AIA LRGV 2011 Design Awards
Four projects were recently selected for AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley 2011 Design Awards. Jurors were Thomas Hayne Upchurch, AIA, of Brenham; Rick del Monte, FAIA, of Dallas; and Donna Kacmar, FAIA, of Houston. The lone Honor Award went to Valle Vista Mall Renovations by Megamorphosis, with three Merit Awards also presented.
Valle Vista Mall Renovations
The renovation of the aging Valle Vista Mall in Harlingen was completed in March 2009 for the Simon Property Group. The project required refreshing the look of its two main entrances, along with other improvements, on a very tight budget. The architects used locally made Mexican brick laid in traditional coursing patterns developed in the region over the past century. Arranged in asymmetrical groupings and sections that evoke an abstract modernism, the design reflects the borderland’s ongoing development of an architectural identity rooted in the long-time co-existence of two cultures.
Edinburg North High School Performing Arts Center
Completed in November 2009, the 17,659-sf building contains a 400-seat auditorium and three independent lecture halls, each designed to be separated from the others by removable partitions. The lecture halls are equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual technology to encourage hands-on technical learning.
McAllen Intermodal Transit Terminal
Negrete & Kolar Architects
The project comprised $1.2 million in additions and renovations completed in 2009 for the City of McAllen. The firm previously designed the 22,500-sf facility, originally completed in 2000, that contains waiting areas, toilet facilities, ticket counters, interior and exterior seating, vending, lease space for bus service offices, restaurant and shop lease space, a security office, and facility management offices.
Children’s Advocacy Center
Located in Laredo, the project was completed in April 2009 for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Laredo–Webb County. The design concept – the image of a simple frame house as a symbol of hope – was inspired by drawings done by children in art therapy class when asked to draw what makes them feel happy. At the center of the 11,000-sf facility is a garden bounded on four sides by a “home” where children may enter and feel safe.