AIA 2012 Institute Update: The Road Ahead
In the May 19 AIA Business Meeting at the AIA Convention in Washington, D.C, EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, began his presentation with the simple idea that now is a time of profound change within the Institute and beyond, as evidenced by the ambitious repositioning effort the AIA announced in April, the demographic transitions that will soon remake the AIA’s membership base, and the still-struggling economy that has left architects unmoored in an unstable financial climate for the last few years.
New Book Highlights Noted Courthouse Architect
Most Texans have seen his buildings. They picturesquely loom over the square in numerous county seats from La Grange to Gonzales. Now, James Riely Gordon, who designed some of the most elaborate courthouses in the nation, is getting his due with a new book by Chris Meister, "James Riely Gordon: His Courthouses and Other Public Architecture."
The Urban Conspiracy Theory
UT Austin grad Stephen Balut, an artist and architectural designer in Charlottesville, is encouraging his community to think outside the box. That's why, for the entire month of May, he's living inside a box on the downtown mall. His goal is to shatter traditional notions of what constitutes living space, and he wants you right there with him.
Beyond LEED: The Importance of Creating Living Buildings
The Living Building Standard results in some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly structures around. It’s also incredibly difficult to achieve. Is it truly changing the way we design buildings?
Turrell Skyspace Opens in June at Rice University
The Skyspace, by visionary American artist James Turrell with Thomas Phifer (Thomas Phifer and Partners architects), opens in mid June on the Rice University campus, giving Houston its third major piece by Turrell. Shunning the physicality of paint and sculpture, Turrell was among the pioneers of the Light and Space movement in the late 1960s.
In Austin’s richly diverse and energetic East Side neighborhoods, a rebirth is taking place. The addition of the Heywood Hotel on East Cesar Chavez Street represents the latest addition to a burgeoning and thriving East Side culture. Nestled comfortably among the barbecue joints, tacquerias and local shops that have so far eluded big-box homogenization, the hotel builds respectfully on the neighborhood’s considerable charms.
99% Invisible: Design for Airports
In this episode of the radio program 99% Invisible, host and producer Roman Mars discusses airport design with Allison Arieff of the New York Times. Using the new T2 terminal at SFO as an example, Arieff talks through some of the considerations that go into designing an airport terminal, how the priorities have changed since 9/11, and how architects struggle to keep pace with ever-changing technology.
Advocacy: Architects Fight for U.S. Energy Law
Architects have immeasurable expertise in designing buildings that are practical, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and above all, safe. The profession therefore has a leading role to play in any debate surrounding policies which impact either the architectural landscape or structure and design issues relating to buildings.
Texas Firms among AIA COTE Award Winners
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 highlight 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.
Mexic-Arte seeking $10 million from city for new downtown building
Saying that they want to bring a $30 million iconic building to a prominent downtown corner, backers of Mexic-Arte Museum are asking the City of Austin for $10 million in bond money to be included in the November bond election. The conceptual architecture plans are by Mexican architect Fernando Romero with Austin architect and Texas Society of Architects member Juan Cotera, FAIA, as the architect of record.
In the Light with Charles K. Thompson, FAIA
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.
Texas Architects Announces 2012 Keynote Speakers
The Texas Society of Architects 2012 Annual Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin, presents two distinguished keynote speakers who will examine the role of design in the context of the convention’s theme "Influence."
Live First, Work Second: Inside the Head of the Next Generation
With advancements in technology and a new generation of creatives juggling busy personal and professional lives, Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting discusses how organizations and institutions can bridge generation gaps to invigorate and improve leadership, and spearhead intelligent dialogue about creativity, innovation, and community development. A keynote speaker at the Texas Architects 2011 Convention in Dallas, Ryan was interviewed by architect Jeramie Rittiluechai, AIA, before giving an address to a standing-room only crowd. Listen to a podcast of the interview here.
Controversy Surrounds Dallas' Museum Tower
An April 18 D Magazine article, "The Towering Inferno: How Museum Tower threatens the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Woodall Rodgers roofdeck park," highlights the issue of reflected heat from Museum Tower's glass facade. The article asks: "How did this happen? How could someone build a $200 million project in the Arts District that is in the process of destroying the very museum it uses in its marketing materials to sell million-dollar condos? Did no one stop to think?" Read the article, and share your opinions on our website.
AIA Houston Design Awards
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.
