AIA San Antonio 2011 Design Awards

After carefully evaluating 60 entries from 24 local architectural firms, jurors for AIA San Antonio’s 2011 Design Awards program announced their selections during ceremonies held on Nov. 4 at Pearl Stable. Attendees also celebrated the recipients of the chapter’s Studio Awards, its Twenty-Five Year Award, and its annual Mayor’s Choice Award honoring a publicly funded architectural project.

Story Pool Pavilion in Centerpoint by Lake/Flato
Story Pool Pavilion in Centerpoint by Lake/Flato
Hermann Park Lake Plaza in Houston by Overland Partners Architects
Hermann Park Lake Plaza in Houston by Overland Partners Architects
Livestrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation) in Austin by Lake/Flato Architects
Livestrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation) in Austin by Lake/Flato Architects

Design Awards

Members of the jury were Andrea P. Leers, FAIA, of Leers Weinzapfel Associates in Boston; Jack DeBartolo, FAIA, of DeBartolo Architects in Phoenix; and Arthur Andersson, AIA, of Andersson•Wise Architects in Austin. There were three categories of awards for built projects: three received Honor Awards, three won Citation Awards, and four earned Merit Awards.

Honor Awards were presented to the following three projects:

Hermann Park Lake Plaza in Houston by Overland Partners Architects – Hermann Park Lake Plaza project knits together the popular urban park’s disparate cultural institutions using landscape, architecture, and art. The design transforms the central part of the park into a destination where one can rest, gather, talk, and play. In addition, the plaza provides orientation for pedestrians and manages the flow of traffic to their respective destinations.

Livestrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation) in Austin by Lake/Flato Architects – Livestrong is the adaptation of a 1950s-era warehouse in the underserved east side of Austin. The renovation provides office space, meeting rooms, dining facilities, an in-house gymnasium, an open-air courtyard, and parking for the staff of 62. The project achieved LEED Gold certification.

Story Pool Pavilion in Centerpoint by Lake/Flato – The Story Pool Pavilion provides a “sunrise to sunset” outdoor family gathering place with expansive Hill Country views from its site atop a plateau. The architects designed a simple, open-air, steel and wood “outdoor living room” pavilion with two thick limestone “boxes” that house a full working kitchen behind folding slatted wood doors, a screened bath area, and storage.

Citation Awards went to the following three projects:

Haven for Hope in San Antonio by Overland Partners Architects – Haven for Hope, is a 37-acre homeless transformational campus located near downtown San Antonio. The $60 million project includes 15 buildings of approximately 300,000 square feet of total space, with 998 beds and the capacity to sleep an additional 500+ individuals in the court¬yard. It is the largest and most comprehensive homeless facility in the U.S.

La Lomita Chapel in Mission by Kell Muñoz Architects – Thought to have been built in 1899, the tiny chapel of La Lomita (“the little hill”) was established by Oblate missionaries to serve the remote area in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The architects overcame many challenges in preserving the structure – including replacing undersized framing members and installing threaded rods that connect the new roof to the existing load-bearing walls – with a budget of only $230,000.

Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin by Lake/Flato – This adaptive re-use of the former Blanton Art Museum space creates a community hub for the Department of Art and Art History. To reinforce the building’s connection to the adjacent performing arts campus, a new entrance was created on the east side of the building (from an existing loading dock, and establishing a shady front door to the building. The project’s scope included a new entry and renovation of approximately 30,000 square feet.

Merit Awards recognized the following four projects:

Hillside House in Austin by Lake/Flato – Situated on a steep hill with stunning views of downtown Austin, Hillside House reflects the owner’s desire to have a “right sized” sustainable home that embraces outdoor living. All areas of the house were designed to flow directly into the outdoor landscape, with ample porches, gardens, and terraced living spaces. The building materials and simple, elegant design create a home fits seamlessly with the surroundings and the owner’s indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

University of Pennsylvania Morris Arboretum Horticulture Center in Philadelphia by Overland Partners – The Horticulture Center consolidates horticulture and maintenance functions at one location and provides high-quality work spaces that support staff in their critical mission. The design locates new buildings in the landscape to create an identifiable new place and uses simple, yet elegant forms and materials.

