Texas Architect January/February 2007
Published by the Texas Society of Architects since 1950, the magazine has consistently showcased outstanding architectural design from around the state and chronicled significant events relevant to the profession.
A Teacher’s Gift
Even the best spaces for learning can’t substitute for good teaching, an intangible but absolutely essential component that if missing renders architecture an almost pointless exercise. Gifted teachers bring purpose to the architect’s design, and thoughtful design, like inspired teaching, can instill a sense of wonder in young minds. To excel in both the art of design and the art of teaching takes a rare blend of intuition, discipline, and compassion.
Work Begins on ‘Discovery Green’ at Prime Downtown Houston Site
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.
UTenSAils: A Design-Develop-Build Project
In my design-develop-build studio at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the cross-disciplinary notions of collaboration, leadership, and entrepreneurialism take center stage. In the spring 2005 semester, aided by $102,490 in sponsorships, four full-scale permanent tensile membrane structures were successfully designed, engineered, and erected within a five-month period.
New Dallas Schools
The Texas schoolhouse is evolving into something new and different at the beginning of the twenty-first century as the state’s burgeoning growth has fueled an intense building campaign.
Architect: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum
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.
A Study of Place
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the American Institute of Architects. AIA local chapters and regions across the nation will be celebrating the year with projects designed to highlight the contributions of architecture to American culture, and to create lasting contributions to livable communities in America. For 2007, Texas Architect will mark AIA150 with a series of essays celebrating the rich diversity of Texas architecture, and contemplating the critical urban, environmental, and architectural issues facing the coming generation of Texans.