Texas Architect July/August 2008
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 recent article in the real estate section of the Austin American-Statesman called attention to a growing demand among homebuyers for “Texas contemporary.” The interest is such that even production homebuilders are beginning to introduce spec models patterned after the regional vernacular of the Hill Country.
Statler Hilton Listed as ‘Endangered’
When first opened in 1956, the sheer size and bold form made the Statler Hilton one of downtown Dallas’ crown jewels. Fifty-two years later, the former icon of mid-century design sits vacant and threatened by encroaching development. However, with its recent inclusion on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2008 list of 11 Most Endangered Places, the old hotel may survive the increasing pressure for its destruction.
Learning from Glenn Murcutt
“We all have to do ordinary things but to do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.” I heard Glenn Murcutt’s inspired words on my first evening of his Master Class Riversdale, in West Cambewarra, New South Wales, Australia.
The Judd Effect
When she was young, Valda Livingston learned to accept that no one had ever heard of her hometown. There was no particular reason anyone should have heard of Marfa since it was located in the proverbial middle of nowhere between San Antonio and El Paso. That is why she was suspicious years later when a man from New York told her he was “going to put Marfa on the map of the art world.”
Architect: Curry Boudreaux Architects
To drive the backroads of rural Texas is to travel through history. Just below the surface of many small towns, a palpable immigrant heritage dwells. The signs are sometimes obvious, the annual festivals celebrating a community’s cultural origins and the museums dedicated to preserving the locals’ ethnic roots. Also, the old churches, many built by the hands of those who settled the area, often serve as tangible reminders of the unique narrative of a peoples’ journey from faraway native lands in their quest for a new, more tolerant home.
Regional and Beyond
Since its inception in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has attracted more and more interest in each biannual competition to design and build a 800-square-foot, off-the-grid, solar-powered house. The 2005 and 2007 Decathlons included university teams from Puerto Rico, Spain, and Germany, along with those from several U.S. schools.