At the Inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial
Described as the first international survey of contemporary architecture in North America, the biennial looked at the practice through the lens of art.
Described as the first international survey of contemporary architecture in North America, the biennial looked at the practice through the lens of art.
Architecture luminaries from around the country gather in Houston to honor the developer and swap stories about projects past.
The architect and educator brought new opportunities to the University of Houston and engaged his students in costal disaster planning.
Highlights of architecture and cultural happenings around Texas, including San Antonio’s Beaux Arts Ball, Contingent Beauty at MFA Houston, and Moderno at The Blanton.
Lawrence Halprin and his choreographer wife, Anna, developed a way of notating movement they called “Motation.” Its revelations influenced the design of Fort Worth’s Heritage Park Plaza.
Content Architecture designs a house for an artist and car enthusiast, then shifts gears in mid-construction
AIA Fort Worth announces the winners of its 2015 Excellence in Architecture Design Awards.
Through minimalist multitasking, LOJO’s Weather Room takes portability to a new level.
Nested House, a guesthouse built around a traditional sauna, supports full-range living and achieves spatial efficiency through thoughtful program placement.
Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger and students of Texas Tech University College of Architecture build a smart and compact Sustainable Cabin in West Texas.
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.
“Citizen Culture: Artists and Architects Shape Policy” opens at The University of Texas at El Paso campus.
The story goes that the first word spoken on the surface of another world was the name of a Texas city.
The Texas Tech University College of Architecture’s Land Arts of the American West program offers a wide-eyed, sunburnt trip that explores how we alter the land around us.
The Design Research Lab at the Texas A&M University College of Architecture explores resiliency in terms of the raw and synthetic.
After the double whammy of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the great Texas drought of 2011, the unthinkable happened in Houston’s Memorial Park: Half of the trees died.
The University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture will host the TEX-FAB 2015 event March 26–29.
AIA Dallas’ 2B An Architect, held on March 7, invited high school sophomores to explore a career in architecture.
MF Architecture has reinvented a strip mall storefront and redefined expectations for drugstores with the Hill Country Apothecary project.
Harlingen ISD’s new performing arts center is a modern archetype that breaks the valley mold and benefits from the subtle infusion of regional and cultural cues.
Stephen Holl Architects’ grand vision for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston transforms an archipelago of buildings into a coherent campus, writes Ronnie Self.
Texas Architect magazine features the 2014 Preservation Texas Honor Awards.
Artist Ellsworth Kelly’s new installation at the Blanton Museum of Art draws on 70 years of fascination with Byzantine and Romanesque art and architecture.
Thanks to architect Mell Lawrence’s deft hand with light and patterning, Hollowcat Wild, a boxy limestone residence nestled in the Austin hills, is imbued with what architect and author Christopher Alexander calls “aliveness.”
ON THE COVER: The Richards Group's new Dallas headquarters stands over Dallas commuters as a beacon of shimmering color and democratic ideals in the workplace.
Rand Elliott, FAIA, deploys color with purpose, punctuating galleries at the Marfa Contemporary with vivid jolts of blue and using colored lighting to transform a series of parking structures in surprising ways.
Kinneymorrow Architects designed a small gem of a building to help artist Daryl Howard address a range of needs.
Michael Hsu’s reinterpretation of one Austin office deploys details such as CNC-routed felt murals to appeal to the city’s influx of creative entrepreneurs.
In Houston, no monument is sacred. Ben Koush looks at the fate of one Jack Welch home through the lens of a renovation by Content Architecture.
When a client asked Jim Poteet, FAIA, to update a historic San Antonio home, the architect adopted a forthright approach that marries historic details and contemporary craftsmanship.
“6 Houses,” a new book about Alterstudio Architecture’s work, examines crucial questions about how architects can and should engage the larger world.
“Dallas Modern” showcases some of the finest modern houses in the city. Reviewer Eurico Francisco, AIA, calls the book “a visual and intellectual delight.”
Brantley Hightower’s new book is “both monumental and approachable” — words the author himself uses to describe the Central Texas courthouses he loves.
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.
Historic Texas courthouses, modern residences of Dallas, the potential of tiltwall construction, and a curated series of houses by Alterstudio Architecture — we review four new books exploring a wide array of architectural topics.
The warped maple floors of a derelict 30,000-sf factory that was once the beating heart of a now-dwindling Midwestern town lured Austin-based sculptor Colin McIntyre into a new artistic realm.
How do you create a space that is part art and part trigger for community and creativity? Artist Piero Golia and architect Edwin Chan sought to solve that puzzle with “Chalet Hollywood,” an interactive exhibit soon to be recreated at the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Joel Nolan’s review of Lake View House examines how Alterstudio Architecture finds exquisite beauty in circumstance, translating it into built forms large and small.
Digital fabrication techniques have allowed three up-and-coming Texas firms to experiment with new, small-scale forms — but experience shows that technology only goes so far. Expertise and craft remain critical elements of architectural practice.
The Texas-trained duo behind the design-build firm DUST garnered national acclaim for their first joint project in the Arizona Desert. Casa Caldera, their latest project, was largely built by hand and is the subject of Jack Murphy's latest piece for TA.
Baldridge Architects’ new office, a study in precision-built minimalism, offers a counterintuitive take on design-build in 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.
New educational approaches demand architectural innovation; Richard J. Lee Elementary, a net-zero building that defies traditional school layouts, stands as one example of best-in-class design.
Austin-based artist Josef Kristofoletti believes in a reciprocal and mutually enriching relationship between paintings and buildings.
With plans for the 1,800-sf Sixton House, designer John Houser establishes a radically fresh approach to residential design at the same time that he returns to architecture’s mathematical roots.
Traditional architectural projects are now the noteworthy outliers.
JHP Architecture/Urban Design’s Gallery at Turtle Creek is a Texas Society of Architects 2015 Design Award winner.
Kinneymorrow Architecture’s Decatur Street House is a Texas Society of Architects 2015 Design Award winner.
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.
The Texas Society of Architects 76th Annual Convention and Design Expo will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas from November 5-7.
The Texas Society of Architects Studio Awards recognize unbuilt projects that demonstrate innovation and excellence in design. The 2015 jury was composed entirely of San Francisco Bay Area architects: Karl Backus, AIA, of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; E.B. Min, AIA, of Min|Day; and Craig Scott of IwamotoScott Architecture.
An almost obscure project by Taft Architects perhaps best embodied a decade of architecture that referenced place, context, ornament, and style.
Perched above the sea in a tropical paradise, this vacation home provides simple luxury in close congress with nature.
Smooth and rounded, or sharp and jagged — edges are a powerful tool in landscape architecture, providing dynamism and defining the nature of a space.
The Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion and the McGovern Centennial Gardens are the latest addition to Hermann Park, one of Houston’s most important public spaces.
Max Levy’s design for the Saint Michael and All Angels Columbarium references elemental forces in the creation of a meditative space for contemplating life and death.
Designed on a computer, baked in an oven, and shipped six thousand miles in four specially made boxes, Igor Siddiqui’s Scye is beautiful series of 3D-printed, bioplastic vaults.
A new chapel and administrative building at St. Edwards University by Pollen Architecture & Design adds another piece to a 15-year-old master plan.
Partially destroyed in a fire, the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Houston’s 4th Ward has been transformed into a public park.
Inside/Out is the product of an in-depth study and plan to rehabilitate an old shotgun house in Houston’s Fifth Ward.
It is a propitious time to revisit the lifework of the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier, particularly as his approach relates to landscape.
Through his PURCH project (Positioned Urban Roosts for Civic Habitation), architect Ned Dodington, Assoc. AIA, hopes to expand our perspectives on animal architecture.
As part of the Austin community, AIA Austin Latinos in Architecture strives to be a positive influence for Latino students who aspire to become architects.
Important Houston architect Kenneth Edward Bentsen, FAIA, died on September 24, 2013.
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 2014 AIA Fort Worth Homes Tour will feature homes by Ames Fender, AIA, Bennett Benner Partners, Architects + Planners, Firm 817, John Wesley Jones, Archi¬tect, and Norman Ward, AIA.
The Contemporary Austin was awarded a $9 million grant that will be used by the museum to create a sculpture garden on its 12-acre lakeside estate of Laguna Gloria.
Downtown Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botani¬cal Gardens received a huge face-lift from The Office of James Burnett in collaboration with David Epstein, AIA, of Gensler’s Austin office.
Mies, materials, and digital fabrication — material arts are creative outlets providing new paths for architecture.
At the Kimbell Art Museum, the wilderness has been tamed, a campus created.
