Rita Catinella Orrell features a few of the new sustainable products on display at last October’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in New Orleans.
Rita Catinella Orrell features a few of the new sustainable products on display at last October’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in New Orleans.
Architect-designed bus stops in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas are adding a bit of design to street corners.
Igor Siddiqui and Jen Wong are creating edible architectural materials for Austin’s April Fusebox Festival, thinkEAST Living Charrette to Shape a New Creative Community.
Texas Architect magazine features the 2014 AIA San Antonio Design Awards.
While most adults say they would strongly prefer to stay in their homes as they age, many houses and communities in the U.S. are not set up to meet the needs of the elderly and less mobile.
Lake|Flato Architects' Josey Pavilion aspires to be the first Living Building in Texas.
AIA Dallas’ 2B An Architect, held on March 7, invited high school sophomores to explore a career in architecture.
Texas Architect magazine features the 2014 Preservation Texas Honor Awards.
Are yogurt, bacteria, and yeast the keys to sustainability? Igor Siddiqui and Jen Wong, curators of Austin’s Edible Materials Lab, think playing with food has the potential to change the way we build.
Are tilt-walls the solution to the problem of architects’ disengagement with the most common forms of construction? Author Jeffrey Brown, AIA, offers a primer on tilt-up construction and a critique of its absence from serious architectural practice.
Sea Scout Base Galveston, a newly completed maritime educational center by Shipley Architects and Randall-Porterfield Architects, seeks to accomplish two goals: to inspire learners to care about the maritime environment, and to withstand the hurricanes and storms that so often threaten the Texas coast.
The National Resilience Initiative, which seeks to establish a network of design studios that focus on developing built environments that are resilient in the face of natural disaster, recently added two new studios to its roster.
The Amarillo Museum of Art (AMoA) debuts Biennial 600 — the sixth in an ongoing series of juried biennial exhibitions that explore specific areas of artistic practice through a particular material.
Traditional architectural projects are now the noteworthy outliers.
Lake|Flato Architects' Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion is a Texas Society of Architects 2015 Design Award winner.
The new Parkland Hospital, a megablock more than two million square feet in size, embraces the landscape and the city beyond its boundaries.
If you were to take a fingerprint sample of Austin’s building boom, chances are good the evidence would point to one prolific architectural instigator: Michael Hsu, AIA.
With its stacked interchanges and sweeping flyovers, Texas has no shortage roadway feats, yet they often represent barriers for connectivity. Urban designers across the state are rethinking these roadways and using green infrastructure to reconnect downtown districts.
Austin-based OTA+ designed a new master plan and marina for the Fosu Lagoon area of Cape Coast, Ghana. The project proposes Africa’s tallest building.
Amid new bike trails and picnic tables, natural grasses and canoe slips, and native birds and shaded overlooks, four of San Antonio’s Spanish Colonial Missions are preparing to become the first World Heritage Site in Texas.
Mies, materials, and digital fabrication — material arts are creative outlets providing new paths for architecture.
Alternative grasses are redefining landscape architecture and helping bring about a new ecological aesthetic in Texas.
The unexpected, rich colors of the interiors of the “Painted Churches” found across South Texas are important examples of the state’s late 19th-century architectural heritage.
Caret 6, a dramatic installation by architect Kory Bieg of OTA+ and his Design V Studio at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, is making its way around the state.
The hefty utilitarian demands of a salon, which include a sink in every room, are resolved seamlessly in this downtown Austin spa by Baldridge Architects.
Four competitions are being sponsored in 2014 by Heritage Documentation Programs (HDP) division of the U.S. National Park Service.
As contemporary collections continue to grow, exhibitors’ need for more space is providing the public with opportunities to see art. The Warehouse in Farmers Branch and SPACE Gallery in San Antonio are private collections that are now open to visitors.
Gensler’s Dallas office strikes a beautiful balance between old and new at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Restaurants by Urbanist Design and Dado Group are causing a stir in San Antonio’s popular Pearl Brewery district.
AIA Houston announced the winners of its 2014 Design Awards. The honored projects, selected from among 108 entries, are on display in an exhibition, along with the 2014 Student Biennial, running through September 26.
Clear structural articulation and a folded corrugated metal roof are the major architectural features of the Ottmers Residence, a project designed to be built by a client on a very tight budget.
Multiple bottles of colorful soda are transformed into a glowing cube called Mestizo City by Muñoz & Company.
Transparency to the street is key to the success of the Dallas City Performance Hall.
The Hughes Warehouse by Overland Partners has transformed its San Antonio neighborhood.
Five projects, three of which are done by students, are selected as the recipients of the 2014 Studio Awards.
The 2012 Exhibit of School Architecture spon¬sored by the Texas Association of School Admin¬istration (TASA) and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Convention awarded the Caudill Award to Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving designed by Corgan Associates.
Although, keeping up with him has never been easy, Clovis Heimsath, FAIA, is a testament to architecture being a calling and not a profession — his practice and his lifestyle are seamless.
Renew your American Institute of Architects (AIA) membership by March 31, 2013, to continue to receive important member benefits at the national, state, and local levels while sup¬porting the profession.
Artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio are well-suited to explore the interstitial space between the fine and applied arts. “Diffuse Reflection Lab,” at the University of Texas at Austin Visual Arts Center, is a good example of their careful negotiation between the realms of art and architecture.
Austin’s Highland Mall sits largely abandoned. However Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects’ proposal for the redevelopment of a former department store, into a new Austin Community College campus, floods the interior with light and activates the exterior with student gathering spaces.
AIA has announced the 2013 members of the College of Fellows, and 13 are members of the Texas Society of Architects
In the ever-changing world of retail design, flexibility, simplicity, curb appeal, and storage are fundamental to continued success. Keepers, Eliza Page, and Rogue Running, all local Austin retailers, were pioneers of downtown shopping — and their continued relevance is a prom¬ising sign
High school and college students are invited to participate in a two-week Summer Career Academy in Architecture and Interior Design taught by faculty members of the College of Architecture at the University of Texas San Antonio’s downtown campus.
Renew your American Institute of Architects (AIA) membership by March 31, 2013, to con¬tinue to receive important member benefits at the national, state, and local levels while supporting the profession.
Courthouse and main street restoration programs are an exciting facet of historic preservation, but they generally represent the more traditional side of the field. This issue explores preservation in the context of rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and contemporary design, illustrating how these projects can in fact meet prescribed sustainability standards.
Geared for those with architectural wanderlust, “Buildings of Texas, Volume One” by Gerald Moorhead, FAIA, offers insights into the diversity of architecture throughout the state, and the promise that the travel to the metropo¬lises and hinterlands will be worth it.
“Fair Park Deco” is the third book by this author duo on Texas Art Deco. Jim Parsons and David Bush detail the Fair Park (Dallas) collection of Art Deco buildings, murals, sculptures, fountains, and landscape design, which are unrivaled nationally.
Sketching is a quiet, private thing. When shared, a sketch is revealed like a confidence — almost a secret.
Built into a bowl between the mountains, the topography of the historic town of Taxco, Mexico is radical, and the streets are not only narrow, but also extremely steep.
Studio RED Architects’ rehabilitation of a former warehouse for use as the Houston Permitting Center was centered on rigorously researched sustainability, deference to the industrial character of the old building, and the installation of an intensely local public art program.
Bodron+Fruit’s careful rehabilitation and restoration of Philip Johnson’s Beck House in Dallas resulted in a livable home that is true to both its historic character and the lifestyle of the new owners.
With degrees in art and architecture, artist Seher Shah’s areas of interest include overlapping historical and geographical elements, reconstructing modernist architecture and urban monuments, and examining futurist landscapes.
Karen Lantz, AIA, of Lantz Full Circle | Enter Architecture purchased a lot in Houston’s Ranch Estates subdivision and then proceeded to think long and hard about the house she wanted to design there for herself and her husband. The building is an in-depth study in local Texas materials.
Houston is home to three permanent installations by artist James Turrell: “Skyspace” at Live Oak Friends Meeting House; “The Light inside” at Wilson Tunnel, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University. Each yields distinctly different effects, yet they are profoundly connected by the artist’s immersive exploration of light.
For its new home, Overland Partners converted the 26,000-sf Hughes Warehouse in the burgeoning River North area of downtown San Antonio.
Is Sambo Mockbee the Howard Roark of our time? Margaret Sledge argues that his fundamental role in starting the Auburn University Rural Studio program was a catalyst for the growth of public interest design.
After much uncertainty, things are starting to look up for Houston’s Astrodome.
Michael Malone Architects designed an office for Highland Capital Management that is founded on the firm’s forward-thinking approach to investing: transparency.
Connolly Architects & Consultants’ Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is a smart, clear plan with features that enhance the safety and welfare of the animals and people who use the facility.
Career building, like any other kind of building, can be a tricky business, but these four under 40 are making their way by starting new firms and by building leadership in small communities.
The jury for the Lower Rio Grande Valley AIA chapter’s 2011 Design Awards Jury selected four projects for recognition. Jurors were Thomas Hayne Upchurch, AIA, of Brenham; Rick del Monte, FAIA, of Dallas; Donna Kacmar, FAIA, of Houston.
Edward M. Baum, FAIA, seeks to provide an alternative to traditional single-family homes by clustering four 1,350-sf residential units that share common interior walls and rigorously controlling construction costs.
It’s just six weeks away from the much-anticipated opening and Candid Rogers, AIA, is walking through his latest project, a former Magnolia Oil service station from the 1920s that is being renovated as a destination dining spot in San Antonio’s nuevo hip Southtown. Subcontractors are readying the floors for millwork scheduled for delivery in a few days. Rogers and his client, local chef Mark Bliss, are both eager to see the custom dining tables in place.
SHW Group’s design of Garden Ridge Elementary School places the library at the center of campus, with a planted roof above and tubular skylights that draw daylight into the reading areas. Both elements are used as part of the school’s science curriculum, along with above-ground cisterns that collect rainwater and teach students about conservation of natural resources.
Preservation Texas’ 2012 Honor Awards program is open to any individual, organization, business, or agency that is involved with historic preservation in Texas. All projects, activities, or individual service must have been completed between January 2009 and December 2011. Nomination forms and information on award categories are posted at preservationtexas.org. Applicants will be notified by May 1, 2012 as to the status of their award nomination. Awards will be based on the quality of the project, its presentation, significance, and uniqueness. The impacts of the nominee’s project on the community will also be considered.
A website maintained by the nonprofit National Institute of Building Sciences offers numerous resources at no charge to advance sustainable design, including online continuing education courses approved by the American Institute of Architects. The mission of the Whole Building Design Guide (www.wbdg.org) is to create successful high-performance buildings through an integrated team approach during a project’s planning and programming phases.
Throughout the history of human civilization, water has been revered as a life-giving force. Unfortunately, some modern societies have exploited this essential natural resource to deleterious extents. In El Paso, however, there’s a beacon of hope for the education of future generations about water conservation in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Typical projects use spreadsheets for programming. The program for the new University of Texas at Dallas master plan, however, began with a conversation between Peter Walker, FASLA, and Margaret McDermott, a great patron of Dallas’ cultural milieu and widow of the late Texas Instrument co-founder Eugene McDermott. Walker recalls Mrs. McDermott saying, “Look, this is my husband’s and my life’s work. We want to leave this campus in as first class of an order as we can.”
On March 15, the long-awaited revisions to state accessibility standards become law. That date represents the culmination of efforts to synchronize overlapping federal and state guidelines that respond to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As a result, Texas practitioners will no longer be required to cross-check two sets of regulations to ensure that their projects are conforming to the appropriate laws.
Among the 105 AIA members elevated this year to the AIA College of Fellows, eight are members of the Texas Society of Architects. The 2012 Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony during the AIA convention in May. The AIA fellowship program was developed to recognize architects who have made a significant contribution to society and the architecture profession on a national level.
One Texan – James M. Evans, AIA, of Houston – is among the 13 recipients of the 2012 AIA Young Architects Award. Young Architects are defined by the AIA as professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age. The award honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers.
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.
Two awards were presented by AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley in the chapter’s 2011 Studio Awards program. Carolina Civarolo, AIA, of Boultinghouse Simpson Architects in McAllen, received the Spark Award for Digital Media for the proposed renovation and expansion of the University of Texas–Pan American’s College of Business Administration in Edinburg. Ortiz Architecture & Environment in Weslaco was recognized with a Design Award for an Unbuilt
Project for its Weslaco Family Care Center & Occupational Medicine Clinic.
Texas ranks eighth among states in the U.S. for the per capita amount of commercial and institutional square footage certified by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system in 2011, according to figures released in January by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Four Texas firms are among a nationwide total of nine that were chosen Jan. 30 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.
On March 29 the first cars rolled across the long-awaited Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas. Designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the bridge joins Reunion Tower and Pegasus as a standout on the icon-heavy Dallas skyline. It is named for the matriarch of the Hunt family which, through Hunt Petroleum, donated $12 million to the Trinity River Corridor Project in 2005.
Preservation Texas, Inc., a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has released its ninth annual list of “Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places.” Of the nine sites listed, three are discussed below as having the potential for becoming important catalysts for economic development in their communities if they can be saved.
For two days 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.
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.
In 1949, when I went to work in the high-profile office of George Dahl, I met Harold (Hagie) Jones. We were both draftsmen working at adjacent tables on the back row, the only degreed architects in a room of 60 architectural draftsmen and a handful of engineers. Hagie was a graduate of Texas A&M and I had my Bachelor of Architecture from UT. While we had our differences, we shared some similarities.
Designed by Kirksey Architecture, Clean Line Energy Partners in downtown Houston is a 6,700-sf space housing an electricity transmission company that develops electrical transmission lines connecting wind farms to urban areas. Several factors guided the design, including a limited budget of $350,000. The client desired a sustainable, historic headquarters building with a design that would reflect the company’s fresh, hip brand.
Dick Clark Architecture designed Propaganda Hair Group’s leased, 1,700-sf shell space within the Gables 5th Street Commons building in downtown Austin. The client requested a loft-like space with an open plan, minimal furnishings, and wood and concrete textures. The design focuses on ways to differentiate program areas within a single space, while offering an open atmosphere.
Two Texas design firms are among four design teams that have been chosen as finalists in an international competition to revitalize Austin’s downtown Waller Creek. More than 30 teams entered the competition late last year, and nine semifinalists were chosen in January.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its annual listing of U.S. metropolitan areas featuring the most Energy Star certified buildings for 2011, and three Texas cities — Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston — have made the list. Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.
The American Institute of Architects’ 2012 Convention Guide and Daily Schedule are now available online.
After almost 12 years at the helm of Texas Architect, I see even more clearly the truth in Burnham’s oftquoted assertion. Having worked so long with architects on articles about topics important to them, I understand the power of the big idea. That’s what drives the project, the impetus that transforms the concept into physical reality. Big ideas, I’ve learned, are essential to the architect.
In this edition about design for healthcare and wellness, we look at good buildings of both types. But the role of architects in public health goes far beyond their work on the hospitals, clinics, and fitness facilities routinely associated with these two categories. The broader purview includes their role in shaping more livable, sustainable, and healthy communities — the premise being that there is a direct correlation between the design of a community and the health of its people.
Online registration opens mid July for the Texas Society of Architects Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin. This year, the convention’s theme is “Influence.”
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 highlights 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.
Architects are faced with the reality that we are an Aging Society. Among the challenges of this future is the preference of people to “age in place,” living at home, in the same neighborhood. Our suitable homes today will not accommodate our needs as we age.
Tucked back in the woods, at the end of a winding path, is an architect working outside of time. But David Webster George, FAIA, arranges patterns and places that are timeless. The unassuming approach to his house in Southlake masks the carefully situated environment he created in 1986, followed by a studio addition in 1991. Deer, coyote, and wild turkey roam the property. David is quick to point out that he resides within the Cross Timbers — a densely packed oak and scrub-bush region that extends from North Texas in a broad swath through Oklahoma and up into Kansas. For David, boundaries are set by nature and not by governments.
The wind blows strong across the low, rolling plains of central Oklahoma. Standing quietly and listening to the wind in this place — where a razor-sharp horizon seams together land and sky — one can sense the spirits of Native Americans who for generations lived and thrived on the land. These were a people who found, after torturous travels westward during the Trail of Tears, a place that in its sheer vastness accepted them and offered the opportunity to rebuild their way of life. And so it was, and so it has been for the Chickasaw Nation in this place of raw and expansive beauty.
