Calendar, January–February 2016
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.
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.
In the January-February 2016 issue, TA’s products editor selects some of the most innovative building control systems on the market today.
HiWorks and Work5hop teamed up on the competition winning design, which references the early days of aviation and incorporates a civic lighting display.
Highlights of architecture and cultural happenings around Texas, including AIA Houston’s Celebrate Architecture Gala and Ann Veronica Janssens at the Nasher
Germany, Austria, and Sweden are just a few of the nations represented by the designers and manufacturers in this roundup, ranging from high-strength cement tiles to silk window curtains.
This crisp pavilion in the garden gave way on the inside to an endless world of colored light and fog.
Highlights of architecture and cultural happenings around Texas, including Meejin Yoon at The Magnolia Theatre and Ronen Sharabani’s Driscoll Villa Projection.
In the May-June 2016 issue, TA’s products editor highlights six residential furnishings.
Austin’s Creek Show brought thousands of visitors to Waller Creek on a freezing night last fall to see installations by local architects and landscape architects.
Candid Rogers Architect’s Marfa 10 x 10 Lightbox peeks over the shrubs to provide sweeping views of the West Texas landscape.
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.”
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.
“Dallas Modern” showcases some of the finest modern houses in the city. Reviewer Eurico Francisco, AIA, calls the book “a visual and intellectual delight.”
Based on morphological studies of avian bone structure, James Warton is exploring thin wall optimization as a possible design model.
Parametric design and digital fabrication create a responsive modular system focused on filtering light.
Parametric design and digital fabrication create a responsive modular system focused on filtering light.
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.
Once upon a time in 1970, Louis Kahn played the organ for a crowd of 400 in Austin.
Rita Catinella Orrell features a hospitality products roundup.
Slender pipe columns support a lofty roof while daylight pours into the soaring dining room at Andersson-Wise Architects’ Temple Dining Hall & Booth Student Center.
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.
Architect Donna Kacmar has demonstrated how to do rather a lot with not very much in this tiny, 544-sf house. Located in Houston, the home is like a light-hearted Texas garden folly where one is permanently on vacation.
At 64 Vanguard Way in Dallas, Max Levy has created a simple composition that represents a thoughtful and rigorous response to the challenges of the site. The house combines subtle connections to nature with playful gestures in the art of dwelling that both suit and delight the couple that lives there.
Austin’s Highland Mall sits largely abandoned. However Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects’ proposal for the redevelopment of a former department store, into a new Austin Community College campus, floods the interior with light and activates the exterior with student gathering spaces.
Renown for its diffusion of natural light, the roof of the Menil Collection comprises 300, 25-mm-thick, ferrocement leaves, which protect the building from the light and heat of the Texas sun. Completed in 1981 by Renzo Piano, the Menil received the 2013 AIA 25-Year Award.
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.
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.
Legge Lewis Legge’s beautiful proposal for the Chapel Saint Francis de Sales in Haute-Savoie, France, honors the obscure saint of writing.
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.
Max Levy, FAIA, knows how to bring daylight into a room in beautiful and creative ways. “Light Sails,” rods, trellises, and apertures in the ceiling, these five sketches demonstrate why he is a master of light.
Houston is home to three permanent installations by artist James Turrell: “Skyspace” at Live Oak Friends Meeting House; “The Light inside” at Wilson Tunnel, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University. Each yields distinctly different effects, yet they are profoundly connected by the artist’s immersive exploration of light.
Natural light is essential to architecture, but when thinking about the sunlight in Texas, one of its qualities seems to dominate all the others: heat. Shade structures by architects Bud Oglesby, FAIA; O’Neil Ford, FAIA; Max Levy, FAIA; Murray Legge, FAIA; and Foster + Partners provide significant examples of passive designs to beat the heat.
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.
Austin-based Miró Rivera Architects designed a sustainable and economical building, full of natural light, for the not-for-profit LifeWorks in East Austin.
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.
When PageSoutherlandPage proposed using high thermal mass concrete walls as a means of reducing energy consumption in the new office building for Austin engineers Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, the team saw it as an interesting case for experimentation.
For its new home, Overland Partners converted the 26,000-sf Hughes Warehouse in the burgeoning River North area of downtown San Antonio.
An adaptive reuse of two early 20th-century industrial buildings, 1000 Foch Street in Fort Worth is a simple combination of minimalist forms and materials by Cunningham Architects.
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.
An icon and indisputably the dean of architectural photographers in Texas, Richard Payne, FAIA, has been a registered architect since 1964 and a full-time architectural photographer for almost 45 years.
Re:Site and METALAB recently installed “Memory Cloud,” a light-based an installation that creatively embodies campus life, at the Texas A&M University Memorial Student Center.
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.
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.
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.
