Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards
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.
texas architect 9 / 10 2 0 07 20 Linda Pace (1945–2007) s a n a n t o n i o on July 2, san antonio lost Linda pace, the city’s greatest patron of contemporary art and architec- ture, after a six-month battle with cancer. the daughter of pace Foods founder David pace and margaret pace willson, a founder of the southwest school of art and Craft, she studied art at trinity University. pace later became an accomplished artist and prodigious art collector. “through my own artwork and involve- ment with the san antonio art Institute, I came to realize that art-making is life- changing work,” she once said, “I think it is deep and real, and I made a commitment to support artists and their work.” to that end, in 1995, Linda created artpace, a foundation that brings challenging con- temporary visual artists from all over the world to live and create in san antonio. In its short 12-year history, the uncompro- mising quality of the artists selected for the program has made san antonio a des- tination in the world of contemporary art. Four of artpace’s alumni have won macar- thur Foundation “genius grants” and many more have been featured in the whitney museum’s Biennial exhibition—including an amazing 13 selected in 2004. to house artpace, she selected a vacant 1920s-era auto showroom in downtown san antonio. the old building was skill- fully transformed by Lake/Flato architects into a vibrant, multi-use, multi-level complex of galleries, public spaces, and artist studios and residences. open to the public on a daily basis, these spaces come alive several evenings each month as san antonians and visitors pack the building to attend openings, artist talks and potluck dinners. san antonio has embraced art- pace’s mission—support for the visual arts has become a critical and growing part of san antonio’s sense of self in recent years. pace also commissioned Lake/Flato in 1992 to design her home on elm Court in terrell hills. this striking complex of stone pavil- ions connected by glazed and open courtyards reflects her love of natural light and materials as well as her passion for the possibilities of the texas landscape. In 2000, searching for a site to create an urban park to honor her son, Chris, who died in 1997, pace found the building that would allow her to extend her vision of urban san antonio. the tobin Building, constructed as a candy factory in the 1920s, had housed the renowned tobin aerial surveys Company for 60 years. It sat gutted at the southern edge of downtown. By rehabilitating the building, she demonstrated the possibilities of downtown living in san antonio. the project became Campstreet, a 20-unit loft development. my firm, poteet architects, was fortunate enough to collaborate with Linda on the project, as well as on her own penthouse residence in the building, designed to display her evolving art col- lection to best effect. the vacant site across the street became ChRIspark—a 1.6-acre park, open to the public, but maintained by its own foun- dation, endowed by pace. Collaborating with artpace artist and macarthur grant recipient terasita Fenandez and landscape architects Rosa Finsley and Jon ahrens, she created a refreshing urban green space filled with site-specific artwork, fountains, and lush vegetation. the creation of Campstreet and ChRIspark quickly became a catalyst for the revival of that once-forgotten section of downtown san antonio. more than 10 redevelopment projects have been com- pleted or are underway in the immediate vicinity of Campstreet and urban resi- dential development is now booming, a trend that is serving to balance out the tourist-oriented character of san anto- nio’s downtown. as a fine artist, pace grew more assured with each passing year. she spoke often and wrote about how her work was informed by the study of her own dreams. she exhibited her “Red project” to acclaim at the san antonio museum of art in 2001. more recently, her “mirror, mirror” – a stunning, occupiable igloo, mirrored both inside and out – was selected for the 2007 texas Biennial exhibition. Just two months before her death, a large show of drawings – many dealing frankly or whimsically with her illness – drew raves. Linda pace deservedly received scores of honors for her philanthropy, achieve- ments, and influence. Last year, she was made an honorary member of the texas society of architects, an award that acknowledged her love of architecture and design. In her recommendation letter to tsa, san antonio writer Jan Jarboe Russell perfectly captured the nature and the effect of Linda’s influence on her beloved san antonio: “sometimes the consciousness of a single indi- vidual can reflect changed realities in ways that redefine a city’s sense of itself.” J i m poteet, a i a Jim poteet, aia, practices architecture in san antonio. photos court esy a rt pace s a n a n to nio ; to p photo co py righ t 2002 Ja m es m cgoo n. Linda Pace in 2001 with her artwork Red Project. Pace commis- sioned Lake/Flato to renovate a vacant 1920s-era auto showroom for artpace, shown here in 1999, at 445 North Main avenue.