Kenneth E. Bentsen, FAIA (1926–2013)
Important Houston architect Kenneth Edward Bentsen, FAIA, died on September 24, 2013.
Important Houston architect Kenneth Edward Bentsen, FAIA, died on September 24, 2013.
David W. George, FAIA (1922–2013) was an architect’s architect, a gentle¬man’s gentleman, a man without guile.
An ambitious agenda for linear green space, compatible urban development, flood control, and multi-modal access along 10 miles of the Buffalo Bayou is transforming Houston.
With the opening of the new restaurant pavilion designed by Thomas Phifer, Klyde Warren Park’s success should only increase — its transformation of downtown Dallas is nothing short of astonishing.
Willis Winters, FAIA, is in the position to have the greatest impact on the quality of life in Dallas of any public official.
The Materials Research Collaborative at the University of Houston is pushing sustainability and providing valuable tools for the students and local design community.
The 67th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) will be held in Austin April 9–13.
Houston's fearless leader, Raymond Brochstein, FAIA, demonstrates and demands excellence.
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.
AIA has announced the 2013 members of the College of Fellows, and 13 are members of the Texas Society of Architects
The Gensler-designed Patina store, a new retail concept offering floor and wall-covering products along with in-house interior design consultation in Dallas, is an ambi¬tious attempt by Acme Brick to fill a void in the marketplace while creating an entirely new shopping model.
W. Eugene George, FAIA, one of the leading architects in the historic preservation movement, passed away on January 16, 2013. George will long be remembered for his invaluable contributions to the conservation of the architectural heritage of the State of Texas, and for his profound influence on students and professional leaders alike.
William “Bill” Stern, FAIA, of Houston, who passed away in March of 2013, is remembered as a passionate advocate of urban planning, design, and fine arts. He contributed 36 years of design rigor, public advocacy and engagement, and often passionate leadership to the architecture and design community in Houston.
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.
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.
Designed by Val Glitsch, FAIA, for New Hope Housing — an independent nonprofit organization that offers quality, affordable single-room occupancy (SRO) housing to low-income-earning adults — 4415 Perry Street in Houston is a sustainable solution for an underserved population.
With its 20 protected historic districts, Houston is a city that is increasingly embracing both old and new.
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.
Judging by the dozens of construction projects currently underway in Austin’s historic core, preservation architect Emily Little, FAIA, won’t be getting bored any time soon.
The discovery of original Spanish frescos in San Antonio’s Mission Concepción guided the restoration of the interior led by Carolyn Peterson, FAIA, of Ford, Powell & Carson.
Max Levy, FAIA, knows how to bring daylight into a room in beautiful and creative ways. “Light Sails,” rods, trellises, and apertures in the ceiling, these five sketches demonstrate why he is a master of light.
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.
Natural light is essential to architecture, but when thinking about the sunlight in Texas, one of its qualities seems to dominate all the others: heat. Shade structures by architects Bud Oglesby, FAIA; O’Neil Ford, FAIA; Max Levy, FAIA; Murray Legge, FAIA; and Foster + Partners provide significant examples of passive designs to beat the heat.
Morphosis Architects has claimed possibly the most visible place in the conversation about Dallas’ object buildings with the fractured, vertical form of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
When PageSoutherlandPage proposed using high thermal mass concrete walls as a means of reducing energy consumption in the new office building for Austin engineers Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, the team saw it as an interesting case for experimentation.
An icon and indisputably the dean of architectural photographers in Texas, Richard Payne, FAIA, has been a registered architect since 1964 and a full-time architectural photographer for almost 45 years.
The 2013 Texas Architects Design Awards jurors: Ann Beha, FAIA, of Ann Beha Architects in Boston; Julie Eizenberg, AIA, of Koning Eizenberg in Santa Monica; and Douglas Stockman, AIA, of el dorado in Kansas City honored a refreshing batch of 11 projects for their design excellence.
