Texas Architect May/June 2008: Healing Environments
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 Four by 4 Nocturnal: Design Lab of Dallas describes its Four by 4 as a suburban tree house. It was selected by Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center, as a winner in the 2008 KidStructure Competition. Four by 4 is intended to inspire creative play among the young and the young-at-heart. The exterior is composed of a series of 4x4-inch pressure-treated timbers of various lengths. Random openings exist on each facade to allow plenty of sunlight into the interior space of the playhouse. The strange shadows created within give the interior space a mysterious and exciting quality. The designers have encouraged people to interact with the walls of the structure by creating a series of brightly painted timbers that can be spun around. The interior consists of platforms at various heights that allow children to climb through the structure as if they were climbing a tree. Ramps, stairs, and ladders also are incorporated into the interior to encourage movement through the space. One Park Place Overlooking downtown Houston’s new urban park, the 37-story One Park Place will offer 346 units with a total net rentable space of 498,000 square feet. Designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects for the Finger Companies, the residential tower will provide residents an escape from the chaos of city life. Levels two through seven will accommodate 793 parking spaces for residents and guests, and the eighth level will feature a 2,000-squarefoot social terrace overlooking Discovery Green’s 12 acres of 100-year-old oak trees, fountains, and outdoor sculpture. The social terrace will offer residents a bar and caterer’s galley for entertainment, along with a stateof-the-art fitness center that faces the outdoor garden terrace and a twotiered swimming pool. Each unit will include 10-foot-high ceilings and balconies with views of downtown. Plans also include 21,800 square feet of retail lease space in two sections at street level. Groundbreaking took place in 2007 and construction is scheduled for completion next year. Beachtown The new coastal development was designed by the planning and architectural firm of Duany Plater-Zyberk, noted master-planner of Florida’s Seaside and Rosemary Beach communities. Beachtown, conceived along similar New Urbanist ideals, is a 260-acre Traditional Neighborhood Development on the east end of Galveston Island. Planned by owner Tofigh Shirazi as a network of small villages surrounding a central commercial district, the development will take advantage of its coastal setting with parklands, dune walkovers, and pedestrian passages linking the neighborhoods. Beachtown architecture will reflect coastal vernacular style reminiscent of historic Galveston. Nationally recognized architects who specialize in New Urbanism will design the residences. Among them is an “idea house” sponsored by Coastal Living magazine and designed by Michael G. Imber, FAIA, of San Antonio. The 4,000-square-foot home will be featured in Coastal Living’s November 2008 edition. 5 / 6 2 0 0 8 t e x a s a r c h i t e c t 23