The story of the Moran Family Health Center is larger than just the account of relocating the San Jose Clinic from its outdated and undersized 50-year-old facility in downtown. Its true telling reveals the comprehensive delivery of a range of services that are interconnected and focused on the overall well-being and soundness of families.
In 2008 the YMCA of Greater Houston announced the imminent replacement of Kenneth Franzheim’s Italian Renaissance-inspired ten-story edifice that had provided classrooms, exercise facilities, and 132 single-room residential units since 1941. Aspiring to move in a more “family-friendly” direction, the organization stated the primary goal of the new 115,000-sf facility would be to assume a stronger community presence in downtown Houston.
In a bucolic natural setting of rolling hills, the Northwood Club was established in 1946 by residents of north Dallas to provide golf and recreational activities for young families in an expanding city. The latest addition to the club — the fitness center, completed in 2010 —houses strength training, aerobics, a yoga studio, and child care services, along with food service for pool users and golfers.
There is good architecture. And then there is good architecture … as in architecture for the public good. This year’s statewide design award winners — 13 projects from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin — are a case in point. I was struck, during the awards jury process, by how intent the jurors were on recognizing certain entries, not only for their merit in terms of design (even design merit as broadly defined), but also for their capacity to fulfill client aspirations for the public good.
On October 26, a symposium in El Paso will explore the life and career of architect and artist Charles Ewing Waterhouse, Jr. The occasion, scheduled as part of Tom Lea Month, marks the first time a consideration of modern architecture in El Paso is included in the scholarly festivities.
McGarrah Jessee’s relocation to larger quarters in downtown Austin neatly coincided with the home-grown creative agency’s bursting out of its regional sphere of influence. Affectionately known as McJ, the company has steadily ratcheted up its staffing level as its roster of clients has expanded and its recognition has gone national. Now, after having outgrown its former offices in a converted warehouse, McJ has re-established its base of operations in the Starr Building, a modernist landmark completed in 1954 and designed by local firm Kuehne, Brooks and Barr for the offices of American National Bank. The project achieved widespread acclaim at the time for its distinctively crisp interiors by Florence Knoll and a monumental mural created in situ by Seymour Fogel.
Downtown Austin’s east-west streets are sliced in half by the northsouth artery of IH-35. To the west, downtown rises, its sparkling towers radiating progress. To the east, the city of days past lingers, its
neighborhoods of humble homes and local businesses resolute. The freeway, elevated at the heart of the city, creates a physical and spiritual divide that has plagued Austin for decades.
As urban infill lots go, the roughly 12,000-sf triangular site that is now home to the Kimber Modern Bed & Breakfast presented Baldridge Architects with more than its fair share of challenges. For one, the rather
small plot rose 25 feet in elevation from the curb to the back lot line, a precipitous pitch. Furthermore, neighboring establishments created conditions that most would find undesirable for a boutique design hotel.
Hope. Simply stated, it is the message of a new facility, on a mission to ultimately end hunger. Nestled in a warehouse district outside of downtown, the Houston Food Bank (HFB) building gleams with its spirited green color and metal cladding. The new 308,000-sf facility is the nation’s largest Feeding America food bank and source of food for hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Beyond feeding the hungry, the Houston Food Bank provides community services and education programs aimed at promoting good nutrition, assistance with federal and state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, job training, and employment help — all in an effort to break the cycle of food insecurity.
At the intersection of Rice University’s historic and growth axes is the BioScience Research Collaborative, a ten-story 477,000-sf translational research facility designed to facilitate multi-institutional research collaboration between Rice and various institutes from Texas Medical Center. This interdisciplinary facility embraces a wide range of disciplines, from chemistry to bioengineering, from organizations supporting startup research companies to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute — all with emphasis on improving human wellness through research.
Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio has served the medical needs of men and women in uniform since the 1870s. During that time, the complex grew incrementally until 1995 when a new facility was built to consolidate the Fort’s hospital operations. Containing over a million square feet of space, the massive Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC – pronounced “Bam-See”) was clad in heavy masonry that gave it a somewhat institutional quality. While BAMC was functional, the needs of contemporary combat medical practice are constantly evolving and when the decision was made to absorb most of the operations of a nearby Air Force medical facility into the complex, a significant expansion became necessary to create what would eventually be known as the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Haven for Hope Homeless Transformational Center is a groundbreaking project aimed at ameliorating homelessness in San Antonio. It emerged from the shared vision of two philanthropists: business leader Bill Greehey, and Phil Hardberger, Mayor of San Antonio from 2005-2009. Since its first-phase completion in 2008, Haven for Hope’s operational model has inspired other American cities to reassess their approaches to addressing homelessness.
University Branch Library, designed by Bailey Architects, is a two-story, 40,000-sf building on approximately 4.2 acres of the University of Houston Sugar Land campus. The library — for both university and public use — includes a variety of children and young adult services, reference resources, meeting and study areas, and staff work spaces.
The Texas Society of Architects and AIA Austin are offering three specialized study classes on the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) during the Texas Architects 73rd Annual Convention and Design Expo, Oct. 18-20, in Austin. The classes are “Tips and Tricks for using the NCARB Practice Software”; “Archibowl - Come on Down!”; and “NCARB and You: IDP, ARE, and Certification.”
"At once wistful and thought-provoking, light-hearted and profound.” That is how Dallas architect and contributing editor Max Levy, FAIA, described the set of Italy/Texas photo collages represented here in the following selections. We agree with Max that the images, created by UT School of Architecture student Emily Wiegand, are fascinating and promise to be a source of delight for our readers.
“Shaping the built environment.” It’s a well-worn phrase for describing what architects are doing every day. As such, it says a lot, but there’s also more to say. For example, what about the role of the built environment in shaping people?
The Architecture Center Houston (ArCH) hosted a Deans’ Roundtable Discussion in September. Moderated by Larry Speck, FAIA, he opened the discussion with a national statistic that only 35% of architecture faculty are registered architects.
While Lubbock is not typically mentioned alongside Marfa and Santa Fe when describing small communities that are defined by their cultural offerings, the city is nevertheless experiencing a remarkable transformation on account of its thriving art scene.
Still, two years after Hurricane Ike, the lingering effects of the storm are widely evident in many parts of Galveston. Ike, reportedly the third costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S., waylaid the island city on Sept. 13, 2008 with 110-mph winds and a 17-foot storm surge that officials estimate damaged more than 80 percent of the existing houses. In fact, according to a City of Galveston report issued one year after the storm, many of those properties were either abandoned or in need of replacement due to the extent of damage and/or lack of flood insurance.
This year’s AIA El Paso Design Awards program was juried by eight steemed architectural educators from Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, located just across the international border. The jury met for two days and reviewed a total of 34 entries, ultimately recognizing five projects with awards for design excellence in four categories.
Many discussions about the practice of architecture end with the conclusion that architectural interns aren’t what they used to be. Well, that’s true: some of today’s emerging professionals are better trained because of improvements to the AIA’s Intern Development Program (IDP).
Today’s architects are fully engaged with educators to design facilities for informal learning where students of all ages can benefit from nontraditional approaches to the pursuit of knowledge. In this annual “Design for Education” edition, Texas Architect looks at four very different types of academic projects that share a common thread in being uniquely created to accomplish the client’s specialized mission.
Alamo Architects designed the first structures built under the 2005 master plan—Juniper Hall, a three-story building with 76,000 square feet of classrooms and faculty offices, and Redbud Learning Center, a 41,000-sf library. On the ground level, facing the lake, Redbud also includes a cyber café and an outdoor seating area. In between Juniper Hall and Redbud, one finds a well proportioned outdoor space. The space is the campus’ first attempt at considering the connectivity of program functions across an outdoor space. Forming and overlooking the modest plaza are the library and its writing lab, two of the most frequently visited spaces on campus.
Since the implementation of the 2004 Master Plan (by Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects with Michael Dennis & Associates) at the College Station campus of Texas A&M University, new facilities must respond to mandates affecting a wide range of architectural issues. They include energy-efficient design principles, connections to the surrounding community, facade articulation, and the use of materials consistent with those at the historic core of the campus.
There is a child -like playfulness to the work of Ricardo Legorreta. When experiencing his projects, one intuits the architect’s delight in applying vivid colors and his fascination with simple geometric forms as if he had been handed a box of paints and a set of gigantic building blocks. Throughout his long career, Legorreta has perfected a rigorous approach to modernism infused with Latino vitality.
John A. Dubiski Career High School, designed by Corgan Associates, is a 2,000-student career and technology school located in Grand Prairie. The school’s curriculum seeks to reduce the dropout rate and prepare graduates to enter college or the workforce. The four-story, 250,000-sf structure is designed to accommodate unique programmatic needs, including specific careertrack diploma programs.
Designed by SHW Group, Ennis Independent School District’s newly constructed junior high is a 195,000-sf facility on a 50-acre site. The design incorporates a contemporary feel and function. Classrooms are configured to be flexible to support interactive teaching through integrated technology. Large-group instruction spaces and a closed-circuit television studio are two significant features.
About a year ago, when the staff of Texas Architect decided that this edition would focus on workplace design, no one could have foreseen the coincidence that the Texas Society of Architects/AIA itself would be relocating offices as the issue went to press. In another remarkable concurrence, the move takes TSA to the former home of fd2s, which was featured on the cover of the July/August 2002 edition. That issue was also dedicated to the subject of workplace design.
This year, 14 architects from Texas have earned an “F” – as in “FAIA” – for their significant contributions to the architectural profession. They are included in a nationwide total of 104 AIA members elevated to its College of Fellows.
Among the recipients of 2011 AIA Institute Honors are two projects with Texas connections and the Dallas Architecture Forum.
Each year the Texas Historical Commission recognizes individuals, organizations, and programs that have achieved success in efforts to preserve the state’s architectural heritage. Included in the 2011 THC program are awards for The Shape of Texas radio program and the Austin architecture firm Clayton & Little Architects.
The concept by two UT Arlington School of Architecture graduate students – Sarah Kuehn and Nakjune Seong – shared first place in an international urban design context to explore “live, work and play” opportunities in the heart of Fargo, N.D.
The design of a workplace conveys a sense of that organization’s corporate culture. In this edition, Texas Architect profiles four different approaches that translate each client’s operations into physical space. The projects on the following pages are the result of close partnerships between architect and client to design an office where work flows as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The lower Colorado River’s expansive watershed touches on the lives of more than one million residents of 56 counties in central Texas. Managing supplies of drinking water from the river and harnessing its powerful flow for hydroelectricity are part of the Lower Colorado River Authority’s multi-faceted mission. However, the public utility’s most visible role involves the controlled release of water through six dams along the river’s 600-mile run to the Gulf of Mexico.
McGarrah Jessee’s relocation to larger quarters in downtown Austin neatly coincides with the home-grown creative agency’s bursting out of its regional sphere of influence. Affectionately known as McJ, the company has steadily ratcheted up its staffing level as its roster of clients has expanded and its recognition for innovative and hugely successful advertising and branding campaigns has gone national. In December, after having outgrown its former offices in a converted warehouse, McJ re-established its base of operations in a former bank building, a midcentury treasure that had fallen on hard times.
The New Conference Center and Performance Hall at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler by Fitzpatrick Architects was completed in 2010. The facility, equipped with advanced acoustics, is designed to seat 2,200 people and includes full dining services for 1,450. The main hall footprint is a 150-ft square with a stage sized for a 50-piece orchestra.
Designed by SHW Group and located adjacent to Texas High School in the Texarkana Independent School District, Sullivan Performing Arts Center is a 38,000-sf facility that houses the 1,000-seat John Thomas Theatre. The design is intended to serve as a catalyst for the local arts community.
Designed by Studio Red Architects, the 54,000-sf Arts Center at Texas Southmost College on the grounds of the University of Texas at Brownsville is carefully sited to fit within the campus master plan. The building shares a connection with the campus through the incorporation of design elements – such as arches, arcades, and brick patterns – used on historic Fort Brown. A unique nautilus floor plan was developed to add multiple entrances.
The Tremont Building in downtown Bryan was originally built in the 1920s by a Sicilian family as a dry goods store. It has been used for various other businesses over the years before becoming our firm’s home in 2007. My partners and I wanted a “sense of place” and a neighborhood feel of interconnectedness. I assumed nothing would be available in the historic downtown, but then this property appeared as we looked at options.
With the help of a local group of Latino architects, the west Dallas neighborhood known as La Bajada has organized to retain its cultural identity and single-family homes. The efforts are in response to plans by the City of Dallas to explore redevelopment scenarios that would transform an area along the Trinity River near the downtown into a high-density urban village. The area currently includes several small neighborhoods, one being La Bajada.
A diverse jury with a broad spectrum of interests and experience met at the Architecture Center Houston on Feb. 25 to evaluate a wide variety of submittals in this year’s AIA Houston Design Awards competition. Eligibility was limited to projects completed within the last five years and located in the Houston metropolitan area or designed by an architect working in the Houston metropolitan area.
All legislative sessions require good attention and vigilance, and the 2011 Session of the Texas Legislature has more than its share of issues and challenges. As the new Executive Vice President for the Texas Society of Architects, I was impressed and encouraged with the large turnout of architects for the first-ever Advocates for Architecture Day at the Capitol on Jan. 25.
One might reasonably expect that Texans are paying close attention to how healthcare and public education will be impacted by the projected $27 billion shortfall. Not on the radar for many Texans, however, is how the severe fiscal situation and the resulting cuts could also impact their safety and welfare in public buildings. People spend 90% or more of their lives indoors.
“Light, space and order—these are the things that humans need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” Le Corbusier’s observation of these three essential elements comes to mind when visiting the Sisters Retreat pool house and pavilion by Mell Lawrence Architects. Though the project possesses the typical attributes one might associate with a small recreational program, the unique quality of the design is manifest both in the overall layout as well as in its materiality and detailing, all of which embrace light in nuanced ways.
The allure of simple things is they make you look deeper. Such is the case with the new house at Singing Bell Ranch. When the quiet elegance of this weekend retreat settles upon you and the surrounding stillness sinks in, if you’re not careful you find yourself…not saying anything.
Designed by San Antonio firm Wiese Hefty Design Build, the Austin headquarters of Sweet Leaf Tea highlights the company’s brand while also displaying its eclectic office culture. The architects used building information modeling (BIM) software to design the almost 8,000-sf space, which is an adaptive reuse of a 1918 building in the Penn Field office complex.
After the war, following his service with the U.S. Naval Engineers, Hal Box returned to Texas to restart his architecture career. Having shared an apartment while studying architect at the University of Texas, we were reunited in the early 1950s when we worked together for Don Nelson in Dallas.
Think you’re a better designer than a third grader? Think again, suggests Michael Imbimbo, AIA, of San Antonio. Having recently spent a semester working with a class at San Antonio ISD’s Hawthorne Elementary, Imbimbo came away from the experience with renewed respect for a child’s unbridled eagerness for exploration. “As creative as we architects think we are,” Imbimbo says, “we’re no match for a bright, happy, and enthusiastic third-grader.”
More than 200 people gathered at the United Way of Houston on May 25 for the sixth annual Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Professional Expo. Attendees – including architects, engineers, contractors, developers, students, educators, and government officials – met to learn, share, and network at the event hosted by AIA Houston‘s Committee on the Environment.
Structures from every era of a city’s history are of immeasurable importance to the texture of a community and its sense of place. Intangible sentiments can link people to buildings through experience, memory, or imagination. Yet, many factors can lead to the decline and even the demolition of a historical structure.
For well over 150 years, the southern portion of downtown Fort Worth has seen much toil and trouble—gunfights, crusades, vice, and corruption. In a city rich with history, the area has had more than its share.
Designed by Marmon Mok, the 290,000-sf parking garage on the University of the Incarnate Word campus in San Antonio is located on a highly visible yet constrained site. The garage features 800 spaces for cars on nine tiers.
Long-time friends and former business partners Randy Bacon and Jim Stuart were both looking for a small town where they might live at a slower pace. They were attracted to Marfa and Fort Davis, but those locales were too remote. They considered several small towns within a few hours’ drive of Fort Worth, hoping to find one with a historic courthouse and a downtown square. Stuart wanted a quiet place to pursue his ambitions as a writer, while Bacon required an artist studio near the West Texas subject matter he paints.