Jeff Potter, FAIA, discusses the need to collaborate across disciplines and encourage membership to ensure the longevity of the architectural profession.
Texas Society of Architects 2013 Design Awards jurors: Ann Beha, FAIA, Ann Beha Architects, Boston; Julie Eizenberg, AIA, Koning Eizenberg in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Douglas Stockman, AIA, el dorado, Kansas City, Mo. awarded 11 designs as this years winners.
Using the original 1930s drawings, Schwarz Hanson Architects reconstructed the entire base 714 Main Street in Fort Worth — and this was just the beginning of the work to bring the building back to life.
With its surprising cantilever and thin slits of blue sky framed in bright yellow, Cooper Joseph Studio’s Webb Chapel Park Pavilion in Dallas is a straightforward, yet playful design.
Parking has never been so pretty; the T3 Parking Structure in Austin, by Danze Blood Architects, uses design to redefine the typically banal experience of parking.
When Val Glitsch, FAIA, begins her presidency of the Texas Society of Architects in 2014, she will bring with her the experience of 30 years as principal of her own distinguished firm and 15 years of meaningful leadership with the Society’s programs.
CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, is the 2014 first vice president/2015 president of the American Institute of Architects. A tireless advocate for Texas architecture, Richter was the creator and co-executive producer of “The Shape of Texas.”
In 1980, when Natalie de Blois, FAIA, hit Austin, she dove into local politics, zoning issues, and Barton Springs Pool with gusto. She also just happened to be a woman who had designed some of the most innovative modern buildings in the United States.
The Texas Society of Architects announces the recipients of our 2013 Honor Awards.
In the midst of the Great Depression, two architects, Dr. Frederick E. Giesecke and Samuel C. P. Vosper, transformed the campus of Texas A&M University with 10 new buildings in just five years.
The minimalist design R J Marfa by Rand Elliott, FAIA, of Elliott + Associates Architects strips out everything unnecessary to become an object in the landscape.
Just two months after breaking ground on its sixth single-room-occupancy (SRO) residential complex in Houston, New Hope Housing has announced plans to build a seventh. The non-profit organization, recognized for establishing a successful model for SRO properties in Texas, expects to accommodate a total of 964 low-income residents with rent-stabilized apartments by autumn 2013.
Former students, colleagues, friends, and family of longtime Rice University architecture professor Anderson Todd, FAIA, gathered on Oct. 21 to celebrate his ninetieth birthday.
Recipients of the AIA Fort Worth’s 2011 Excellence in Design program were announced on Oct. 18 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Jurors for the annual competition were Julie VandenBerg Snow, FAIA, of Julie Snow Architects in Minneapolis; Chris Carson, FAIA, of Ford Powell & Carson Architects & Planners in San Antonio; and Mark T. Wellen, AIA, of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland.
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.
By the time I graduated from high school, I had begun to think about becoming an architect. I was visual, very influenced by movies and Life magazine. I liked to draw, but I was afraid of the technical courses that were required, the math and physics.
Jeffery Potter, FAIA, vice president of POTTER Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning, was inaugurated as the 88th president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) during ceremonies held Dec. 9 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He succeeds Clark D. Manus, FAIA, in representing the more than 76,000 AIA members.
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.”
As soon as you’ve parked your car (mine was parked in one of the spaces reserved for high-efficiency vehicles) and walk toward Gloria Marshall Elementary School, you realize this is not your average public school building. The covered path leads you past an “eco-garden”—laid out with individual planting beds for each grade and an adjacent pond, both fed by runoff from the roof drains and rainfall captured in an above-ground 5,000-gallon cistern.
Considered by many to be an ambassador for Mexican culture, world-renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta, Hon. FAIA, died in Mexico City on Dec. 30 at the age of 80. Among the best known contemporary architects of Mexico, Legorreta received numerous awards and his work was extensively published. Legorreta received the 2000 AIA Gold Medal for his life’s work of inspiring architecture. His passing marks the end of an era of modern architecture in Mexico and the region.
