Posts

Between Green and Violet

It’s easy to fall in love with Marfa, Texas. The effort of getting there is rewarded by the treasures revealed — Donald Judd’s perfect metal boxes, his Chinati Foundation’s rows of barracks filled with world-class art, the galleries and art studios. There’s the historic town square with its Second Empire style courthouse, and the beauty of the landscape — the desert; the scrubby plains; the crisp, clean air; the darkest of dark skies at night; and the unyieldingly bright sun by day — it’s a unique experience.  For architect Rand Elliott, FAIA, who lives and works in Oklahoma City but…

Making Learning Fun

If you want to tour the Thinkery in one trip, you might need to sneak over to Austin’s new 36,340-sf, LEED Silver-certified children’s museum without a child. After three trips with a couple of 6-year-old boys, this reporter has yet to get to every corner of the facility, which is located in Austin’s developing Mueller district. Designed by Koning Eizenberg Architecture, with STG Design serving as architect of record and exhibits designed by Gyroscope, the iconic red building holds such a plethora of fun and fascinating interactive exhibits that several hours can easily be spent in any one of the…

A Container Bar

“She’s almost three months old now, but her personality isn’t clearly defined yet," says Bridget Dunlap. "We’re still figuring out who she is.” Dunlap is speaking of Container Bar, her latest Rainey Street “offspring.” Five years in the making, the bar was created with seven shipping containers — five 8-feet-by-20-feet and two 8-feet-by-40-feet — and its design is a major departure from Dunlap’s four other Rainey Street establishments (Clive Bar, Bar 96, Bar Illegal, and the recently closed Lustre Pearl), most of which are located in renovated old houses.  By contrast, Container Bar is a series of indoor and outdoor environments with upstairs balconies and ground-floor courtyards. The shipping container…

The Boatmakers’ Craft

Port Townsend, Wash., is about as far from Dallas as you can get in the U.S., both literally and figuratively. With a population of around 9,000, the city is located at the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, about 40 miles northwest of Seattle. It’s surrounded by water on three sides and is known for its Victorian buildings, boat-building industry, and vibrant arts scene. It seems an unlikely place for a Texas couple and their Texan architect-of-choice to end up building a house, but that’s exactly what happened when Dallas-based Sally Warren and Jeff Jackson fell in love with Port…

Beyond the Box

For the 83 proud residents of Paisano Green, El Paso’s first net zero, LEED Platinum-certified low-income senior housing community, the 59,787-sf development is home. But to the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP), the city itself, and architecture firm Workshop8, in Boulder, Colo., the project has been a fortunate experiment that has changed laws and lives, providing a shining example of sustainable business practices from an unlikely, dusty border town setting. Stimulus package funds made available to housing authorities across the country in 2009 presented the initial opportunity. Gerald Cichon, HACEP’s CEO, had long hoped to do…