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The Urban Conspiracy Theory
UT Austin grad Stephen Balut, an artist and architectural designer in Charlottesville, is encouraging his community to think outside the box. That's why, for the entire month of May, he's living inside a box on the downtown mall. His goal is to shatter traditional notions of what constitutes living space, and he wants you right there with him.
Beyond LEED: The Importance of Creating Living Buildings
The Living Building Standard results in some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly structures around. It’s also incredibly difficult to achieve. Is it truly changing the way we design buildings?
Turrell Skyspace Opens in June at Rice University
The Skyspace, by visionary American artist James Turrell with Thomas Phifer (Thomas Phifer and Partners architects), opens in mid June on the Rice University campus, giving Houston its third major piece by Turrell. Shunning the physicality of paint and sculpture, Turrell was among the pioneers of the Light and Space movement in the late 1960s.
In Austin’s richly diverse and energetic East Side neighborhoods, a rebirth is taking place. The addition of the Heywood Hotel on East Cesar Chavez Street represents the latest addition to a burgeoning and thriving East Side culture. Nestled comfortably among the barbecue joints, tacquerias and local shops that have so far eluded big-box homogenization, the hotel builds respectfully on the neighborhood’s considerable charms.
Advocacy: Architects Fight for U.S. Energy Law
Architects have immeasurable expertise in designing buildings that are practical, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and above all, safe. The profession therefore has a leading role to play in any debate surrounding policies which impact either the architectural landscape or structure and design issues relating to buildings.
Texas Firms among AIA COTE Award Winners
On April 19, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA–COTE) announced its Top Ten projects for 2012. This year’s batch of winners highlight community ties, social equity, and attentiveness to water issues. One Texas firm and three national/international firms with offices in Texas are among the winners.
Mexic-Arte seeking $10 million from city for new downtown building
Saying that they want to bring a $30 million iconic building to a prominent downtown corner, backers of Mexic-Arte Museum are asking the City of Austin for $10 million in bond money to be included in the November bond election. The conceptual architecture plans are by Mexican architect Fernando Romero with Austin architect and Texas Society of Architects member Juan Cotera, FAIA, as the architect of record.
In the Light with Charles K. Thompson, FAIA
It’s a Monday morning at Archillume Lighting Design in Austin. Founder Charles Thompson, FAIA, is just now back from a four-day road trip on his 2009 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. His time on the open road to Big Bend and back has helped to recharge his energy and clear his mind. So he’s ready for whatever awaits him.
Texas Architects Announces 2012 Keynote Speakers
The Texas Society of Architects 2012 Annual Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin, presents two distinguished keynote speakers who will examine the role of design in the context of the convention’s theme "Influence."
Controversy Surrounds Dallas' Museum Tower
An April 18 D Magazine article, "The Towering Inferno: How Museum Tower threatens the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Woodall Rodgers roofdeck park," highlights the issue of reflected heat from Museum Tower's glass facade. The article asks: "How did this happen? How could someone build a $200 million project in the Arts District that is in the process of destroying the very museum it uses in its marketing materials to sell million-dollar condos? Did no one stop to think?" Read the article, and share your opinions on our website.
AIA Houston Design Awards
AIA Houston’s 2012 Design Awards competition resulted in recognition for 21 projects in eight categories out of a total of 127 entries. Eligibility was limited to projects completed within the last five years and located within the Houston metropolitan area or designed by an architect working in the Houston metropolitan area.
Influence and Impact
Since the February issue of Checkset, the Architecture Billings Index has produced four consecutive positive months; the unemployment rate in Texas is hovering just above seven percent; and the first Texas Society of Architects design symposium, "Architecture in the Hinterlands," has proved to be a phenomenal success. All are indications of improving times ahead for our profession.
Wilson Announces Candidacy
Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, is a candidate in the Republican primary for Texas House District 43. If elected, Wilson will be the first practicing architect to serve in the Texas Legislature in twenty-eight years. Pundits have labeled this one of the year’s five most interesting GOP primary races in Texas because of the defection of the incumbent representative from the Democratic to Republican Party.
Designed to Connect
In Part Two of "Twitter for Architects," Andrew Hawkins offers tips for using this popular social media platform. The article is part of the Texas Society of Architects New Media Committee series "Designed to Connect," which features monthly articles on www.texasarchitects.org that discuss various digital technologies and media available to architects today.
