Chipperfield Chosen for Master Site Plan As Menil Reconsiders Montrose Campus
A generation ago, the Menil Collection revealed an architecturally significant museum housing an extraordinary private art collection in an unspectacular Houston enclave.
A generation ago, the Menil Collection revealed an architecturally significant museum housing an extraordinary private art collection in an unspectacular Houston enclave.
Designed by Marshall Strabala, AIA, in Gensler’s Houston office, the Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Corporation’s 2,074-foot tall Shanghai Tower broke ground in November. The 128-story building, set for completion in 2014, is expected to be the tallest building in China.
Many modernists have been trained to look down their noses at the output of twentieth-century architects who designed within eclectic or historicist vocabularies. The work of architect John Staub and his contemporaries was often dismissed by subsequent generations of architects who refused to accept the disjunction between the historical references of this work and the essentially modern character of its program and use.
The Houston Community College (HCC) System is one of the nation’s largest, with 23 locations across the metropolitan area. Since its creation in 1971, the system has acquired a diverse range of facilities and adapted them for educational purposes.
Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area are among the top five cities in the nation with the most buildings enrolled in the Energy Star program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The federal program promotes energy conservation and reduction of greenhouse gases by designing buildings to be more energy efficient.
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 Tolerance Bridge is among several public projects planned by the City of Houston to enhance the green space surrounding Buffalo Bayou. The German arts collaborative Elmgreen & Dragset, selected for the project through an international competition, will work in partnership with Houston-based architects SWA Group. Sited just east of Montrose Boulevard, the 850-foot-long pedestrian bridge is designed to connect the bayou’s north and south banks, as well as existing hike-and-bike trails.
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.
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.
The site for the house Nonya Grenader, FAIA, designed for her family in Houston was selected for the beauty of the existing trees and shade and its ideal proximity as a construction site. Intimately acquainted with the amenities of the Southampton neighborhood, a deed-restricted subdivision near Rice, the Grenaders had lived next door for 11 years before their elderly neighbor offered to sell them her house in 1997. The 55x130-foot lot presented an opportunity to create a new environment tailored to their long-established live/work lifestyle.
The new Cullen Eye Institute in the Medical Building of Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center combines multiple adult ophthalmology subspecialties under one roof. Dr. Dan B. Jones, chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Baylor, recognized the need to consolidate the existing adult ophthalmology practice into a single building on the new McNair Campus.
Peter H. Brown, FAIA, announced his candidacy for mayor of Houston in February. With more than 30 years’ experience practicing in Houston, the architect also has served on the City Council since winning election in 2005 and re-election in 2007. He recently sat down with AIA Houston Executive Director Barrie Scardino to outline his objectives should he be elected when voters go to the polls on Nov. 3.
Construction of the 1.1 million-sf San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, designed by RTKL’s Dallas office, began in December. Scheduled for completion in July 2011, the $556 million integrated design-bid-build contract is a result of the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s recommendations.
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.
This word painting by Rand Elliott, FAIA, explains how he wants people to understand his latest award-winning project, ImageNet of Houston. Employing poetry or manifestoes to describe one’s work is not uncommon these days. Indeed, such material appears to be a prerequisite of the current media culture that promotes “starchitects,” “signature architects,” and one-hit wonders. Supportive text is, we are led to believe, required reading. If a building appears mundane, baffling, or otherwise underwhelming, just refer to the narrative. Within the architect’s words, we are told, lies the true meaning which will assure in our prosaic times that, yes, this is Architecture.
Once 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.
The Texas Society of Architects welcomes these companies participating in the 2009 Expo in Houston (current as of August 4). Expo dates are October 23-24 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Make plans now to visit their booths, pick up new product information, ask a question, or just see a friend. Keep and use this handy guide with booth numbers and contact information as a reference tool.
While Hurricane Ike may have roared through Texas over a year ago, public interest remains high in planning efforts to protect the Houston-Galveston region against such violent storms. In response to that interest, the Rice Design Alliance sponsored a three-part civic forum during the summer.
Eighty-four years after opening as Houston’s Central Library, the Julia Ideson Building will finally be completed according to the plans of its original architect, Ralph Adams Cram. Dedicated in 1926 and named for the city librarian who pressured for a new facility to replace the Carnegie Library of 1904, the Ideson Building is about to undergo restoration by Gensler’s Houston office.
Announced to fanfare surrounding actor Brad Pitt’s personal involvement with bringing affordable housing to this beleaguered city’s poorest residents, the Make It Right program unveiled designs in December for houses by some of the world’s cutting-edge architects. A total of 13 international, national, and regional firms were invited to create home designs for the Crescent City’s Lower Ninth Ward, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.
Starting with a project for a small office and warehouse in 1957, Gerald D. Hines began developing real estate in Houston with a keen eye for adding value to his projects with architectural excellence. A half-century later, having developed hundreds of buildings around the world, Hines has remained committed to raising the standards of commercial design by engaging the best practitioners.
Thomas McKittrick, FAIA, of Houston is the 2008 recipient of the Edward C. Kemper Award for his contributions to the profession through service to the American Institute of Architects. In 1991, he was honored with TSA’s Llewellyn W. Pitts Award (now called the Lifetime Achievement Medal), the Society’s highest recognition for an architect member.
On Nov. 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.
