height interior space and a cantilevered upper room. (For reference, the units of Donald Judd’s nearby concrete works are 1:2 in proportion, measuring about 8 ft,…

A Bench is a Bench

All too often, our search for authenticity and honesty in architecture finds us misunderstanding these terms. It’s easy to overcomplicate, in our efforts to rethink what is “authentic” or “honest.” And, while these two sought-after qualities are important in building, they are rarely achieved. “It is what it is,” is a much more powerful statement than, “What is it?” The Kidd Springs Park Pavilion by Mark Wellen, FAIA, of Midland-based Rhotenberry Wellen Architects is refreshing because it doesn’t try to be anything but a park pavilion. The project’s “it” factor lies in its modesty and politeness. Here, nothing has been rethought,…

Bit by Bit

To tackle what has become an almost 15-year master plan for the National Butterfly Center in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Wendy Evans Joseph, FAIA, started off by dividing the 100-acre site into 22-sf parcels. This inclination toward modular design has informed everything about the site. “It’s almost a mini-Jeffersonian plan,” said Joseph, “except instead of six miles it’s 22 ft.” The pixelized landscape, she explained, has enabled the North American Butterfly Association to “conquer the site over time in bite-sized pieces as they raise money.” New York-based Joseph began working with Jeffrey Glassberg, founder of the Association, on the…

Architects Talking to Architects: Nick Kovach, AIA

Nick Kovach, AIA, is a BIM manager at BOKA Powell and vice chair of the Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Committee for AIA Dallas. Nick Kovach, AIA – photo courtesy of BOKA Powell If you were not an architect, what other profession would you have pursued? It seems fairly obvious as a BIM manager that I have a technical side, but I have always really enjoyed computer programming. I believe that the process of architecture is explaining something complex using simple instructions. This seems to be similar to the process of writing code. Honestly, I have been programming since I was eight years old. However,…

Two Texas Architects Honored With AIA’s 2015 Young Architects Award

Derek C. Webb, AIA (L) and Jim Henry, AIA (R) are among the 14 recipients of this year's AIA Young Architects Award. – photos courtesy the honorees On January 26, the American Institute of Architects announced the recipients of its 2015 Young Architects Award. This honor is given to professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer and have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. Two of this year's 14 recipients, Derek C. Webb, AIA, and James "Jim" Henry, AIA, are Texas Society of Architects members. Congratulations, Derek and Jim! Derek C. Webb, AIA
 m ARCHITECTS Webb concentrates…

Bring Your Own Bag

In March 2013, the City of Austin enacted an ordinance banning single-use carry-out bags. The law regulates the types of bags that can be distributed by businesses and has encouraged a larger cultural shift toward reusable bags. Plastic bags quickly became nonexistent in grocery stores, and bring-your-own-bag campaigns began popping up everywhere. That spring, Christopher Ferguson, Assoc. AIA, and Megan Marvin were ready to graduate from The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and with just a few short months left to go, they decided to make some bags for their final design studio.  The project has grown…

Who Will Advocate for Architecture?

Join Us for the Third Biannual Advocates for Architecture Day   The Society's Advocates for Architecture Day will take place on February 10. Architects from across the state will converge on the Texas Capitol to meet with legislators to promote the importance of architectural design for urban planning. Learn more about this event, and register today to help us spread our message. The districts in green to the right already have architect representatives in place for Advocates for Architecture Day 2015. The grey districts are those still in need of architect members to visit. The lists below indicate the legislators that…

Jerry L. Clement, FAIA (1932–2015)

Jerry Lee Clement was born in Sioux City Iowa in 1932, and attended the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. He was part of the 1953 freshmen class, which his classmate John Nyfeler, FAIA, tells us started at 220 in size and was down to 22 by graduation in 1958. Clement studied at UT when the legendary Texas Rangers were on the faculty and went on to become an excellent designer. Some of the firms he worked for included James R. Killebrew, Harrell & Hamilton, Woodward and Cape, and Envirodynamics, which became EDI/Cape Hopkins Clement. Notable works included North Lake…

Project ArchiTX: North Bayfront Park

With North Bayfront Park, Gignac & Associates and Sasaki Associates have transformed Corpus Christi's automobile-populated, seafront landscape into a public green space featuring sustainable technologies and fostering coastal community. Project North Bayfront Park, Corpus Christi Client City of Corpus Christi Architects Gignac & Associates and Sasaki Associates Photographer Eddie Seal Following a devastating Category Four hurricane in 1919 that destroyed downtown, Corpus Christi filled a block into the Corpus Christi Bay to construct a new sea wall that would protect the community from future disasters. Since that time, the bayfront has been defined by Shoreline Drive, a wide boulevard designed preliminarily for automobiles, and…