Advocacy Update April 2012
April 2012 Advocacy Update: Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, is first (AIA) architect to run for the Texas Legislature in almost 30 years; new Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) as of March 15; Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amendments to 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68, as of March 15; and more. Click to read this important bimonthly update.
Design Competition: Call for Entries
Presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin, the Sukkah City Austin Design Competition is open to students, professional artists, architects and designers of all faiths and backgrounds in the State of Texas and Israel, working in teams or as individuals. Registration opens July 9 and submissions are due August 8.
Texas Architects Committee Update
The Texas Architects Committee (TAC) update as of February 2012.
Advocacy Update June 2012
Election Day brought big news—some good, some bad.
Some very good news was Bill Wilson, FAIA, making a run-off in his race for the HD 43 Republican primary. It’s noteworthy that Wilson ended in a virtual tie with one of the three candidates in that race, especially since he was outspent 3-1 by one—his remaining opponent in the July 31 run-off.
Designed to Connect: Twitter for Architects
There is a large amount of buzz about social media these days. In the field of architecture and design, it is no different. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, and many more are actively growing their usage in professional applications. Should you join the social media scene? What are the benefits? Are there drawbacks? What is the best way to go about establishing a social media presence on the Web?
Buildings and Landscapes and Xylophones
In 2010 Lake|Flato completed work on the renovation of the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Since its opening, the new facility has been getting a lot of use from its clever inhabitants who are continually exploring their building's capacity for exhibiting and generating art, both in ways it was designed for and also in ways that the design team never could have predicted.
Conference Emphasizes Practice in the Hinterlands
In February, a group of designers gathered in Midland to consider the challenges of producing top-flight architecture in a place far removed from the state’s larger urban areas. The event, dubbed “Architecture in the Hinterlands,” included an address by acclaimed Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons that featured his work in remote Nova Scotia. View a video recap of the weekend here.
Piano's Expansion of Kimbell Museum Takes Shape
As museum workers and curators install last-minute touches for "The Age of Impressionism" exhibit opening Sunday, Kimbell Art Museum Director Eric M. Lee has one eye turned to the installation occurring outside.
Emerging Professionals Roundtable
In February, Associate leaders gathered in Austin for a two-day event to explore issues that emerging professionals face in their career development and how these can be addressed. Also part of the discussion were future challenges and opportunities.
AIA LRGV 2011 Studio Awards
Two awards were presented by AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley in the chapter’s 2011 Studio Awards program and are featured in the March/April issue of Texas Architect. View additional images of the award winners on texasarchitects.org.
AIA Fort Worth Student Design Awards
Three student projects were recognized for design excellence during AIA Fort Worth’s awards banquet held in late January. The chapter's Student Design Award program was established in 1991 and is open to projects completed as part of academic coursework.
Tianjin Binhai Art Center
Construction is scheduled toward the end of this year on the Tianjin Binhai Art Center within a newly redeveloped coastal district near Beijing, China. The center, designed by RTKL's Dallas office, is featured in the Paperwork section of the March/April issue of Texas Architect. View additional project renderings on texasarchitects.org.
June 2012 Member News
June member news includes newly licensed architects, new architect members, new associate members, and firm news.
UT Arlington Students Unveil Luminous Sculpture "six. one"
In February, Texas Architect staff visited Assistant Professor Susan Appleton's Senior Interior Design Studio at the UT Arlington School of Architecture to view the installation of a luminous string sculpture, "six. one." The day was documented with photographs, and an article about Appleton and her class appears in the March/April issue of the magazine.
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.
Holl Selected to Expand Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston announced on Feb. 2 the selection of Steven Holl Architects to design a master plan that will link the museum’s gallery buildings and its Isamu Noguchi sculpture garden. Now spread across almost 10 acres in the Museum District, the MFAH’s architectural holdings will grow to include a new building Holl will design to hold post-1900 art.
Designed to Connect: Architects as App Developers
In the first article of the New Media Committee series," Designed to Connect," Gordon Arnold, AIA, encourages architects to explore applications development as an additional service to help their firm “diversify, develop new sources of revenue, and be players in a new and exciting global industry.”