The impossibly smooth concrete of the new Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum is just one of the material details of the building that demonstrates why architecture has the power to resonate with people.
Renzo Piano’s low, relatively small museums all demonstrate a similar attitude toward the display and viewing of art.
African sands fill the polycarbonate panels that clad Pollen Architecture and Design’s studio building in East Austin.
The world has lost one of the great architectural processional experiences with the replacement of Louis Kahn’s landscape design at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.
Once upon a time in 1970, Louis Kahn played the organ for a crowd of 400 in Austin.
The call for entries for the 2014 Brick in Architecture Awards was announced.
The Docomomo US National Symposium: Modernism in Texas will occur in Houston on March 13–15, 2014.
Award winners announced for the Lower Rio Grande Valley AIA’s 2013 Design Awards.
Award winners announced for AIA San Antonio’s 2013 Design Awards.
Alterstudio Architecture’s boat dock on Lake Austin embraces the long views of the water and landscape, but screens the immediacy of the speedboats from backyard barbecuers.
Alternative grasses are redefining landscape architecture and helping bring about a new ecological aesthetic in Texas.
“Happy Turf” is a shade-loving, alternative grass developed by landscape architect Kevin Sloan.
Austin’s Waller Creek Conservancy continues its mission to draw attention to the neglected urban waterway. Waller Wall, a temporary installation designed by UT Austin students and Murray Legge, FAIA, was on display at SXSW.
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.
Shipley Architects designed a house that only boat-builders could detail so effortlessly.
Bercy Chen Studio’s design moves at the Cascading Creek House sleekly conceal extensive mechanics under the hood of a gorgeous space.
Rammed earth wall, rippling Venetian plaster, and colorful-blocks of the Margo Sawyer designed art walls, Page’s Torcasso residence achieves the sublime.
Four competitions are being sponsored in 2014 by Heritage Documentation Programs (HDP) division of the U.S. National Park Service.
On June 26–28 in Chicago, the American Institute of Architects will host its 2014 National Convention. Themed “Design With Purpose,” the event will feature leaders, luminaries, and legends from within and outside architecture sharing their insights on the opportunities, challenges, and possibilities facing architects and the profession.
The runway terrace at Rockridge Gardens stretches the landscape of the O’Neil Ford designed San Antonio house into the horizon.
Kirksey Architecture restored and rehabilitated Sylvan Beach Pavilion on the Gulf Coast, ensuring that the historic integrity of the building remained while also meeting current hurricane-code standards.
bcWORKSHOP has moved to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and is bringing its public design process to housing developments outside of Harlingen.
Intended to be temporary and transportable, the Rice Museum went on to become a fixture on the Houston arts scene for almost 20 years. It was demolished in April.
Frazer|Pogue Collective discusses the benefits of using video to document architectural projects.
Boston-based landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand is expanding its Texas portfolio and leading the re-imagination of The Contemporary Austin’s historic Laguna Gloria site.
Ronnie Self’s “The Architecture of Art Museums: A Decade of Design, 2000–2010” is a welcome guide in charting the most formally enigmatic building type of our time.
Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee’s proposed design for the Menil Drawing Institute (MDI) is at once serene and revolutionary.
With support from the Nasher Sculpture Center, artist Rick Lowe is transforming Dallas’ Vickery Meadow neighborhood through art and architecture.
Mt. Vernon Townhomes, designed by Houston-based Collaborative Designworks, maximizes Houston’s denser-development possibilities and adds a handsome multifamily project to Montrose.
Austin’s new 36,340-sf, LEED Silver-certified children’s museum, the Thinkery, is the product of Koning Eizenberg Architecture’s collaboration with STG Design
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.
Not only is Brave / Architecture’s Sicardi Gallery intriguing, it is the latest example of Houston’s secret cohort of tin buildings representing a little-known modern regional architectural expression.
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.
Michael Hsu Office of Architecture’s Uchi restaurants have distinguished themselves as outstanding examples of current trends in impeccable restaurant design.
Baldridge Architects’ Outdoor Learning Center at Casis Elementary in Austin has transformed a formerly neglected lot into an open-air classroom in a garden setting.
The 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture’s explicit orientation toward research leaves one wondering “Where’s the Architecture?”
Houston’s Perforated House is a mash-up of virtuoso formal composition, a multifaceted conceptual program, and some tricked-out detailing that comes together in a compelling mix.
With the (Almost) All-American Home, Lantz Full Circle was determined to pursue the project as an exercise in the way architecture ought to be practiced.
John Grable Architects’ Green Lantern is defined by an extensive use of glass and operable walls that transform the house from a series of enclosed rooms to an expansive garden pavilion.
High nature is married to high design in Lake|Flato Architects’ Hog Pen Creek Retreat.
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.
Long limestone facades with floating roofs above them, Lake|Flato Architects’ SK Ranch is a contemporary take on a Hill Country ranch.
Big Tree Camp offers its inhabitants protection from the elements, while always maintaining a tactile connection to the outdoors.
Multiple bottles of colorful soda are transformed into a glowing cube called Mestizo City by Muñoz & Company.
Gensler converts a downtown Austin parking garage into a collaborative workspace.
Austin-based Ten Eyck creates site-specific vertical gardens, blending the transition between architecture and landscape architecture.
The Nasher Sculpture Center’s upcoming exhibition, “Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio,” promises a treasure-trove of the London-based firm’s drawings, models, and mock-ups.
David Heymann, FAIA, talks about Austin’s laid-back lifestyle and why he moved here to practice architecture.
Inga Saffron’s ground-level, sometimes cheeky, always laser-focused writing earned her the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, making her only the sixth architecture critic to win the award in its 44-year history, as well as the first in 15 years.
By sketching museum masterpieces, Michael Malone hones his drawing skills and whets his appreciation for the similarities between art and architecture.
Among the faux-Parisian, Italianate, and Spanish-style block-busters in Dallas' Highland Park neighborhood, Buchanan Architecture’s Mockingbird Residence stands out.
The distinction between architecture and interiors is often a fuzzy one, but MaRS bridges the distance nimbly.
AIA Houston and Architecture Center Houston feature a new exhibition, “Women in Architecture,” spotlighting contributions women have made to the profession and offering a current snapshot of women’s changing role in architecture and design.
A diverse group of leading architectural designers, educators, and artists bring their knowledge and experience to campus during the Texas A&M Department of Architecture’s Fall 2014 lecture series.
The twentieth annual Building Communities Conference of the Lower Río Grande Valley chapter of the AIA in late September 2012, began with a tour exploring the cultural landscapes of the Texas-Mexico border.
Klyde Warren Park, the deck park over Dallas’ Woodall Rodgers Freeway, officially opened the last weekend in October, attracting more than 44,000 celebratory visitors.
In a changing South Austin neighborhood, Minguell-McQuary Architecture+Design’s Bike Shed is a simple building that embodies a much larger design ethos that takes its cues from the past even as it keeps one eye focused on the future.
Working closely with Larry Paul Fuller over the course of the last six weeks, I have come to appreciate the satisfying collaboration that goes into this magazine.
Completed in June 2010 by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Uchiko is a 4,954-sf sister restaurant to one of Austin’s popular restaurants, Uchi, which is operated by Chef Tyson Cole.
The Austin firm Specht Harpman Architects proposes passive systems for two very different homes in arid climates. The windCatcher looks to ancient traditions while the prairieHouse reimagines a former Texaco station.
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.
Recipients of the 2012 AIA El Paso Design Awards were announced in November 2012. The El Paso County Family Youth and Services Center by Wright & Dalbin Archtiects, Albert Bacon Fall Mansion by ARTchitecture, and E.G. Chayo Community Center by Alvidrez Architecture all received Honor Awards
The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) recognized projects across the state for their achievements and contributions to preserving and advancing the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism, and the allied arts. The 2012 John Staub Awards for Residential Architecture were presented to five projects.
With Gurley Place — an affordable senior housing development located across the street from Jubilee Park in Dallas — buildingcommunityWORKSHOP recognized the significance of community engagement as a way of maintaining one of the most intact, early twentieth-century neighborhoods in the city and responding to the dire need for housing.
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.
People looking to build a house, even the financially comfortable and educated, seldom hire an architect because architects haven’t done a good job of communicating their value.
A student team from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture was recently awarded the 2012 Charles E. Peterson Prize for their measured drawings of Austin’s North-Evan Chateau submitted to the Historic American Building Survey (HABS).
In memory of Ruth Carter Stevenson’s many contributions to Fort Worth and the state, Mark Gunderson, AIA, recalls her unique role in and contribution to matters of architecture and design, her friendship with Philip Johnson, and her love of gardening.
