AIA Convention and Design Expo, May 17-19, Washington, D.C.
The American Institute of Architects’ 2012 Convention Guide and Daily Schedule are now available online.
The American Institute of Architects’ 2012 Convention Guide and Daily Schedule are now available online.
After almost 12 years at the helm of Texas Architect, I see even more clearly the truth in Burnham’s oftquoted assertion. Having worked so long with architects on articles about topics important to them, I understand the power of the big idea. That’s what drives the project, the impetus that transforms the concept into physical reality. Big ideas, I’ve learned, are essential to the architect.
In this edition about design for healthcare and wellness, we look at good buildings of both types. But the role of architects in public health goes far beyond their work on the hospitals, clinics, and fitness facilities routinely associated with these two categories. The broader purview includes their role in shaping more livable, sustainable, and healthy communities — the premise being that there is a direct correlation between the design of a community and the health of its people.
Online registration opens mid July for the Texas Society of Architects Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin. This year, the convention’s theme is “Influence.”
On April 19, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA–COTE) announced its Top Ten projects for 2012. This year’s batch of winners highlights community ties, social equity, and attentiveness to water issues. One Texas firm and three national/international firms with offices in Texas are among the winners.
Architects are faced with the reality that we are an Aging Society. Among the challenges of this future is the preference of people to “age in place,” living at home, in the same neighborhood. Our suitable homes today will not accommodate our needs as we age.
Tucked back in the woods, at the end of a winding path, is an architect working outside of time. But David Webster George, FAIA, arranges patterns and places that are timeless. The unassuming approach to his house in Southlake masks the carefully situated environment he created in 1986, followed by a studio addition in 1991. Deer, coyote, and wild turkey roam the property. David is quick to point out that he resides within the Cross Timbers — a densely packed oak and scrub-bush region that extends from North Texas in a broad swath through Oklahoma and up into Kansas. For David, boundaries are set by nature and not by governments.
The wind blows strong across the low, rolling plains of central Oklahoma. Standing quietly and listening to the wind in this place — where a razor-sharp horizon seams together land and sky — one can sense the spirits of Native Americans who for generations lived and thrived on the land. These were a people who found, after torturous travels westward during the Trail of Tears, a place that in its sheer vastness accepted them and offered the opportunity to rebuild their way of life. And so it was, and so it has been for the Chickasaw Nation in this place of raw and expansive beauty.
The story of the Moran Family Health Center is larger than just the account of relocating the San Jose Clinic from its outdated and undersized 50-year-old facility in downtown. Its true telling reveals the comprehensive delivery of a range of services that are interconnected and focused on the overall well-being and soundness of families.
In 2008 the YMCA of Greater Houston announced the imminent replacement of Kenneth Franzheim’s Italian Renaissance-inspired ten-story edifice that had provided classrooms, exercise facilities, and 132 single-room residential units since 1941. Aspiring to move in a more “family-friendly” direction, the organization stated the primary goal of the new 115,000-sf facility would be to assume a stronger community presence in downtown Houston.
In a bucolic natural setting of rolling hills, the Northwood Club was established in 1946 by residents of north Dallas to provide golf and recreational activities for young families in an expanding city. The latest addition to the club — the fitness center, completed in 2010 —houses strength training, aerobics, a yoga studio, and child care services, along with food service for pool users and golfers.
There is good architecture. And then there is good architecture … as in architecture for the public good. This year’s statewide design award winners — 13 projects from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin — are a case in point. I was struck, during the awards jury process, by how intent the jurors were on recognizing certain entries, not only for their merit in terms of design (even design merit as broadly defined), but also for their capacity to fulfill client aspirations for the public good.
On October 26, a symposium in El Paso will explore the life and career of architect and artist Charles Ewing Waterhouse, Jr. The occasion, scheduled as part of Tom Lea Month, marks the first time a consideration of modern architecture in El Paso is included in the scholarly festivities.