Designed to Connect: A Series on New Media
Technology invades everything in today’s world. Architecture is no different. On Monday, Feb. 27, the Texas Architects New Media Committee will launch Part I of “Designed to Connect,” a series of monthly articles on texasarchitects.org that will discuss various digital technologies and media available to architects today.
Q & A with AIA Houston President Perry Seeberger
Texas Society of Architects member Perry Seeberger, AIA, who currently serves as president of AIA Houston, recently spoke with The Houston Chronicle about local architecture. Excerpts from the Q & A were published on Chron.com and cover topics such as the effect of the recession on architecture firms to the impact of energy-efficient projects on the city.
Architects Convene in Midland for Design Conference
This weekend, over 30 architects from across the state will convene in Midland for "Architecture in the Hinterlands." The design symposium, hosted by the Texas Society of Architects Design Committee, features the work of Frank Welch, FAIA.
Eight Texans Selected for AIA Fellowship
Eight Texans are among 105 newly elected 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Fellows. The Fellows were selected from a pool of 220 candidates, which included 21 from Texas. Fellowship is the AIA's most prestigious honor to bestow on a member.
Title Usage for Emerging Professionals: Noun or Adjective?
Do you remember having to learn parts of speech in grade school?
Why are we asking and who cares? The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) cares when it comes to the use of titles, and so do registered design professionals. TBAE pays close attention to title usage because, in short, it’s the law.
An Ingredient List for a Healthy Home
Peter Syrett, an architect, and Chris Youssef, an interior designer, believe that building materials should be labeled, just like cereal boxes and soup cans, so consumers can avoid ingredients that might be harmful. With the backing of their employer, the global architecture firm Perkins + Will, they have created a database linking common forms of construction materials to government warnings about the substances contained in them.
Architects Saying '12, '13 Looking Good
The nation’s architects have looked in their crystal ball and say that while life is still tough for the design industry, things are looking up. Probably. The new American Institute of Architects’ Consensus Construction Forecast is projecting a 2.1 percent increase in spending on nonresidential projects this year, and a 6.4 percent increase in 2013.
Dallas Center for Architecture Hosts Upcoming Community Events
From a running tour of downtown Dallas architectural icons to an evening exploring the connections between food and design, the Dallas Center for Architecture hosts several upcoming, engaging community events.
2012: The New Year
An expression used without sufficient consideration is "welcoming in a new year." The New Year does bring a new start of metrics. We restart the annual counters for withholding tax, utilization rates, revenue projections, and seemingly endless payments of one kind of insurance or another. The New Year, for you perhaps, includes new responsibilities, a new position, or (considering) new resolutions.
Texas Architects Committee Update
The Texas Architects Committee (TAC) update as of December 31, 2011.
President Calls on Congress to Build a Greener America
In his State of the Union Address on Jan. 24, President Obama urged Congress to give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings: "... the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here’s another proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings."
UH Students Propose Designs for Galveston Levee
Students from the University of Houston and other Texas universities have researched and developed a levee system that would span from Freeport to High Island and would include a new visitor center attached to a national recreation park.
Nine Semifinalists Named in Waller Creek Design Competition
Nine teams were chosen Monday as semifinalists for the Waller Creek Conservancy design competition, from a pool of 31 entries.The competition calls for a redesign of a 1.5-mile stretch of city parkland and urban space along Waller Creek in downtown Austin.
Meet 2012 President Craig Reynolds, FAIA
Craig Reynolds, FAIA, is a managing principal/president with Brown Reynolds Watford Architects in Dallas. 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. Learn more about Reynolds and the year ahead in this video.
Big Name Architects Vie to Design Houston's METRO Station
Houston METRO and the Downtown District revealed the finalists in a design competition for Central Station — a new light rail transfer hub that will be built on Main between Capitol and Rusk at the intersection of the upcoming East End and Southeast lines.
Register Now for Architecture in the Hinterlands, Feb. 17- 18, Midland
There’s still time to register for Architecture in the Hinterlands – a two-day Design Symposium hosted by the Texas Architects Design Committee. In this video, Midland Architect Mark Wellen discusses the event, which features the work of Frank Welch, FAIA, and highlights architecture in remote locations.