The latest addition to the evolving Dallas Arts District is under construction on the block between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Myerson Symphony Center. The 42-story Museum Tower is on track for owners to take occupancy of its 116 units (a total of 370,000 square feet) late next year.
As architects and urban planners, let’s congratulate ourselves for what we are doing today as we glance back to the recent past. In the 1960s, community planning, particularly at the federal level, was sorely lacking. At that time, there was a widespread feeling that a building’s function was enhanced when isolated by typology with others of its kind. Codes specified zones – Industrial, commercial, or residential – and in many cases still do. But back then, the codes were reinforced by a climate of opinion that believed isolation was efficient and socially relevant.
In adapting a century-old machine shop for use as commercial offices, Lake/Flato Architects has preserved the essence of the building’s brawny, tradesman-like character. Yes, the interior has been reconfigured as elegantly austere workspaces, but everywhere are relics of its industrial past.
The Phoenix area is rich in the tradition of masterful architects weaving eloquent designs into the powerful desert landscape. Wright, Soleri, and others have produced spirited designs, engaging their buildings in a dialogue with their austere settings.
A visit to the Pearl development just North of downtown San Antonio underscores the promise of thoughtful, incremental urban placemaking. The 22-acre site was the home of Pearl Brewery until beer production ceased in 2001.
Bridges are a cherished design problem. The clear span represents a common exercise for architecture students exploring essential concepts of structure, tension, and compression. Regrettably, architects are seldom commissioned to design a bridge project.
Located on a semi-urban 7.5-acre lot more than a few miles West of Austin, Sisters’ Retreat encompasses a shared pool house and play area for the families of two siblings, set amongst their small compound of homes. The site, surrounded by tall grass and within walking distance of Lake Austin, is reached by a short meander from the residences.
The new Texas Center for Infectious Disease (TCID) hospital is the first free-standing infectious disease hospital constructed in the U.S. in more than 50 years and one of only six in the nation. Designed by O’Connell Robertson for the care and treatment of patients with tuberculosis, the 60,000-sf hospital replaces aging facilities on the Texas Department of State Health Services campus near Brooks City-Base in San Antonio.
More than 150 companies listed below are partnering with the Texas Society of Architects to produce a tradeshow experience that is valuable, diverse, and fun! Please join us in Hall C at the Dallas Convention Center October 27-28 to help drive the energy and success of this year’s Design Products & Ideas Expo.
Last may, the number of websites was expected to exceed 324 million. That’s a lot of competition for architects who want their message heard. A more focused alternative is to create a blog and use social media to reach your target audience. The key word is “social” because it allows for an interactive dialogue between two or more people who share a common interest.
Art and science – the theme of this edition – converge in the work of James Turrell, particularly in the meticulous design of his bedazzling “skyspaces.” Site specific, they are fine-tuned by the artist to such a degree that changes in external conditions can erode the science and efface the art.
Thanks to efforts by local architectural students, residents of Brownsville and surrounding communities are learning about affordable green building strategies. The students designed and built the Go-Green Pavilion, a portable showcase for alternative types of construction materials and systems, earlier this year.
Still another few months away from completion, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge already stands out from the other iconic profiles
that make up the skyline of Dallas. Designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the bridge is the most conspicuous component of the ongoing improvements to the Trinity River.
James Riely Gordon (1863–1937) is best known to most Texans for the ornate county courthouses he designed in the closing decade of the nineteenth century. His grand Romanesque piles for Ellis County in Waxahachie and Bexar County in San Antonio are among the state’s bestloved public buildings.
Driving along Austin’s 11th Street just east of downtown, the first things you’ll notice are the vivid colors – bright red, vibrant orange, and
intense yellow – on the exterior of the East Village Lofts.
There are many ways for a building to be “green.” While LEED may be the best known, it is by no means the only way, nor necessarily
always the best.
The Texas economy continues to reel from the deepest American recession since the Great Depression. As a result, customary methods of property development have been undermined, affecting the entire cast of players in the arena of commercial real estate, including developers, bankers, construction managers, and architects. With financing for projects being extremely limited, development at any scale has all but ground to a halt.
As green roofs are increasingly explored and utilized, the range of their application is following suit. No longer only perceived as a technological option for regions with abundant rainfall (the Pacific Northwest, for example), they are making headway in hotter and drier climes, albeit with some tentativeness. Now, with a recent installation at the University of Texas at El Paso, the Lone Star State can claim significant green-roof forays on the institutional level from its east end (near Houston) to its westernmost point.
On Oct. 30, AIA El Paso recognized seven projects at its 2009 Design Award Banquet held at the historic Camino Real Hotel in downtown El Paso. Four projects received a Design Award and two projects received an Honorable Mention.
AIA San Antonio announced the results of its 2009 Design Awards at a ceremony at Pearl Stable on Nov. 4. Eight projects from 49 entries were selected for Design Awards in three categories: Honor, Merit, and Citation. The Mayor’s Choice Award and the 25-Year Award were also announced at the event.
At first sight , approaching the school from around a stand of mature trees, all preserved through careful planning, visitors immediately feel a dynamic presence. The mosaic of juxtaposed masonry, concrete, and cantilevered metal and glass elements hints at a complex collaboration lying within the two-story Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center in Frisco. In only its second academic year and under the continued, enthusiastic leadership of Dr. Wes Cunningham, the CTE Center appears to be setting the bar higher for the design of public schools.
Designed by WKMC Architects in Corpus Christi, the Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Library was built through a partnership between Corpus Christi ISD and the City of Corpus Christi to engage both students and the general public. The main concepts behind the design are conservation of the natural environment and education about ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico.
My four-year-old niece, Jocelyn, compares them to “those pads that frogs jump on” and likes to imagine herself as some sort of energized amphibian as she climbs, leaps, and hops her way to the top. Her description is in reference to the new climbing installation or “climber” at the Children’s Museum of Houston’s recently completed expansion (by Jackson & Ryan Architects). The climber, designed and constructed by Spencer Luckey, frames an almost constant ingress of squealing, gleeful adventurers as they navigate the varied vertical pathways rising from the basement level of the addition. Boasting more than 70,000 linear feet of cable, 120,000 ring connectors, and 130 levels, the intricate assemblage plays a central role in the new exhibition space at the museum.
Predicting the future, no matter how much data you have, is a dicey proposition. Nonetheless, Rice University Building Institute’s work in this area would be largely useless if we couldn’t provide insight into how future market leaders are likely to acquire prominence.
The reinvigorated Dallas Arts District provides a timely opportunity to feature performance venues around the state while highlighting the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre. Both are stunning additions to the downtown cultural enclave that has evolved over three decades through the roller coaster ride of the boom-bust economic cycle.
Fourteen Texans are among the 134 architects elevated by the AIA to its prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made contributions of national significance to the profession.
Brian Malarkey, AIA, of Kirksey in Houston is among nine honorees in this year’s list of AIA “Young Architects.” The Young Architects Award is given to individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their architectural career.
The Corpus Christi chapter of the AIA announced its 2009 Design Award winners on Dec. 15. Nineteen entries were received with work completed between 2005 and 2009, and the submittals were judged by a distinguished jury of architectural peers from outside the area. Richter Architects was awarded all three honors.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell – like Ima Hogg, Dominique de Menil, and Jane Blaffer Owen – was an influential and discerning woman who changed the cultural and architectural landscape of the Houston area. Also like the others, Cynthia Mitchell had an eye for aesthetic perfection and a passion for beauty.
In the heart of the lively neighborhood called Uptown Dallas, the M-Line of the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority covers a 3.5-mile circuit with a fleet of preserved historic trolley cars. The vintage trolleys are an important link in an urban mass-transit system that connects Uptown Dallas with the downtown to the south, shuttling local residents and visitors to popular restaurants, shops, and night spots. At the upper reaches of Uptown is the live/work/play enclave known as West Village, located at the intersection of McKinney and Lemmon.
In response to recent controversy over a proposed 3,000-sf addition to the Texas Governor’s Mansion, the Texas Society of Architects/AIA Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution on Jan. 23 that calls for more transparency in procedures by state officials tasked with protecting historic structures. The Board’s action followed a recommendation from TSA’s Historic Resources Committee to publicly weigh in on the issue.
In premodern cities, the architecture of the public domain – the temples, cathedrals, monuments and the deliberately shaped spaces around them – conferred status to citizens and communicated authority to the outside world. Central Park and Bryant Park in New York City; Golden Gate Park, Market Street and the Embarcadero in San Francisco; and the venerated Emerald Necklace in Boston are public spaces in more recent cities. In the best examples of all worlds, cities are continuous networks of humanized space.
Rem Koolhaas (Pritzker honoree in 2000) and Joshua Prince-Ramus, enabled by enlightened patrons, designed the Wyly to function like no other traditional theater—vertically, with its main performance space at ground level and almost all support facilities placed at the building’s upper tiers. This daring experiment in the logistics of stagecraft exemplifies Koolhaas’s intellectual approach to re-interpreting an established building type from the ground up.
This refreshing urbanistic quality was introduced to the Dallas Arts District in 1989 by I.M. Pei with his Meyerson Symphony Center, followed in 2003 by Renzo Piano with the Nasher Sculpture Center. More recently, two additions to the Arts District – the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater – both have gone a step further by making it concrete and tangible.
The 3,000-seat Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Concert Hall is the flagship theater of the University of Texas at Austin’s performing arts complex. Originally opened in 1981, the hall boasted an unusually large stage and generous back-of-house areas that effectively accommodated large-scale opera and dance productions. However, following the adoption in 1999 of more stringent campus-wide fire and life safety standards, the university hired Boora Architects of Portland, Oregon, to study remedial options.
Inside every design firm, there exists a constant struggle to find a balance between the current workload and its staff’s capacity to produce work. Rarely is there equilibrium between the two. We’ve all heard and lived the phrase, “feast or famine”. This is especially true of small firms that must often forego marketing efforts while the sole principal and the staff (if there is any) work feverishly to meet a project deadline.
A total of $3 billion in new construction and renovation at San Antonio’s largest military installations – Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base – is currently underway, funded mostly by a federal program that consolidates military facilities that are being closed in other parts of the country.
Plans to build an addition – albeit much smaller than one proposed earlier this year that sparked outcries of protest from some preservationists – to the Governor’s Mansion appeared to be moving forward at press time.
With the deadline having passed on April 23 for the 2010 TSA Design Awards, three jurors have been selected to review this year’s entries on May 21 at the TSA offices. The jurors are Adèle Naudé Santos, FAIA, dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and a principal of Santos Prescott and Associates in San Francisco; Tom Phifer, FAIA, of Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York; and Edward Bosley, director of the Gamble House in Pasadena, Calif., and an art historian on the faculty of the USC’s School of Architecture. They were chosen by the TSA Design Awards Committee, chaired by Michael Malone, AIA.
Over the last few years my wife, Amy Ladner, and I have photographed several of Corbusier’s buildings in France. Before these trips together I had been to India to see his work at Chandigarh, and I can honestly say after photographing architecture for over 40 years, Corbu’s buildings are among the most powerful structures I have seen. St. Pierre in Firminy is typical. It is not only an example of Corbu’s genius, but a wonderful story of the persistence of those who understand and love great architecture, and are willing to preserve it.
In their recent book, Evidence-Based Design for Multiple Building Types, David Watkins, FAIA, and Kirk Hamilton, FAIA, offer case studies involving several built projects that illustrate the importance of empirical research for the benefit of architects and owners. Though often associated with healthcare design, the authors state that evidence-based design is a methodology that can be used in any sort of architectural practice.
In late 2006 the hospital announced its Vision 2010, a $1.5 billion investment in four facilities—“the largest investment and program expansion ever by a single pediatric organization,” according to Texas Children’s Hospital. The first completed of the four projects is the $120 million, eight-story vertical expansion of the Feigin Center, designed by FKP Architects and encompassing 206,000 square feet. The building is named for the late Dr. Ralph Feigin (pronounced FI gin, with a long “i” and a hard “g”), the hospital’s influential and well respected physician-in-chief, the position he held until his death in 2008.
Also dotting the landscape are landmarks from a grander but almost forgotten earlier era—including the Masonic Temple (1941; Flint & Broad), the Weisfeld Center (1912; Hubbell & Greene; originally the First Church of Christ, Scientist), and the Scottish Rite Cathedral (1913; Hubbell & Greene). Dallas City Hall, designed in 1977 by I.M. Pei with the mission of awakening Dallas from its post- JFK assassination slump, mediates between this neglected corner of downtown and the inner city’s robust commercial district. There is hope, however, for this neighborhood’s renewal since the opening in 2008 of The Bridge, a homeless assistance center funded by the City of Dallas.
As designed by Good Fulton & Farrell, the new Dallas facility reflects the idea of working out as if it were fashion and lifestyle more than losing weight and staying fit. Despite the people exercising everywhere and the array of equipment, this is much more about creating a retreat than it is about pumping iron.
The earnest attempt by city officials to codify the characteristics of the built environment proved challenging for the architects at 5G Studio Collaborative as they began designing an urgent care and emergency clinic called Legacy ER. Their concept did not fit within the typical stick-and-brick suburban aesthetic as outlined in the city’s development code, which called for commercial buildings to look not unlike Frisco’s pitched-roof residences. But the client, a group of young physicians, was pleased. According to one of them, Dr. Jay R. Woody, they didn’t want their clinic to be “your average care space, your average office, and most definitely not an everyday Frisco building.” Still, lengthy negotiations with city officials ensued to win them over to the idea.
The project’s scope included stabilizing the structure, updating the storefront facade, and converting the front 3,000 square feet of the 5,000-sf building. Butler’s careful attention to detail demonstrates his thoughtful research into the fundamental concepts on which Joseph Pilates based his exercise system. So intrigued by what he learned, Butler began taking Pilates classes from Balance Studio owner Michelle Heinz after the work was completed.
Yet over several decades, the University of Texas–Pan American has developed a vernacular that directly flows from his genius. With its most recent addition, Kahn’s design principles are explored and allowed to mature in UTPA’s Wellness and Recreation Sports Complex designed by Smith Group/F&S (formerly F&S Partners).
The Morris Frank Library, designed by m Architects of Houston and completed in 2009, represents a new direction in services for the Houston Public Library System. Relocated from its original building, the library now resides on the ground floor of an existing atrium building in a revitalized low-income area of Houston.
Substitutions of products and systems different from the architect’s original design are an ongoing reality in the construction industry today. In fact, it is rare when alternate products and building systems are not proposed by the owner, the contractor, or other parties.
Renowned internationally for his breakthroughs in medical techniques, legendary heart surgeon Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., spent 60 years on the staff of Methodist Hospital and the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. It is fitting that a new museum dedicated to his innovations and achievements sits at the heart of the medical center.
The long-anticipated construction of Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s expansion of the Kimbell Art Museum is scheduled to break ground late this summer, with the opening of the new $125 million building slated for 2013
The Julia Ideson Building, Houston’s historic downtown library, has received an addition that finally completes its original 1926 scheme. Designed by Gensler’s Houston office, the four-story south extension replicates a wing that was omitted from the Boston firm Cram and Ferguson’s plan for the library, the only facility completed of the projected five-building Civic Center focused around Hermann Square, a block donated to the city in 1914 by philanthropist George H. Hermann.
Volunteer members of AIA Brazos inaugurated the chapter’s first “Architecture in Schools” program earlier this year, taking lessons about potential career opportunities to a total of 39 fourth-grade students.
Held in mid-April at the University of Houston, the fifth annual Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Professional Expo brought together a diverse group – architects, engineers, contractors, developers, students, educators, and government officials – to share information and network across disciplines.
“Tailor the District,” a concept for reinvigorating a downtrodden corner of downtown Austin, uses Waller Creek as the central seam around which patches of social fabric (i.e., places of local commerce, open space, and entertainment venues) are stitched together by a unified circulation network.
British historian Arnold J. Toynbee observed that the border of an enlightened and ascendant civilization is a fluid zone of contact. But, he cautioned, when its power of self-determination and its creative influence upon neighbors wane so does the mutual cooperation and communication shared with those neighbors until hostility transforms the border into a rigid military line.
On the High Plains, dealing with extremes comes with the territory. Tell a northerner you are from the Texas Panhandle and they will ask how you ever survive the heat. A southerner will pity you for having to live on the frozen tundra. While summers can be scorching hot and winter snowfall can pile up unexpectedly, the High Plains – unlike everywhere else in Texas – enjoys four seasons.