McGarrah Jessee’s relocation to larger quarters in downtown Austin neatly coincided with the home-grown creative agency’s bursting out of its regional sphere of influence. Affectionately known as McJ, the company has steadily ratcheted up its staffing level as its roster of clients has expanded and its recognition has gone national. Now, after having outgrown its former offices in a converted warehouse, McJ has re-established its base of operations in the Starr Building, a modernist landmark completed in 1954 and designed by local firm Kuehne, Brooks and Barr for the offices of American National Bank. The project achieved widespread acclaim at the time for its distinctively crisp interiors by Florence Knoll and a monumental mural created in situ by Seymour Fogel.
Downtown Austin’s east-west streets are sliced in half by the northsouth artery of IH-35. To the west, downtown rises, its sparkling towers radiating progress. To the east, the city of days past lingers, its
neighborhoods of humble homes and local businesses resolute. The freeway, elevated at the heart of the city, creates a physical and spiritual divide that has plagued Austin for decades.
As urban infill lots go, the roughly 12,000-sf triangular site that is now home to the Kimber Modern Bed & Breakfast presented Baldridge Architects with more than its fair share of challenges. For one, the rather
small plot rose 25 feet in elevation from the curb to the back lot line, a precipitous pitch. Furthermore, neighboring establishments created conditions that most would find undesirable for a boutique design hotel.
Hope. Simply stated, it is the message of a new facility, on a mission to ultimately end hunger. Nestled in a warehouse district outside of downtown, the Houston Food Bank (HFB) building gleams with its spirited green color and metal cladding. The new 308,000-sf facility is the nation’s largest Feeding America food bank and source of food for hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Beyond feeding the hungry, the Houston Food Bank provides community services and education programs aimed at promoting good nutrition, assistance with federal and state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, job training, and employment help — all in an effort to break the cycle of food insecurity.
At the intersection of Rice University’s historic and growth axes is the BioScience Research Collaborative, a ten-story 477,000-sf translational research facility designed to facilitate multi-institutional research collaboration between Rice and various institutes from Texas Medical Center. This interdisciplinary facility embraces a wide range of disciplines, from chemistry to bioengineering, from organizations supporting startup research companies to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute — all with emphasis on improving human wellness through research.
Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio has served the medical needs of men and women in uniform since the 1870s. During that time, the complex grew incrementally until 1995 when a new facility was built to consolidate the Fort’s hospital operations. Containing over a million square feet of space, the massive Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC – pronounced “Bam-See”) was clad in heavy masonry that gave it a somewhat institutional quality. While BAMC was functional, the needs of contemporary combat medical practice are constantly evolving and when the decision was made to absorb most of the operations of a nearby Air Force medical facility into the complex, a significant expansion became necessary to create what would eventually be known as the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Haven for Hope Homeless Transformational Center is a groundbreaking project aimed at ameliorating homelessness in San Antonio. It emerged from the shared vision of two philanthropists: business leader Bill Greehey, and Phil Hardberger, Mayor of San Antonio from 2005-2009. Since its first-phase completion in 2008, Haven for Hope’s operational model has inspired other American cities to reassess their approaches to addressing homelessness.
University Branch Library, designed by Bailey Architects, is a two-story, 40,000-sf building on approximately 4.2 acres of the University of Houston Sugar Land campus. The library — for both university and public use — includes a variety of children and young adult services, reference resources, meeting and study areas, and staff work spaces.
The Texas Society of Architects and AIA Austin are offering three specialized study classes on the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) during the Texas Architects 73rd Annual Convention and Design Expo, Oct. 18-20, in Austin. The classes are “Tips and Tricks for using the NCARB Practice Software”; “Archibowl - Come on Down!”; and “NCARB and You: IDP, ARE, and Certification.”
"At once wistful and thought-provoking, light-hearted and profound.” That is how Dallas architect and contributing editor Max Levy, FAIA, described the set of Italy/Texas photo collages represented here in the following selections. We agree with Max that the images, created by UT School of Architecture student Emily Wiegand, are fascinating and promise to be a source of delight for our readers.
“Shaping the built environment.” It’s a well-worn phrase for describing what architects are doing every day. As such, it says a lot, but there’s also more to say. For example, what about the role of the built environment in shaping people?
The Architecture Center Houston (ArCH) hosted a Deans’ Roundtable Discussion in September. Moderated by Larry Speck, FAIA, he opened the discussion with a national statistic that only 35% of architecture faculty are registered architects.