UT Arlington Receives Sustainability Certification for Landscape
The Sustainable Sites Initiative™, a new rating system for sustainable design in landscape and site development, has named UT Arlington’s The Green at College Park one of the first three projects in the world to be certified according to the organization’s rigorous benchmarks.
Texas Makes Top Ten List of Greenest States
On Jan. 19, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its 2011 list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census information. The District of Columbia leads the nation, with Colorado being the leading state, and Texas among nine other states.
Profession's Future Rests on Opportunities for Young Professionals
"As long as I can stay employed, I will stay in the profession."
This was a response to a recent online survey that asked emerging architects in the state of Texas: "Do you see yourself continuing on in this profession, or are you considering a career change?"
Demolition Looms for Architectural Gem in Fort Worth
The 8,400-sf Fort Worth residence known as the Andrew Fuller House (1953), designed by modernist A. Quincy Jones, may be doomed to a wrecking ball. The city has issued a demolition permit to the Frost Bank trust department. The house does not carry a historic designation, which would trigger measures to safeguard it from demolition.
RDA Receives AIA Collaborative Achievement Award
The Rice Design Alliance (RDA) is one of only two organizations recognized this year with a 2012 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement from the American Institute of Architects. RDA was organized in 1972 to be a multidisciplinary non-profit that fosters public engagement with architecture.
Evans Honored with AIA Young Architects Award
Texas Society of Architects member James M. Evans, AIA, of Houston, has received a 2012 AIA Young Architects Award. The award celebrates emerging designers who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their architectural careers. Thirteen recipients from across the nation received the award this year.
A New Look for Texas Architect
Redesign of Texas Architect follows rebranding of its publisher, the Texas Society of Architects.
Masterwork of 1950s Architecture Scheduled for Implosion
A masterwork of 1950s architecture is scheduled for implosion in Houston on Sunday, Jan. 8. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Prudential building, designed by Architect Kenneth Franzheim in the late 1940s for Prudential Insurance Co, will be torn down for a site expansion. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest building outside of downtown.
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.
Recollection: Frank Welch, FAIA
In the first chapter of his unpublished memoir, Architect Frank Welch, FAIA, reflects on his early interest in architecture and the subsequent path he followed establishing his career.
Blake Alexander (1924 – 2011)
Architectural historian and long-time educator Blake Alexander died Dec. 11, 2011, at age 87. He taught for four decades at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture.
Raven Lake Ranch
"It's as close as you can get to living outdoors and being sheltered," says Eileen Bennett, of her northeast Texas ranch house, designed by Michael Malone, AIA.
Jeff Potter, FAIA, Inaugurated 2012 AIA President
Jeff Potter, FAIA, began his American Institute of Architects career as president of the AIA Northeast Texas Chapter in 1998. He was president of the Texas Society of Architects in 2004 and served on the AIA Board of Directors from 2006- 2009. “Shaping a future for the next generation of architects” was the theme of Potter’s inaugural address during ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9.
Texas Architects Partners with aecKnowledge
The Texas Society of Architects is proud to announce a new partnership with aecKnowledge—an innovative, online knowledge-sharing platform for the AEC industries. As an established provider of high-quality video continuing education, aecKnowledge delivers peer-reviewed, engaging knowledge featuring top thought leaders and subject matter experts.
Projects Needed: Weather Channel Docu-series "Built to Last"
A production company is working on the pilot episode of the Weather Channel docu-series "Built to Last." Each program will showcase several residential homes that are built to withstand the forces of nature, whether it's a tornado proof home in the plains of Kansas or a fireproof home in the hills of Santa Barbara. Texas Society of Architects members should send completed examples to the AIA.
Design Waller Creek: A Competition
The Waller Creek Conservancy announces an international design competition that calls for the most innovative and qualified landscape architects and architects to join forces and present ideas for remaking a currently fragmented and undervalued section of Austin into a vibrant, livable, and workable district. Deadline Dec. 16.
What Makes a Building an Icon?
In the Nov/Dec Texas Architect article "Dance Partner," Geoffrey Brune, FAIA, explores what makes a building an icon, highlighting the Houston Ballet Center for Dance as an example.
Brochstein Pavilion and Asia Society, Highlights of Houston Visit
Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks Frank Gehry and Houston highlights at University of Houston appearance.
