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UTSOA Team Wins HUD Affordable Housing Contest

A rendering from the team's presentation illustrates the project's sustainability. – rendering courtesy UTSOA On April 19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the winner of its third annual Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. Sarah Simpson, Brett Clark, Megan Richer, Brianna Garner Frey, and Tatum Lau from The University of Texas at Austin took home top honors. Designed to represent a real-life approach, the contest challenges graduate students from a variety of fields to “address social, economic, and environmental issues in responding to a specific housing problem developed by an actual public housing…

Snøhetta’s College Park Pavilion

The College Park Pavilion by Snøhetta is the most recent addition to the Park Pavilions of Dallas program. The initiative brings design talent into outlying or underprivileged areas to construct or renovate park shelters. The program is managed by the Director of Parks and Recreation Willis Winters, FAIA. (See his profile in the January/February 2014 issue of Texas Architect). Prior pavilions have been featured in this magazine, and most were designed by Texas architects with some notable out-of-state participation. To date, Snøhetta is the only international office involved. The park structure was initially the firm's second American commission after the National…

Oklahoma’s 21st Century Park: Myriad Botanical Gardens

The impressive overhaul of Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens represents the latest effort by today’s landscape architects to conceptualize urban parks, not as pastoral retreats, but as highly programmed spaces that attract the greatest number of visitors. First, however, some backstory. In the United States, the era of modern park-building began with Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s winning “Greensward” scheme for New York’s Central Park design competition in 1857. The concept behind the picturesque landscaping they proposed was that it serve as a foil to the dense blocks of buildings surrounding it. Activities were permitted, based on their visual…