For a planned expansion of the public library in Blanco, designer Brett Wolfe, Assoc. AIA, drew inspiration from F.E. Ruffini’s 1885 limestone courthouse that looms over the center of town about a half-mile away.
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.
As soon as you’ve parked your car (mine was parked in one of the spaces reserved for high-efficiency vehicles) and walk toward Gloria Marshall Elementary School, you realize this is not your average public school building. The covered path leads you past an “eco-garden”—laid out with individual planting beds for each grade and an adjacent pond, both fed by runoff from the roof drains and rainfall captured in an above-ground 5,000-gallon cistern.
Designing an art center for a client in China required the architects in RTKL’s Dallas office to strike a balance between allowing in natural light while protecting the artwork on exhibit. Their solution calls for an exterior that combines stone and glass, one material representing strength and another of a more delicate nature.
The announcement in Architectural Record’s January 2005 issue that Yoshio Taniguchi would design his first free-standing building outside of Japan in Houston’s revered Museum District brimmed with expectation. At that time, Taniguchi was considered an emerging “starchitect” whose addition to the Museum of Modern Art had been completed the previous year.
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.
More than 20 years after the last major high-rise building was completed in downtown Houston, the Bayou city skyline welcomes BG Group Place at 811 Main Street. Developed by the Hines CalPERS Green Development Fund and designed by Pickard Chilton, the graceful tower, completed in 2011, stands 46 stories tall at the core of the Central Business District (CBD) along the METRO light rail transit line and is strategically connected to the six-mile underground pedestrian tunnel system.
It’s a Monday morning at Archillume Lighting Design in Austin. Founder Charles Thompson, FAIA, is just now back from a four-day road trip on his 2009 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. His time on the open road to Big Bend and back has helped to recharge his energy and clear his mind. So he’s ready for whatever awaits him.
On April 19, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA–COTE) announced its Top Ten projects for 2012. This year’s batch of winners highlights community ties, social equity, and attentiveness to water issues. One Texas firm and three national/international firms with offices in Texas are among the winners.
Like the other two books highlighted here, everyday, by Leonard Volk, will be part of the featured activities (including book-signings by authors) in the AIA-Austin-hosted Reading Room at the Texas Society of Architects Convention and Design Expo in Austin October 18-20.
The pavilions at Brownwood Park in north Dallas seem deceptively simple. The three structures — conceived by architect Joe McCall, FAIA, as “The Huddle” —appear at first to be a lighthearted concoction of shapes, colors, and textures. Get closer, though, and a clear idea supported by design rigor becomes evident.
In the past there has been a sense of aloofness characterizing the Art Building on the UT Austin campus. Located on the northeast corner of San Jacinto and 23rd Street, across from Royal–Memorial Stadium, the two-story building has stood at a distance from the public. Although its main entry on the west side was connected to street level by a prominent exterior stair, the building’s solid volumes revealed little about its interior activities. Yet the south elevation of this mid-century modern building expressed a slight undulation in the soft orange brick veneer, rising to a cap of contrasting white concrete barrel vaults. These details created a bit of visual interest and a hint of greater possibilities within.
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.
There is a child -like playfulness to the work of Ricardo Legorreta. When experiencing his projects, one intuits the architect’s delight in applying vivid colors and his fascination with simple geometric forms as if he had been handed a box of paints and a set of gigantic building blocks. Throughout his long career, Legorreta has perfected a rigorous approach to modernism infused with Latino vitality.
The results of the 2010 Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition were announced in November at the Dallas Museum of Art. Commonly known as “KRob,” the contest was established 36 years earlier by AIA Dallas to recognize excellence in the art of architectural delineation (originally hand-rendered works but later expanded to include computer-assisted drawings).
Houston firm Logan/Johnson conceived Prism Cloud as an energy-generating landscape pavilion near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The pavilion will appear to hover over the desert terrain, alternately casting shadows and light on the surface of the sand. Five concrete piers anchor the pavilion to the ground, with a steel cable net – embedded with thin-film photovoltaic panels and glass prisms – that stretches between the piers.
“Light, space and order—these are the things that humans need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” Le Corbusier’s observation of these three essential elements comes to mind when visiting the Sisters Retreat pool house and pavilion by Mell Lawrence Architects. Though the project possesses the typical attributes one might associate with a small recreational program, the unique quality of the design is manifest both in the overall layout as well as in its materiality and detailing, all of which embrace light in nuanced ways.
Designed by San Antonio firm Wiese Hefty Design Build, the Austin headquarters of Sweet Leaf Tea highlights the company’s brand while also displaying its eclectic office culture. The architects used building information modeling (BIM) software to design the almost 8,000-sf space, which is an adaptive reuse of a 1918 building in the Penn Field office complex.
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.