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.
“I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America, ” a recent exhibit at the University of Texas Harry Ransom Center (HRC) captured Bel Geddes vision of the future and his fundamental belief in the coexistence of art and architecture.
“Houston Interior Designers – How Texans Touched the World” opened at the Architecture Center Houston. The exhibit, which features 17 projects by eight firms, is the first time AIA and IIDA have col¬laborated on a showing of member works.
Advocating for architecture is easy — as every¬thing relates to back to architecture and how design matters: where one lives, how one gets to work, where one buys groceries, the productivity level in an office, neighborhood sustainability — even overall happiness.
Since 1994, there has been a 448% increase in the number of farmers markets across the country. Rice University School of Architecture students were given the problem of addressing the spatial needs of the farmers market for the Houston’s not-for-profit Urban Harvest.
Retail design has the potential to go beyond just creating an interesting clean space for product presentation. This issue of Texas Architect looks at how good planning and design create effective community spaces and individual stores with a sense of place.
Building code necessitated a blast wall at the Met Retail site in Austin. Studio 8 Architects took the opportunity to customize the building’s aesthetic and break from typical highway architecture.
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.
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.
Pedro Gadanho, curator of Contemporary Architecture at the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Mark Lamster, the new architectural critic for the Dallas Morning News, discuss their latest projects.
The Second Annual Texas Architects Design Conference: Collections was held in Dallas, Feb.22–24, 2013. The event was co-chaired by Michael Malone, AIA, and Mark Wellen, AIA, and was based at the Dallas Center for Architecture.
“Michael G. Imber: Ranches, Villas, and Houses” by Elizabeth Meredith Dowling is a well curated collection of the architect’s residential projects and sprawling ranches.
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.
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.
The new United States Federal Courthouse in Austin designed by Mack Sogin Merrill Elam Architects meets a stringent security design paradigm and is flooded with natural light. This unconventional civic structure is perfect for Austin’s sensibilities.
The Rio Roca Chapel in Palo Pinto is a tribute to organic architecture by Maurice Jennings + Walter Jennings Architects.
When a client asked Jim Poteet to update a historic San Antonio home, the architect adopted a forthright approach that marries historic details and contemporary craftsmanship.
The 2013 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) conference took place at the University of Texas at Austin on March 27–31.
The Architecture Center Houston’s (ArCH) will exhibit of works by AIA Houston 2012 Artist of the Year James Surls from June 13– July 19, 2013.
The Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed 232,000-sf state-of-the-art Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall (GDC), is the new home of the University of Texas at Austin’s Computer Science Department.
Sketches that bring sunlight and moonlight into spaces in creative, playful ways; otherworldly experiments in color centered on the early morning and evening skies; the construction of shade for people and plants; an oasis of densely planted, colorful cacti in the desert; and the benefits of daylight for work and study — this issue is about natural light and design.
Creek Show proposes to transform Austin’s Waller Creek into an active venue for art, architecture, and landscape architecture. A series of temporary installations will appear along the 1.5-mile site in an attempt to surprise and delight the community.
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.
For an Austin fashion show, MF ARchitecture created “Fashion[ING] Objects,” and illuminated wall created from 5,000 hangers that served as the entry to the catwalk.
Texas Architect features a student-led design competition hosted by AIA Houston’s Committee on Architecture for Health (CAH).
Michael Malone, AIA, describes for Texas Architect readers how as a student, he discovered Louis Khan’s light, so revered by his architecture professors.
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.
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.
The Office of James Burnett’s new Sunnylands Center & Gardens is a composition of color and texture achieved through a densely layered, yet sustainable, planting design.
A motivated Dallas Independent School District (DISD), in collaboration with the local community and partnering colleges, engaged SHW Group to build the kind of school most only talk about: the Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy.
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.
Leslie Elkins, AIA, designed the $1.45M LEED Silver-certified Magnificat House W.T. and Louise J. Moran Center as a versatile and efficient space that supports a population in transition by providing them with valuable skills.
San Antonio’s Lake|Flato Architects was among the five architects from around the world to receive a prestigious 2013 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. Principal Ted Flato represented the firm at the ceremony and symposium at the Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine in Paris.
Graduate students at The University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture got a helping of real-world design experience thanks to a partnership with West Dallas Investments (WDI).
Nolan E. Barrick’s strong sense of the profession of architecture, his belief in the fundamental facts of construction, and his passion for the art of making buildings remain the hallmark of the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University curriculum.
There will soon be a new reason to head west and visit Marfa. New York-based MOS is designing the Ballroom Marfa Drive-In — an integration of art, architecture, and landscape architecture.
“Designing Pan-America: U.S. Architectural Visions for the Western Hemisphere” by Robert González, AIA, makes an important contribution to understanding architecture’s role in constructing cultural identities.
With so little actually known about contemporary Brazilian architects, the Monolito magazine series, edited by Fernando Serapião, is an awaited enterprise.
In their discussions of modern architecture in Latin America, the “O’Neil Ford Duographs” (O’NFD) display an editorial predilection for abstraction, formal clarity, and tectonic integrity.
Architecture in the Americas is an annual two-day event explores contemporary “American” architecture. This year’s event brought together architects from New York, Texas, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
This renovation and addition to an existing Austin bungalow by Alterstudio Architecture is a strong architectural idea existing easily alongside a distinct lack of pretension.
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.
Surrounded by sandburs, the sea breeze, and a wide airstrip, the Fire|Beach House in Galveston is a surprising piece of contemporary architecture.
Powers Brown Architecture created a safe and inviting street presence with the clean lines and bright lights of the Roy Kelley Terminal and Parking Garage in Bryan.
SHW Group’s Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy redefines the public school building typology and looks to a bright the future.
Alterstudio Architecture’s design for a young firm embraces both Austin’s late 19th-century Buttrey Building’s age and the client’s creative ethos.
A new office was the chance for the Houston-based architecture and interiors firm PDR to follow its own advice and build some¬thing that would respond to the firm’s culture while remaining flexible.
O’Neil Ford designed Trinity University so that it would grow naturally from its site and set a national precedent for the use of lift-slab construction. As the university looks forward to future development, the question of preserving the integrity of the historic campus comes to bear.
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.”
The University of Texas at Austin’s Landmarks and Rice University’s Public Art Program both feature successful public art installations that offer lessons for architects.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Landmarks program recently procured a pair of works by Sol LeWitt and a new “Skyspace” by James Turrell — impressive additions to an already respectable collection of sculptures
The Menil Collection, designed by Renzo Piano with Richard Fitzgerald & Associates and inaugurated in 1987, was selected by the Texas Society of Architects for its 25-Year Award.
The Texas Society of Architects announces the recipients of our 2013 Honor Awards.
Even an Aggie would have to admit that The University of Texas at Austin has an impressive campus. Three new buildings: Belo Center for New Media, Norman Hackerman Building, and the College of Liberal Arts Building push the envelope and interpret design guidelines in creative ways.
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.
Runa Workshop’s Austin Aquatic Center integrates landscape and architecture to create a water management system with real ecological benefits.
Thick Skinned Regionalism flips a typical construction model on its head and starts with the section rather than the plan.
Matt Fajkus Architecture proposes a wall made of coat hangers for a runway show.
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.
It’s not often that design is literally a matter of life or death, but that was the case for the 8,250- sf Friends For Life Don Sanders Adoption Center designed by Gensler.
Jackson & Ryan Architects’ Austin Animal Center has several design features that increase the chances that its dogs, cats, and rabbits will find “forever” homes.
On Wednesday, November 27, the Kimbell Art Museum's highly anticipated new building by Renzo Piano will open directly across the lawn from the Museum's original home.
The Dallas Forum for Architecture presents Wilfried Wang, one of the founders of Berlin-based Hoidn Wang Partners.
More than 6,000 landscape architecture professionals and students from across the country and around the world will gather in Boston on November 15-18 for the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2013 Annual Meeting & EXPO.
The new Bush Presidential Center in Dallas by Robert A. M. Stern Architects reinterprets the traditional materials of the SMU campus into a modern statement.
The George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum was designed by HOK to blend into its context at the Texas A&M University campus.
In 1966, as Gordon Bunshaft was putting pencil to trace for the design of the new presidential library and museum in Austin, Lyndon Baines Johnson was a giant.
Ennead Architects went off the grid for their design approach this business school at the University of North Texas.
Though the project for the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston was primarily an interior renovation, WORKac’s design is ambitious and less predictable than many university buildings.
An ambitious partnership between St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and Andersson-Wise Architects has transformed the original Fehr & Granger campus with five new buildings.