Cowboys Stadium is the largest column-free space in the world—a feat that allows clear sightlines to the playing field from every seat in the house. That achievement is made possible by a pair of gray steel arches, composed of 17x35-foot box trusses made of high-strength steel forged in Luxemburg, that extends the entire 1,225-foot length of the structure. The longest single-span arches ever built, they reach beyond the stadium walls and are buttressed by four angled, solid-concrete plinths that partially support the 660,800-sf dome weighing 14,100 tons.
David Heymann concedes that the house is indeed very large, yet he is quick to point out the designs sustainable attributes. “It’s not smart growth, but its smarter to have one very big house than a dozen big houses,” he says. “Such houses are inevitable, and ignoring them for scalar impropriety does not resolve their environmental consequence.”
Though ravaged by periodic hurricanes and economic doldrums for over a century, much of Galveston’s magnificent architecture survives. The island city’s glory days, the three decades that preceded the devastating storm of 1900, are recalled in its richly detailed commercial edifices and stately Victorian-era homes.
Designed by Sprinkle & Co. Architects and completed in 2008, Silo’s second San Antonio location occupies 8,900 square feet and two floors within a suburban retail development. The owners requested that the architects preserve but also refresh the restaurant’s identity.
Sited on a bluff overlooking Austin’s downtown skyline and Lady Bird Lake, the Paggi House recently underwent renovations that restore the original 1840s structure while adding a contemporary twist. Re-imagined by J Square Architecture, the 5,523-sf restaurant, which once served as an inn and a family home, gained a new roof, outdoor bar/dining space, restroom, and office.
August E’s was an established restaurant in need of a new location. In 2008, the business moved to an existing building one block off historic Main Street in Fredericksburg. Designed by Andrew E. Bray of Mustard Design, the project injected new life into a 4,900-sf structure that previously housed a 1950s automotive repair shop and later a furniture warehouse.
Texas St adium collapsed on April 11 in a well-executed implosion detonated at 7:08 a.m. that ended a storied 37-year career as the home of the Dallas Cowboys. In less than 30 seconds and before more than 20,000 witnesses, a spectacular series of blasts from 2,715 lbs. of explosives reduced the 65,675-seat arena to rubble.
The Collector, a conceptual project by Brendan O’Grady, AIA, of RTKL Associates in Dallas, is a mixed-use development imagined for construction in Shanghai. Planned to encompass more than 2.7 million square feet, the project is “designed to harness the energy of business, culture, and nature.”
Civil rights movements in America are as varied as the people they serve to protect, each group seeking justice or parity for those overlooked by the political establishment. Often unpopular in their initial stages, such movements have transformed our society and over time their triumphs have come to be accepted as integral to our social fabric.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Ike in September 2008, an engineer emerged from under the battered substructure of Galveston’s First Presbyterian Church to apprise Rev. David Green of the damage. “Pastor, your church has no foundation,” he said, apparently without thinking his statement’s underlying irony. Yes, perhaps its structural foundation was in need of repair, but the spiritual foundation of First Presbyterian, a survivor of more than a century of catastrophic weather events, has never weakened.
Entering the Lance Armstrong Foundation (Livestrong) headquarters is an exercise in transition—from busy streetscape through serene garden to an open, sunlit interior. Transition also characterizes the conversion of the 1950s-era warehouse into the Livestrong offices, considering that a wide variety of the project’s materials were salvaged from the original structure.
Integrating architecture into any given context while maintaining design integrity is a fine art. Architects must constantly walk the line between over- or under-contextualizing a building to support its strength as a unique entity within its environment. Somewhere between total disregard to surroundings and cliché facsimiles of geologic or biologic imagery, a good architect can find a project’s meaning without being overt. Such sought-after balance has been gracefully achieved by Overland Partners with the firm’s new Overlook Pavilion at Penn State University.
Fort Worth Country Day ha s the cache t of bei ng one of the premier college preparatory programs in North Texas. In existence since 1963, Fort Worth Country Day offers K-12 instruction on its campus in southwest Fort Worth. Students become accustomed to the feel of a college campus as they change classes and circulate among separate academic buildings throughout the school day. Covered walkways, an abundance of trees, and landscaping with mature plantings are evidence that the school’s leadership sees the importance of an appropriate setting in creating an environment for learning.
According to Kevin Alter, the 4,200-sf, three -story East Windsor Residence is essentially a one-bedroom loft because the top floor “has all the pleasures and attributes of a penthouse and then it expands down to give you all this other stuff.” The project was designed by Alter, along with alterstudio architects co-principal Ernesto Cragnolino, AIA, with a focus on the third level, which boasts 270-degree views and contains the master suite, kitchen, and main living area. But the “other stuff” found on the remaining two levels completes this finely crafted house in dynamic and dramatic ways.
Substitutions can carry many unbalanced risks for architects, but they are likely to endure, as we observed in Part I of this two-part series. The perceived positive results for owners and contractors will allow substitutions to prevail as a popular cost-reducing exercise, and architects will be expected to accept them and bear responsibility for their performance.
The Texas Society of Architects/AIA welcomes these exhibitors to the 2010 Expo in San Antonio (current list as of August 3rd). Expo dates are October 14-15 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Come to HALL A and visit their booths to learn more about new products and services. Check out who’s showing at this year’s Expo!
As a tour guide at the Texas State Capitol, I’m constantly asked, “Are we going to go up to the very top?” The answer is always an unfortunate “No.” It pains me to have to quash such naked curiosity. We all cherish the thought of scaling and exploring heights, from a kid climbing trees to the adventurer conquering the tallest mountains. So it’s only natural that people should ask that question within five minutes of starting a tour. Skip the history, please: we want to go up there.
In contrast to the photographs that illustrate the mixed-use projects profiled in this edition’s feature section, the University Park development in Austin is not a pretty picture. The owner’s ambitious plans for a high-density urban village on 23 acres along I-35 just north of downtown have fizzled, leaving a half-empty office building to stand alone amid an otherwise abandoned construction site. Tenants are angry, neighbors are frustrated, and everyone else is wondering how things went so wrong.
As a young man fresh off the farm and poised to begin his university studies, Ray Bailey couldn’t decide between architecture or commercial art as his future career. He had always liked to draw and saw things in three dimensions.
Richard Ferrier’s life was like a series of his watercolors—transparent at first, then opaque, and finally transparent again as he shared his heart and soul to his students and friends. When painting, he would begin by masking off the borders and soaking the page with water. Then came the magic as he blended cobalt blue and yellow ochre, mixtures that would then bleed into the wet parchment and travel as the angle set by his hands allowed. His life was like that, a magical work of art created from a broad range of hues.
Sometime after midnight in May 2009, I arrived in the Romanian capital of Bucharest as part of the twenty-sixth group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in this former Soviet bloc country. All 37 of us had met in Washington, D.C., for orientation before flying together overseas.
On March 28, 2000, Fort Worth was struck by a powerful tornado that followed West Seventh Street from the west side into the heart of downtown. The rare urban twister caused over $450 million dollars of damage in just over 10 minutes, and the bent steel beams of a former billboard remain as testament to its power and capriciousness. Ten years later, West Seventh Street is a vastly different place, with new development creating an urban corridor linking two of the jewels of Fort Worth—downtown’s Sundance Square and the Cultural District.
In the 1920s, the area of San Antonio now know n as Southtown was a thriving and culturally diverse community just south of downtown. It was in the Italian-American enclave of this district where an industrious entrepreneur built a corner building with retail at street level and living quarters above.
Park Lane is not your typical New Urbanist enclave. There is no tinge of nostalgia to the buildings, no sense of a walk down memory lane, nor the feel of a backdrop to a 1920s movie. Instead, crisp lines, angular building shapes, and modernist glass cubes are gathered along the familiar form of a street. Taken together, it is a project that manifests an interest in distinguishing urban design concepts from building style.
Park Lane is not your typical New Urbanist enclave. There is no tinge of nostalgia to the buildings, no sense of a walk down memory lane, nor the feel of a backdrop to a 1920s movie. Instead, crisp lines, angular building shapes, and modernist glass cubes are gathered along the familiar form of a street. Taken together, it is a project that manifests an interest in distinguishing urban design concepts from building style.
On July 16, a jury of three Arizona architects met in Phoenix to selecte unbuilt projects for honors in the 2010 TSA Studio Awards. The jury chose four entries from 80 submittals. The awarded projects are featured on the following pages, along with comments from the jury.
For the past four years, the members of AIA Austin have volunteered their time to teach elementary school students in their area about architecture. Their most recent efforts culminated in November with displays at UT Austin of models the kids devised to illustrate the lessons they have learned. This year’s program reached more than 315 students from third, fourth, and fifth grades.
For his efforts to encourage minority, under-served, and low-income students to pursue careers as architects, the American Institute of Architects’ Board of Directors has selected Clyde Porter, FAIA, as the 2009 recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award.
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to ask people in a restaurant to move from their seats so you can get to the handicapped seating area? Ever thought what a ramp looks like to a person in a wheelchair?
After jurors carefully evaluated 53 entries from 20 local architectural firms and one individual AIA member, the AIA San Antonio chapter announced the winners of its 2008 Design Awards. A total of 13 projects were recognized with awards in early November. Kell Muñoz topped the list with five awards.
In the lab, we students are gathered in a tight group around Philip Johnson listening while he tells us of his recent visit to Taliesin West for a meeting with Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s almost as if we are walking with him as he describes in vivid detail his approach to the compound and begins making his way through the masterfully orchestrated series of rooms and passages; we take each turn with him, see each vista, revel at every ray of light, and feel in our viscera every quickening, every slowing through space and time.
While some architects look askance at the seemingly strange importation of a foreign style onto the UTEP campus, the Bhutanese apparently are pleased that their architectural idiom has been incorporated into modern American buildings.
It is early afternoon at the new arts magnet school in downtown Dallas. Classes are in session and there is considerable activity in the building’s loft-like corridors. Students can be found working on class projects, but these are not the kinds of activities and assignments typically encountered in a high school curriculum.
Located near the geographic center of Houston’s frenetic urbanism, just below the crosshairs of its freeway system, the Rice University campus harbors an almost monastic quiet and tranquility. Rice, with a lot more land per student than at most urban universities, affords quite a bit of distance between students as they wander between the staid allees of shade trees and colonnaded brick buildings.
Founded in 1987, Southwest Key Programs, a national non-profit group based in Austin, manages a variety of social programs to benefit disadvantaged youth and their families. Intending for its new headquarters to act as a tool for neighborhood revitalization, the organization selected a site in a traditionally under-served area of the city to locate the Southwest Key East Austin Community Development Project.
The North East Independent School District set several lofty learning objectives for the designers of its new prototypical middle school, José M. Lopez Middle School, in the fast-growing Stone Oak area of far-north San Antonio.
Andy Dekaney High School recently received the 2008 Caudill Award, the highest honor given in the TASA /TASB Exhibit of School Architecture. Based on findings that students perform better in small groups, “Instruction Should Drive Construction” was the guiding philosophy for SH W Group’s design of the 486,000-square-foothigh school sited on 80.7 acres in Houston’s Spring Independent School District.
Waxahachie Global High School received the 2008 TASA /TASB Exhibit of School Architecture “Special Recognition for Outstanding School Renovation.” Huckabee and Associates restored the three-story, 1917 T.C. Wilemon building, transforming the 79,356-square-foot space into a high-tech campus equipped with the latest technology.
Ignored by many architects and most academics, tilt wall construction is nonetheless widespread. It is prevalent in the marketplace and ubiquitous on the landscape, yet tilt wall construction is considered a “low” form of building methodology utilized in commercial construction by “mainstream” architects and their co-conspirators in the building trades. As a result, tilt wall construction has been overlooked as an area for more extensive architectural exploration.
The architecture CLUSTER at Skyline High School began in 1972 as one of the magnet career programs offered by the Dallas Independent School District to help prepare students for a variety of professions. From the outset, the objective was to provide students with the essential concepts of the practice of architecture.
Texas is gifted with many celebrated public landscapes from the modern era, including Philip Johnson’s Fort Worth Water Gardens (1974) and Thanks-Giving Square (1974); Daniel Kiley’s Fountain Place (1986) and Dallas Museum of Art (1983); and Peter Walker’s Nasher Sculpture Center Garden (2005).
The noted Dallas developer Trammell Crow passed away at his East Texas farm on Jan. 14. He was 94 years old and had apparently been in failing health for some time. While Crow’s reach in the commercial real estate world was international in scope, he left an inescapable legacy in his hometown of Dallas.
Just how troublesome are current economic conditions in Texas? To gain insight, Texas Architect invited six architects to join a roundtable discussion where they were asked to assess their local markets and offer near-term forecasts. The roundtable discussion took place in Austin on Jan. 19.
The Houston Community College (HCC) System is one of the nation’s largest, with 23 locations across the metropolitan area. Since its creation in 1971, the system has acquired a diverse range of facilities and adapted them for educational purposes.
Montgomery Ward published its first catalogue in 1872 and soon found great success shipping farm equipment and other goods across the U.S. via rail. In the 1920s the company built nine regional facilities that combined distribution centers and retail outlets, including one in Fort Worth in 1928. The eight-story Mission Revival building, completed in nine months by general contractor Thos. S. Byrne, was expanded and renovated several times over the years. Enclosing 600,000 square feet, the U-shaped edifice teemed with fervent activity through the 1960s.
The software capabilities that are the foundation for Building Information Modeling, or BIM, have been under development for more than 20 years, and in the last few years awareness and interest in BIM by the AEC industry have grown remarkably. However, a recent survey indicates that the AEC industry in Texas has been slow to adopt BIM. Those few in Texas who are now using BIM, survey respondents state that adoption of the new technology has resulted in wide-ranging changes in the way they design and deliver projects.
The modernist dictum that “form follows function” does not appear a viable equation in adaptive re-use where function must follow form. Take, for example, the re-purposing of the ubiquitous and increasingly unappealing big box. Texas Architect asked a group of artists and designers to do just that, to consider the fate of a vacant Circuit City building. Their responses are diverse, and can be grouped into three distinct categories—adapted, transformed, and forgotten.
Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area are among the top five cities in the nation with the most buildings enrolled in the Energy Star program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The federal program promotes energy conservation and reduction of greenhouse gases by designing buildings to be more energy efficient.
Two projects by Texas firms are among the 17 residential buildings recognized in the 2009 AIA Housing Awards. The awards program, now in its ninth year, was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource.
In 1958, architect Vernon Helmke inaugurated a program at San Antonio College to prepare students for careers in architecture. Since offering those first classes in design, graphics, freehand drawing, and construction, SAC’s architectural curriculum has grown in size and reputation.
Three highly respected designers will judge the entries in the 2009 TSA Design Awards program. The jurors will be Philip Freelon, FAIA, president of the Freelon Group in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Mary Margaret Jones, FASLA, president of San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates; and Rick Joy, AIA, of Rick Joy Architects in Tucson. The jury is set to meet May 15 in Austin.
Recognized with a 2009 Great Places Award, co-sponsored by the Environmental Design Research Association and Metropolis magazine, the West Dallas Gateway suggests redevelopment strategies for a blighted, post-industrial area of the city.
The opportunity to offer one’s knowledge and skills to young people can be an exceptionally rewarding experience. When such an opportunity arose recently, I joined several members of AIA Dallas’ Women in Architecture in preparing a presentation for middle school-aged girls to help them realize their potential for professional careers. Our presentation was part of the national “Expanding Your Horizons” program sponsored by the American Association of University Women.
The rural Southwest provides a place for landscape to wordlessly tell stories, reveal history, and offer solace. A few hours spent “listening” to this landscape reminds us that our spoken and written languages are human constructs.
In early 2004, a group of prominent local philanthropists negotiated a landmark deal with Houston Mayor Bill White. As outlined in the pact, the City of Houston contributed several downtown parcels in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center and the philanthropists agreed to fund the design and maintenance of a world-class park that promised to breathe new life into the urban core. Named through a public competition, the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy opened the $122 million park in April 2008 to widespread acclaim. The 11.8-acre urban amenity is located near the southeast edge of downtown, between the Toyota Center basketball arena and Minute Maid Park baseball stadium.
The designers of Discovery Green incorporated art installations throughout the park, including interactive pieces that invite visitors to have a little fun. Great care was taken to ensure the installations would be visually prominent yet nestled within the park’s environs. Many of the works are by well-known artists, including Doug Hollis, whose Mist Tree (shown at left) is the latest of his water-jet sculptures designed for outdoor spaces around the U.S. His large interactive Gateway Fountain (at right) entices children to cool down from the heat.
