Our first products roundup by Rita Catinella Orrell.
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.
The Perkins+Will-designed Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School (ZHMS) is a 202,000-sf progressive school that uses both technology and the building itself to teach and promote environmental stewardship to younger generations.
TxA Interactive will bring experimental research and exploration among academics and practitioners to the Texas Architects 74th Annual Convention and Design Expo.
John A. Dubiski Career High School, designed by Corgan Associates, is a 2,000-student career and technology school located in Grand Prairie. The school’s curriculum seeks to reduce the dropout rate and prepare graduates to enter college or the workforce. The four-story, 250,000-sf structure is designed to accommodate unique programmatic needs, including specific careertrack diploma programs.
Giddings Independent School District hired SH W Group to design a technology-rich learning environment for its high school and middle school students, while optimizing space and resources. The proposed solution renovated and re-purposed the existing, but outdated high school into a middle school. The renovated building was joined to a new high school building, creating a single facility for the district’s 1,400 students in grades 6-12.
Designed by SHW Group, Ennis Independent School District’s newly constructed junior high is a 195,000-sf facility on a 50-acre site. The design incorporates a contemporary feel and function. Classrooms are configured to be flexible to support interactive teaching through integrated technology. Large-group instruction spaces and a closed-circuit television studio are two significant features.
There was a time, not terribly long ago, when the telecommunications industry spoke of “convergence.” Voice and data would soon be one, and the complexity that goes with building and maintaining separate systems would evaporate. That time is upon us; actually, it has been for years. Why, then, is building the corporate information technology infrastructure still so complicated?
“Be Brilliant Together” proclaims Logica, a leading business and technology service company employing 39,000 personnel worldwide. “This is not a slogan,” explains Mike Lewsley, chief operating officer of its Houston office. “It is a call to action for our clients and employees alike.” Logica’s newly completed office responds to the corporate tagline with an energetic and expressive design.
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 American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association (ALA) recently bestowed the ALA Library Building Award to the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
During its annual award banquet on Dec. 12, AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley announced the results of its 2009 Design Awards program. The selections were made by a jury that met in Houston during the TSA convention in October.
With advancements in parametric design technology and digital fabrication reshaping the way designers think and create, a group of educators from Texas architectural schools have organized to sponsor activities for local professionals and the academic community.
On the High Plains, dealing with extremes comes with the territory. Tell a northerner you are from the Texas Panhandle and they will ask how you ever survive the heat. A southerner will pity you for having to live on the frozen tundra. While summers can be scorching hot and winter snowfall can pile up unexpectedly, the High Plains – unlike everywhere else in Texas – enjoys four seasons.
Only 20 years ago, architects and their clients were limited to drawings and models rendered by hand. Then the industry began to adopt CAD (computer-aided drafting) and digital modeling, technologies that brought about animation and rendering. Now there is BIM (building information modeling) that offers architects an entirely new set of tools for their practice.
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.
Ignored by many architects and most academics, tilt wall construction is nonetheless widespread. It is prevalent in the marketplace and ubiquitous on the landscape, yet tilt wall construction is considered a “low” form of building methodology utilized in commercial construction by “mainstream” architects and their co-conspirators in the building trades. As a result, tilt wall construction has been overlooked as an area for more extensive architectural exploration.
Change is the word of the moment. For the design and construction industry, change has been slowly brewing for the past several years. That change is by no means an easy and painless process, but our profession will come out stronger at the end.
The software capabilities that are the foundation for Building Information Modeling, or BIM, have been under development for more than 20 years, and in the last few years awareness and interest in BIM by the AEC industry have grown remarkably. However, a recent survey indicates that the AEC industry in Texas has been slow to adopt BIM. Those few in Texas who are now using BIM, survey respondents state that adoption of the new technology has resulted in wide-ranging changes in the way they design and deliver projects.
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.
The 65,000-sf Center for the Intrepid, designed by SmithGroup is equipped with the most sophisticated amputee rehabilitation technology available—virtual reality, robotics, and simulators.
We’ll admit it, there’s a lot more to a building than just the glass. And while we as an industry are charged with knowing the ins and outs of all the countless types of glass products available— architects are being overwhelmed by the need to know so much more.
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.
The Ella Wooten Park Pool House, designed by Studio 8 Architects, is located within the redevelopment of Austin’s former Mueller Airport. The park serves as a public gathering place that embodies the city in both its locally derived design and emphasis on green technology.
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.