An iconic red, tube-steel tower presides over the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) — Austin’s new Formula 1 track/performance venue by Miró Rivera Architects.
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 proposal for the Ann Young Animal Adoption Facility in Houston by English + Associates integrates community amenities in a park-like setting creating broader appeal for the building typology.
On Oct. 28, during the Texas Society of Architects 72nd Annual Convention in Dallas, 2011 President Dan Hart, AIA, PE, formally announced the Society’s redesigned website and “refreshed” brand, which uphold Texas Architects’ mission to be “the voice for Texas architecture, supporting the creation of safe, beautiful, sustainable environments.”
The rehabilitation of the historic Caruth Homeplace – located just west of Central Expressway and south of Northwest Highway – is a landmark achievement for the property’s owner, the Communities Foundation of Texas. By recognizing the project with its 2011 Sense of Place Award, Preservation Dallas has emphasized the significance of this transformation from a derelict building included on its 2007 Most Endangered List to a revitalized architectural treasure.
Participants in the nineteenth annual Building Communities Conference of the Lower Río Grande Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects kicked off a two-day conference at South Padre Island in late September with a daylong tour focused on three centuries of residential architecture in the border city of Brownsville.
Former students, colleagues, friends, and family of longtime Rice University architecture professor Anderson Todd, FAIA, gathered on Oct. 21 to celebrate his ninetieth birthday.
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.
Their proposal for a 990-acre cemetery earned students from UT Austin’s School of Architecture an Honor Award in the 2011 ASLA Student Awards sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
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.
For the design of Atascocita Springs Elementary School in Humble, the architects of PBK integrated elements that support its science and math curricula while also reflecting the town’s rich tradition in energy production. Interactive kiosks allow students to log the school’s consumption of water, natural gas, and electricity—exercises that tie the building’s sustainable design features to grade-level appropriate curriculum.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
During AIA Fort Worth’s awards banquet held on Jan. 24, three student projects were recognized for design excellence. The lone Honor Award was presented to Ace Academy by John Paul Rysavy and Daniel Shumaker, both students at the University of Texas at Austin.
Modernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi famously said, “Architecture is inhabited sculpture.” That raises the question: Is sculpture uninhabitable architecture?
Attending the State Fair is a rite of passage for all Texans. Offering more than just another opportunity to indulge one’s fetish for fried food, the annual pilgrimage gives us a chance to celebrate our state’s agrarian roots, its industrial might, and its football prowess.
With 48 hours until its debut, the first project of Assistant Professor Susan Appleton’s Spring 2012 Senior Interior Design Studio is taking shape–literally. A luminous string sculpture, the centerpiece for an upcoming Building Sciences Expo dinner in the gallery of the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture.
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.
Three Texas residents have been elected to honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) — one of the highest honors bestowed by the Institute upon a person outside the profession of architecture. The designation is reserved for those otherwise ineligible for membership but who have rendered distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the allied arts and sciences.
Rice School of Architecture student Peter Muessig has been recognized as a winner in the “Conceptual Projects” category of the 2012 AIA Houston design awards program for his entry entitled “veloCity: Mapping Houston on the Diagonal” (see full awards story on page 18).
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.
The commercial sector continues to lead the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), which has remained in positive territory for the fifth consecutive month. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to twelve-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
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).
A distinguished group of architecture journalists assembled in Dallas at the end of April to inaugurate the David Dillon Symposium at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Museum. Former New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger headlined the two-day event and established the tone as keynote speaker on the state of architecture journalism.
AIA Austin’s 2012 Design Awards competition resulted in recognition for 15 projects in three categories out of a total of 112 entries.
A small health center for the agrarian village of El Cantón in Honduras is being constructed as the implementation of the winning entry in the “Building Health Challenge” design competition staged in January by Global Architecture Brigades among its university chapters nationwide.
Originally designed for HemisFair ’68 as a performing arts center for the world’s fair, the 2400-seat Lila Cockrell Theater is today, an integral part of the city’s convention center. The facility remained untouched by renovation or remodeling for over 40 years.
The City of Austin Historic Preservation Office has been working in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin (UT) School of Architecture Historic Preservation program to develop a participatory, wiki-inspired web application to support the comprehensive survey of Austin’s historic resources. The community launch took place June 4. The Heritage Society of Austin has partnered on this project by assisting in securing funding and providing volunteer support in adding content to the Wiki.
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.
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.
The Architecture Center Houston (ArCH) held an opening reception July 26 for its first “Texas Student Biennial Exhibition.” The exhibit features work from the eight accredited schools of architecture in Texas and includes project boards, slide shows, and architectural models.
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.
Even as college football fever was beginning to intensify across the state in late July, the Baylor University Board of Regents voted to move forward with the construction of a new $250 million riverfront stadium complex pending a favorable final vote by Waco’s city council (which happened as expected August 7). Designed by Populous, recognized for sports stadium architecture worldwide, the new Baylor Stadium is expected to be ready for the opening of the 2014 season.
Architecture schools look to the future. So it’s challenging when a school has to confront a major historical milestone such as its centennial. Rice University’s School of Architecture turned one hundred years old in September, as did the university of which it is a part.
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 17,000-sf Parman Branch Library at Stone Oak, designed by Marmon Mok, is located in a rapidly growing and previously underserved section of San Antonio. Nestled within a natural clearing centered on a grove of existing live oaks, the crescent-shaped building includes a community meeting room, quiet study/meeting spaces, public-access computers, and sections for children and teenagers. The ten-acre site features a walking trail, outdoor amphitheatre, and a Rotary-funded playground.
A new entrance to the University of Dallas campus, designed by Page Southerland Page, has received a 2012 Metal Architecture Design Award for “Interiors.” The Visitor Center and University Bookstore was one of 10 projects recognized in various award categories. The awards highlight creativity in the metal construction industry and the use of steel in innovative design.
"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.
Texas Architects’ second annual Advocates for Architecture Day (AAD) — considered to be the next “best chance” members have to market their profession and protect their practice — is scheduled for January 29.
The Society’s Design Committee invites all Texas Architects members to attend the Second Annual Texas Architects Design Conference, scheduled to be held at the Dallas Center for Architecture (DCA) February 22-24.
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.
During its 73rd Annual Convention in Austin, Texas Society of Architects recognized the following as this year’s Honor Awards recipients for significant contributions to the architectural profession and the quality of the built environment.
Conceived as a primary fire and rescue support for Galveston Island, this Fire and Rescue Station was honored at the 2012 Texas Architects Studio Awards program, which annually recognizes excellence in unbuilt architectural design.
This bold idea for elevating the bicycle culture of Houston was one of five winners from the 2012 Texas Architects Studio Awards program, which annually recognizes excellence in unbuilt, often strictly conceptual, architectural design.
The Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) building is a collaboration among architecture firm Furman + Keil and an integrated project team that began before the design was initiated and continued throughout the design and construction process.
Sustainable Cabin is a 400-sf prefabricated, design-build collaboration sited in Crowell, Texas, by students at Texas Tech University College of Architecture, led by Architecture Professor Upe Flueckiger, Dipl. Arch. SIA.
A September 25 article in Architectural Record states: The recession decimated the architecture profession, with firms closing or laying off large numbers of employees, architects left jobless for months or years, and many leaving the profession entirely.
As the culmination of an international competition to revitalize Austin’s downtown Waller Creek, a team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and Thomas Phifer and Partners has been selected to design a 1.5-mile-long linear park. The announcement was made October 18.
The Austin firm Pollen Architecture and Design has created a home that ties itself tightly to a dramatic landscape of densely-packed small hills and steep valleys.
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.
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.
Forlorn and neglected, a romantic near-ruin, the former Parkland Hospital sat abandoned and unused for decades at the junction of the Dallas North Tollway and Oak Lawn Avenue. Passersby could glimpse the distinguished older structures (dating back to 1913) nestled under their sentinel oaks, and be curious about what the buildings’ fate might be.
On Jan. 25, the Texas Society of Architects/AIA will sponsor its first Advocates for Architecture Day at the State Capitol, an event that is expected to attract 200 architects for individual constituent-legislator conferences. With the event taking place during the first weeks of the biannual Texas Legislature, the agenda calls for the architects to meet with elected officials to advocate for their support of measures intended to enhance the built environment and maintain the integrity of the architectural profession.
On a perfect sunny day in mid-September, participants in AIA LRGV’s eighteenth annual Building Communities Conference toured examples of historic ranch architecture in Hidalgo County spanning from the early nineteenth century to the first decade of the twentieth. Led by Mario L. Sánchez, PhD, historical architect with the Texas Department of Transportation, and local architect Manuel Hinojosa, AIA, the day-long tour focused on sites that represented the material and technical transformation of architecture in the region. These sites displayed different landscape conditions that attest to the historical changes that affected far-south Texas between the end of the Spanish colonial period and the beginning of the twentieth century.
