Texas Architect March/April 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.
While adaptive re-use often updates a single building for a new function, the city of Bryan is enjoying a recent series of projects that has revitalized its long-dormant downtown. Until a few years ago, with vacant buildings lining Main Street, Bryan’s center held little promise.
Halprin’s Heritage Plaza in Fort Worth Among ‘Endangered’ Places for 2009
Texas is gifted with many celebrated public landscapes from the modern era, including Philip Johnson’s Fort Worth Water Gardens (1974) and Thanks-Giving Square (1974); Daniel Kiley’s Fountain Place (1986) and Dallas Museum of Art (1983); and Peter Walker’s Nasher Sculpture Center Garden (2005).
‘Cleansing’ History in Santa Fe
Driving down Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe one morning last summer while looking for a place to eat, I noticed a number of partially and fully demolished buildings edging the campus of the Santa Fe Indian School. It was a work in progress, a startling sight of splintered lumber, mangled masonry walls, some still stubbornly standing, and exposed interiors. I was somewhat familiar with the buildings, but only in passing. Now I wanted to remember what was gone.
Many modernists have been trained to look down their noses at the output of twentieth-century architects who designed within eclectic or historicist vocabularies. The work of architect John Staub and his contemporaries was often dismissed by subsequent generations of architects who refused to accept the disjunction between the historical references of this work and the essentially modern character of its program and use.
Architect: Nelsen Partners in association with Zeidler Partnership
n its metamorphosis from the “turtle shell”-domed Lester E. Palmer Auditorium, the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts had several false starts over the course of two decades. The project’s protracted gestation has ultimately yielded a more stripped-down facility than that suggested during its early stages, however, the new structure respectfully acknowledges its iconic forebear while doing more with less.
Adapt, Transform, Forget…
The modernist dictum that “form follows function” does not appear a viable equation in adaptive re-use where function must follow form. Take, for example, the re-purposing of the ubiquitous and increasingly unappealing big box. Texas Architect asked a group of artists and designers to do just that, to consider the fate of a vacant Circuit City building. Their responses are diverse, and can be grouped into three distinct categories—adapted, transformed, and forgotten.