The Park on Barton Creek combines corporate office functionality with the natural setting of the South Austin greenbelt. Designed by Merriman Associates/Architects, the project features two five-story, 100,000-squarefoot buildings set along the western edge of the site to minimize impact to the heavily wooded Barton Creek.
Acme Brick established two goals with the design of their new headquarters—to respond to the wooded site, setting a standard for future development in the area, and to demonstrate the variety of design alternatives that can be achieved with brick veneer.
Here we go again; another recession. And since the work of the design professional is directly related to the economy, our livelihood thrives or suffers accordingly. Those good times that seemed as though they would never end seem to have ended, at least for the present. Projects have gone on hold, or away, friends have been laid off, and many employees are now wanting for something meaningful to do.
Amongst the challenges and tribulations of the day, we are compelled to make one parting comment about young people in architecture and their future.
During the Spring 2007 semester, behind an anonymous tract house on a culdesac in suburban College Station, I designed and built an inside-out studio where I produce utilitarian and often highly decorated earthenware.
The Archives of the Episcopal Church, designed by Studio 8 Architects of Austin, is a five-story, 70,000-sf building that will be the new home for the church’s national archives, which are currently housed in a late-1950s campus as part of the Southwest Episcopal Seminary
The site for the house Nonya Grenader, FAIA, designed for her family in Houston was selected for the beauty of the existing trees and shade and its ideal proximity as a construction site. Intimately acquainted with the amenities of the Southampton neighborhood, a deed-restricted subdivision near Rice, the Grenaders had lived next door for 11 years before their elderly neighbor offered to sell them her house in 1997. The 55x130-foot lot presented an opportunity to create a new environment tailored to their long-established live/work lifestyle.
Cityville Southwest Medical Center embodies the pioneer spirit. When opened in 2007, the mixed-use development shared the neighborhood with industrial brownfields, rusting steel warehouses, and a red-light district.
For St. Edward’s Universit y to achieve a desired national prominence as an institution of higher learning, President George E. Martin set out in 2001 to double the student enrollment to 4,000 by 2010. Martin knew that would require significant capital improvements, so he commissioned Philadelphia’s H2L2 to masterplan the 498-acre hilltop campus.
Having neve r befo re visite d the Hill Count ry, the Futu re owne rs we re charmed by the natural beauty of the site where they eventually would build their house. Majestic oaks frame the views of distant farmland as the 350-acre property drops a 100 feet to the Guadalupe River.
Located on the seventh floor of Baylor University Medical Center’s Truett Tower in Dallas, the New Family Center is a 22,000-sf renovation specializing in postpartum healthcare services.
We’ll admit it, there’s a lot more to a building than just the glass. And while we as an industry are charged with knowing the ins and outs of all the countless types of glass products available— architects are being overwhelmed by the need to know so much more.
The new Cullen Eye Institute in the Medical Building of Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center combines multiple adult ophthalmology subspecialties under one roof. Dr. Dan B. Jones, chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Baylor, recognized the need to consolidate the existing adult ophthalmology practice into a single building on the new McNair Campus.
As our planet’s reserves of water and energy sources become increasingly limited, architects must develop forms of architecture that incorporate – even celebrate – sustainability design practices. Toward that end, my students at Texas Tech University are engaged in an ongoing project that focuses on a variety of solutions. The result is a living laboratory designed for the harsh microclimate of Foard County about 45 miles west of Wichita Falls.
The effects of the economic downturn are now clearly apparent across the state. The evidence is rendered in less-than-optimistic forecasts as firms cautiously plan for 2010. The recession is brought into sharper relief when compared with the robust business climate enjoyed by design professionals for a decade prior to last year’s fourth quarter.
Charles Gwathmey – Charlie, as most people called him – started off his career with a bang. Like two other giants of the American arts, Orson Wells and Norman Mailer, Charlie produced a masterpiece while he was still in his 20s. After graduating from Yale, Charlie traveled through Europe where he was able to experience first-hand the works of his most admired Modernist master, Le Corbusier.
University of Houston students Daniel De La Garza, Jared Wilson Thorn, Alfonso Villafuerte, and Chukwunoso Ofili have developed a concept for an eco-friendly, multi-purpose lighting system that could serve nightly as neighborhood and home security lighting and as solar-powered emergency lighting during power shortages.
The 2009 TSA Design Awards jury met in Austin on May 15 to view 261 submittals of built work. The jurors were Mary Margaret Jones, FASLA, of Hargreaves Associates (San Francisco, Cambridge, and New York); Rick Joy, AIA, of Rick Joy Architects (Tucson); and Philip Freelon, FAIA, of the Freelon Group (Durham, N.C.)
The area just north of downtown Dallas known as Oak Lawn is rich and diverse in demographics, land use, and building types. Having matured over time, Oak Lawn has evolved into a neighborhood of restaurants, churches, hotels, offices, and a varied assemblage of residential buildings.
From the street Cunningham Architects’ House in the Garden is a beautifully conceived and executed object, partially shielded behind an iconic wall constructed of stainless-steel wire grid and filled with fragments of slag glass. This idealized garden villa – really a giant porch – provides a delightful way to both view and inhabit a highly personalized landscape. It’s a thoughtful and well organized bit of place making; surprisingly its greatest success is as a foil and extension of an outdoor space that was originally part of the adjacent house.
This word painting by Rand Elliott, FAIA, explains how he wants people to understand his latest award-winning project, ImageNet of Houston. Employing poetry or manifestoes to describe one’s work is not uncommon these days. Indeed, such material appears to be a prerequisite of the current media culture that promotes “starchitects,” “signature architects,” and one-hit wonders. Supportive text is, we are led to believe, required reading. If a building appears mundane, baffling, or otherwise underwhelming, just refer to the narrative. Within the architect’s words, we are told, lies the true meaning which will assure in our prosaic times that, yes, this is Architecture.
Once just another nondescript, single-story building indistinguishable from its neighbors that together comprise a light-industrial district wedged between downtown Dallas and the Trinity River, the Light & Sie Art Gallery now stands out. The reconfigured entry, framed by a box of aluminum panels, asserts a refined presence that quietly commands attention amid the clutter of storefronts along Leslie Street on the city’s near-west side. The 13,000-sf project is one of the latest examples in a transformative trend for the area where a few of the shopworn buildings have been repurposed as showrooms for the design trade and retail galleries for contemporary art.
Approaching the Linda Pace Foundation from the east, visitors are confronted with a strikingly graphic text piece on the building’s canvas-like facade, a short poem by Daniel Edgar Martinez: “beauty…it rubs against one’s tongue, it hangs there, hurting one, insisting on its own existence, finally it gets so one cannot stand the pain, then one must have beauty extracted.” It’s an “in your face” message that transcends its purpose as a public art piece and could describe the transformation of a derelict 1940sera auto paint shop into what is now the subtle and powerful beauty of the Linda Pace Foundation.
Although San Antonio’s iconic settings are significant especially when weighed for their economic benefits to Texas’ third largest city, the broader story of her heritage, traditions and, most importantly, her people is to be found in quarters beyond the shadows of high-rise downtown hotels.
Wolfe Den, by MJ Neal, AIA, represents the Austin architect’s fifth TSA Design Award. The 2,300-sf residence, designed for a young professional couple, is a study in layers, light, and logic, and stands out in subtle contrast to Neal’s previous award-winning work, which includes Twin Peaks (2003), Ramp House (2004), Anthony Nak (2005), and Farley Studio (2007). “This is a much more subtle work than Ramp House and Twin Peaks. The division of space is central to this project,” says Neal, when asked to define the difference between this home and the three others (Twin Peaks comprises two side-by-side dwellings) on the same south Austin street. Sited in an eclectic neighborhood populated by mostly 1930s-era homes interspersed with hip makeovers, Wolfe Den is bordered on the east by a one-story bungalow and on the west by the strikingly modernist Ramp House. Further down the block are Twin Peaks.
Codes are popping up in an increasing number of communities interested in reducing light pollution (uplighting) and light trespass (shining light across a property line).
The Texas Society of Architects welcomes these companies participating in the 2009 Expo in Houston (current as of August 4). Expo dates are October 23-24 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Make plans now to visit their booths, pick up new product information, ask a question, or just see a friend. Keep and use this handy guide with booth numbers and contact information as a reference tool.
Modernists are drawn to pure expressions of function, form that instantly communicates the essence of a building’s use. The Texas landscape is rich in examples, oftentimes overlooked because they are straightforward, generic, inconspicuous—precisely the qualities that make them worth our attention. J. Brantley Hightower, AIA , in a short essay “The Lure of the Industrial” on page 44, opens the feature section with musings on his and his fellow architects’ fascination with buildings “that reflect the most direct solutions to complex problems.”
While Hurricane Ike may have roared through Texas over a year ago, public interest remains high in planning efforts to protect the Houston-Galveston region against such violent storms. In response to that interest, the Rice Design Alliance sponsored a three-part civic forum during the summer.
The latest in sports arena one-upmanship was formally unveiled when the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, designed by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, hosted a concert on June 6 by headliners George Strait and Reba McEntire.
These drawings are excerpts from sketchbooks complied over the past 33 years. Presented in our Good Fulton & Farrell University (for AIA learning unit credits), they formed the structure of the presentations: “Drawn to Architecture: Sketches to Reality.”
FEMA trailers are by their nature temporary and by their character demoralizing. What if a permanent solution could be deployed quickly enough to help people retain their community, spirit, and viability? Lift:Home was developed for this purpose.
The project proposes to redevelop Valencia’s old harbor in Spain that represents the commitment of the city with a modern spirit, rich in options and aspirations. This project of renovation and master planning intends to recover the harbor in a sustainable manner. The project proposes: 1) to create a waterfront where none currently exists; 2) to integrate the port into the city; 3) to suitably separate the port and non-port uses; 4) to order traffic circulation along the seafront; 5) to resolve the area in which the dry river bed joins the sea; 6) to conserve and recover the heritage of the area; 7) to propose a suitable combination of public and private uses; and 8) to consider pre-existing uses for their integration into a sustainable environment.
Death and humans’ response to it have long held the power to bind cultures together and create places that transcend time and custom. Our collective respect for the dead and where they are laid to rest reaches across cultures like few other human experiences. It is the commonality of this reverence that guides the creation of Yarauvi, a necropolis at the center of the Dead Sea.
At least two things bind all architects together: our vacation photos tend to include more buildings than people and at some point we read Le Corbusier’s Towards a New Architecture. While it has since been revealed that the title and other portions of the book were initially translated poorly, the book remains arguably the most influential manifesto of the early modernist period. Although Corbusier’s grand pronouncements are at times both endearingly naïve and annoyingly heavy handed, his general thesis was certainly revolutionary for its day and prophetic given all that came later.
A visit to the Pearl Development today is one of promise and potential. Still less than 50 percent complete, it is already contributing to life in San Antonio and has become a destination for an increasing and devoted following. How it has done so is based in a rare instance in which the interests of its developers, the local design community, and the public have coincided. Why this has occurred is due in large part to the unique makeup of the members of the project team, their shared goal to create a “transformational” and “authentic” place, and the cost-effective, socially engaging, and incremental process they have followed.
The newly completed Texas Rangers Retail Shop at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, designed by FIR M817, was not just intended to be a place to grab a Rangers shirt or tickets to the next game. The design of the 757-sf space was intended to let customers experience the feel of baseball through multiple sensory expressions.
With businesses and project owners interest in keeping costs down and flexibility high, furniture planning takes a significant role in the overall development of a project. Whether it is an enclosed or open office, lobby, library, or classroom, planning for the location and quantity of furniture can help the architect to make the most of the square footage, configuration of a room, spacial relationships, and overall building design.
Some recent trends in workplace cultures have led furniture companies to develop lines of product that are more flexible.
Architecture for me is not about concealment but rather about divulging its very nature to the widest possible audience. Materials are not a mystery; they are an essential building ingredient, our heritage, and part of our everyday lives.
The best architects practicing today are essentially grown-up children, says Max Levy, FAIA, without a hint of disparagement. Drawing by hand releases a child-like sense of wonder, he explains. Unfortunately, by the time they reach adulthood, most designers have forgotten that feeling of creative release.
The way that architecture professor and discipline coordinator Ken Gorski describes it, El Paso Community College is a campus with its heart residing on both sides of Texas’ border with Mexico. This description, more allegorically than geographically accurate, pegs the character of a campus that is 85 percent Hispanic and located in a city largely defined by its close proximity to Juarez, Mexico.
Announced to fanfare surrounding actor Brad Pitt’s personal involvement with bringing affordable housing to this beleaguered city’s poorest residents, the Make It Right program unveiled designs in December for houses by some of the world’s cutting-edge architects. A total of 13 international, national, and regional firms were invited to create home designs for the Crescent City’s Lower Ninth Ward, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.
Starting with a project for a small office and warehouse in 1957, Gerald D. Hines began developing real estate in Houston with a keen eye for adding value to his projects with architectural excellence. A half-century later, having developed hundreds of buildings around the world, Hines has remained committed to raising the standards of commercial design by engaging the best practitioners.
When the Liverpool Football Club decided to expand its Anfield Stadium in Stanley Park, the British soccer club hired Dallas-based architect HKS to design the 60,000-seat sports arena.
Texas A&M University is in the midst of the largest building program in the school’s history. Two dozen projects on the 130-year-old College Station campus – new buildings, enhanced infrastructure, and major renovations, including a $120 million makeover of Memorial Student Center – are scheduled to be completed within the next five years. This extraordinary $800 million effort is the result of former A&M President Dr. Robert Gates’ initiative that spawned growth strategies originally outlined in the 2004 campus master plan by Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects in collaboration with Michael Dennis & Associates.
The new Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Dallas creates an innovative scientific environment while simultaneously possessing an astonishing architectural presence. The design and construction of the four-story, 192,000-squarefoot research facility responds to UT Dallas’ strategic plan to establish a top-flight research institution that will serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research. University officials expect to fill the facility with high-level faculty and scientists from such disparate fields as electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, chemistry, biology, and behavioral and brain sciences.
Architects at Kirksey faced two major challenges with the design of a nearly quarter millionsquare-foot building for Texas Woman’s University at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. First, the site comprised two 65-foot-wide perpendicular slivers of land at a prominent intersection in the burgeoning medical complex. Second, feasibility studies (conducted in a compressed timeframe) intended intended to confirm the validity of a land exchange ultimately represented a normative site analysis—one generating the organizational armature for subsequent decisions.
Carl Wunsche Sr. High School is a career academy located in the Spring Independent School District of Houston. SH W Group oriented the 273,178-square-foot school around three academic towers that each focuses on a specialized area of study.
The 120,792-square-foot LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex, located in the Denton Independent School District, includes 16 academies that provide students with trade-specific technical skills. PBK Architects of Dallas has uniquely designed each academy to reflect a specific professional working environment that facilitates increased learning through experience.
The 98,620-square-foot Sky Harbour Elementary School, located in the Southwest Independent School District of San Antonio, has been transformed from a solid concrete, windowless building into a series of welcoming, light-filled spaces. Pfluger Associates of San Antonio created a two-story classroom addition with a new administrative area.
West Brazos Junior High School, located in the Columbia- Brazoria Independent School District of Brazoria, is the first LEE D certified public school in Texas. SH W Group designed the 91,500-square-foot building to fit into its natural surroundings.
(This article was adapted from “Sustainability & Green Building Design with Brick Masonry,” an article that originally appeared in the October 2007 edition of Brick in Architecture published by the Brick Industry Association.) Many of the objectives of sustainab le design do not impact building material selection, but instead focus on building systems such as plumbing, lighting, air conditioning, etc. However, the versatility and durability of brick facilitate the use of brick masonry as part of many elements of sustainable design.
Durable, energy efficient and recyclable – a quick evaluation of concrete applications and it’s easy to determine that this versatile building material is sustainable. Just how major a role it will play as the green building movement continues to proliferate depends on how many are willing to take a closer look.
In 1849, at the confluence of the Clear and West Forks of the Trinity River, a fort was erected to protect pioneers settling in an area occupied by Native Americans. There were eight villages that developed around Fort Worth, seven were occupied by Native Americans, and one inhabited by white immigrants. White Settlement became a center of trade, a place of social interaction and mingling of societies, that still retains a strong sense of community.