After jurors evaluated 48 entries from 17 local architectural firms, the AIA’s San Antonio chapter announced the recipients of its 2010 Design Awards during a dinner and ceremony at the Pearl Stable on Oct. 27.
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).
As a juror for the 2010 Exhibit of School Architecture sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards (with support from the Texas Society of Architects), I spent the better part of a week in July studying the latest work of some of my fellow Texas architects. The experience renewed my appreciation of the range of educational design being built across our state and the lasting impact that educators, administrators, policymakers, and, of course, architects can have in shaping the spaces and places where we educate our children.
This past fall, the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture celebrated its centennial with various symposia, lectures, and gatherings held under the banner of “UTSOA 100: Traces & Trajectories.”
For their deep involvement in community-based organizations promoting architecture, art, and education, the AIA this year confers honorary membership on Howard and Cindy Rachofsky of Dallas.
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.
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.
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.
What began as a small furniture project undertaken by architecture students in a studio at Texas A&M ultimately evolved into an intricate plywood sculpture of curved components that now hangs in the Langford Architecture Center. Permanently installed in the ceiling on the first floor of Building A, the 18x16-foot Plywood Mesh #002 was produced with advanced digital fabrication technology available in the College of Architecture.
The $1.27 billion Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas is currently under construction to replace the existing 54-year-old Parkland Memorial Hospital. HDR Architecture partnering with Corgan Associates, both based in Dallas, was selected as the design team for the new 17-story, 862-bed hospital and master-planned campus, which includes expansion zones for future additions.
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.
This edition’s featured projects strike a balance between a building’s unique program and the desire for synthesis with its surroundings. The design of the U.S. Courthouse in El Paso directly relates to the region’s geography and history, while adhering to stringent security standards; the restoration of Ancient Oaks near Bastrop recaptures a once-lost sense of place through sensitivity to existing conditions; the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg demonstrates how to tell a heroic story through architecture without overwhelming a small town’s historic fabric; and Singing Bell Ranch quietly nestles in its rural grassland setting to offer its city-dwelling owners a getaway of “ranch pragmatism” and prevailing breezes.
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.
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.”
AIA Austin honored 10 projects in its 2011 Design Awards Celebration. From a total of 77 submittals, the distinguished jury of architects selected three for Honor Awards, six for Citations of Honor, and one unbuilt project for a Studio Award.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have grown up a short drive from the Kimbell Art Museum. While it might be a bit of a stretch to say that Louis Kahn’s vaulted masterpiece was the reason I decided to become an architect, it certainly did provide a compelling example of what great architecture could be.
The overarching idea behind the popular term placemaking is that thoughtful architecture can transform the public realm by establishing an interconnectedness within a community. This edition features five recent projects that represent successful placemaking on both large and small scale. The common thread running through all of them is how they each have created new or recreated lapsed relationships to their surroundings.
A recent t our sponsored by Houston Mod, a design advocacy group, highlighted the residential architecture of Beaumont’s leading mid-century modernists. The day trip was the culmination of a series of events highlighting April as Modern Month, in which affiliates of the international DoCo-MoMo (Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement) celebrated modern heritage locally and regionally.
Every year since 1939, the statewide architecture community has gathered for professional development, fellowship, and the opportunity to see the best its host city has to offer. This year’s convention of the Texas Society of Architects builds on that long history.
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.
On May 20, the 2011 design awards jury met to review the 257 entries submitted in this year’s program. The distinguished jury consisted of three exceptional professionals with diverse practice and professional experiences, along with a considerable love of architecture and design.
A game-changer in more ways than one, Rainwater Court inspires hope and creates new opportunities for more than 600 children and other residents of Mahiga, a rural Kenyan community.
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.
As we observed in Part I (published in the previous edition) of this two-part series, the term “the Work” in the construction contract comprises more than labor and materials. In fact, the success of a project relies heavily on the contractor’s ability to plan, coordinate, and execute the means, methods, techniques, sequences, and procedures required to put the Work in place. This is not a new concept. Ten Books on Architecture, written by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio in 30 BC for Roman Emperor Augustus, emphasizes planning as being integral to good building construction. In Part I we identified many of the components of the contractor’s Work Plan. We referred to several available resources and pointed out various indicators to look for as one administers the construction contract, including how to tell if a plan is in the works. In Part II we take the next step to examine alternatives and actions to take if there is a weak or nonexistent plan, including a look at efforts by some contractors to manipulate work scope to avoid conformance. We will conclude with a successful case study followed by suggestions for managing the risks and liabilities that so often arise when the Work is not properly planned or managed.
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.
The best architecture combines the rigor of scientific inquiry with the inspired explorations of art. Equal amounts of science and art produced the four projects profiled on the following pages—two designed for scientific research and two related to the arts.
The prairie has returned to Fort Worth’s Cultural District. Evicted long ago by urbanization, native flora have again taken root along University Drive where revived grassland heralds the emergence of a unique enterprise. So surprising is the sight of children at play in this field of prairie grasses that one may not immediately see the new building on the site.
This edition covers a broad sweep of variations on the “Design for Education” theme, from new facilities for private and public schools to an award-winning architecture course at UT Arlington that is now improving the everyday experiences of Arlington residents. There’s also a news article about a green roof on the campus of UT El Paso, an unlikely – but so far successful – attempt at sustainable design in a desert climate.
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.
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.
One year after her course, The Everyday City, was recognized with an AIA Education Honor Award, University of Texas at Arlington Assistant Professor Wanda Dye has tasked her architecture students with improving the everyday life of all Arlington residents. Through collaboration with City of Arlington staff, their work is a natural extension of the investigations they undertook for The Everyday City. In that class, Dye asked them to re-imagine the most mundane and banal aspects of the suburban environment.
While other prominent universities in the U.S. comprise a fusion of signature stylistic expressions, Rice University has focused on architecture that reinforces the well synchronized, harmonious feel of its campus. Aside from some unique buildings – such as Thomas Pfeiffer’s Brochstein Pavilion and the school’s off-site Data Center and the Library Service Center by Carlos Jimenez – that provide interesting drama to the otherwise prevailing architectural uniformity,
One Texas project – the Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University by Thomas Phifer and Partners – is among 14 projects recognized with 2010 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture.
One of Houston’s landmarks of modern architecture has been rededicated after a $16 million renovation. The historic Farnsworth & Chambers Co. building, designed by MacKie & Kamrath and completed in 1957, has been the home of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department since 1977. Known as the Gragg Building after the donor of adjacent parkland, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Registered Texas Historic Landmark and a City of Houston Landmark.
Bastrop is among this year’s Dozen Distinction Destinations as named by the National Trust for Preservation. The nonprofit organization compiles a list annually to call attention to cities and towns that “offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes, and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability, and revitalization.”
Austin architect W. Eugene George’s classic work, Lost Architecture of the Río Grande Borderlands, has returned to print in a handsome new edition.
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.
Built last year, the St. Stephen Deacon + Martyr Sanctuary of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso represents the final phase of a project designed by Alvidrez Architecture. Comprising a total 42,000 sf on 7.5 acres, the project took 10 years to complete. The 25,745-sf sanctuary, its design inspired by the themes of light and journey, accommodates a capacity of 1,000 people and was completed on a $3.6m budget.
By broadening the theme for this edition to encompass wellness, TA’s staff expanded the range of feature projects beyond medical facilities. That allowed us to include The Bridge, a new homeless assistance center on the southern edge of downtown Dallas that addresses the well being of that community’s neediest residents. The Bridge, recognized for design excellence by the AIA and other national organizations, is a collaborative effort between CamargoCopeland Architects in Dallas and Overland Partners Architects in San Antonio.
Thirteen projects were selected for 2010 AIA Houston Design Awards. The jury – Brian Johnsen of Johnsen Schmaling Architects in Milwaukee, Wis.; Juan Miró, AIA, of Miró Rivera Architects in Austin; and Amanda Kolson Hurley, executive editor of Washington, D.C.-based Architect magazine – met Feb. 26 at the Architecture Center Houston to review 132 entries from 59 local firms. Awards were presented March 25 at the Rice Hotel in Houston.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded honorary membership to Gail Thomas, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Trinity Trust Foundation. Honorary membership is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow on any person outside the profession of architecture. Thomas, a Dallas resident, was recognized for her efforts to improve cities and for her support of the arts and architecture.
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.