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.
Like the music that inspired Dan Havel and Dean Ruck of Havel Ruck Projects to make Fifth Ward Jam, their latest collaboration is a social experiment. The duo, with help from local resident Sherman Miller, assembled Fifth Ward Jam using materials scavenged from dilapidated buildings in the Houston neighborhood.
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.
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.
It’s a Monday morning at Archillume Lighting Design in Austin. Founder Charles Thompson, FAIA, is just now back from a four-day road trip on his 2009 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. His time on the open road to Big Bend and back has helped to recharge his energy and clear his mind. So he’s ready for whatever awaits him.
To explore the future of drawing in this digital age, the Yale School of Architecture hosted a symposium February 9-11 entitled “Is Drawing Dead?” Approximately 450 architects, students, historians, theorists, neurologists, digital gurus, and professors gathered in Hastings Hall in the Paul Rudolph-designed School of Architecture building to discuss and debate the question — an issue accentuated by the ready availability of digital drawing resources.
John Saunders Chase died in Houston on March 29, 2012, at the age of 87. Chase was the first African American to enroll in and graduate from the architecture program at the University of Texas at Austin (March 1952), the first African American to be registered as an architect in Texas (1954), the first architect of his race in Texas to become a member of the American Institute of Architects (1954), and also the first architect of his race in Texas to be elected to Fellowship in the AIA (1990).
Like the other two books highlighted here, everyday, by Leonard Volk, will be part of the featured activities (including book-signings by authors) in the AIA-Austin-hosted Reading Room at the Texas Society of Architects Convention and Design Expo in Austin October 18-20.
I am predisposed to like any book described as “A practical guide….” This book did not disappoint. Scrubbed free of architecteze and self-aggrandizement, the book offers simple, solid advice. Aimed at the architect (or future architect) reader, it is a primer that can teach even old dogs new tricks.
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.
For Alexis McKinney, AIA, the “road to registration” has led to the past. And today, her interest in historic preservation has led to downtown Houston, where McKinney and colleague Gerald Moorhead, FAIA, peruse two historic houses (1904 and 1905) that have been “mothballed” and relocated to a dramatic site yards from the city’s 42,000-seat baseball stadium. The project is one of several McKinney is working on.
During the May 19 American Institute of Architects Business Meeting at the AIA Convention in Washington, D.C, EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, began his presentation with the simple idea that now is a time of profound change within the Institute and beyond, as evidenced by the ambitious repositioning effort the AIA announced in April, the demographic transitions that will soon remake the AIA’s membership base, and the still-struggling economy that has left architects unmoored in an unstable financial climate for the last few years.
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.
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.
The Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow is home to a number of well-designed and often very significant houses by nationally recognized architects — Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Meier, Steven Holl, and Edward Larrabee Barnes, to name a few. The neighborhood also has a considerable representation of local talent (including Max Levy, Russell Buchanan, Mark Wellen, Svend Fruit, Frank Welch, and Howard Meyer).
Our 2012 Design Awards jury met at the Texas Architects headquarters in Austin on June 7 and 8 to review the 227 entries submitted in this year’s program. As Chair of the 2012-2013 Design Committee, I enjoyed the privilege of being present during the deliberations of three distinguished and insightful jurors: Angie Brooks, AIA, of Brooks + Scarpa in LA; Eddie Jones, AIA, of Jones Studio in Phoenix; and James Timberlake, FAIA, of Kieran Timberlake in Philadelphia.
The pavilions at Brownwood Park in north Dallas seem deceptively simple. The three structures — conceived by architect Joe McCall, FAIA, as “The Huddle” —appear at first to be a lighthearted concoction of shapes, colors, and textures. Get closer, though, and a clear idea supported by design rigor becomes evident.
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.
"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.
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.
Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, one of the most distinguished works of contemporary architecture in Texas built during the 1950s, has been recognized by a jury to receive the Texas Society of Architects 25-Year Award for 2012.
On the evening of Tuesday, July 31, 2012, a modest gathering of Bill Wilson supporters met at the Butter Churn Restaurant in Sinton to discover the results of a hard-fought Republican primary runoff election for the Texas Representative District 43 seat. After a long day at the office, I hopped in my car and sped to Sinton to join my colleague on this important night.
Is it possible for architecture to transform, not just the physical character of a place, but also the behavior and patterns of life of people who live there? Can we think of redevelopment, not just in terms of changing buildings and spaces, but also in terms of altering interactions, attitudes, and lifestyles? Architects would tend to answer “yes” to both questions. And, fortunately, there is evidence to back them up.
Being the architect on the house for his daughter, Liz Tirrell, and her family, was “like a surgeon operating on his own daughter,” says Frank Welch, FAIA. While he admits to being “very nervous” about the project, she recalls the experience as “fun” and one that offered fresh insights into her father’s extraordinary design skills.
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.
Lawrence Speck, FAIA, professor and former dean at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and a principal of Page Southerland Page, has been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ 2011 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architecture Education.
When Dee Mitchell first contacted Ron Wommack, FAIA, about the possibility of designing his new house, Mitchell said he intended to interview five architects and visit with each of them three times before deciding which one would get the commission. Later, when he called to tell Wommack he had the job, Mitchell offered that he so enjoyed visiting with him that he didn’t want the conversation to end.
The face of federal architecture was certainly revamped under the auspices of the General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Program inaugurated in 1994 under the leadership of Ed Feiner, FAIA. Without question, the GSA’s revised protocol for the design of federal facilities represented a radical departure from the concrete bunkers and sterile buildings developed during Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society domestic programs era.
Hal Box, FAIA, had a greater impact on architectural education in Texas than any single individual in the state’s history. He was a visionary and a consummate doer. He imagined a much more prominent position for Texas architecture in a national and international context, and he worked tirelessly and skillfully to use architectural education as a means to reach that ambitious goal.
Stone has long held the fascination of Malcolm Holzman, FAIA. Since the late 1970s, he has designed buildings around the U.S. that feature stone from local quarries in increasingly conspicuous ways. His experimentations with native limestone over the past two decades have yielded noteworthy public buildings in several places across Texas. The New York-based architect even wrote a book, Stonework, in which he paid homage to the ubiquitous natural material that provided ancient civilizations the world over with the means to erect monuments and structures that have stood for millennia.
When Malcolm Holzman, FAIA, first approached Architectural Engineers Collaborative with the desire to use load-bearing stone in a modern building, he rekindled ideas that we at AEC I had been discussing for many years. Like Holzman, we were enamored with the capacity of stone to provide robust and beautiful buildings that last for centuries. We were also dissatisfied by common stone veneer where the stone functions largely as a rain-screen or an ornamental part of the facade.
There were some unusual sightings in Dallas in mid-July—pedestrians, lots of them, in spite of 101-degree heat. The occasion was the North Texas Sustainable Showcase 2011 that was staged at several venues within an easy walk from each other, giving reason for why many of the nearly 300 attendees were strolling along the sidewalks—a welcome site for the newly thriving Uptown neighborhood.
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.
Our nineteenth-century Texas forebears lived more closely with nature than we do, but of course they had little choice in the matter. Though we sometimes romanticize that close relationship, most early Texans probably would have traded the romance for a window unit air conditioner. Nevertheless, they made the most of their situation and there remains much that we can learn from them about the intersection of daily lives, architecture, and nature.
