Texas Architect May/June 2011
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.
Out of Context
With hurricane Katrina bearing down on t he Louisiana shoreline six years ago, New Orleans native Daniel Samuels, AIA, and his extended family hurriedly joined the late-evening exodus slowly snaking westward along Interstate 10. Samuels, an architect then 46 years old with a wife and two small daughters, had no clear plan for the immediate future other than to evade next morning’s monstrous landfall.
Catalyst for Enlivening Austin’s Center, ‘Great Streets’ Proceeds Block by Block
Over a decade i n development, the City of Austin’s capital improvements program called Great Streets is changing the character of its downtown by broadening sidewalks and adding amenities to enhance the pedestrian realm.
Queen of the Gulf
Published late last year by Mitchell Historic Properties to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Hotel Galvez, this handsome volume blends the beloved landmark’s history with Galveston’s over the past century. Gary Cartwright’s narrative swirls back and forth through time to recount events and personages. Cartwright, author of the previous Galveston: A History of the Island, spins episodic tales of the hotel’s clientele, famous and infamous, and reminiscences of “ghosts and other guests.”
Architect: Mell Lawrence Architects
“Light, space and order—these are the things that humans need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” Le Corbusier’s observation of these three essential elements comes to mind when visiting the Sisters Retreat pool house and pavilion by Mell Lawrence Architects. Though the project possesses the typical attributes one might associate with a small recreational program, the unique quality of the design is manifest both in the overall layout as well as in its materiality and detailing, all of which embrace light in nuanced ways.
Architect: Max Levy Architect
The allure of simple things is they make you look deeper. Such is the case with the new house at Singing Bell Ranch. When the quiet elegance of this weekend retreat settles upon you and the surrounding stillness sinks in, if you’re not careful you find yourself…not saying anything.
Since 1917, the quaint St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Plantersville has long provided an intimate place of worship for the families in this rural corner of Grimes County. The small, wood-frame sanctuary’s simple axial plan terminates in a traditional apse that gracefully encompasses a beautifully detailed reredos. The interior, elegantly detailed by local craftsmen with cherubs and other Christian motifs, reflects an earlier time.