The conceptual project by UT Austin architecture students Brian Bedrosian and William Huie received first-place recognition in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture International Student Design Competition.
Originally built in the mid-1950s, City Bank Auditorium in Lubbock is about to undergo its first major update since opening 60 years ago. Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio in Denton and Westlake Reed Leskosky in Cleveland, Ohio, have partnered to complete renovations and additions to the auditorium located adjacent to the northeast corner of the Texas Tech campus.
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.
The 56,700-sf Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS ) building in Dallas replaces two separate USCIS offices. Completed in 2008 and designed by 4240 Architecture of Chicago, the two-story building includes a waiting room, information counters, a processing office, and a ceremony room on the first floor.
The idea of extremes, of designing the tallest or most outlandish work of architecture, seems appropriate in a state as celebrated as ours for audacious gesture. Unfortunately, we also live in a place where the art of architecture criticism has left the building. Currently, no daily newspaper in the state employs a critic solely dedicated to assessing architectural design and reporting his or her reflections, and the continued demise of architecture criticism bodes ill for our entire society.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Shell)ter for Home, designed by Jeffrey Brown, AIA, of Powers Brown Architecture in Houston, is a 1,400-sf affordable housing solution based on Quonset hut construction (prefabricated, arched steel buildings introduced during WWII for their easy transport and assembly). Brown’s plan places the building on an east/west axis to respond to solar orientation and create public/private exterior space, along with “curb appeal.”
Austin-based architecture and planning firm Antenora Architects recently completed the schematic design phase for a new Hutto City Hall, with an adjacent multi-purpose building and municipal park.
In a famous Letter to the Editor in Architectural Record, architect Andres Duany labeled the four types of architectural consumers—patrons, clients, customers, and martyrs. Although he was writing in reference to housing, let’s (with apologies to Mr. Duany) apply the same categories to municipal architecture.
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.
In recognition of its distinguished architecture and significant contributions to the architectural profession and the community, Overland Partners Architects of San Antonio was presented with the 2010 TSA Architecture Firm Award on Oct. 15 during the Texas Society of Architects/AIA convention.
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.
A project by architecture students at the University of Texas at San Antonio to document the Heermann Store, a single-story commercial building erected in 1892 in rural southwest Bexar County, has been recognized with a 2010 Charles E. Peterson Prize.
Two juries – one judging the built projects and another the unbuilt – for AIA Dallas’ 2010 Design Awards program presented 16 awards following deliberations in late September at the Dallas Center for Architecture. A total of 117 submittals, 74 built and 43 unbuilt, were entered by members of the local chapter.
Six projects by members of AIA Northeast Texas were recognized in the chapter’s 2010 Design Awards program. Jurors viewed a total of 15 entries before making their selections on Oct. 14 at the Center for Architecture in San Antonio.
The renovation and expansion of San Marcos’ Texas State University Student Recreation Center, designed by San Antonio firm Marmon Mok, is the first campus project to adhere to new guidelines that call for Spanish Colonial architecture and a specific material palette.
AIA Fort Worth has joined the ranks of progressive chapters in establishing a new home and a venue for public outreach on issues of architecture and design. Located one block from the Cultural District, the new Center for Architecture is a neighbor to several world-famous destinations for art and architecture.
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.
Reconsidering the Houston Astrodome was the primary focus for the Practicum + Studio at Texas Tech University this past fall. Graduate students of the College of Architecture gain professional experience with local firms while engaging in a studio project that responds to identified community needs.
The jury in AIA El Paso’s 2008 awards program recognized seven projects for design excellence. From more than 25 entries submitted in four categories – commercial, interiors, residential, and future projects – the jury presented two Honor Awards, four Merit Awards, and one Honorable Mention.
After 11 years as architecture dean of the University of Houston, Joe Mashburn, AIA, has announced that he will step down prior to the start of the Fall 2009 semester.
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.
The monumental architecture of the University of Texas at El Paso, featuring creamcolored, battered walls and red clay tile roofs with sweeping overhangs, is unique yet foreign to its surrounding environs.
Who knew that homework was still being assigned so many years after completing school? In preparation to sit on the jury for the 2008 TASA/TASB Exhibit of School Architecture, I spent about 30 hours studying the 96 entries prior to the meeting in Austin. I combed through all of them at least four times, all the while keeping in mind the criteria—design, educational appropriateness, innovation, process of planning, sustainability, and value
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.
Walnut Bend Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District received the 2008 TASA /TASB Exhibit of School Architecture’s “Special Recognition for Outstanding Primary School” commendation.
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.
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.
Robert R. Bruno, known for his idiosyncratic Steel House that evolved over three decades of design and construction, died Dec. 9 at the age of 63 from complications of cancer. A member of the faculty of Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture in the late 1970s, Bruno later taught courses there periodically.
“Dallas is a place where the future looks better than the past,” states Ed Baum, the former dean of the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Architecture and longtime Dallas resident. His description succinctly sums up both the regret of missed opportunities and the promise of better things to come. At the same time both sad and optimistic, his quip also captures the essence of the American city over the last 100 years or so—a place always expanding outward and leaving behind what came before, not just its downtown, but also its history. In short, the American city is forever searching for “a better future.” Dallas is a good example.
Lake/Flato Architects’ Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange is among the Top Ten Green Projects for 2009 as recognized by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE). Each year the national award celebrates excellence in sustainable architecture and design solutions that protect and enhance the natural environment.
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.
Gisue Hariri of Hariri & Hariri Architecture in New York City, has been selected to lead the 2009 Texas Society of Architects Studio Awards jury. This year’s TSA Studio Awards will be judged separately from the Design Awards, and the deadline for entries has been set later in the year to encourage more students to participate in the competition.
AIA Houston honored 12 projects at its 53rd annual Design Awards Dinner held on March 26 at the Rice Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. Winners were selected from 115 entries in six categories: architecture, residential architecture, interior architecture, renovation/restoration, urban design, and on the boards.
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.
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.
Amongst the challenges and tribulations of the day, we are compelled to make one parting comment about young people in architecture and their future.
On April 18, AIA Austin recognized 15 projects at its 2009 Design Awards Gala held at the historic Browning Hangar on the redeveloped grounds of former Mueller Municipal Airport. Of the 115 submitted projects, 14 received Design Awards and one received a Studio Award.
Lars Lerup stepped down as dean of the Rice University School of Architecture on July 1, a move that leaves two of Texas’ eight accredited schools of architecture searching for replacements. Earlier this year Joe Mashburn, AIA, announced that he would depart the dean’s office at the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.
Designed by Marmon Mok Architecture, the 15,000-sf Stone Oak Branch Library will serve San Antonio’s growing population on the far northwestern edge of the city. The crescent-shaped building will be sited in a clearing among existing live oaks and will provide views of the Hill Country prairie’s native grasses, prickly pears, and elms, as well as neighboring limestone escarpments and a dry creek bed.
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.
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 Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has shown a significant interest in architecture during its relatively brief history.
Sarah Whiting, a member of the Princeton University School of Architecture faculty and an expert in urban and architectural theory, has been named dean of the Rice University School of Architecture. Whiting officially takes command on Jan. 1.
Rice University graduate students Zhan Chen and Brantley Highfill (with faculty sponsor Douglas Oliver) recently received second place for their design Constructed Ecologies in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture “Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable World” International Student Design Competition.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Amsterdam and Paris, and one of the things that surprised me – besides $20 chicken salad sandwiches washed down with $15 glasses of vin ordinaire – was the number of architecture and design magazines for sale in airports, train stations, bookstores and sidewalk newsstands.
The program of the Rice School of Architecture (RSA) – encouraging students to create conceptual apparatuses for investigating contemporary urban phenomena – is outlined in its latest publication, Everything Must Move, released on the occasion of the fifth Kennon Symposium honoring Dean Lars Lerup as he steps down this year.
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.
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.”
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.
Hosting a convention for 19,000 architects might sound like a daunting task. For AIA San Antonio, as the local chapter for the 2007 AIA national conference, planning the annual gathering was just one item of its agenda. At the same time, the chapter’s leaders were also designing a new Center for Architecture, a “legacy project” to fulfill requirements from the national headquarters for a tangible, local initiative that would live long beyond the four-day convention.
Oiltanking Texas City is a terminal for receiving, storing, and distributing petroleum-based products. Approximately 100 acres in size, the site is located within the Texas City Industrial Park, a landscape of contiguous oil refineries and chemical plants that edge the west side of Galveston Bay. The overall site is dominated by shipping docks and sections of land dotted with storage tanks, laced together by interior roadways. At its southwest corner is the office building for the terminal’s operations. Comprised of almost 13,000 sf, the architecture of the Oiltanking office building stands as the relatively diminutive control point within a site of disproportionate scale.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced the 2007 design award winners during its annual Design Awards Announcement and Celebration Party in the AT&T Victory Plaza on Sept. 19, 2007.
