Texas Architect July/Aug 2006: Color
Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other editorial content largely written by AIA members in Texas. That collective participation was the basis of Texas Architect’s recognition by the national AIA with a 2010 Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement.
BACKPAGE texas architect 60 7/8 2006 Searching for meaning in fireworks stands, those homegrown works of ‘roadshed’ architecture Local Color AS you speed along the highway you can’t help but notice how fireworks stands repeat them- selves along the Texas landscape. Their place- ment seems mindless—they huddle together; they sit in isolation. But upon closer inspection, you begin to realize that their placement and orientation have meaning. The owners openly discuss their strategies for choosing their stand’s color and which family member will be assigned to a specific stand. The competition can be fierce. Each year the small, independent stands must compete against larger, regional warehouse-type vendors, as well as against other local families also looking to earn extra income. In documenting these unique examples of “roadshed” architecture, I have been asked by owners if I was spying on their business. Of course, spying is not unheard of since an extra stand along a near vacant stretch of road can mean the loss of business for existing stands. As temporary as this architecture seems to be (in construction and perhaps in terms of legal use during the year), these stands represent specific points of collection and celebration of the populace. My interest is in bringing the stands to the foreground, releasing them from the ubiquity that often obscures roadside architecture. The writer works with Brave Architecture in Houston. by CHRISTIAN SHERIDAN, ASSOC. AIA