Last spring, 21 designers from WHR Architects embarked on a nine-day tour of Japan. The firm’s principals intended the experience to be more than just a trip to look at buildings. They wanted to create a shared frame of reference, encourage collaboration, and broaden design consciousness among their staff.
AIA Dallas, following examples from across the country (New York City and Houston considered obvious prologue) has taken the first steps towards the construction of a new 7,500-square foot venue intended to house its own activities as well as those of multiple organizations aligned with the architectural mission of the chapter including the Dallas Architectural Foundation and the Dallas Architecture Forum.
The Texas Historical Commission in January awarded nearly $56 million to 17 counties in its latest round of matching grant under the auspices of its nationally recognized Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. The counties set to receive funds in Round V of the program are Cass, Cooke, Fannin, Hall, Hamilton, Harris, Hood, Kendall, La Salle, Lavaca, McCulloch, Mills, Potter, Randall, Roberts, San Augustine, and Trinity.
Construction is underway at Rice University in Houston on the 6,042-square-foot Brochstein Pavilion, a new gathering place planned for students, faculty, and staff. Composed primarily of glass, the pavilion will include a coffee house and a 10,728-square-foot landscaped, wrap-around plaza where 70 new trees will be added to the campus.
Designed by SHW Group, the Hill Country Montessori School in Boerne will demonstrate to its young occupants the importance of creating sustainable built environments by using architecture to promote education. The design of the buildings promotes both environmental and social awareness through transparency and access.
Anchoring the eastern edge of downtown Dallas , One Arts Plaza is a defining presence as the tallest building in the expanding Dallas Arts District. As difficult as it is for any single building to define an edge, this outwardly restrained building could be seen as a textbook lesson on how a tall building, handled skillfully, can contribute to the urban fabric. At this moment, while construction just now begins on significant cultural landmarks but before those adjacent projects grab all the attention within the Arts District, the 24-story One Arts Plaza cannot be missed.
Contrary to popular belief , as perpetuated by tourist brochures aplenty, there is more to San Antonio’s urban identity than the renowned RiverWalk and hallowed Alamo Plaza. Significant as these iconic settings are, especially when weighed for their economic benefits to Texas’ third largest city, the broader story of San Antonio’s heritage, traditions and, most importantly, her people is to be found in quarters beyond the shadows of high-rise downtown hotels.
Anyone who has visited Austin’s eclectic strip of retail and restaurants along South Congress knows the SoCo entertainment district to be a vortex of bohemian conviviality. The city’s head-long rush to grow and densify is readily apparent along the wide avenue that stretches below downtown. SoCo encompasses a few commercial blocks comprised of small buildings, none more than three stories tall. Residential neighborhoods back up to the businesses, and the homeowners are notorious for opposing the slightest change in the street frontage.
F&S Partners designed the new 55,000-square-foot addition to the existing 24,000-square-foot Lewisville Public Library. Clerestory windows form the exterior of the two-story concourse that connects the two building components. Natural light enters the building and creates a calm, welcoming atmosphere.
The new 49,000-square-foot Georgetown Public Library offers residents a community space that reflects the historic nature of the city. PBS&J Architects closely followed the requirements of the City of Georgetown’s historic architectural review committee when designing the library.
The addition to and renovation of the George Allen Sr. courthouse consolidates all 45 of the Dallas County civil courts, formerly located in three buildings, into one central location. Providing 210,000 square feet of new space, the addition stacks its program with the highest traffic family court spaces on the bottom, served by escalators.
For the past eight years, AIA Dallas’ Women in Architecture has reached out to girls in elementary and middle-school grades through a national program called Expanding Your Horizons. The program encourages girls to continue their studies in math and science by introducing them to interesting career options in technical subjects.
Two Texas communities are among 10 selected across the U.S. for study this year by an AIA Sustainable Design Assistance Team (SDAT) to help develop strategies for improving environmental conditions and preserving a sense of place while faced with suburban sprawl.
AIA Houston honored 16 projects during the chapter’s fifty-second annual Design Awards Dinner held on March 27 at the Rice Hotel. Winners were selected from 117 entries.
The jury for the 2008 TSA Design Awards will be arts writer Judith Dupré and architects Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, and Billie Tsien, AIA. The three are scheduled to meet June 27 in Austin to review entries and make their selections. The deadline for entries is May 30.
Overlooking downtown Houston’s new urban park, the 37-story One Park Place will offer 346 units with a total net rentable space of 498,000 square feet. Designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects for the Finger Companies, the residential tower will provide residents an escape from the chaos of city life.
In this high-tech age of ours, designers are discovering new and better ways to work with their heads. And they use their feet to march inexorably forward, constructing buildings and cities that transform the landscape. However, an exhibition now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, reminds us that designers have lost their “hand.”
Gail Vittori is co-author of Sustainable Healthcare Architecture (Wiley Press, 2008) with Robin Guenther, FAIA. As co-director of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Vittori also helped develop the Green Guide for Health Care (www.gghc.org) and chairs the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Healthcare Committee. TA Editor Stephen Sharpe recently nterviewed Vittori about her book and her purpose in writing it.
Healthcare architecture has made significant strides over the past 20 years to provide environments that are more sensitive to the needs of patients, families, physicians, and staff. There is a greater understanding that wellness and healing are supported not only by advances in medicine and technologies in diagnostics and treatment, but also by the quality of the building’s environment. Designed for the Seton Healthcare Network by Karlsberger of Columbus, Ohio, the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin builds on these improvements to the healthcare environment and takes its design to an even higher level while also achieving ambitious goals for environmental stewardship.
Sometimes the best sense of well -being comes from being in tune with one’s environment in the sense that the environment is a carefully constructed mirror reflecting back views of our better personal qualities. When handled architecturally these expressions of our philosophy, values, and intentions can find their way into daily routines that then become a pattern for living, which constantly reinforces and reinvigorates.
People come to healthcare facilities to be healed , so it is reasonable for them to expect treatment based on the latest research and technology that will aid their recovery. Patients also might expect that facility to be an environment designed not only to prevent ill health but to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Located on the camp us of the new Toyota truck manufacturing facility on the south side of San Antonio, the Toyota Family Heath Center provides the automaker’s employees and their families with the full range of basic medical services. The architects sited the building in a meadow adjacent to a stand of brushy trees. When approaching the building from the parking area, the steel-framed porte-cochere, a metal-clad building wall, and a stucco screen wall all appear to radiate outward from the central rotunda, providing a dynamic and sculptural composition of intersecting geometric forms and materials set on a grassy plain.
Built on the banks of Lake Bastrop this interfaith chapel forms a contemplative moment within the pine forest just east of Austin. Commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council, the open-air structure hosts all manner of religious gatherings. The gate-like structure, oriented east to west, frames a view across the lake of the setting sun.
A recent article in the real estate section of the Austin American-Statesman called attention to a growing demand among homebuyers for “Texas contemporary.” The interest is such that even production homebuilders are beginning to introduce spec models patterned after the regional vernacular of the Hill Country.
In November, AIA Lubbock presented its 2007 Design Awards at the Merket Alumni Center on the Texas Tech University campus. The competition is held every other year to spotlight the talents of architects from the Lubbock area.
To drive the backroads of rural Texas is to travel through history. Just below the surface of many small towns, a palpable immigrant heritage dwells. The signs are sometimes obvious, the annual festivals celebrating a community’s cultural origins and the museums dedicated to preserving the locals’ ethnic roots. Also, the old churches, many built by the hands of those who settled the area, often serve as tangible reminders of the unique narrative of a peoples’ journey from faraway native lands in their quest for a new, more tolerant home.
‘Shangri La’ conjures a dreamy utopia protected from the outside world. A much sought-after place of tranquility, ever-increasing wisdom, and beauty—the perfect paradise existing somewhere on this earth but hidden from sight. The movie-made-famous name, inspired by James Hilton’s 1933 Lost Horizon, is the heaven-on-earth place just waiting to be found.
The Blue Star Lofts is located in the Blue Star Arts Complex near downtown San Antonio. The complex is an adaptive reuse of an area that was once made up of abandoned industrial warehouses.
The new 30,374-square-foot mixed-use building, named 6th & Brushy, is part of the first generation of live-work properties to be built in east Austin. The project is located at the corner of 6th and Brushy streets, two blocks east of Interstate 35.
Adapted with permission from the Steel Framing Alliance, this article originally appeared in the December 2007 edition of Metal Construction News. In a report to the United Nations nearly 20 years ago, sustainability was defined as “progress that serves the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (“Our Common Future,” Brundtland Commission to the United Nations, 1988)
The Margaret M. Alkek Building for Biomedical Research, designed by Lord, Aeck, & Sargent’s Architecture for Science Studio, is a signature facility on the Baylor College of Medicine campus. Completed in July 2007, the eight-story tower contains research facilities for interdisciplinary programs in cardiovascular sciences, cancer, pharmacogenomics, genomics, and proteomics. The building’s open plans, with extensive use of interior glazing, enhance flexibility and collaboration while also adding a sense of transparency.
Since its inception in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has attracted more and more interest in each biannual competition to design and build a 800-square-foot, off-the-grid, solar-powered house. The 2005 and 2007 Decathlons included university teams from Puerto Rico, Spain, and Germany, along with those from several U.S. schools.
In theory, the task of selecting the TSA 25-Year Award is fairly simple. The jury’s work this year, however, posed a dilemma—to recognize the best of the lot or to reject it because of tragic events in its past. Of the five nominees one clearly stood out. But as magnificent as the Fort Worth Water Gardens is, no one who knows the park’s history can brush aside the fact that six people have died in accidents there since its opening in 1974.
Velpeau (Vel) E. Hawes Jr., FAIA, graduated in 1958 with a bachelor of architecture degree from Texas A&M University in College Station. After four years of service as an infantry officer, he began a 38-year career as a licensed architect and licensed interior designer with several architectural firms in Dallas, including Omniplan, HOK, and PGAL.
Centered in the heart of Fort Worth’s Museum and Cultural District, an exciting new urban redevelopment has been designed by Good Fulton & Farrell Architects of Dallas. Spanning five city blocks, 900,000 square feet, and conveniently situated across University Drive from The Modern Art Museum, the mixed-use complex is projected to re-establish the West 7th Street area as a thriving entertainment and shopping district.
“Lessons from Rome” explores the enduring impact of the ancient metropolis on Robert Venturi, Tod Williams, Thomas Phifer, and Paul Lewis. The four architects are Fellows of the American Academy in Rome (AAR) whose experiences there continue to inform their design work. Curated and produced by Smilja Milovanovic-Bertram, an assistant professor at the UT Austin School of Architecture, the exhibition juxtaposes photographs of Rome with images of the architects’ subsequent work. The exhibition, funded through grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Visual Studies and UT Austin, opens on Oct. 20 at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture.
Located in downtown Austin ’s fledgling 2nd Street District, the new 18-story AMLI II integrates 35,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, four and one-half levels of above-ground parking, an activity deck on the fifth level above the garage, and 231 rental apartments on 17 floors.
The tallest building in the delta region of the Lower Rio Grande Valley is also the first important civic building to be erected in more than 30 years to serve the small towns of Edcouch and Elsa. Sharing resources in a combined public school district, the towns are located halfway between Harlingen and Edinburg.
The addition to and renovation of the George Allen Sr. Courthouse building consolidates all 45 of the Dallas County civil courts, formerly located in three buildings, into one central location. Providing 210,000 square feet of new pace, the addition stacks its program with the highest traffic family court spaces on the bottom, served by escalators.
Designed as a “village by a canal ,” this waterside residence integrates a series of small-scale, gable-roofed buildings with a narrow site along an inlet of Lake Austin. The architects of Lake/Flato once again have exhibited their adroit touch with materials and adeptness for capturing abundant outdoor views. Clustered like a rustic encampment, the individual buildings are designed to seamlessly blend their interiors with the exterior environment.
Seton Medical Center, the largest medical and surgical acute care center in Austin, was in desperate need of a facelift. In 2005, Seton commissioned PageSoutherlandPage to expand and renovate its 1970s-era brick building. The scope of the expansion included 110,000 square feet of new facilities, including a day surgery center, a chapel with adjacent garden, a main entranceway, and a “front door image” for the hospital. When the work was completed, both the physical identity of the building and its capacity were improved.
Overland Partners of San Antonio has designed the environmentally sensitive 36,000-square-foot Bracken Bat Cave Nature Reserve in Comal County. The visitor’s center rests atop the underground cavern that harbors the world’s largest bat colony, home to more than 40 million Mexican free-tailed bats.
The purpose of Near Northside Study conducted by William Truitt, AIA, of the University of Houston, is three-fold: to illuminate existing problems of large open-space neighborhoods that are often overlooked in inner-city studies; to highlight the potential for such neighborhoods to positively impact the larger urban area; and to propose new adjacencies that allow for growth in targeted areas over the next 30 years.
Adapted with permission from Liberty Building Forensics Group, this article originally appeared in NCARB’s Monograph Series. Yesterday ’s seal of approval for new products was “It was developed by NASA.” Today the seal of approval is: it’s “organically produced,” LEED certified, “earth friendly,” or some variation of the above.
The Texas Society of Architects is pleased to announce the list of companies participating in the 2008 Expo in Fort Worth (current as of August 1). Expo dates are October 23-24 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Make plans now to visit their booths, pick up new product information, ask a question, or just see a friend. Keep and use this handy guide with booth numbers as a reference tool.
The complex development issues affecting Austin and the surrounding region are best understood when viewed as interwoven layers of culture and history suffused with equal amounts of enlightened leadership, misguided policies, good fortune, and poor planning.
t a time when our nation’s financial system seems to be imploding, it’s sometimes distressing to ponder what the future holds for the architectural profession. Our livelihoods are inextricably tied to the fortunes of the building industry, which quickly reacts to any economic downturn and in turn affects our work accordingly. Troubling, too, is the issue of global warming because our profession has an immediate and direct impact on the environment. And considering that buildings in the U.S. consume about 70 percent of the nation’s total electricity output and 12 percent of its water, it is evident that what we do as designers and builders in the future must be increasingly responsive to such grave issues.
Sysco Corporations’ new headquarters campus is located on Enclave Parkway, a suburban office street that winds through the gated residential communities of far west Houston. The complex includes a conference center, a 12-story office tower with 318,000 square feet, an eight-story office tower with 214,000 square feet, and parking garages that accommodate 1,832 automobiles. A Sysco data center, located in an existing building on the site, is also incorporated into the project.
It is hard for most of us to imagine the range of emotions and needs that a family experiences when a child is sick enough to require hospitalization. The staff and designers of the new Ronald McDonald House in Austin have clearly given this a lot of thought. The project offers a welcome refuge for parents and loved ones who keep vigil as their child undergoes treatment nearby at the Dell Children’s Medical Center. The latest of a national network built by Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Austin facility also merges purposeful design with sustainability. The architects’ success in creating an energy-efficient building has been recognized with the highest rating by the U.S. Green Building Council, making the Ronald McDonald House in Austin one of only three buildings in Texas to achieve LEED Platinum.
More and more architecture and engineering firms are rethinking the creative process, trading traditional concepts of rigid hierarchical structure for a new model intended to foster spontaneous, informal interaction. Open office environments are the most conspicuous factor, although elements of corporate branding are also being subtly integrated into the workplace. For Walter P Moore’s new national headquarters, Gensler pursued a holistic approach that seamlessly blends public image and creative performance.
The 250,000-square-foot International Harvester parts warehouse, located in the Old Trinity Industrial District near downtown Dallas, was originally constructed in 1948 and recently redesigned by local architecture firm Good Fulton & Farrell. Focused on contributing to the growth of Dallas’ Design District, the firm divided the warehouse into smaller units ranging from 1,549 square feet to 39,637 square feet, intended to house an assortment of furniture and interior design showrooms. The architects transformed the site by carving out an open-air corridor through the middle of the building.
Adapted with permission from the National Institute of Building Sciences/Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council, this article originally appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of Journal of Building Enclosure Design. The commissioning process is a quality oriented process for achieving, verifying, and documenting that the performance of facilities, systems, and assemblies meets defined objectives and criteria. It assumes that owners, programmers, designers, contractors, commissioning team members, and operations and maintenance entities are fully accountable for the quality of their work.