On Nov. 7, 2007, the Museum of Modern Art in New York inducted into its permanent collection Interloop Architecture’s E-X-I-T sign custom designed for the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Fabricated with acrylic letters and illuminated by LED, the Houston firm’s creation joins other works in the MoMA Architecture and Design collection suchas Vignelli’s New York subway signage and the Flight Departure Panel from Solari di Udine.
The Lower Río Grande Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects kicked off its fifteenth annual conference on Sept. 27 with a day-long tour of nineteenth-century architecture in the border cities of Brownsville and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Called “A Tale of Two Cities,” the tour was led by Gregory Free, principal of an Austin design firm specializing in historical restoration.
The study of campus architecture in Texas is truly a lesson in cultural diversity. Just by sampling schools in the University of Texas System, one would observe everything from a Beaux-Arts rendering of Spanish Mediterranean motifs on the Austin campus to a playful reinterpretation of Bhutanese monasteries in El Paso.
(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.
Anthony Nak Flagship Store, a high-end jewelry boutique designed by MJ Neal Architects of Austin, has been recognized with a 2008 AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture. Located in downtown Austin, Anthony Nak represents the only project with a Texas connection among this year’s slate of winners.
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.
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.
The studio exercise called for students to design an addition for an assisted living facility for senior citizens in La Porte. The assignment was their first for the Spring 2008 design studio in the master’s program at Texas A&M University’s Department of Architecture.
“The Architecture of Ricardo Legorreta,” a recent exhibition at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, was both a significant event in the cultural life of San Antonio and an important insight into the noted architect’s work process.
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.
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.
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.
Inspired by nature, University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture fifth-year students re-imagined Frederick Kiesler’s Grotto for Meditation, originally commissioned in 1963 by Jane Blaffer Owen as a quiet and relaxing environment in the arts community of New Harmony, Ind.
In his foreword of Urs Peter Flückiger’s Donald Judd: Architecture in Marfa, Texas, the eminent architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson describes Judd’s Marfa work as overwhelming both in scale and quality. For Wilson, it speaks volumes about the nature of art that one would findJudd’s enigmatic pieces in such an isolated place.
‘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 Mansfield residence in El Paso was conceived from a fascination with the experiential qualities of light. Early in the design phase the couple expressed their interest in the genesis and propagation of light. Their personal appreciation of such is manifested through their extensive yet different collections of artifacts. An exquisite collection of menorahs defined hers, while his was embodied in a fascinating collection of cameras. The local firm 9 Degrees Architecture was first and foremost tasked with creating a place of living with the unique purpose of celebrating life each and every day.
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.
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.
Planes of sewing thread, a panel of drinking straws, pillows of concrete, and 3-D tiles of laser cut paper – materials used out of context to challenge ordinary associations – form the basis of two walls created by students at UT Arlington’s School of Architecture for the inaugural exhibition in the Center for Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art.
[Editor’s note: Due to an editing error, a news story in the July/August edition about AIA Lubbock’s Design Awards inadvertently omitted the projects’ architecture firms. The complete list follows.] AIA Lubbock presented its 2007 Design Awards on Nov. 29, 2007.
Changes within the administrative suite at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture recently went into effect, including the appointments of a new interim dean and four permanent department heads. Meanwhile, the search will continue for a dean to succeed Tom Regan, Assoc. AIA.
Designed to reflect the harmony and elegance of modern Asian architecture, the Asia Society’s Texas Center project was led by internationally celebrated Yoshio Taniguchi, the architect responsible for the 2004 expansion of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“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.
Faced wit h the imminent demolition of a World War II-vintage structure adjacent to the University of Houston’s College of Architecture, school officials devised a metamorphosis that not only honors the original building’s utilitarian design but also enhances scholarship on the urban campus.
Few architects’ legacies have been more controversial than that of mid-century modernist Edward Durrell Stone. As his buildings age, they don’t engender the passion for restoration often associated with the work of his peers. Buchanan Architecture’s recent restoration and remodel of Oak Court – a palatial Stone design in Dallas from 1956 – offers a clear signal that, despite any prejudices, there is value in Stone’s buildings.
Even two decades after architect Bill Palmore left his hometown of El Paso, a set of mid-century houses by two local designers still lingered in his memory. Later, as a professor of architecture at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Palmore revisited those modest residences and was struck at the exceptional integrity of the work of late El Paso architects Robert Garland and David Hilles.
The new 5,200-sq. ft. Sicardi Gallery, near the Menil Collection and the Houston Center for Photography, will house a second venue to fulfill its mission to facilitate a cultural dialogue between Latin America, the U.S., and Europe through art.
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.
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.
Recognized with one of six 2006 NCARB Prizes for excellence and innovation in bringing together architectural education and practice, Texas Tech University College of Architecture’s “Practicum + Studio” offers students the extraordinary opportunity to work side-by-side with architects in three cities.
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.
Twelve projects received awards in A IA San Antonio’s 2006 Design Awards. The projects were announced on Oct. 25 at a ceremony held at the Pearl Stable. The awards presentation served as the finale of the chapter’s second annual “Architecture Month.”
Each year the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASA/TASB) sponsors a jury competition to select projects for its Exhibit of School Architecture. For an architect such as me to be invited to participate on the jury, the event offers an opportunity to see what’s new, to see how the design of schools facilities has progressed, and to check up on the competition.
Gloria Cisneros Pre-Kindergarten received the Caudill Award, the highest honor given in the 2006 TASA /TASB Exhibit of School Architecture. Designed specifically with four-year-old students in mind, the 45,793-sf school provides an environment that encourages children to feel welcome.
What happens when you give sophomore architecture students bricks and mortar? Heroic cantilevers go out of style, and formal innovation follows from structural know-how. On Sept. 19 during the annual Brick Day, students at the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture had a chance to put to use the theory they learn in lecturer Robert Morris’ structures class.
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.
Seven projects were recognized at the Northeast Texas AIA annual Christmas party and chapter meeting. The jury panel consisted of Kenneth Apel, AIA, of HKS in Dallas; Gary Kirchoff, AIA, of HH Architects in Dallas; and Andrew Vernooy, AIA, dean of the Texas Tech School of Architecture
Three projects in Texas were among the 29 projects recognized this year with AIA’s Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in three categories—architecture, interior architecture, and urban design. The annual competition attracted a total of almost 700 entries, with independent juries reviewing submittals in each of the categories.
MC2 Architects of Houston was among 12 firms selected by Architecture for Humanity to design residential prototypes for its Model Home program. The goal of the program is to provide design services and financial assistance for the construction of new homes for families in East Biloxi, Miss., whose houses were destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.
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.”
For a glimpse into the future of the architectural profession, the University of San Antonio College of Architecture offers a few hints. The College’s design studios present examples of the kind of diversity that has proved so elusive for the profession, with the demographic character of its student body giving the impression that progress may be just a few years away.
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.
AIA Houston honored 19 projects during the chapter’s 2007 Design Awards Dinner held on April 5 at the Majestic Metro Theater. The projects were selected from 136 entries submitted by local firms.
The TSA 25-Year Award is an important public outreach program that focuses much-deserved attention on distinguished Texas architecture of enduring significance. The annual award recognizes a building or ensemble of buildings completed 25 to 50 years before, which has retained its central form, character, and architectural integrity.
Inspired by traditional Spanish Colonial architecture, the design for Edinburg’s new 90,000-sf Catholic High School features a horseshoe shaped complex of classrooms and administrative offices that surrounds a large, landscaped courtyard.
In her 2006 book, The Architectural Legacy of Alfred Giles, Mary Carolyn Hollers George revisits several works she featured in an earlier book, Alfred Giles: An English Architect in Texas and Mexico, published in 1972. In the years between the two books, a renewed appreciation for Giles’ architecture resulted in restorations and renovations of his buildings, including many in San Antonio. Giles (1853–1920) arrived in San Antonio in his 20s and built a successful design business that took him across South Texas and into northern Mexico. This excerpt, from “Chapter One: Heroic Rescues in San Antonio, Texas,” tells of an almost desperate effort by one architect to save one building, which contrasted sharply with a much larger project – the Crockett Block – that was well-funded and rallied support from several groups. THE restoration of the Crockett Block in 1983–84 was accomplished with the ample financial backing of a group of investors as well as enthusiastic civic support. It was an anchor for the revitalization of Alamo Plaza and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure in the Alamo Plaza Historic District.
