Texas Architect July/August 2009
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.
As is often the case with TA’s themed editions, a bottomless well serves as an apt metaphor for this one. Selecting residential projects and housing-related topics proved to be a challenge because the options were abundant and the possibilities almost without bounds.
In Architectural About-Face at Fort Bliss, Army Plans ‘Sense of Place’ in the Desert
In earlier times, the planning philosophy of the U.S. military could be summarized as “three hots and a cot.” That simplistic attitude left much to be desired in the way Army bases and other military installations were laid out and adapted as needs changed
During our now-passed housing boom, it certainly felt as though the appreciation of Modern residential design gained wider acceptance, as evidenced by the emergence of Dwell magazine and the resurgence of classic mid-century furniture. It has long been the architect’s lament that if consumers really had a choice, many would prefer contemporary, architect-designed homes instead of those ubiquitous builder McMansions. Two ambitious and important developments in Dallas, Kessler Woods and Urban Reserve, set out to prove this point.
Austin’s Upscale Downtown
On June 25 construction on the Austonian residential tower reached the height of 51 floors, making it the tallest building in Austin. The project, designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects, will ultimately top out later this year at 56 floors (683 feet with glass crown) above Congress Avenue.
Building in ‘Enough’
Architect: Nonya Grenader, FAIA
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.
As our planet’s reserves of water and energy sources become increasingly limited, architects must develop forms of architecture that incorporate – even celebrate – sustainability design practices. Toward that end, my students at Texas Tech University are engaged in an ongoing project that focuses on a variety of solutions. The result is a living laboratory designed for the harsh microclimate of Foard County about 45 miles west of Wichita Falls.