Influence and Impact
Since the February issue of Checkset, the Architecture Billings Index has produced four consecutive positive months; the unemployment rate in Texas is hovering just above seven percent; and the first Texas Society of Architects design symposium, "Architecture in the Hinterlands," has proved to be a phenomenal success. All are indications of improving times ahead for our profession.
Wilson Announces Candidacy
Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, is a candidate in the Republican primary for Texas House District 43. If elected, Wilson will be the first practicing architect to serve in the Texas Legislature in twenty-eight years. Pundits have labeled this one of the year’s five most interesting GOP primary races in Texas because of the defection of the incumbent representative from the Democratic to Republican Party.
Designed to Connect
In Part Two of "Twitter for Architects," Andrew Hawkins offers tips for using this popular social media platform. The article is part of the Texas Society of Architects New Media Committee series "Designed to Connect," which features monthly articles on www.texasarchitects.org that discuss various digital technologies and media available to architects today.
Advocacy Update April 2012
April 2012 Advocacy Update: Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, is first (AIA) architect to run for the Texas Legislature in almost 30 years; new Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) as of March 15; Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amendments to 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68, as of March 15; and more. Click to read this important bimonthly update.
Design Competition: Call for Entries
Presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin, the Sukkah City Austin Design Competition is open to students, professional artists, architects and designers of all faiths and backgrounds in the State of Texas and Israel, working in teams or as individuals. Registration opens July 9 and submissions are due August 8.
Texas Architects Committee Update
The Texas Architects Committee (TAC) update as of February 2012.
Designed to Connect: Twitter for Architects
There is a large amount of buzz about social media these days. In the field of architecture and design, it is no different. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, and many more are actively growing their usage in professional applications. Should you join the social media scene? What are the benefits? Are there drawbacks? What is the best way to go about establishing a social media presence on the Web?
Buildings and Landscapes and Xylophones
In 2010 Lake|Flato completed work on the renovation of the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Since its opening, the new facility has been getting a lot of use from its clever inhabitants who are continually exploring their building's capacity for exhibiting and generating art, both in ways it was designed for and also in ways that the design team never could have predicted.
Conference Emphasizes Practice in the Hinterlands
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. View a video recap of the weekend here.
Gulf Coast Green 2012: A Delicate Balance
Organized by the AIA Houston Committee on the Environment, the 2012 Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Expo takes place May 1 in Houston. After six successful years, the event has proven to be the leading green building conference targeted to design and construction professionals within the Gulf Coast region.
Piano's Expansion of Kimbell Museum Takes Shape
As museum workers and curators install last-minute touches for "The Age of Impressionism" exhibit opening Sunday, Kimbell Art Museum Director Eric M. Lee has one eye turned to the installation occurring outside.
Hundreds Convene in D.C. for AIA Grassroots
Last week, 2012 Texas Architects President Craig Reynolds, FAIA, convened in D.C. with hundreds of American Institute of Architects members and staff to talk with elected representatives on Capitol Hill. Read his comments here.
Emerging Professionals Roundtable
In February, Associate leaders gathered in Austin for a two-day event to explore issues that emerging professionals face in their career development and how these can be addressed. Also part of the discussion were future challenges and opportunities.
AIA LRGV 2011 Studio Awards
Two awards were presented by AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley in the chapter’s 2011 Studio Awards program and are featured in the March/April issue of Texas Architect. View additional images of the award winners on texasarchitects.org.
AIA Fort Worth Student Design Awards
Three student projects were recognized for design excellence during AIA Fort Worth’s awards banquet held in late January. The chapter's Student Design Award program was established in 1991 and is open to projects completed as part of academic coursework.
Tianjin Binhai Art Center
Construction is scheduled toward the end of this year on the Tianjin Binhai Art Center within a newly redeveloped coastal district near Beijing, China. The center, designed by RTKL's Dallas office, is featured in the Paperwork section of the March/April issue of Texas Architect. View additional project renderings on texasarchitects.org.
UT Arlington Students Unveil Luminous Sculpture "six. one"
In February, Texas Architect staff visited Assistant Professor Susan Appleton's Senior Interior Design Studio at the UT Arlington School of Architecture to view the installation of a luminous string sculpture, "six. one." The day was documented with photographs, and an article about Appleton and her class appears in the March/April issue of the magazine.
AIA San Antonio 2011 Design Awards
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.
