Texas Architect July/August 2010
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 Voice Silenced
The idea of extremes, of designing the tallest or most outlandish work of architecture, seems appropriate in a state as celebrated as ours for audacious gesture. Unfortunately, we also live in a place where the art of architecture criticism has left the building. Currently, no daily newspaper in the state employs a critic solely dedicated to assessing architectural design and reporting his or her reflections, and the continued demise of architecture criticism bodes ill for our entire society.
AIA Austin Awards 15 Projects
Fifteen projects were selected for the 2010 AIA Austin Design Awards in April. The jury was comprised of Merrill Elam, AIA, of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects in Atlanta, Ga.; Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Marlon Blackwell Architect in Fayetteville, Ark.; and Michael Imber, FAIA, of Michael G. Imber Architects in San Antonio. The three jurors reviewed over 100 submittals at the AIA Austin Center for Architecture.
British historian Arnold J. Toynbee observed that the border of an enlightened and ascendant civilization is a fluid zone of contact. But, he cautioned, when its power of self-determination and its creative influence upon neighbors wane so does the mutual cooperation and communication shared with those neighbors until hostility transforms the border into a rigid military line.
Extremes on the High Plains
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.
View from the Top
Architect: Ziegler Cooper Architects
Distant views of central Austin have a way of appearing suddenly as a result of Austin’s perch on the edge of the Hill Country. Until recently, downtown’s most visible landmark has been the icily geometric Frost Bank Tower, built in 2004 and reaching 515 feet high, offering a counterpoint to the occasional warm glow of the University of Texas Tower to the north of downtown and the Victorian dome of the Texas State Capitol.
Texas St adium collapsed on April 11 in a well-executed implosion detonated at 7:08 a.m. that ended a storied 37-year career as the home of the Dallas Cowboys. In less than 30 seconds and before more than 20,000 witnesses, a spectacular series of blasts from 2,715 lbs. of explosives reduced the 65,675-seat arena to rubble.