Texas Architect Jan/ Feb 2009: Campus Communities
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 1/2 2009 10 NEWS Clyde Porter Receives AIA Young Award w a s h i n g t o n , d c For his efforts to encourage minority, underserved, and low- income students to pursue careers as architects, the American Institute of Architects’ Board of Directors has selected Clyde Porter, FAIA, as the 2009 recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. The national honor is presented annu- ally to an architect or architecturally oriented organization that exemplifies the profession’s responsibility toward current social issues. Porter, associate vice chancellor of facilities at the Dallas County Community College Dis- trict, will receive the award during ceremonies at the 2009 AIA national convention in San Francisco, April 30-May 2. The award honors civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr., a proponent of social change who directed the Urban League from 1961 until his death in 1971. In keynote remarks at the 1968 AIA annual convention, Young surprised his audience by admonishing them for complacency in helping to solve problems of urban blight and for the AIA’s lackluster efforts to recruit more African Americans to train for the profession. In selecting the 2009 recipient, the AIA Board recognizes Porter for reaching out to minority, underserved, and low-income stu- dents and encouraging them to see themselves as architects and stewards of the built environ- ment, and for extending the fruits of higher education to these same communities through his job with the largest undergraduate institu- tion in the state of Texas. “To me this is the crème de la crème of my efforts because it recognizes what I’ve been trying to do for all people,” Porter said recently, “especially for those who have been disadvantaged and haven’t had the opportunity to participate in the architecture profession and find out how they can contribute to the benefit of mankind.” For 21 years, Porter has been employed with the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) overseeing its facilities, campus plan- ning, and building efforts. In his current posi- tion as the district’s associate vice chancellor of facilities, Porter oversees $700 million worth of buildings for approximately 100,000 students on seven campuses. This work has given him the opportunity to create education facilities that, as a relatively affordable community college, are often low-income and minority families’ first taste of post-secondary school success. Porter has done much more than help offer educational opportunities to disadvantaged communities. While at DCCCD (and at his previous job as chief architect of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency), Porter started initiatives to ensure that female- and minority-run archi- tecture, engineering, and contracting firms were hired for greater proportions of work. Fifty percent of commissions by DCCCD have since gone to female- and minority-owned firms, proving that these drastically increased propor- tions of minority participation are possible in the building design and construction industry, and that good work results from them. Porter, a cofounder of the Texas chapter of the National Organization of Minority Archi- tects, has built a legacy of inviting emerging and minority architects into the profession beyond hiring them for work. At the DCCCD, he established an intern program, and he regularly recruits from his alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. As chair of AIA Dallas’ Minor- ity Resources Committee, Porter also began a summer internship program for minority architects. He also made it a habit to reach out to children before they reach college and encour- age them to envision themselves as architects. He regularly speaks at elementary and middle school career days, explaining to minority and low-income kids the ways that architects can change and grow their own communities. Stephen Sharpe Kimbell Unveils Piano’s Expansion, Future Building Sited on West Lawn fort w o r t h On Nov. 18, the Kimbell Art Museum unveiled the eagerly anticipated preliminary design for its expansion, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The design confirmed speculation that the new addition would occupy the west lawn of the museum grounds. By selecting the west lawn as the site for the expansion, the Kimbell has rejected another possible location across Arch Adams Boulevard to the east. The Arch Adams property, which faces the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by Tadao Ando, was originally purchased for the proposed expansion and offered the promise of improving the connection between the two institutions. Unfortunately, the site also posed some difficult problems—a street-blocking easy pedestrian passage and a location that would reinforce the use of the Kimbell’s east entry, which was clearly not Louis Kahn’s intended access to the museum. Despite the architect’s intention of placing the main entry on the Kim- bell’s west side, the east-side door has become the primary gateway for most visitors due to its proximity to the majority of parking. The process of entering the museum from the west is one of the singular architectural experiences in Texas: crossing the alee of trees continued on page 65 Kimbell expansion shown at left.