Texas Architect March/April 2008: The Walkable City
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.
p a p e r w o r k Pfluger Bridge Extension The project will extend the James D. Pfluger Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge northward to connect the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail to the Lamar Corridor and downtown. The bridge, completed in 2001, is named in the memory of James D. Pfluger, FAIA, who helped push the City of Austin’s development of the popular lakeside trail system. The extension will offer a convenient and safe pathway over Cesar Chavez Street and under the Union Pacific Railroad just to the east. The City Council has approved the alignment of the extension, and the bridge is now being designed by Roma Design Group of Austin in collaboration with the local office of HDR Engineering. Preliminary site work has begun and proceeds concurrently with initial construction of several adjacent commercial developments. The budget for the extension project is $2 million. The original design of the Pfluger Bridge incorporated a northwest arm that would allow for the future extension of the hike-and-bike trail over Cesar Chavez Street. Brochstein Pavilion Construction is underway at Rice University in Houston on the 6,042square-foot Brochstein Pavilion, a new gathering place planned for students, faculty, and staff. Composed primarily of glass, the pavilion will include a coffee house and a 10,728-square-foot landscaped, wrap-around plaza where 70 new trees will be added to the campus. New York-based Thomas Phifer and Partners led the design team that included The Office of James Burnett, Altieri Sebor Wieber, Haynes Whaley Associates, and Walter P Moore, with Linbeck providing construction services. The project is a major component to the ongoing revitalization of Rice’s Central Quadrangle. A number of sustainable characteristics are incorporated into the design, including light scoops and a mechanical system fed from the floor. The pavilion’s trellis is designed to filter sunlight over the plaza similar to the way live oaks shade walkways throughout the campus. Construction is expected to be completed in April. Named for Raymond and Susan Brochstein, the structure is located behind the Fondren Library. Hill Country Montessori School Designed by SHW Group, the Hill Country Montessori School in Boerne will demonstrate to its young occupants the importance of creating sustainble built environments by using architecture to promote education. The design of the buildings promotes both environmental and social awareness through transparency and access. For example, each classroom will collect and display rainwater that feeds into a central cistern located within an outdoor “learning zone.” Each building has two classrooms that are connected through semi-exterior patios as well as a controlled garden. Materials selected for the project – mainly limestone and cedar – are locally harvested or manufactured. The glazing is of the highest sustainable standards as well as flexible in its function. The interior finishes were chosen based on longevity, ease of maintenance, and age appropriateness for children. Systems within the buildings are exposed as much as possible and thereby create multiple opportunities for learning. 20 t e x a s a r c h i t e c t 3 / 4 2 0 0 8