TMI All Saints Chapel for the Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio by Ford Powell & Carson Architects & Planners – The 21,000-sf chapel fills a void in the new co-ed prep school campus, buttressing a steep slope and forming a backdrop for an existing amphitheater. The ample porch also serves as a stage and gathering space. Massive local limestone walls support stilted heavy timber trusses. The wood deck and standing-seam metal roof floats above the walls, accommodating an encircling clerestory that floods the chapel with daylight.

University of Texas of the Permian Basin Student Multipurpose Center in Odessa by Alvidrez Architecture – Scale and massing were critical considerations as the new building completes the academic quadrangle bounded on three sides by structures considerably larger in size. The facility features multiple entry points and serves as a major pedestrian pathway between two academic buildings. Floating steel louvers create an extended pavilion that offers a place for the students and visitors to gather. In addition, Alvidrez Architecture’s UTPB Student Multipurpose Center received the jury’s Sustainability Commendation.

Studio Awards

AIA San Antonio’s Studio Awards program – open to its design practitioners, faculty, and students – recognizes excellence in design for conceptual projects and un-built work. A separate jury reviewed the 11 entries, three from architects and seven submitted by local architecture students. The three-member panel was chaired by Larry Speck, FAIA, former dean of the UT-Austin School of Architecture and now a principal with Page Southerland Page in Austin. The other jurors were Cisco Gomes and Matt Fajkus, AIA. The two winning Studio Awards projects were:

SLOT 211 by Ford Powell & Carson – SLOT 211 is conceived as a cultural intervention in downtown San Antonio that captures the vitality of the Riverwalk and translates it to the street above with a hybrid of mixed-uses. The design respects the building’s historic facade and divides its three floors, each ap¬proximately 29 feet by 240 feet, into public uses at the river level, a semi-public exhibition space at street level, and private residential units on the top story.

Cooper (2) House by A-Gruppo – Due to the site’s orientation toward Joe Pool Lake in a suburban area southwest of Dallas, the west facade must simultaneously maximize views while mitigating solar exposure through several strategies, including a venting facade, solar screens, passive heating and cooling, and garden plantings. Inexpensive materials include structurally insulated panels, as well as pre-cast/engineered concrete panels for the floor slabs.

Mayor's Choice Award

The Mayor’s Choice Award was started in 2000 to recognize outstanding publicly funded architectural projects. The project selected by Mayor Julian Castro was:

Café College by RVK Architects – The 5,000-sf warehouse was transformed into a series of classrooms, computer labs, and meeting spaces for people seeking information about higher education. The client for the project was the San Antonio Education Partnership.

Twenty-Five Year Distinguished Building Award

AIA San Antonio established its Twenty-Five Year Distinguished Building Award in 2005 to recognize architectural projects of significant cultural importance that were completed at least 25 years ago. Criteria for eligibility includes that the building is located within the chapter’s boundaries, was designed by an architect who at sometime was a member of the chapter, and that it maintains its dignity and appeal to this day. This year’s award goes to:

The Tower of the Americas by Ford Powell & Carson, Architects & Planners – Designed and built for the 1968 HemisFair, the tower is an iconic San Antonio landmark.

Accepting the award were Boone Powell, FAIA, of Ford Powell & Carson; Mayor Castro and Lori Houston, both representing the City of San Antonio as owner of the tower; Jared Aguilar and Stephanie Boland representing Landry’s, the tower’s current tenant; and Xavier Gonzalez with the HemisFair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation, the entity currently tasked with redeveloping the former fairgrounds. Also present were several members of the original project team, including Ray Pinnell, the design engineer for Feigenspan & Pinnell Consulting Engineers. He was joined by fellow engineer Dick Kistner, who during the construction worked for Pre Stressing Industries, a high strength steel company that provided the pre-stressed post tensioning for the tower project.

by: Stephen Sharpe, Hon. TSA

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