Sandia National Laboratories, a sprawling complex on Albuquerque’s southern edge, is itself located within the expansive Kirtland Air Force Base property. As the mission of Sandia is primarily related to national security, access to the facilities is tightly controlled. Projects – most are funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense – are conducted through a vast array of highly sophisticated research and development programs. Sandia’s mission statement notes that its personnel are expected to create innovative, science-based, systems-engineering solutions to the nation’s most challenging national security problems.
Even the best spaces for learning can’t substitute for good teaching, an intangible but absolutely essential component that if missing renders architecture an almost pointless exercise. Gifted teachers bring purpose to the architect’s design, and thoughtful design, like inspired teaching, can instill a sense of wonder in young minds. To excel in both the art of design and the art of teaching takes a rare blend of intuition, discipline, and compassion.
Miró Rivera Architects’ Pedestrian Bridge was among three projects receiving top tier recognition in the 2006 The Architectural Review Awards for Emerging Architecture. Considered the best international award for young architects, the annual program celebrates the work of designers under the age of 45 who are at the start of their independent careers.
Within the re-emergent Oak Cliff neighborhood on Dallas’ south side, the new Arcadia Park Elementary School and Branch Library demonstrates how civic buildings can focus the life of a community around an institution. Designed by Dallas-based VAI Architects and located in a stunning site with elevated views towards downtown Dallas, the complex spreads out along a continuous linear spine that provides circulation between classroom wings and shared common amenities.
Seven stories tall and architecturally distinctive, Texas A&M University’s new Jack E. Brown Engineering Building serves effectively as a gateway to the College of Engineering. The site, along the campus arterial University Drive at the extreme northeast corner of the campus, is an ideal location for this sleek landmark. Motorists and pedestrians approaching from any direction can’t overlook this 205,000-square-foot facility, a noticeable departure from the more conventional designs of surrounding buildings. Among its many distinguishing characteristics are a meditation garden, a plaza overlooking a creek, and glass “sky lobbies” at the elevators that provide panoramic views of the campus to the south.
The far northeastern section of metropolitan San Antonio is an amalgam of urbanizing late 19th Century farming communities and 20th Century bedroom suburbs extending in patchwork patterns of roofs, fields, and retail strip centers. For what it has in sheer volume of construction, the area generally lacks any cohesive center. Into this void has stepped the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) with a plan to create an entirely new joint-use facility—the Northeast Lakeview College. Not only is the institution to serve the educational and training needs of an estimated 15,000 students from the nine-community catchment area, but just as importantly, the facilities are to provide the surrounding areas with much-needed community resources.
Located in the North Richland Hills area of Dallas, Walker Creek Elementary embraces a new school design concept that integrates surrounding residential and urban environments. Built on 10.5 acres bordered by Parker, Simmons, and Bridge streets, the school serves 680 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
Completed in August 2005, Karen Wagner High School is located on a 100-acre hilltop overlooking San Antonio’s downtown skyline. The footprint features a formation of two Y’s placed end-to-end. This design compresses the 399,949-sf building while allowing the maximum amount of natural light to permeate the interior
Concrete is a versatile material whose aesthetic properties are often not understood. When architects think of concrete they all too often think of bland tilt-up concrete warehouses, plain concrete sidewalks, and boring structural properties. Fortunately, many architects are seeing the limitless boundaries of what concrete can do, not only structurally, but aesthetically.
Six TSA members, along with 70 other architects from around the nation, were elected AIA Fellows by the 2007 Jury of Fellows on Feb. 23. The following Texans are among the new Fellows who will be invested in the College of Fellows during the AIA convention in San Antonio:
Sanctuary, light, and sustainability are the key themes of the design for the City of Dallas’ Homeless Assistance Center to be located on a three-acre downtown site. CamargoCopeland and Overland Partners are working together as the architects.
While the need is great, new low-income apartments aren’t easy to come by in Houston’s inner city. The new Canal Street Apartments in Houston’s Second Ward respond to that need with a welldesigned complex of 133 single-room occupancy (SRO) rental units. The project was commissioned by New Hope Housing, Inc., a nonprofit corporation founded in 1993 to provide SRO apartments for low-income adults who choose to live alone.
Over the last decade or so, “context” has become a prime determinant of form and materials in much of our architecture. As any architect who has appeared before a design review board can attest, it is a sacred tenet when judging the “appropriateness” of a given solution. Unfortunately, it has also become an easy rationale for non-critical architectural thinking. As the esteemed critic Ada Louise Huxtable so eloquently stated, “The fallacy of contextualism, the masquerade of matched materials, the cosmetic cover-up of architectural maquillage meant to make a building ‘fit’ surroundings that frequently change, are a trap into which many architects jump or fall.”
Abused, neglected, and arrested kids in Harris County now take the first steps to a more normal life in a multi-service facility set in a public park. Protection, shelter, food, health care, and schooling are provided at the centralized location of the new Harris County Youth Services Center, housing a number of county agencies, designed by the Houston office of Page Southerland Page.
In constructing the $72 million Ullrich Water Treatment Plant expansion, the design team faced the challenge of addressing the community’s concerns while still adhering to the programmatic requirements.
WHEN architects and building owners require an attractive and affordable roof or wall system for a commercial or institutional project, chances are metal will be at or near the top their list of material candidates. To be sure, there’s no shortage of commercial metal roof or wall systems from which to choose. And metal is extremely competitive with other exterior facade options because of its low life-cycle cost.
WITH traffic at Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at all-time highs, Dallas’ business air travelers are finding an alternative to long lines and delays in the form of a renovated and expanded Dallas Executive Airport, formerly known as Redbird Airport.
Among AIA Lubbock’s programs planned under the celebratory banner of AIA150 is a community design charrette to plan an indoor/outdoor public plaza in north Lubbock, an area in need of an economic boost to create business growth, cultural identity, and pride of place.
On June 27, the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas will open its doors as the first hospital in the world expected to achieve platinum LEED certification from the U.S Green Building Council. Located on approximately 32 acres of the site formerly occupied by Austin’s Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, the four-story pediatric facility will replace the downtown Children’s Hospital of Austin with a complex three times its size.
The largest of nine similar high-density, mixed-use projects planned for Houston, GID Urban Development Group’s Regent Square will transform 24 acres south of Allen Parkway into a four-block community connected by pedestrian walkways.
Located at a very busy intersection in northwest San Antonio, the new and strikingly modern headquarters of the Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) demonstrates an inspired blend of geometry, reason, and artistic instinct. From its new facility at South Texas Medical Center, the faith-based, nonprofit organization manages healthcare services an financial support to constituencies throughout the southern third of Texas. The MHM’s compositional qualities of site plan, floor plans, building sections, elevations, and details are all handled with great skill and technical control.
Once considered prime targets for demolition, most buildings at the 26-acre former Pearl Brewery site are now scheduled for remodeling or restoration. San Antonio-based Lake/Flato Architects created a master plan for developer Silver Ventures that is intended to transform the site into a vibrant mixed-use community within the next decade.
Just south of downtown San Antonio, nestled together within a few blocks on Lavaca Street are limestone dogtrots, wooden bungalows, and a few newcomers, including three regional modernist courtyard houses. It is a street of houses with good bones; some newly transformed, some restored more than a decade ago and a few still ripe for a keen eye and some elbow grease.
In contrast to its previous ‘anonymous’ office building, United Way’s new campus near downtown Houston establishes a highly visible presence for the nonprofit organization that is also an asset to the surrounding community. Composed of two brick-and-glass buildings, a parking garage, and gardens, the 90,000-sf complex designed by Gensler was completed in March 2005.
The architect’s certification of contractor applications for payment can be perhaps the most perplexing of all the architect’s construction phase responsibilities. Although architects are neither accountants nor construction experts and do not observe each piece of work as it is put in place, they are nonetheless generally expected to provide a professional certification that the contractor’s application for payment has been verified and is correct.
It is important that design professionals avoid requirements for certifying, guaranteeing or warranting in their professional contracts. By doing so, they assume a level of liability beyond the standard of care, a condition which is not covered by professional liability insurance policies.
On April 21 the Menil Collection commemorated its twentieth anniversary with a rare public lecture by its renowned architect Renzo Piano. From the lawn of the acclaimed museum, the architect addressed an audience of more than 1,000 who came to learn about the project that Piano described as a “portrait of a person”—Dominique deMenil. An extraordinary patron, she also is credited for giving his firm, Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), of Genoa and Paris its first American commission.
After the dust had cleared from the tumultuous 80th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, at least one measure that survived has enduring significance for the state’s design community. The so-called “Good Samaritan bill” (HB 823), signed into law by Gov. Rick Perr y, prov ides architects and engineers immunity while providing pro bono services following declared disaster. The bill was among the initiatives coordinated by the Texas Society of Architects.
Also during the Regular Session, legislators transfered 18 historic sites from to the responsibility of the Texas Historical Commission, effective in January. The sites are:
Construction is set to begin in October on a new home for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Designed by Legorreta+Legorreta of Mexico City with local firm Gideon Toal as the architect of record, the $65 million project will bring the museum’s total square footage to 125,500. The new building will offer more space for traveling exhibits, as well as permanently housing several added features
If you have flown into Dallas Love Field at night recently you might have noticed a striking new feature in the urban landscape. It has been likened to Times Square, but from a dark-sky snapshot it seems to harken more to the scale and energy of the Ginza. Either way, this is not the typical Dallas we have come to expect.
The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano is a vibrant diagram of the forces at play within the healthcare industry today. This new facility designed by RTKL houses a group of physicians offering their cardiovascular expertise in tandem with the larger Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano across the drive.
The growing trend toward mixed-use developments in the United States is a welcome change from developments of the recent past where zoning more or less dictated single-use districts and led to an overall homogenization of our urban environment. And while they have much to offer, these new mixed-use developments have challenges to overcome if they are to thrive. It is clear that for them to function as relatively self-sufficient, sustainable communities, lessons must be incorporated from urban neighborhoods that have grown up over decades or, in some cases, centuries.
Park Place Motorcars, having previously worked with Good Fulton & Farrell on several other automobile dealerships, asked the architects to provide a contemporary design for the sales and service areas of its new Mercedes-Benz dealership on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas. The owner wanted the new facility to reflect the shift in marketing strategy that Mercedes-Benz was undertaking to appeal to a broader market, particularly younger consumers of luxury automobiles. According to the architects, their primary objective was to express the lifestyle that Mercedes-Benz owners enjoy rather than design a place to sell cars.
With such abundance of new glazing technologies, the salient issue is what to do with them. These are not just new colors or patterns of existing products. Many of the new products are functionally different. Each new category of products adds a new parameter to the design optimization process. Opportunities abound for combining several of the new technologies in a single application.
In the six months since Architecture Center Houston opened, ArCH has welcomed more than 2,500 people to a wide range of activities – from workshops and exhibitions to architecture walking tours and even a small concert – but we are most excited about an event coming up this summer.
Two years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the residents of this once-close-knit Mississippi community are still trying to recover from unprecedented devastation. In some areas of East Biloxi, nearly 80 percent of housing is estimated to have been lost or made uninhabitable from the hurricane.
On July 2, San Antonio lost Linda Pace, the city’s greatest patron of contemporary art and architecture, after a six-month battle with cancer. The daughter of Pace Foods founder David Pace and Margaret Pace Willson, a founder of the Southwest School of Art and Craft, she studied art at Trinity University. Pace later became an accomplished artist and prodigious art collector.
Located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the new hospital and clinic will represent a new age for Arabian healthcare. The Dallas office of Perkins+Will has designed this iconic 2.2 million-square foot building.
On the Rio Grande, midway between Laredo and Brownsville, Roma is the stellar setting for an award-winning civic design by Kell Muñoz Architects of San Antonio.
The new corporate headquarters in Houston for Satterfield & Pontikes Construction represents a rare building type where both the contractor and the client are one and the same.
Glimpsed from a half-mile away, the first sight of Triple-S Steel Supply’s new facility in San Antonio is a welcome anomaly amidst the industrial landscape of the former Kelly Air Force Base.
ZeroHouse is a 650-square-foot prefabricated house designed to operate autonomously, with no need for utilities or waste connections. It generates its own electrical power, collects and stores rainwater, and processes all waste.
The new 31-story addition to the Texas Medical Center (TMC) offers 500,000-sf of retail, ambulatory surgery, and professional office space to an area that previously lacked adequate lease space for physicians.
The Texas Society of Architects is pleased to announce the list of companies participating in the 2007 Expo in Austin (current as of August 1). Expo dates are October 18-19 at the Austin Convention Center. Make plans now to visit their booths, pick up new product information, ask a question, or just see a friend. Keep and use this handy guide as a reference tool. With over 200 companies listed, you will find products to fulfill your architectural needs.
Every Texan seems to know of an old church somewhere that has been abandoned and left to molder. Mention the topic and inevitably someone will recall the house of worship they attended as a child, maybe a magnificent edifice just off the downtown square torn down long ago or else an idyllic whitewashed clapboard chapel now tilting precariously in an overgrown field.
In August, the Texas/Oklahoma chapter of the International Interior Design Association awarded its 2007 Design Excellence Awards to five entries. The winning projects were selected in the institutional, retail, healthcare, residential, and corporate categories. In addition, eight projects received Honorable Mention awards and three projects were presented the coveted Pinnacle Award.
While its exact site on the SMU campus remains undeclared, the architect of the future Bush Library is known—Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York City. The architect selection was made public in late August. Stern’s office beat out two Texas firms that also had been short-listed, Lawrence W. Speck Studio of Page Southerland Page in Austin and Overland Partners of San Antonio.
The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel recently held an international competition for the design of a new campus near the center of Jerusalem. Corgan Associates submitted two entries, including the one shown here that incorporates traditional Jerusalem architectural elements – such as courtyards and gardens – to anchor the 322,500 square-foot campus to its historic surroundings.
Scheduled for completion next fall, the 5,000-square-foot residence is designed by Adams Architects as the first fully sustainable residential building in Houston. The project employs an intricate steel structure that props 150 photovoltaic panels 12 inches above the roof.
The study of the mid-nineteenth-century European immigration in south central Texas shows that the massive waves of different ethnic groups (including Czechs, Germans, Wends, Swedes, Poles, and French) arrived in Texas directly from Europe. They landed in Galveston and then spread into the rural areas of south central Texas. They brought with them a deep sense of religion and cultural heritage, and were quick to organize congregations and build their houses and churches in their new location, establishing cohesive communities.
Hosting the national convention of the American Institute of Architects brings to the local AIA chapter an unwritten responsibility to continue the long string of guidebooks to the architecture of the host cities. Not since 1986 had San Antonio hosted the national convention, and prepared a comprehensive guide to its built environment.
On the verge of the dense riverside forest that defines the campus edge of Seton Home on the nearsouth side of San Antonio, the Bunny Raba Chapel imparts a comforting familiarity. The small chapel’s broad, sloping roof and its pronounced gable front brings to mind the children’s finger puzzle that accompanies the nursery rhyme: “Here is the church and here is the steeple; open the doors and here are the people.” For the teenage mothers and mothers-to-be living at Seton Home, such iconic imagery undoubtedly offers welcome solace to their tumultuous lives. Yet, the chapel’s outward simplicity belies an underlying sophistication in planning.
Every new project affords the architect an opportunity and a challenge to develop a design concept that will take the built work beyond utilitarian shelter. For residential design this challenge can be even more difficult due to the extreme personal nature of the spaces to be created for the client, someone who has often spent a great deal of time considering what they expect from their new dwelling. For the Jain Residence, Natalye Appel + Associates Architects worked with the clients’ initial ideas for the project and expanded upon them to create an exceptionally well-articulated house.
Linen textured tiles, century-old wood, bamboo rugs, buttery leather, and sponge are just some of the new looks that have donned the floors at the premium floor covering tradeshow, Surfaces, sponsored by the World Floor Covering Association. WFCA, the industry’s largest advocacy organization representing specialty floor covering retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and contractors, offers a top-line overview of the fashionable looks that are making their way to the floors of homes and businesses across the country this year.
Hyperbolic paraboloids, to say the least, are uncommon on campuses these days. Modernism generally eschews such expressionist gestures. However, featured in this edition are several recent projects that defy the typically staid norm for academia by embodying evocative forms certain to capture attention and provoke thought.
Scheduled to open its doors in August, the School of the Woods-High School in Houston strives to enable experiential learning through its environment. Natalye Appel + Associates Architects with Architectsworks are set to complete the $10 million project.
