Texas Architect September/October 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.
Reading Into the Numbers
The annual TSA Design Awards program provides an intriguing snapshot of the state of architectural design in Texas. While nowhere near comprehensive in depicting a multifaceted profession, each year’s collection of winners nonetheless offers a survey of contemporary trends and the occasional flash of creative brilliance. Beyond its beauty-contest aspects, the program may also reveal insights into current economic conditions through the level of participation.
Revamped Arthouse to Open in Fall
Austin’s Arthouse at the Jones Center is set to re-open Oct. 22 after a $6 million renovation and expansion. The 20,830-sf contemporary arts center makes its debut with an inaugural exhibit, More Art about Buildings and Food, by Jason Middlebrook.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Ike in September 2008, an engineer emerged from under the battered substructure of Galveston’s First Presbyterian Church to apprise Rev. David Green of the damage. “Pastor, your church has no foundation,” he said, apparently without thinking his statement’s underlying irony. Yes, perhaps its structural foundation was in need of repair, but the spiritual foundation of First Presbyterian, a survivor of more than a century of catastrophic weather events, has never weakened.
Design Awards 2010
After seven hours of uninterrupted work on May 21, this year’s TSA Design Awards jury finalized its selections. The jury began with 200 entries, keeping 61 from that total in the first round, and finished a second round with 21 before ultimately choosing the 11 projects featured on the following pages.
Mod Cott: Guest House
Architect: Mell Lawrence Architects
A view of the limitless horizon can have a transforming effect. Watching the landscape stretch out across miles can cast a spell over even the most world-weary, especially from a high point where one is transfixed by the subtly shifting light over a wide space, cloud shadows cast across the land, a wild storm approaching from afar.
Inside the Dome
As a tour guide at the Texas State Capitol, I’m constantly asked, “Are we going to go up to the very top?” The answer is always an unfortunate “No.” It pains me to have to quash such naked curiosity. We all cherish the thought of scaling and exploring heights, from a kid climbing trees to the adventurer conquering the tallest mountains. So it’s only natural that people should ask that question within five minutes of starting a tour. Skip the history, please: we want to go up there.