Member Spotlight: Brandrup, Hays, and Black
Over 6,000 members make up the Texas Society of Architects. They play unique roles that contribute to the future of the profession and the built environment. Here, Texas Architects spotlights three members who were recently recognized with 2011 Honor Awards for outstanding contributions to architectural education, the profession, and the community.
Book Explores Frank Lloyd Wright's Sacred Architecture
A comprehensive study of Frank Lloyd Wright’s sacred architecture is in a new book, Frank Lloyd Wright Sacred Architecture: Faith, Form, and Building Technology, by Anat Geva, Assoc. AIA, a member of the Texas Society of Architects and an associate professor of architecture at Texas A&M University.
2012 "Best Architecture and Design Schools" Includes Two in Texas
DesignIntelligence’s annual “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” rankings are just out. Two Texas universities, Rice University in Houston and The University of Texas at Austin, made the top-ten cut for B.Arch. programs.
Texas Architects Announces 2012 Leadership
On October 27, members of the Texas Society of Architects elected nominees for 2012 leadership during the Society's Annual Business Session in Dallas. Craig Reynolds, FAIA, will assume the presidency for 2012; Larry Speck, FAIA, will serve as 2012 President-elect.
Design Conference: Architecture in the Hinterlands
Featuring the Architecture of Frank Welch, FAIA
Architecture Tours and Learning Opportunities
17-18 February 2012
Speck: Architecture Influences Lifestyle
An October 27 Austin Business Journal interview with Larry Speck, FAIA, principal at Page Southerland Page and Texas Architects Board member, explores the topic of how architecture influences lifestyle.
Fountain Place Featured in The Shape of Texas Podcast
Fountain Place, which received a 2011 Texas Architects Design Award, is featured in this podcast from the award-winning radio program The Shape of Texas. The podcast also includes a number of episodes on the following projects in Dallas: Reunion Tower, Adolphus Hotel, DART Rail Stations, Turtle Creek, Victory Park, Sixth Floor Museum, Thanksgiving Square, Highland Park Village, and TI Semiconductor Building.
Texas Architects at 500 Chicon
Texas Architects moves into its new headquarters office at 500 Chicon. renovation/interior design by Jacqui Dodson, AIA (2011)
Office Closed as Society Convenes in Dallas for 72nd Convention
The Texas Society of Architects office at 500 Chicon is closed Wednesday, Oct. 26, through Monday, Oct. 31, for the Society's 72nd Annual Convention and Design Products & Ideas Expo in Dallas, Oct. 27-29. John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design, and Rebecca Ryan, of Next Generation Consulting, are keynote presenters.
Bastrop Park’s CCC Cabins Survive Wildfire
September’s wildfires in Bastrop County that destroyed more than 1,500 houses and killed two people also burned most of Bastrop State Park’s 6,000 acres of pine forest, yet rapid action by emergency crews saved all but three of the park’s 1930s-era buildings.
Juror Shares Perspective on Rio 2016 Olympic Park Competition
"This was an engaged and intense jury process. Yes, we looked for beauty, but the practical aspects, the environmental concerns, the security needs, and the legacy of the event were a major part of the discussion," says Gabriel Durand-Hollis, FAIA, principal of Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects in San Antonio.
Brown Residence: 2011 Design Award Winner
"This is an example of a Texas-based architect working outside their specific region and really understanding the landscape and architecture of that region. The relationship of the indoor spaces to the outdoor spaces is really quite wonderful."
Steve Dumez, FAIA
2011 Design Awards Juror
Promoting Community Identity
Richter Architects (Corpus Christi) has been locally and nationally recognized for its sensible and sensitive architecture. The firm's work explores the nature of culture, context, and place – promoting the development of local character and community identity.
Walter Humann Receives Cornerstone Award
In recognition of outstanding contributions that enhance the quality of life by elevating architecture and the arts, promoting the value of community, or preserving the natural environment, Walter J. Humann is the recipient of the 2011 Texas Architects Cornerstone Award.
The Austin office of the graphic design firm FD2S wins a 2002 Texas Society of Architects Design Award. (2002)
Reinvigorated for Design
Graphic design firm FD2S adapts a 1920s oil storage warehouse in east Austin into its headquarters office. Stern and Bucek Architects (2002)