Two years after a statewide design competition yielded affordable housing prototypes to benefit victims of Hurricane Rita, two have been built and a third is under construction. The two completed projects were unveiled in November, slightly four years after Rita devastated Gulf Coast communities at the Texas-Louisiana border.
Opened last September , the $ 1 0 0 million Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building represents a major step toward Texas A&M University’s goal of becoming one of the top 10 universities in the nation as set forth in its Vision 2020. The 230,000-sf ILSB, the largest single construction project in A&M’s 133-year history, is also the first academic facility to be built with the $1 billion earmarked by former TAMU President Robert Gates for improvements to the College Station campus.
The reinvigorated Dallas Arts District provides a timely opportunity to feature performance venues around the state while highlighting the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre. Both are stunning additions to the downtown cultural enclave that has evolved over three decades through the roller coaster ride of the boom-bust economic cycle.
A team of students from the University of Texas at San Antonio has been recognized with the 2009 Kenneth Lanier Anderson Prize by the Texas Architectural Foundation (TAF) for measured drawings of the Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio. The prize was presented in November in conjunction with the annual Charles E. Peterson Prize organized jointly by the National Park Service, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the American Institute of Architects to highlight student work for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).
In conjunction with its annual Building Communities Conference held in September, the Lower Río Grande Valley chapter of the AIA sponsored a daylong tour that highlighted preservation projects in and around Brownsville. Drizzle and unseasonably cool temperatures did not dampen the spirits of architectural sightseers as they examined a range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century sites.
Rem Koolhaas (Pritzker honoree in 2000) and Joshua Prince-Ramus, enabled by enlightened patrons, designed the Wyly to function like no other traditional theater—vertically, with its main performance space at ground level and almost all support facilities placed at the building’s upper tiers. This daring experiment in the logistics of stagecraft exemplifies Koolhaas’s intellectual approach to re-interpreting an established building type from the ground up.
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.
The San Antonio Autism Treatment Center’s new outpatient clinic is designed by SHW Group as a learning tool for understanding the complex developmental disorder. Containing six therapy rooms and a sensory lab, the 6,000-sf project encourages sensory and social interaction skills through active group and one-on-one therapy. Working with autism specialists, the architects used six principles – acoustics; spatial sequencing; natural light; color, texture, and pattern; therapeutic horticulture; and rhythms – that help clients identify the spaces and anticipate a functional change.
British historian Arnold J. Toynbee observed that the border of an enlightened and ascendant civilization is a fluid zone of contact. But, he cautioned, when its power of self-determination and its creative influence upon neighbors wane so does the mutual cooperation and communication shared with those neighbors until hostility transforms the border into a rigid military line.
The new GSA building’s “second skin” of nearly opaque glass is held in place by a lightweight metal frame affixed to the concrete walls. Placed away from the thermal wall of the building, the glass skin provides substantial shading from direct heat gain.
A view of the limitless horizon can have a transforming effect. Watching the landscape stretch out across miles can cast a spell over even the most world-weary, especially from a high point where one is transfixed by the subtly shifting light over a wide space, cloud shadows cast across the land, a wild storm approaching from afar.
A few months before the Lower Río Grande Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects held its sixteenth annual Building Communities Conference in September, Hurricane Dolly blew the roof off the South Padre Island Convention Center.
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.
Located near the geographic center of Houston’s frenetic urbanism, just below the crosshairs of its freeway system, the Rice University campus harbors an almost monastic quiet and tranquility. Rice, with a lot more land per student than at most urban universities, affords quite a bit of distance between students as they wander between the staid allees of shade trees and colonnaded brick buildings.
Recognized with a 2009 Great Places Award, co-sponsored by the Environmental Design Research Association and Metropolis magazine, the West Dallas Gateway suggests redevelopment strategies for a blighted, post-industrial area of the city.
Jean-Paul Viguier’s Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio represents the latest example of what has become a growing typology in the state—the art museum with a glass ceiling. This development might seem odd in a state known for its blisteringly hot summers and intense sunlight, but the concept of lighting works of art from above is not a particularly new development.
When Jim Poteet , AIA, of Poteet Architects converted a derelict 1940s-era auto paint shop into an art studio for noted San Antonio arts patron Linda Pace, he had no way of knowing he would be redesigning that same space just a few months later. Sadly, Pace passed away from breast cancer in 2007, only six months after her new studio was completed. Three months after her death, Poteet was asked to redesign the space as offices for the Pace Foundation, a nonprofit established by Pace prior to her death. The Foundation is dedicated to the display and loan of her renowned contemporary art collection; facilitating the artist-in-residence program at Artpace; and maintaining CHRISpark, the adjacent urban park.
