Posts

Convergence: Keynote Speakers

We are excited to introduce the keynote speakers for "Convergence," our 77th Annual Convention and Design Expo. Marion Weiss, FAIA, and Michael Manfredi, FAIA, Eric J. Cesal, Assoc. AIA, and Debbie Millman will be joining us in San Antonio this November. For the first time, this year we will be hosting four general sessions— two on Friday and two on Saturday. Debbie Millman will speak at the first session on Friday, and Weiss/Manfredi will speak at the second. The Saturday program will feature a session by Eric J. Cesal, as well as the convention's final general session, a panel discussion between all four speakers moderated…

The Grit and the Grandeur

Since purchasing the Pearl Brewery in 2002, private equity firm Sliver Ventures has transformed the 23-acre site just north of downtown San Antonio into a mixed-use, urban-scaled neighborhood. Based on a master plan by Lake|Flato, the district has been filled in with an eclectic assortment of buildings — some new constructions, others adaptations of old brewery facilities — designed by a variety of architects and occupied by apartments, offices, shops, and restaurants.  The centerpiece of the bustling development is Hotel Emma, a 146-room luxury hotel named after Emma Koehler, who survived her husband, brewery president Otto Koehler, to run the…

San Antonio River Barge Design Winner Announced

Houston's METALAB has been chosen as the winner of AIA San Antonio's river barge design competition. METALAB's festive barge can be changed to accomodate different uses – rendering courtesy AIA San Antonio AIA San Antonio announced the winner of its river barge design competition on Friday. Houston’s METALAB created the winning design, a barge inspired by papel picado with various deck components to accommodate different uses.  METALAB's colorful concept ties in to San Antonio's image – photo courtesy AIA San Antonio When announcing the winner of the contest, which launched in 2015 and resulted in proposals from 12 teams, Mayor of San…

River Barge Design Competition Finalists Announced

Finalist Luna Architecture's proposed redesign of San Antonio's iconic river barge – rendering courtesy AIA San Antonio In honor of San Antonio’s upcoming 300th anniversary in 2018, AIA San Antonio has sponsored an international design competition to re-imagine the River Walk’s iconic river barge (see our earlier post about the competition here). The contest is seeking to discover a barge that is more sustainable, serving commuters as well as tourists. This includes making the fleet of barges entirely electric.  METALAB's proposed barge – rendering courtesy AIA San Antonio On February 22, the City of San Antonio and AIA San Antonio announced the contest’s three…

Q&A with David Adjaye

Before she died in 2007, artist, collector, and philanthropist Linda Pace commissioned David Adjaye to design her Foundation's new gallery, called "Ruby City." TA contributor Patrick Michels talks to the architect about the gallery design, his experience working in Texas, and what advice he has for architects in our state looking to create meaningful public spaces. David Adjaye – courtesy Adjaye Associates How did you become involved with the Linda Pace Foundation, and how does this building reflect Linda Pace's influence?  I came to San Antonio in 2007 to meet with Linda, and she shared with me a sketch she had created of an idea…

San Antonio River Barge Design Competition

San Antonio River – photo courtesy AIA San Antonio In celebration of San Antonio’s upcoming 300th anniversary in 2018, the City of San Antonio and AIA San Antonio have launched the River Barge Design Competition. The competition challenges designers to "reimagine the ‘river barge’ experience as a quality transportation option with a newly designed, more sustainable and modular fleet using innovative technology to meet the needs of both tourists and residents." Local, national, and international teams are invited to submit their innovative designs.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finalist teams: $20,000 for first place; $10,000 for second place; and $5,000 for…

Architects Talking to Architects: Erik Murray, AIA

Erik Murray, AIA, is an associate principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates in San Antonio. Erik Murray, AIA, building a chicken coop – photo courtesy of Erik Murray Where did you grow up? I spent most of my childhood in Kerrville, a sweet little city tucked away in the Texas Hill Country. I remember stomping through the woods around my house (undeveloped land) and riding my bike all over the city. As I approached high school, I was chomping at the bit to move to a bigger city where “all the action” was happening. I didn’t really know what I had. I’ve…

A Kind of Resurrection

When San Antonio architect Brian Korte, AIA, looks at a piece of wood, he feels exhilarated. “I’d bottle that scent if I could,” he says, describing the experience of cutting into a slab of mesquite or cherry. Perhaps Korte’s passion is persuasive; he has cultivated the kinds of client relationships that thrive on collaboration and engagement, bringing to life thoroughly modern projects infused with a palpable richness. Ten years into his career, a client asked Korte to design the “coolest office in Denver” for Armstrong Oil and Gas. The project was the reinvention of an industrial building that had also…

The Old House, and the New

Simultaneously private and public, houses are particularly charged repositories of aspiration and association. In the best projects, an architect responds to a client’s wishes by designing a work whose integrity is rooted in a frank engagement with the circumstances of daily life, the facts and figures of the commission, and the material and technical possibilities that architecture offers at that moment in time. When these concerns are harnessed by a strong idea and executed by a steady hand confident enough to leave room for the unscripted, the results are often felicitous, and occasionally revolutionary.  Jim Poteet’s renovation of, and addition…

Project ArchiTX: Castano House

Craig McMahon Architects' renovation and new addition to a San Antonio home responds to the South Texas climate and employs a simple materials palette to achieve continuity. Project Castano House, San Antonio  Architect Craig McMahon Architects Photographers Dror Baldinger and Mark Menjivar Craig McMahon Architects’ Castano House is a subtle statement in site efficiency and maximizing an enjoyable aspect of the South Texas climate: its Gulf Coast breeze. The San Antonio-based architect approached the renovation and new addition to the home with a pared-down philosophy regarding space and materials. The original stucco finish was stripped from the existing house, exposing the concrete structure,…