The term Max Levy, FAIA, uses to describe the weekend house he designed for Singing Bell Ranch is “ranch pragmatism.” The clients asked for a design that was functional and simple, which Levy provided in the form of an elongated rectangle oriented on an east-west axis to catch the prevailing breezes.“
Described as a “legend” by his peers, Tommy N. Cowan, FAIA, is a dedicated and lifelong leader. His interest in design and architecture began in the fifth grade when a teacher invited him to compete in Austin’s Wellesley Junior Art Show. Two of Cowan’s architectural drawings were submitted and both won top honors.
Five projects were recognized in July with AIA Brazos Design Awards from a total of 16 entries. Jurors were Michael Malone, AIA, of Michael Malone Architects in Dallas; Emily Little, FAIA, of Clayton & Little Architects in Austin; and Mark T. Wellen, AIA, of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland.
What makes a building an icon? One characteristic is distinct contrast with its context, in form and/or exterior material, that draws attention to the building and away from its surroundings.
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.
Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA, who served from 2001-2008 as senior vice president of educational planning and architecture at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., has been named dean of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. Oliver succeeds Joe Mashburn, AIA, who held the post for the last 11 years.
Construction began in November on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on a 4.7-acre site in the Victory development just north of downtown Dallas. Thom Mayne, FAIA, of Morphosis, designed the $185 million project as a mammoth cube that appears to float over a landscaped plinth.
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.
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.
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.
Fifteen projects were selected for the 2010 AIA Austin Design Awards in April. The jury was comprised of Merrill Elam, AIA, of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects in Atlanta, Ga.; Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Marlon Blackwell Architect in Fayetteville, Ark.; and Michael Imber, FAIA, of Michael G. Imber Architects in San Antonio. The three jurors reviewed over 100 submittals at the AIA Austin Center for Architecture.
This year’s TSA Studio Awards will be judged by three Arizona architects, each respected for design work and commitment to sustainable architecture. Comprising the jury is Wendell Burnette, FAIA, of Wendell Burnette Architects in Phoenix; John Kane, FAIA, a founding principal of Architekton in Tempe: and Philip Weddle, AIA, of Weddle Gilmore Black Rock Studio in Scottsdale.
According to Scott Ziegler, FAIA, the slenderness ratio of the building maximizes the possibilities of the concrete structure. To go any higher, he says, would have required more exotic structural strategies common in the world’s tallest buildings, such as the Sears Tower or the Burj Dubai.
Two recent events have raised the national stature of the AIA’s Texas component, the state with the third-largest membership in the American Institute of Architects. In June, during the AIA convention in Miami, delegates elected Jeff Potter, FAIA, of Dallas as the 2011 first vice president/president-elect, which will evolve into the 2012 AIA presidency.
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.
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.
During its 71st annual convention in San Antonio, Oct. 14-16, the Texas Society of Architects recognized the following as this year’s Honor Award recipients for significant contributions to the architectural profession and the quality of the built environment.
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.
A few months ago, a senior leader at a top-ranked university asked the assistant vice president of facilities and construction what he and his office were doing to capture construction savings related to the deflating market, especially as they were completing the buyout of remaining major projects.
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.
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.
The AIA 2009 Jury of Fellows elevated 17 Texans, along with 95 other architects from around the U.S., to the College of Fellows, in recognition of their contributions to the profession.
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.
The AT &T Executive Education and Conference Center opened in 2008 on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Designed by Lake/Flato Architects, in collaboration with HKS, the conference center “…adheres to goals of the campus master plan by borrowing very specifically from the materials of the campus as well as the massing and the fenestration of the original 40 acres,” said principal design architect David Lake, FAIA .
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.
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.
Architectural historian Virginia McAlester; architect and historian Willis Winters, FAIA; journalist Prudence Mackintosh; and photographer Steve Clicque have produced an extraordinary work on the history and architecture of Dallas’ two best-known twentieth-century residential communities, Highland Park and University Park.
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.
The 14-story Vistana is the first major apartment project built in downtown San Antonio in the last decade. Texas Architect asked Jon Thompson to interview Ed Cross of Cross & Co., the developer of the project, and Michael Imber, FAIA, the designer of the building’s exterior.