Originated as AIA Lubbock’s chapter gift to the city of Lubbock in commemoration of AIA150, the design of the North University Avenue Mercado is complete. This planned indoor/outdoor public plaza in North Lubbock will embrace the art, architecture, and culture of the local Hispanic community at an already identified site targeted for redevelopment.
AIA Austin honored 17 projects during the chapter’s 2007 Awards and Honors Gala held on May 12 at the Texas Memorial Museum on the University of Texas campus. The projects were selected from a pool of 65 entries submitted by local firms
The 2007 Solar Decathlon team at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture has developed its entry for the biannual international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Sustainable design,” the emerging amalgamation of principles and strategies for conserving the use of energy by buildings, is rapidly becoming the most important force in contemporary architecture. Potentially prescriptive, sustainable design strongly implies the need for a very different architecture. Owing to what seems the profession’s long-term habit of neglecting energy conservation, an anxiety surrounds the subject, stimulated by concerns that a designer’s creativity might be restricted or a client’s preferences compromised.
The story of Garland and Hilles tells as much about the post-war housing boom and subsequent increase of Cold War military spending as it does about architecture. El Paso, home to venerable Ft. Bliss and the newly important Biggs Air Field, was poised to grow rapidly. The population more than doubled to 276,678 in the decade between 1950 and 1960.
Taking advantage of the project’s scenic location along Corpus Christi Bay, Holzman Moss Architecture of New York City, the design architect for the team, designed the Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi to offer stunning views as well as first-rate acoustics.
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.
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.
On Aug. 2, more than 400 guests attended an opening preview of Houston Mod’s third architectural exhibition, Hugo V. Neuhaus, Jr., Residential Architecture, 1948-1966, at Architecture Center Houston. Neuhaus was the premier gentleman architect for Houston’s elite society in the 1950s.
More than bringing together two allied disciplines of design education at Penn State, the new Stuckeman Family Building for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture also connects two campus grids at a pivotal point.
UTSA’s College of Architecture has pioneered a new studio class whose goal is to expose architecture students to all aspects of a building project, from initial design through construction of the project.
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.
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.
Following its return home in October from the 2005 Solar Decathlon, held in Washington, D.C., the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture’s SNAP House began phase two of an already remarkable life. The 800-sf experimental, pre-fabricated dwelling has been donated for use as affordable housing in a neighborhood not far from the university campus. The house will be hooked into the Austin Energy grid, supplying enough power to eliminate the utility bills for its tenants while also supporting the needs of two adjacent homes.
What was it like designing architecture in the International Style in conservative post-war North Texas? What inspired the pioneers of Texas Modernism? How was their work received by their clients and the public? And in what way is it different today? These were a few of the questions pondered during a symposium held Nov. 12 at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture.
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.
With help from Boston firm Ayers/Saint/Gross, Texas State University began development of a 10-year master plan in 2003 to accommodate its expected growth of the 455-acre campus in San Marcos. The plan is based on five principles: to maintain identity, emphasize sense of community, accentuate the natural environment, exhibit cohesive architecture, and develop ease of mobility around the campus.
Christopher Lamb and Daniel Romo’s design for a 269,000-sf medical center was among 14 concepts presented in December by teams of Texas A&M University architecture students working in collaboration with architects at Dallas-based HKS. The proposed site covers 40 acres in Mansfield, just south of Fort Worth.
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.
“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.
Thirty years ago I left teaching in the public school classroom and headed for graduate school and a degree in architecture at Texas A&M. Nine years of classroom duty have greatly influenced my perception of what constitutes quality educational environs for students and faculty. They were an influence again while serving last year as a juror for TASA/TASB’s annual school design award program.
Designed by Pfluger Associates, Tivy High School received the Caudill Award, the highest honor given in the 2005 TASA /TAS B Exhibit of School Architecture. Having long outgrown the district’s previous high school building, Kerrville ISD opened the 269,302-sf school in August 2003.
Previously serving grades 10-12, Richardson High School admitted 720 freshmen earlier this year. PBK Architects designed the campus renovations and additions to provide space for the increased student population. The project received TASA /TAS B Exhibit of School Architecture awards in the value, design, educational appropriateness, and process of planning categories.
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.
Completed in May 2004, Spicewood Elementary received awards in the value, design, & process of planning categories in the 2005 Exhibit of School Architecture. Modeled after another local elementary school campus designed by Fromberg Associates, the architects incorporated lessons learned and updated the materials palette to reflect the school’s rural Hill-Country setting
This June marks the centennial of the first graduating class from any school in Texas that taught architecture as a degree program. The degrees in architectural engineering were awarded to three young men at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now known as Texas A&M University.
While a recent ruling by the state’s attorney general leaves much still to be resolved, the opinion did unequivocally state that the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) was incorrect in claiming architecture as a subset of engineering. The ruling, released Jan. 10, is expected to stifle the TBPE’s message to the public that engineers can practice architecture, called “building design” in a statement released by the engineering board in June 2005.
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.
Designed in 1955 by Caudill, Rowlett and Scott, the Alvin Independent School District Administration Building was classic International Style. The gracefully proportioned Miesian box of solid masonry planes infilled with full-height expanses of curtain wall was recognized in its time as an exemplary work of modern architecture. Generous overhangs of the flat roof shaded the full-height window system composed of operable sashes (the building was not originally air-conditioned).
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.
Jeffrey Olgin, an architecture student at Texas Tech University, recently received the 2005 form•Z University Joint Study Award of Distinction in Architecture for his conceptual design for the Institute for Jazz Studies. Designed for a site at historic Fort Adams Park in Rhode Island where the Newport Jazz Festival takes place each year, the project consists of two distinct buildings that house the campus and museum, along with a bridging element that connects them to performance spaces.
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.
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.
Texas has three projects among the AIA’s 2006 top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The annual list of Top Ten Green Projects is selected by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE).
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.
In April 2005, Advanced Micro Devices announced plans for a new campus on a 59-acre tract at the southern edge of Austin to house its design and administrative staff. AMD hired Graeber Simmons & Cowan Architecture of Austin to design a masterplan as well as the individual components.
“New Housing Prototypes for New Orleans” was a competition sponsored by Architectural Record and Tulane University’s School of Architecture that asked architecture students across North American to consider traditional New Orleans house types as a basis for proposing contemporary solutions to rebuilding in neighborhoods damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Five designs were selected by a jury among more than 500 entries.
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.
A well-traveled sidewalk on the Penn State campus leads past Hort Woods, the university’s last swath of untouched forest. The path turns slightly at a large water tower before continuing on axis toward Henderson Mall, the historic main quad. When under-designed parking lots abutted this minor turn, it was essentially unnoticeable. Now, though, a great green curtain wall, four stories tall, closely faces this path. The patinated copper southwest facade of the new Stuckeman Family Building for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture seems to peel away from the structure here, ending in a cantilever.
The dean of Houston’s architecture community, Seth Irwin Morris Jr., died Aug. 1 at the age of 91.
A team of faculty and students from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture (UTSOA) has been invited to contribute its research and design ideas for the revitalization of New Orleans to the Venice Biennale. The exhibition, organized under the theme “Cities, Architecture and Society,” will run from Sept. 10 to Nov. 19.
The design approach was to do more with less. The architecture learned from the regional vernacular, responded to the harsh climate, and minimized disturbance of existing habitat. The building creates a gateway between disturbed agricultural land and a 1,700-acre native habitat preserve.
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.
The architecture school recently initiated and completed Design>Build>Texas, a design/build studio for upper-level architecture students. This course was developed as an educational prototype as well as a prototype for the design and construction of an environmentally responsible house
Designed by University of Houston architecture student Zui Ng (working with professors Rafael Longoria and Fernando Brave, AIA), Shotgun Chameleon was one of two entries by Texas designers to receive an Honor Award in the New Orleans Prototype Housing Competition co-sponsored by Architectural Record and Tulane University’s School of Architecture.
San Angelo is one of the best-kept secrets of Texas. While it clearly benefits from the bucolic beauty of its location at the northern-most limits of the Hill Country, San Angelo has neither an interstate highway nor a large commercial airport and one can’t help but feel the isolation of its setting in the remote environs of West Texas. Still, some of its architecture is exemplary, including Trost & Trost’s City Hall (1928), Caudill Rowlett and Scott’s Central High School (1955), Ford Powell and Carson’s Central National (1969), and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer’s San Angelo Museum of Art (1999). The downtown core is largely intact but suffers from underutilization; the restored Fort Concho (1867-69), and the Concho River Valley environs all contribute to a small city ripe with potential.