Texas Architect posed the question: “What advice would you give to graduating architecture students?” The responses from the practitioners and educators who were asked ranged from the practical to the ideological to the intellectual. The heart of all their messages is to follow one’s heart and trust in intuition when making choices about where to work and in which area to focus.
From its beginnings in 1913, the Hockaday School in Dallas has honed a reputation for providing “girls of strong potential” with an education of academic excellence and social responsibility founded on Miss Ela Hockaday’s original Four Cornerstones—character, courtesy, scholarship, and athletics. That she selected an architectural metaphor to classify essential strengths is meaningful in light of recent major additions and refinements to the school.
The building of new public schools is a thriving enterprise in Texas and – a consequence of this era of unprecedented housing development expansion – nowhere is the boom in school construction more obvious than in the suburbs. While urban school districts struggle to accommodate students on cramped campuses sometimes haphazardly knitted together with modular classrooms, families living “beyond the loop” are afforded the benefit of seeing their tax dollars invested in schools. Cibolo, on the northeast outskirts of San Antonio, is just such a community.
The expanding curricula at Texas Christian University has generated the need for new buildings. As new programs have been added, TCU has been consistently infilling the campus master plan, adding approximately 600,000 square feet of new construction since 1996. Steve and Sarah Smith Entrepreneurs Hall, completed in February 2003, represents the second joint venture at TCU between design architect Ellerbe Becket and architect-of-record Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford. The team also produced TCU’s Tucker Technology Center the year before.
Completed in May 2004, Mansfield Timberview High School received awards in the value, design, and educational appropriateness categories in the 2005 Exhibit of School Architecture. Huckabee & Associates designed the 420,000-sf campus using cost-effective building solutions to minimize maintenance expenses for the life of the campus structures, including a total masonry system and terrazzo floors.
Re: Whether a professional engineer may prepare all plans and specifications for a public building described in Occupations Code section 1051.703(a) without engaging the services of a licensed architect
Shannon Kraus, AIA, of Dallas is among the six recipients of the 2006 AIA Young Architects Award, the annual recognition of professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age. This award honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers.
Framing Publics is a proposal for a newspaper’s broadcasting station located in New York City’s Bryant Park. Designed by Cathlyn Newell and Judson Moore, graduate students at Rice University’s School of Architecture, the project simultaneously constructs and supports two different kinds of “publics”—the physical area within the park and the virtual realm of broadcast news.
The Art League Houston is raising $1 million to build a new Art League Houston School, designed by Irving Phillips, as well as to make improvements to the site and an existing gallery building. Located on Montrose Boulevard in Houston, the new school (its western elevation is shown here), will encompass 6,000 square feet. Site improvements are to include courtyard expansion, more suitable lighting, landscaping, and seating.
Never before has a state government supported the preservation of an entire building type, but the county courthouses of Texas are unique. Texas has more than 230 historic county courthouses—more than any other state. Not only do they stand as monuments to democracy and community pride, the majority are functioning centers of government and archival repositories for public records.
The first recollection I have of being interested in postcards was being sick and sitting on my bed looking at my parents’ old linen cards. Later in life, when my husband was working on his stamp collection, I became interested in the postcards he had in his stamp library. This quickly turned into a hobby for me.
Call it boldly ambitious or utterly absurd, but the AIA’s Board has set 2010 as the goal for cutting in half the amount of fossil fuels used to construct and operate buildings in the U.S. While proponents prefer to describe the initiative as aggressive, they hasten to point out that radical measures are absolutely essential to forestall the continued warming of the planet’s atmosphere.
One of its two mud-brick towers already has crumbled into a heap of rubble, and the remaining adobe walls of its nave and surviving tower are in danger of imminent collapse. But the ruins of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ Church still exhibit the impressive arched doorways that inspire admirers of adobe construction to venture far off the beaten path to this tiny borderland hamlet 30 miles upstream along the Rio Grande from Presidio.
Last summer the U.S. Green Building Council incorporated its third and newest chapter in Texas. The Central Texas-Balcones Chapter joined two others – the North Texas and Greater Houston Area chapters – to represent the state on the USGBC’ board of directors.
AIA Austin honored 11 projects during the chapter’s 2006 Awards and Honors Gala held on Feb.25 at the Seaholm Power Plant. The projects were selected from a pool of 69 entries submitted by local firms.
Just outside Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Mission – a rare oasis of wild riparian woodland in the widely cultivated Lower Rio Grande Valley – the new World Birding Center headquarters and visitors’ center sits on 60 acres where onions were once farmed. The park attracts many types of feathered travelers, as well as other winged nomads. However, the two prevailing species seem to be bird-watchers and butterfly-watchers, both varieties outfitted with wide-brimmed hats, digital cameras, and binoculars.
More than 500 species of birds, with the river woodlands and thorny brushland that shelters them, are star attractions of the World Birding Center in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. More than one place, much less a single building, the center was conceived as a collection of nine independent nature preserves, stretching from the beaches of South Padre Island to the thorny hills of Starr County.
The new Baylor Regional Medical Center is one of those institutional facilities that challenges visitors to peel away its layers for a better appreciation of the project and its context. To fully appreciate the building requires an understanding of the combination of factors that led to its conception, specifically those related to statistics that forebode a healthcare crisis in Texas. Among those factors are the rapidly expanding growth of the state’s major cities and the large number of aging baby boo
In designing the Garland ISD Special Events Center, HKS architect Dan Phillips aimed to create a non-traditional structure that would provide an energetic space for school and community events. As a result, the distinctively designed assembly and conferencing center, opened in August 2005, looks more like a state-of-the-art performance hall than a typical school field house.
Claims against architects are often written in a way to try to take advantage of a particular state law, or to put the design professional in as unflattering position as possible. The following examples are styled after actual claims filed against design professionals, and they are typical of what a design professional may expect if an owner unhappy with the quality of the work claims the architect should pay all or a portion of the cost of remedying nonconforming work.
Architecture is the practice of optimism in the face of the destructive powers of nature and man. It is a defiant standing of ground between the whim of nature and the will of man. Architects seek to design places of meaning and permanence, but we are constantly reminded of the forces at work against the built environment.
Albiet tangential to this edition’s “Color” theme, the profession’s achievements in sustainable design deserve to be acknowledged at every opportunity. The fact that three of the AIA Committee on the Environment’s Top Ten Green Projects are in Texas demonstrates how the state’s architects are successfully responding to their clients’ desire for buildings that minimize environmental impact and maximize the energy-efficient attributes of high-performance design.
Yoshio Taniguchi, best known in the U.S. for his recent expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, will unveil his latest schematic design for Houston’s Asia House later this summer. The client, Asia Society Texas, has acquired two facing parcels totaling 78,000 square feet along one block of Southmore Boulevard between Caroline and Austin streets in the city’s Museum District. The 35,000-sq. ft. facility is expected to open in summer 2009 and will serve as a venue for cultural, artistic, educational, and business exchange.
AIA Houston recognized 15 projects in the chapter’s 2006 Design Awards. The jury – Margaret Helfand of Helfand Architecture; Steve Cassell of Architecture Research Office; Zack McKown of Tsao & McKown Architects; and Rob Rogers of Rogers Marvel Architects – selected the winners from 113 submittals.
The Sally Cheever Girl Scout Leadership Center, designed by Marmon Mok, will be a 30,000-sq. ft. regional headquarters serving Girl Scouts in the San Antonio area and nine surrounding counties. The wooded seven-acre site just north of San Antonio International Airport offered the architect the opportunity to embrace the spirit of the Girl Scouts by taking a “nature in the city” approach that has resulted in several environmental-friendly attributes, including rainwater collection, hiking paths, and native landscaping.
When asked about sources of inspiration for The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, which debuted at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in the fall of 2002, the quiltmakers often cited their surroundings. In the current exhibit, Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt, debuting once again at the MFAH, the curators have worked to make this connection more apparent.
The recently completed Day School for Christ Lutheran Church in Brenham puts a new face on school design for this small city Northwest of Houston. Previously occupying a small house and shared weekday use of a rather bleak set of Sunday School rooms, 125 children (with their 24 teachers) now occupy a building Upchurch Architects has designed just for them.
The 2002 expansion of the Austin Convention Center, a near doubling of the facility’s size, as well as the concurrent construction of a new convention center hotel, prompted city officials to consider an important question: Where will all those additional people park? Ultimately, the officials decided on a project that paired the city’s Convention Center Department and Austin Energy, the municipal electrical utility, and created 650-plus parking spaces while also providing chilled water for downtown customers.
The recent expansion of NorthPark Center in Dallas by Omniplan represents the second major alteration of the innovative 1964 shopping mall. Originally developed by Raymond D. Nasher in an L-shaped plan, NorthPark has been reconfigured as a closed square with double the amount of retail space.
New technologies are offering architects and designers further innovative solutions to increase their projects’ overall value through operational efficiency and long-term maintenance. These range from improved materials to enhanced techniques for their application.
In his essay “The Necessity for Ruins,” J.B. Jackson writes of the importance of an “interval of neglect” in the history of a built object or landscape. “Ruins,” he notes, “provide the incentive for restoration, and for a return to origins.” While the old adage – we only miss things once they are gone – may very well be true, Jackson proposes that we also can appreciate things while they are here and take action before those things are lost forever.
When the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA) added two Art Deco theaters to its “most endangered” list in July, there was an unprecedented outcry to save the buildings from being razed. The response has been unique for Houston, where land value is king and buildings, the bearers of history and identity-of-place, are expendable. Within 10 days, more than 20,000 people had signed an online petition in support of GHPA’s actions to preserve the theaters.
Architects rarely have the opportunity to view the best work of their peers from around the state, so the TS A Design Awards’ jury review offers a unique vantage point. The event is much like a window from which to see the diversity of scope, scale, and issues our fellow professionals are working with. Sitting in while the jury meets is exciting. It also can be a humbling experience and, at moments, distressing when projects you believe have merit are summarily rejected.
This year’s jury was exceptional in a number of ways—particularly for its regional diversity (Boston, New York City, and Baton Rouge) and the sheer number of awards its three jurors have amassed for design (more than 150 among them). Also notable to anyone observing the jurors working together was their commitment to rewarding excellence through careful review and consensus. Shown from left to right, the jurors were:
The eight-unit, inner-city townhouse project is located on a long-abandoned site in a former manufacturing area east of downtown Dallas. Two industrial structures across the street had been renovated into residential dwellings, and this project forms another street wall to bring scale and intimacy to this neighborhood.
Surrounded by a grove of more than 200 live oaks, the house is located just outside Austin and stands between the city’s new urban skyline and its rural past.
The Visitor Center floats in a field of native grasses and restored oaks at the mouth of the canyon, forming a gateway to the 8,600-acre Government Canyon State Natural Area. The canyon’s rich ranching history is expressed in the exposed pipe structure.
The Guerra Branch Library is located in a working class, military neighborhood in San Antonio. Inspired by the soaring hangars at the adjacent Air Force Base, the building is organized in three volumes that are oriented to define an existing green space to the north and east, while limiting the harsh sunlight from the south and west.
The architect’s commission for a new building to house the largest charitable religious foundation in South Texas was based upon the designers’ ability to represent the visionary culture of Methodist “works.” The client asked for a headquarters that would represent the purity and simplicity of the foundation’s calling to help the poor with healthcare while quietly asserting its importance to the region.
Farmhouse vernacular inspired this family retreat in rural Central Texas. The compound consists of three buildings that define the perimeter of a central yard skirting an oak grove—the main building with living areas and kitchen on the ground floor and guest rooms upstairs, a bedroom wing with the master suite in a tower adjacent to the children’s bedroom, and a carport.
The Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building houses core research laboratories, administrative offices, and a glass auditorium. Located in the Texas Medical Center, the parti consists of a central atrium flanked by two wings—the southern containing administrative offices and the northern containing labs. The openness of the adjoining atrium gardens invites public passage through the building, giving the program a sense of transparency.
The review of Studio Award entries followed the jury’s finalizing its selections for Design Awards. From the 48 submittals, the jury kept 14 for a second round before deciding to award seven projects. Three of them in particular garnered praise from the jurors—Square of Circles by Jay Smith, AIA, of Dallas; Houston Skyscraper by Michael Kross, an architecture student at Rice University; and Design>Build>Texas by architecture students at UT Austin.
Like the vestibules and livings rooms of a residence, a city’s plazas are spaces of civic and cultural significance that articulate the urban structure.
This design was a winning entry in the 2006 Ultimate Tree House design competition held by the Dallas Arboretum (see p. 120). The program required that the tree house be interactive, meet state accessibility requirements, and not attach to the tree.
A new 121,500-sq. ft. student housing for the Maryland Institute College of Art will serve as a gateway to the campus. The building includes living modules, art studios, a gallery, a blackbox theater, and a career development center.
Privacy and bright, open spaces were the main goals for the Nader Design Group when developing the Tanna Allergy and Asthma Clinic. The waiting room and administration areas are infused with natural light from clerestory windows that crown a central light well.
This article was adapted from “The Great Moisture Movement,” an article that originally appeared in the August 2005 edition of Interface magazine published by the Roof Consultants Institute.
The Texas Society of Architects is pleased to announce the list of companies participating in the 2006 Design Products & Ideas Expo in Dallas (current as of August 5). Expo dates are November 2-4 at the Dallas Convention Center. Make your plans to visit their booths to pick up new product information, ask a question, or just see a friend. Keep and use this handy guide as a future reference tool. With over 200 companies listed, you will find products to fulfill all of your architectural needs.
Conserving open space is becoming more challenging as Texas makes room for another 10.5 million residents by 2030. The state’s population already tops 23 million, and sprawl continues unabated in response to demand. The market for new housing in Texas is currently estimated at 168,000 units each year. At that rate of growth, the natural environment is being overwhelmed and the result is an irrevocable loss of our state’s scenic beauty that diminishes all Texans’ shared heritage.
The rehabilitation earlier this year of this small border community’s historic downtown plaza was a significant step towards the recovery of one of Texas’ prime public spaces. The work is part of a multi-phased project designed to re-invigorate Roma’s economy by attracting tourists to this once-thriving town located along the Rio Grande about midway between Laredo and Brownsville.
Since the last report on Houston’s endangered River Oaks and Alabama theaters (Sept/Oct 2006 TA, p. 15), the owner of the historic Art Deco movie houses, Weingarten Realty Investors, has made public its intentions. Both sites are planned for high-rise development, with the curved north section of the original River Oaks Shopping Center doomed to make way for a multi-story building.
AIA Dallas recognized eight built projects and five unbuilt projects in the chapter’s 2006 Design Awards. Winners were chosen from a total of 72 built and 59 unbuilt entries.
When prevailing breezes blow near the corner of Trenton Road and North 10th Street in this South Texas border town, they coax unexpected organ-like music from the galvanized exterior stairs that help give TrentonView Center its distinctive contemporary look. Yet even without this unusual accompaniment, created by the interaction of wind with circular holes in TrentonView’s stair risers, this mixed-use rental retail and office complex on this city’s fast-developing north side would command attention.
It might at first seem counterintuitive to consider a shopping mall as an example of place-making. Malls are almost by definition place-less elements of an ever-expanding generic suburban landscape. While The Shops at La Cantera project is on the one hand yet another regional mall at the edge of yet another expanding suburb, its innovative design challenges the standard way of thinking about malls and in doing so creates a shopping experience that is truly unique to its place in the Hill Country just north of San Antonio.
Implementing a unique multi-rise design, The Mondrian in the area of Dallas known as Cityplace features a 20-story tower with 146 units and an adjoining four-story structure with 72 urban-style lofts.
Located at the edge of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building occupies a tight site between a transit center and Braeswood Bayou. The building design by BNIM Architects adopts a variety of high-performance wall system technologies that enhance the building’s energy efficiency while creating a subtle yet intriguing urban presence.
Adapted from the April 2006 edition of Buildings, published by Stamats Business Media. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., high-performance commercial building facades are comprehensive systems that incorporate daylighting, solar heat-gain control, ventilation, and space conditioning.
Today, most new residential construction adheres to rules enforced by homeowner associations or deed restrictions that dictate paint colors, plant selections, and maintenance guidelines intended to protect property values. But security, orderliness, and predictability are benefits that come with a price: increasingly generic or homogenous landscapes, less understanding and tolerance of “outsiders,” and even a diminished sense of community and long-term attachment.