Texas Architect Nov/Dec 2006: Place Making
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.
Mixed-Use Attraction by Karen Hastings project client TrentonView Center, McAllen TrentonView, Ltd architect Ashley Humphries & Sanchez Architects, PLLC contractor TrentonView, Ltd. consultants Art Garcia, PE (civil); WSC, Inc. (structural); CRC, Inc. (MEP); fd2s (environmental graphics); Stephen Walker, ASLA (landscape) photographer Hester + Hardaway (above) Sculptural exterior features attract attention to the retail and office complex. (opposite page) Northfacing clerestory illuminate the atrium, with metal catwalks providing easy access for maintenance. 28 t e x a s a r c h i t e c t When prevailing breezes blow near the corner of Trenton Road and North 10th Street in this South Texas border town, they coax unexpected organ-like music from the galvanized exterior stairs that help give TrentonView Center its distinctive contemporary look. Yet even without this unusual accompaniment, created by the interaction of wind with circular holes in TrentonView’s stair risers, this mixed-use rental retail and office complex on this city’s fast-developing north side would command attention. The corner of Trenton and North 10th is a McAllen hot spot, where upscale residential and commercial properties meet in a fast-developing zone of banks, supermarkets, and big-box stores. With its galvanized canopies over cantera stone, corrugated siding, and a stainless steel and tile water fountain, two-year-old TrentonView Center stands out from its familiar retail setting. Winner of a 2005 Honor Award from the Lower Rio Grande Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the eye-catching design was primarily intended to support the success of its commercial tenants, says lead architect J. Thomas Ashley III, FAIA, of McAllen-based Ashley Humphries & Sanchez Architects. Shops are aligned close to busy four-lane North 10th, with ample up-close parking, plenty of convenient shady spots to rest, and coordinated signage that looks as good as it performs. Meanwhile, atrium office tenants enjoy plentiful parking in back, with landscaped entries, sculpturally inviting exterior stairs and other touches – no large trash bins in sight! – that make the back of TrentonView Center almost as appealing as the front. “What we wanted was something more than a plain ol’ strip center where you go in and shop and get in your car and leave. We were trying to create a memorable look but with a cost-effective solution 1 1 / 1 2 2 0 0 6