Peter H. Brown, FAIA, announced his candidacy for mayor of Houston in February. With more than 30 years’ experience practicing in Houston, the architect also has served on the City Council since winning election in 2005 and re-election in 2007. He recently sat down with AIA Houston Executive Director Barrie Scardino to outline his objectives should he be elected when voters go to the polls on Nov. 3.
October 12 marks the long-awaited grand opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), a multiple-venue complex located in the Dallas Arts District that includes a new opera house and outdoor performance park designed by Foster + Partners, a multiform theater designed by REX/OMA (Kendall/Heaton was the associate architect for both projects), and a 10-acre public park designed by the French landscape architect Michel Desvigne.
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.)
When Antoine Predock, FAIA, was in midst of conceiving the new Austin City Hall, he commented that the city was “terminally democratic.” He made the remark after his design survived a protracted review process that included more than a dozen town meetings and hearings before the City Council. A similar sort of public scrutiny – albeit on a smaller, neighborhood scale – resulted when Dick Clark Architecture added a zoning non-compliant residential building to its 1400 South Congress mixed-use project.
Discussing Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Terminal D and its selection for a 2009 TSA Design Award, juror Philip Freelon, FAIA, said, “We thought that the project was a very good example of a public building, very prominent, but it still was handled with quite some sensitivity. We all have been in airports, probably more than we’d like, and this is one where you actually feel a sense of light and airy space, which is relaxing. Natural light was well used, and the high volume of the space gives it an open and comfortable feeling. We thought it was well worthy of an award.”
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.
Carolyn Peterson, FAIA, is the forty-first recipient of the Texas Society of Architect’s highest award – the Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Honor of Llewellyn W. Pitts FAIA – presented annually to a TSA member for contributions to the profession of architecture and their community. From its inception in 1968 until this year, the honor’s awardees have been exclusively male.
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.”
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 local chapter of the AIA recognized four projects in the General Design category and one project in the Mayor’s Award category in ceremonies that took place at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The members of the 2007 jury were Julie Eizenberg, AIA, of Koning Eizenberg Architecture in Los Angeles; Errol Barron, FAIA, of Errol Barron/Michael Toups in New Orleans; and Kevin Alter, Assoc. AIA, of Alterstudio Architects in Austin.
Thomas McKittrick, FAIA, of Houston is the 2008 recipient of the Edward C. Kemper Award for his contributions to the profession through service to the American Institute of Architects. In 1991, he was honored with TSA’s Llewellyn W. Pitts Award (now called the Lifetime Achievement Medal), the Society’s highest recognition for an architect member.
On Nov. 6, Dallas voters endorsed development of the Trinity River Corridor in general, and local government’s specific vision in particular. This was the second time in 10 years the electorate had been called to the polls on the issue. The first occurred in 1998 when the voters approved a $246 million bond issue for development of the corridor. The second election was a referendum challenging specific aspects of how the plan had developed since 1998.
The project will extend the James D. Pfluger Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge northward to connect the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail to the Lamar Corridor and downtown. The bridge, completed in 2001, is named in the memory of James D. Pfluger, FAIA, who helped push the City of Austin’s development of the popular lakeside trail system.
In November 2004 the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) held its annual conference in Galveston. The conference theme, “Raising the Grade for Preservation,” was a play on words easily understood by the participants who were familiar with the heroic aftermath of the Great Storm of 1900 that resulted in the building of a protective seawall, a seven-year effort that added several feet of sand across much of the city, and the lifting of many surviving buildings from the threat of future storms.
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.
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.
The architect’s documents in this part of the world have always been inherently conceptual. Additional information has typically been required by the contractor from the architect during the construction phase.
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.