Austin Chosen for AIA Sustainability Program for Communities
Austin is among seven U.S. cities selected by the American Institute of Architects for planning assistance this year through the AIA’s Sustainability Program for Communities. The annual program sends a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) for site visits to help develop strategies for achieving long-term solutions to economic, environmental, and social equity challenges.
Holl Selected to Expand Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston announced on Feb. 2 the selection of Steven Holl Architects to design a master plan that will link the museum’s gallery buildings and its Isamu Noguchi sculpture garden. Now spread across almost 10 acres in the Museum District, the MFAH’s architectural holdings will grow to include a new building Holl will design to hold post-1900 art.
Designed to Connect: Architects as App Developers
In the first article of the New Media Committee series," Designed to Connect," Gordon Arnold, AIA, encourages architects to explore applications development as an additional service to help their firm “diversify, develop new sources of revenue, and be players in a new and exciting global industry.”
Designed to Connect: A Series on New Media
Technology invades everything in today’s world. Architecture is no different. On Monday, Feb. 27, the Texas Architects New Media Committee will launch Part I of “Designed to Connect,” a series of monthly articles on texasarchitects.org that will discuss various digital technologies and media available to architects today.
13th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium at A&M
The Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M University is hosting its 13th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium this weekend. The Center is teaming with the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center to bring together a varied group of experts discussing disasters with respect to historic preservation. On-site registration is available.
Q & A with AIA Houston President Perry Seeberger
Texas Society of Architects member Perry Seeberger, AIA, who currently serves as president of AIA Houston, recently spoke with The Houston Chronicle about local architecture. Excerpts from the Q & A were published on Chron.com and cover topics such as the effect of the recession on architecture firms to the impact of energy-efficient projects on the city.
Architects Convene in Midland for Design Conference
This weekend, over 30 architects from across the state will convene in Midland for "Architecture in the Hinterlands." The design symposium, hosted by the Texas Society of Architects Design Committee, features the work of Frank Welch, FAIA.
Texas Travel Information Center
This episode of the award-winning The Shape of Texas radio program features the Texas Travel Information Center located near Amarillo. Designed by Corpus Christi firm Richter Architects, "The information center offers visitors a respite from the road and serves as a cultural ambassador that captures the spunk and vigor of the West."
Eight Texans Selected for AIA Fellowship
Eight Texans are among 105 newly elected 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Fellows. The Fellows were selected from a pool of 220 candidates, which included 21 from Texas. Fellowship is the AIA's most prestigious honor to bestow on a member.
Title Usage for Emerging Professionals: Noun or Adjective?
Do you remember having to learn parts of speech in grade school?
Why are we asking and who cares? The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) cares when it comes to the use of titles, and so do registered design professionals. TBAE pays close attention to title usage because, in short, it’s the law.
An Ingredient List for a Healthy Home
Peter Syrett, an architect, and Chris Youssef, an interior designer, believe that building materials should be labeled, just like cereal boxes and soup cans, so consumers can avoid ingredients that might be harmful. With the backing of their employer, the global architecture firm Perkins + Will, they have created a database linking common forms of construction materials to government warnings about the substances contained in them.
Architects Saying '12, '13 Looking Good
The nation’s architects have looked in their crystal ball and say that while life is still tough for the design industry, things are looking up. Probably. The new American Institute of Architects’ Consensus Construction Forecast is projecting a 2.1 percent increase in spending on nonresidential projects this year, and a 6.4 percent increase in 2013.
Dallas Center for Architecture Hosts Upcoming Community Events
From a running tour of downtown Dallas architectural icons to an evening exploring the connections between food and design, the Dallas Center for Architecture hosts several upcoming, engaging community events.
President Calls on Congress to Build a Greener America
In his State of the Union Address on Jan. 24, President Obama urged Congress to give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings: "... the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here’s another proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings."
UH Students Propose Designs for Galveston Levee
Students from the University of Houston and other Texas universities have researched and developed a levee system that would span from Freeport to High Island and would include a new visitor center attached to a national recreation park.
Nine Semifinalists Named in Waller Creek Design Competition
Nine teams were chosen Monday as semifinalists for the Waller Creek Conservancy design competition, from a pool of 31 entries.The competition calls for a redesign of a 1.5-mile stretch of city parkland and urban space along Waller Creek in downtown Austin.