Posts

Casa Xixim

Even the iguanas like to linger at Casa Xixim. The four-bedroom, 4,800-sf vacation villa takes calm and restful to a level that only a turquoise blue beachfront can. Located on Soliman Bay, a small inlet on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera just north of Tulum, the house maximizes views of its impressive landscape while shying away from its densely packed and very close neighbors. The slender lot, which spans from a mangrove marsh through a palm grove to the white sand beach, offered both opportunities and challenges for the architects as they worked to create a self-sufficient building, fit for the modern-day…

From the Beach to the Bay

Galveston Island State Park is shrinking: Scientists predict that the landmass will decrease 22 percent over the next 50 years due to rising sea levels and beach erosion, transforming much of what is dry land into open water or marsh. The park is the only contiguous beach-to-bay stretch of land on the island. It is 2,000 acres and welcomes over 350,000 visitors annually, despite the fact that Hurricane Ike destroyed the majority of the park facilities in 2008. With a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department-approved master plan in hand, Studio Outside Landscape Architects, in collaboration with Overland Partners, is gearing…

An Interview with Brooke Hodge, Guest Curator at the Nasher

On September 13, the Nasher Sculpture Center opens its third exhibition dedicated to architecture. “Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio” details the iterative process of the wildly creative London-based firm of Thomas Heatherwick. Texas Architect Editor Catherine Gavin interviewed guest curator Brooke Hodge about the exhibition. How did you choose the exhibition materials? Because Heatherwick Studio is not as well known in the U.S. as they are in the U.K., I wanted to show visitors the full range of the practice, from small objects to very large buildings and developments. Each project is represented by materials that architects and…

SNEAK PEEK at Texas Architect’s New Feature –– “Products”

In its March/April 2014 issue, Texas Architect will unveil a new addition to its table of contents ­­–– “Products.” This new recurring section of the magazine allows the TA team to share with its readers the latest in architectural products and technological innovations. Catherine Gavin, editor of Texas Architect, says that the inclusion of cutting-edge products will add a bit of diversity to the magazine by allowing it to cover a wider breadth of topics. It will also give the Society a chance to get to know more regional manufacturers and increase its pool of potential advertisers.  Rita Catinella Orrell – photo…

The Border

For more than a decade, Sambunaris has spent three to seven months a year traveling the United States with her five-by-seven wooden field camera and sheets of color negative film. Her most recent trek has taken her from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, Calif., and back, crossing the border at particular points along the way. Sambunaris’ focus is on the intersection of geology, politics, and culture; she looks intently at the landscape, collecting maps, geology books, and reference material along with mineral specimens, journals, and road logs throughout her journey. The photos capture buildings and landscapes as she finds them. Sambunaris…

Catherine Gavin Appointed Editor of Texas Architect

Gavin had been a historic preservation consultant in New York City since 2004. Her projects included work on the New York Public Library, Carnegie Hall, and the United Nations Headquarters, as well as the rehabilitation and restoration of numerous residential and commercial developments in historic districts throughout the city. An Austin native, she graduated from the University of Texas and was an editor at Holt, Rinehart, and Winston for five years prior to pursuing a graduate degree in preservation at Columbia University. Much of her work focuses on the preservation of mid-twentieth century architecture. Her research on the sociopolitical importance…