A glimpse through the front doors of the Blanton Museum of Art reveals a soft blue light—it’s the new piece, Stacked Waters, a cast acrylic site-specific installation by artist Teresita Fernández. Wrapping around the walls of the atrium, Stacked Waters suffuses the space with unexpected and atmospheric light against the backdrop of the main stair hall. The effect illustrates how the Blanton is, in many ways, a deferential building— a backdrop not just to art on the inside but to the campus on the outside as well.
Cityville Southwest Medical Center embodies the pioneer spirit. When opened in 2007, the mixed-use development shared the neighborhood with industrial brownfields, rusting steel warehouses, and a red-light district.
University of Houston students Daniel De La Garza, Jared Wilson Thorn, Alfonso Villafuerte, and Chukwunoso Ofili have developed a concept for an eco-friendly, multi-purpose lighting system that could serve nightly as neighborhood and home security lighting and as solar-powered emergency lighting during power shortages.
Discussing Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Terminal D and its selection for a 2009 TSA Design Award, juror Philip Freelon, FAIA, said, “We thought that the project was a very good example of a public building, very prominent, but it still was handled with quite some sensitivity. We all have been in airports, probably more than we’d like, and this is one where you actually feel a sense of light and airy space, which is relaxing. Natural light was well used, and the high volume of the space gives it an open and comfortable feeling. We thought it was well worthy of an award.”
From the street Cunningham Architects’ House in the Garden is a beautifully conceived and executed object, partially shielded behind an iconic wall constructed of stainless-steel wire grid and filled with fragments of slag glass. This idealized garden villa – really a giant porch – provides a delightful way to both view and inhabit a highly personalized landscape. It’s a thoughtful and well organized bit of place making; surprisingly its greatest success is as a foil and extension of an outdoor space that was originally part of the adjacent house.
Once just another nondescript, single-story building indistinguishable from its neighbors that together comprise a light-industrial district wedged between downtown Dallas and the Trinity River, the Light & Sie Art Gallery now stands out. The reconfigured entry, framed by a box of aluminum panels, asserts a refined presence that quietly commands attention amid the clutter of storefronts along Leslie Street on the city’s near-west side. The 13,000-sf project is one of the latest examples in a transformative trend for the area where a few of the shopworn buildings have been repurposed as showrooms for the design trade and retail galleries for contemporary art.
Once the site of an identical apartment building as the building the gallery now inhabits, is where the designers Dillon Kyle and Cedar Baldridge imagined a parking lot built for the artists of the gallery. The parking lot is actually used more by the guests and owners of the gallery but it makes a nod to the artwork inside. It is a unique integration of art, landscape, and function.
Although San Antonio’s iconic settings are significant especially when weighed for their economic benefits to Texas’ third largest city, the broader story of her heritage, traditions and, most importantly, her people is to be found in quarters beyond the shadows of high-rise downtown hotels.
Wolfe Den, by MJ Neal, AIA, represents the Austin architect’s fifth TSA Design Award. The 2,300-sf residence, designed for a young professional couple, is a study in layers, light, and logic, and stands out in subtle contrast to Neal’s previous award-winning work, which includes Twin Peaks (2003), Ramp House (2004), Anthony Nak (2005), and Farley Studio (2007). “This is a much more subtle work than Ramp House and Twin Peaks. The division of space is central to this project,” says Neal, when asked to define the difference between this home and the three others (Twin Peaks comprises two side-by-side dwellings) on the same south Austin street. Sited in an eclectic neighborhood populated by mostly 1930s-era homes interspersed with hip makeovers, Wolfe Den is bordered on the east by a one-story bungalow and on the west by the strikingly modernist Ramp House. Further down the block are Twin Peaks.
Many architects remember a time when incandescent and T12 fluorescent lamps occupied a large part of our light fixture schedules. It was not really all that long ago. But now, there is a new game in town. Well, actually, lots of new games.
Codes are popping up in an increasing number of communities interested in reducing light pollution (uplighting) and light trespass (shining light across a property line).
First lit in 1852, the lighthouse on Matagorda Island is one of five included in a new set of commemorative stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service. “Gulf Coast Lighthouses, ” which went on sale in July, also includes the historic lighthouses at Sabine Pass, La.; Biloxi, Miss.; Sand Island, Ala.; and Fort Jefferson, Fla. The fourth in an ongoing series, the new set is preceded by Pacific Lighthouses (2007), Southeastern Lighthouses (2003), and Great Lakes Lighthouses (1995), all designed by Howard E. Paine and illustrated with paintings by Howard Koslow.
While undergoing tremendous political and socio-economic transition in light of the post-Saddam Hussein regime change, Kurdistan is embracing education and the power it has to transform a nation. This has led to a desire for schools that can serve as catalysts for the transformation, and the new Transformational School will become a prototype for introducing twenty-first-century educational methods.