AIA West Texas Design Awards

Cinco Camp

Rhotenberry Wellen Architects, Midland

This 800-sf project is located on a remote ranch in far West Texas (Brewster County). The owner desired a retreat that was economically and quickly constructed, causing minimal impact to the site. Recycled shipping containers were chosen as the primary building component, allowing remote pre-fabrication. Stripped of their paint and complemented by generously oversized roof canopies and bar-grate decking (all fabricated of weathered steel), they float lightly above the landscape. A strict four-ft planning module was adhered to, honoring the standard 8’ x 20’ dimensions of the containers, and yielding virtually zero waste in the fabrication of the roof canopies and decks. The sustainable nature of the materials, as well as the methods of construction, mean minimal impact on the environment both locally and globally while yielding a simple, economical, and elegant solution.

St. Ann’s Catholic Church Chapel and Commons

Rhotenberry Wellen Architects, Midland

A Catholic church in Midland sought to add a gathering space and small multipurpose chapel to a 50-year-old sanctuary. The site was an existing entry/prayer garden immediately west of the sanctuary entrance. The chapel was designed to be a flexible day lit space sympathetic to the architecture of the existing sanctuary. A wood ceiling floats away from exterior walls, allowing natural light to enter along the perimeter. A moveable glass wall provides access to a memorial garden and columbarium adjacent to the existing bell tower and increases the chapel area during special events. The commons was designed to forge a link between the two worship spaces; it was built with a low profile to preserve adequate daylighting through the sanctuary’s existing stained-glass window, which was a design priority.


Field Office

Rhotenberry Wellen Architects, Midland

An oil field service company needed a field office at a major repair facility. The primary structure had been a refueling shed for a previous company. While pre-engineered buildings were a given as a primary structure, the owner desired an office with a stronger presence than the archetypical solution. The existing structure was re-skinned; light monitors were added; exterior windows were protected with perforated metal screens; and an entry element was added for visitors. The designed office space features primarily open-office workstations with support spaces and an adjacent training room. The public side of the facility was landscaped with drought-tolerant low maintenance planting.

Sibley Nature Center, Trail Development

Travis Durham Architect, Midland

An existing nature center sought an updated building entry, a sheltered wildlife viewing area, outdoor community-gathering and education areas, and multiple trail shelters/interpretive areas. The architects created several multipurpose structures to serve the many needs of the center. Each building acts as a place for community gathering, education, display of interpretive information, and shelter from the elements. All structures are intended to promote an appreciation of being outdoors by blurring the line between interior and exterior. Building materials consist of local stone, concrete, steel, and glass; each structure sits on the land as a sculptural element, blending with the landscape. The wildlife viewing area is naturally ventilated using a solar chimney, and cooling methods are influenced by the burrow of prairie dogs.