Founded in 1953 by Harvey V. Marmon Jr. and Edward Mok, Marmon Mok is now led by Stephen R. Souter, FAIA, who has served as managing partner since 1988; William Reeves, AIA; Greg Houston, AIA; Dror Baldinger, AIA; Carlos Moreno, AIA; Mary Bartlett, AIA; Braint Harkiewicz, AIA; and Montgomery Howard, AIA.
Lisa Germany’s latest book, Great Houses of Texas, was published this year by Harry N. Abrams Publishing Company illustrated with photographs by Grant Mudford. The author recently answered questions posed by Austin architect Heather McKinney, FAIA.
Last February TSA’s Design Awards Committee, with representatives from almost all of the 17 AIA chapters across Texas, gathered in Austin to elect a jury for this year’s program. Texas has been privileged to host a variety of astounding critics throughout the Design Award’s 57-year history. This year was no exception. Billie Tsien, AIA; Steven Ehrlich, FAIA; and Judith Dupré accepted the challenge of reviewing 267 Design Award entries and 87 Studio Award entries. The ensuing deliberations showcased each juror’s individual perspective and approach to their work.
The University Research Study , completed by R.B Ferrier, FAIA, expands on traditional methods of architectural representation through a series of conceptual watercolor drawings. Ferrier, an associate professor at UT Arlington, teaches conceptual drawing as part of graduate design studio courses.
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.
From out of the crucible of violence and heroism known as World War II arose what some call “the greatest generation.” For the soldiers who fought its battles and the civilians who endured its hardships, the effects of that cataclysmic event continue to resonate more than 60 years later. And much like those who experienced the war first-hand, time slowly but inexorably undermines the physical remnants of that global conflict.
The Texas schoolhouse is evolving into something new and different at the beginning of the twenty-first century as the state’s burgeoning growth has fueled an intense building campaign.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the American Institute of Architects. AIA local chapters and regions across the nation will be celebrating the year with projects designed to highlight the contributions of architecture to American culture, and to create lasting contributions to livable communities in America. For 2007, Texas Architect will mark AIA150 with a series of essays celebrating the rich diversity of Texas architecture, and contemplating the critical urban, environmental, and architectural issues facing the coming generation of Texans.
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:
Raymond D. Nasher of Dallas died March 16 at the age of 85. He was an entrepreneurial and arts patron giant who left an extraordinary legacy of a life imbued with an enthusiasm for modern art, particularly in the public realm.
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.
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.
‘I think we’re being a little too tough,’ suggested Peter Bohlin, FAIA, as he and his two fellow jurors were finalizing their decision on this year’s Studio Awards. From a roster of 65 unbuilt entries, the jury had selected only one for an award.
In his most recent book, Texas Towns and The Art of Architecture: A Photographer’s Journey, Richard Payne, FAIA, chronicles beautiful examples of architecture in small, dying towns across Texas. At the same time, Payne’s images offer glimpses of the waning lives of people in those towns. Texas Architect asked Tom McKittrick, FAIA, to interview Payne about the underlying message he wanted to convey through the book’s black-and-white photographs and his essay that introduces them. Responding to fairly open-ended questions from his long-time friend, Payne touched upon some of these points. Excerpts follow.
Having observed this year’s Design Awards jury, I have several thoughts. One is, why doesn’t the Texas landscape/cityscape reflect more significantly the fine work that Texas architects submitted in this year’s design award program?
The U.S. Courthouse now under construction in this border city’s downtown will not look like the building designed by Antoine Predock, FAIA. In fact, Predock expects its appearance to be so different that he has officially requested that his name be removed from the project. And for the same reason, Predock may disassociate himself from the U.S. Courthouse he designed for Las Cruces, a project also currently being built.
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.
In the mid-1990s, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas settled on a simple, but audacious goal: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of its cathedral by finally completing the building as originally designed by one of Texas’ most significant architects. The result is testament to both the power of the original work and the talent of those responsible for the remarkable addition that ensued.