Architects at Kirksey faced two major challenges with the design of a nearly quarter millionsquare-foot building for Texas Woman’s University at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. First, the site comprised two 65-foot-wide perpendicular slivers of land at a prominent intersection in the burgeoning medical complex. Second, feasibility studies (conducted in a compressed timeframe) intended intended to confirm the validity of a land exchange ultimately represented a normative site analysis—one generating the organizational armature for subsequent decisions.
Carl Wunsche Sr. High School is a career academy located in the Spring Independent School District of Houston. SH W Group oriented the 273,178-square-foot school around three academic towers that each focuses on a specialized area of study.
Commuter rail is returning to Austin, bringing with it several transit oriented developments (TOD) that will drive the creation of new live/work/play neighborhoods centered around at least eight train stations. Perhaps as early as this fall, Austin will join Dallas and Houston in reviving urban rail travel as a means to reduce traffic congestion and as a catalyst for thoughtful intracity planning. That means more people in and around Austin will have the option of leaving their cars at home.
Co-sponsored by AIA Houston, the Gulf Coast Green 2008 symposium and expo is scheduled April 3-6 at Reliant Park in Houston. The event will address timely issues of rising energy costs and global climate concerns. Tours of Houston will be given on April 4, and will feature folk art, green roof, Houston downtown, and sustainable engineering.
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.
Construction is underway at Rice University in Houston on the 6,042-square-foot Brochstein Pavilion, a new gathering place planned for students, faculty, and staff. Composed primarily of glass, the pavilion will include a coffee house and a 10,728-square-foot landscaped, wrap-around plaza where 70 new trees will be added to the campus.
Mark Rice is as fascinated with downtown Dallas history as I am. As a boy of four, I first saw big downtown buildings when I was brought across the Houston Street bridge, then Highway 80, from Fort Worth. A couple of years later, I saw the new winged red horse installed on the top of the Magnolia Petroleum Company headquarters.
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.
Overlooking downtown Houston’s new urban park, the 37-story One Park Place will offer 346 units with a total net rentable space of 498,000 square feet. Designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects for the Finger Companies, the residential tower will provide residents an escape from the chaos of city life.
In this high-tech age of ours, designers are discovering new and better ways to work with their heads. And they use their feet to march inexorably forward, constructing buildings and cities that transform the landscape. However, an exhibition now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, reminds us that designers have lost their “hand.”
Sometimes the best sense of well -being comes from being in tune with one’s environment in the sense that the environment is a carefully constructed mirror reflecting back views of our better personal qualities. When handled architecturally these expressions of our philosophy, values, and intentions can find their way into daily routines that then become a pattern for living, which constantly reinforces and reinvigorates.
The Austin Museum of Art’s announcement in February of a joint venture with Hines of Houston marks the third time since the 1980s that hopes have been raised for a new downtown AMOA home.
The design submittal from Hybrid/ORA of Seattle is the winner of the “99K House Competition” sponsored by the Rice Design Alliance and AIA Houston. The competition challenged architects to design a sustainable, single-family prototype that could be built for around $99,000 in Houston and replicated throughout the Gulf region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The purpose of Near Northside Study conducted by William Truitt, AIA, of the University of Houston, is three-fold: to illuminate existing problems of large open-space neighborhoods that are often overlooked in inner-city studies; to highlight the potential for such neighborhoods to positively impact the larger urban area; and to propose new adjacencies that allow for growth in targeted areas over the next 30 years.
When architects from Leo A Daly’s Dallas office and engineers from its sister company, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam in Houston, were tasked with designing a transportation facility for the Houston Independent School District, all parties concluded that it was an opportunity to set a new standard in industrial building design.
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.
Sysco Corporations’ new headquarters campus is located on Enclave Parkway, a suburban office street that winds through the gated residential communities of far west Houston. The complex includes a conference center, a 12-story office tower with 318,000 square feet, an eight-story office tower with 214,000 square feet, and parking garages that accommodate 1,832 automobiles. A Sysco data center, located in an existing building on the site, is also incorporated into the project.
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.
Downtown Houston will soon have a new 11.78-acre park stretching across three blocks directly in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Currently under construction, the park takes the place of two underused parking lots and a block of green space sandwiched in between. Designed as a multi-functional outdoor space and expected to cost $93 million to build, the new park promises to be an unexpected retreat within walking distance of the convention center, nearby hotels, and adjacent venues for professional sports.
The 228,000-sq. ft. Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, designed by Perkins & Will’s Houston office, is the largest single construction project in the 130-year history of Texas A&M University. The $95 million, three story building is sited prominently across from the historic Simpson Drill Field and will serve as both a physical and conceptual link between the main campus life sciences corridor and the west campus research facilities.
When the University of Houston commissioned HOK Architects to design a new student services building, the campus lacked a clearly defined organizational concept and was more of a loose conglomeration of disparate buildings without a clear master plan. The architects’ solution attempts to establish an order by continuing the use of the form, materials, and rhythm of the neighboring Miesian-style Bayou Building while also introducing a fresher, more visually appealing character. By this approach, the design concept became one of juxtaposition and transition.
Built as a replacement for the original school, the new 86,150-sf Mark Twain Elementary School continues to support its long-established philosophy toward education: focus on each child’s experience while celebrating all aspects of learning