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Everything Old is New Again

Construction progresses under the beamed ceiling at 500 Chicon – photo by Elizabeth Hackler 500 Chicon, with its exposed brick, soaring roof beams, and center atrium, is already beautiful. But the things that we love most about the building are also the things that cause challenges when attempting a renovation. In order to improve its functionality, changes to the HVAC system and acoustics needed to be made. The exposed brick walls lend character, but they lack insulation completely. The open nature of the space allows light to reach deeper into the basement, but it also allows sound to travel without impediment.…

Pardon Our Dust

By Alyssa Morris Construction progress as 500 Chicon undergoes a renovation – photo by Elizabeth Hackler 500 Chicon, the headquarters of the Texas Society of Architects, is once again undergoing a renovation. Indeed, the building’s history has been characterized by change. What began as an oil company warehouse in the 20s evolved into offices for a design firm, fd2s, and one of the first projects in a wave of revitalization sweeping East Austin. The neighborhood has changed drastically over the past 15 years, and now the office sits squarely in the middle of some of Austin’s trendiest bars and restaurants. The original…

Invest in Yourself and Your Career

Membership in the AIA is a three-tier structure, which provides benefits at all levels. AIA members work together to develop and share resources essential for modern practice. Member dues contribute to advocacy efforts and ensure that the profession has a voice when important decisions are being made that affect architectural practice in Texas and beyond. In addition, as an AIA member you receive reduced convention registration rates at both state and national levels; informative online and print communications such as Texas Architect, CheckSet, advocacy updates; and more. Renew your AIA membership for 2013 .  The renewal period closes March 31. After…

Designed to Connect: LinkedIn for Architects

by Brian H. Griggs, AIA Texas Architects New Media Committee Below are some helpful ideas on how the world of LinkedIn can see more of the world of architecture through you and your LinkedIn profile. 1. Effectively Share Updates – If you or your firm are completing projects that are receiving buzz  (i.e., newspaper articles, Texas Architect articles, etc.), attach links about those articles to your LinkedIn updates, and let people know about those projects. Keep it simple. If you are like me, then most likely no more than 60% of your LinkedIn connections are architectural colleagues – that means…

Videos Highlight Diversity of State’s Award-Winning Architecture

On May 20, Texas Architects Design Awards jurors — David Salmela, FAIA, of Duluth, Minn.; Steve Dumez, FAIA, of New Orleans; and James Russell, FAIA, of New York — met at the Society’s headquarters in Austin. They spent nine hours reviewing 257 entries before selecting 12 projects for Design Awards. Several times the jury expressed difficulty in choosing the winners—a confirmation of the elevated level at which architecture is practiced in Texas. The videos in the gallery above premiered at an awards ceremony on October 28 during the Texas Society of Architects 72nd Annual Convention in Dallas. Each project also…

Book Explores Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sacred Architecture

In Frank Lloyd Wright Sacred Architecture: Faith, Form, and Building Technology, published by Routledge, Anat Geva, Assoc. AIA, introduces a theoretical framework of the conceptual model illustrating the relationship between faith, form, and building technology in sacred architecture. “The book offers scholarly discussion on the application of this conceptual model to Wright’s religious projects with analytical drawings and photographs,” said Geva. “This unique contribution will be useful to all those interested in Wright’s architecture and theory as well as in the study of sacred architecture.” Geva’s analysis applies the model to Wright’s main design concepts of nature, democracy, and freedom…

2012 “Best Architecture and Design Schools” Includes Two in Texas

In its entirety, “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” is an annual report comprising several distinct surveys that rank undergraduate and graduate architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design programs. For the 2012 edition, 360 firms in the four professional fields participated. Each respondent has direct responsibility for hiring and/or supervising recent graduate new hires in one or more of those fields surveyed. Practitioners selected to participate were drawn from a DesignIntelligence database of leading firms defined by both revenue and reputation. With regard to architecture programs alone, practitioners from 185 leading U.S. architecture firms participated in the current…

Texas Architects Announces 2012 Leadership

2012 Texas Society of Architects President Craig Reynolds, FAIA Craig Reynolds, FAIA, is a managing principal/president with Brown Reynolds Watford Architects. Established in 1984, the firm found a niche in institutional architecture, working for those within governmental entities, school districts, and universities. Reynolds graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in environmental design and architecture. He served as president of AIA Dallas in 2004 and is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 2009 Award for Community Service in Honor of James D. Pfluger. His community service has resulted in the planning and funding of $2.7 billion of…

Fountain Place Featured in The Shape of Texas Podcast

The Shape of Texas, Dallas, Volume 2 Since its completion in 1986, Fountain Place in downtown Dallas has been praised for both the geometrical precision of its 60-story tower clad in green glass and the extraordinary six-acre urban space that unfurls at its base. Originally known as the Allied Bank Tower at Fountain Place and designed by I.M. Pei and Partners with landscape architect Dan Kiley. Fountain Place received the 2011 Texas Architects 25-Year Award. The annual award recognizes one building completed 25 to 50 years earlier that has stood the test of time by retaining its central form, character,…

Speck: Architecture Influences Lifestyle

The professional portfolio of architect Larry Speck, principal at Page Southerland Page, boasts several Texas landmarks, including the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin Convention Center, and Discovery Green, a new 12-acre park in downtown Houston. Over the last 25 years, his design work has won 33 national design awards, 21 state and regional design awards, and 63 local design awards. Speck has been a faculty member at the University of Texas since 1975. I was able to catch up with him and ask about what goes on between developers and architects, and his thoughts on density. Staff Writer Cody Lyon, Austin…