The journey that began centuries ago finds a rest stop within the urban fabric of North Dallas with the new Akiba Yavneh Academy, a private pre-K-12 school that caters to the city’s Modern Orthodox Jewish community. Built as the legacy of the Schultz and Rosenberg families, the academy’s 8.5-acre campus is envisioned as a metaphorical bridge connecting “that which is sacred” and “that which belongs to everyday life.”
James D. Tittle, FAIA, of the Tittle Luther Partnership in Abilene is the 2006 recipient of the Kemper Award for Service to the Profession. The Kemper Award, named in memory of the national AIA’s first executive director, recognizes individuals who contribute significantly to the profession of architecture through service to the AIA.
Antoine Predock, FAIA, will be presented the 2006 AIA Gold Medal, the highest honor conferred by AIA, at the American Architectural Foundation Accent on Architecture Gala. The event will be held on Feb. 10 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The medal, bestowed annually, honors an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.
Four projects received Honor Awards in AIA LRGV’s 2005 Design Awards competition, held on Sept. 15 during the TSA annual convention. The jury—Val Glitsch, FAIA, of Val Glitsch FAIA Architect; Stephen Sharpe, editor of Texas Architect; and Mark Wellen, AIA, of Rhotenberry Wellen selected the award recipients from 17 entries.
Three projects received awards in AIA El Paso’s 2005 Design Awards ceremony on Oct. 27. The projects were reviewed by a panel of eight jurors, all staff members of the New York City firm of Holzman Moss Architecture— Malcolm Holzman, FAIA; Michael Connolly; Steve Benesh; Jose Reyes, AIA; Chiun Ng; Lyna Vuong; Matt Kirschner; and Curtis Pittman.
“The brick said it wanted to dance,” exclaims Michael Rotondi, FAIA, when asked about the veneer on the new Art and Architecture Building at Prairie View A&M University. Designed by Rotondi’s firm, RoTo Architects in Los Angeles, the 105,000-sf complex adds a dramatic presence to this rural campus located 50 miles west of Houston.
Six Texans, along with 76 other architects around the nation, were elected AIA Fellows by the 2006 Jury of Fellows on Feb. 1. From a membership of more than 75,000, the AIA has fewer than 2,500 members distinguished in fellowship, which requires at least 10 years of membership and significant architectural contributions on a national level.
Drive between any two Texas cities and you’ll be surprised at what often emerges as the most engaging building alongside the highway. It likely won’t be the truck stop or the fast-food franchise or the awkwardly expressive church. More often than not, the most affecting building will be some rural ruin, a farmhouse or a barn or an equipment shed, marooned out in a field, long abandoned, and weather-scoured.
The “evil” to which Jackson referred in his 1979 essay concerns the changing public perception of municipal parks. Jackson, our era’s eminent observer of the American landscape, was lamenting the fact that city parks were no longer viewed as neighborhood assets. As he observed in his essay, the nation’s city parks attained their ultimate prominence in the early twentieth century as attributes of a community’s economic health and vitality. However, less than a hundred years later, public perception had fallen to the point where they were seen as unsightly liabilities to neighborhood security.
Architecture in San Antonio was once identified by a palette of materials and colors established by O’Neil Ford based on his appreciation of regional building traditions. Responding to the modernist ethos that demanded an honest expression of materials, this “natural” palette combined Central Texas limestone, a standing-seam metal roof, and wood with the grain stained rather than hidden under a coat of paint. Then, in 1995, came the San Antonio Central Library designed by Ricardo Legorreta, FAIA.
Fueled by a vision that is as compelling as it is bold, Woodall Rodgers Park has quickly emerged as one of the most significant – and popular – initiatives in Dallas’ urban core.
Five projects received awards in AIA West Texas’s 2006 Design Awards. The projects were reviewed by a panel three jurors—Ray Bailey, FAIA, of Bailey Architects; Rick Archer, FAIA, of Overland Partners; and Dan Shipley, FAIA, of Shipley Architects.