Texas Architect 2011 Jan/Feb: Education
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 Discovery Science Place Discovery Science Place in Tyler, designed by Butler Architectural Group, is a hands-on museum for children of all ages. The museum has been located in the same early-1900s building for the past 15 years and recently acquired an adjacent structure. The space between the buildings had been used as a parking area for museum patrons. The new design reclaims this area for outdoor science displays and learning stations, and unites the two buildings while adding indoor and exterior learning spaces. The design also re-imagines the entrance to the museum. A plaza drop-off/pick-up space is located at the new entrance and a renovated lobby descends from a higher parking area to the main floor of the museum directing visitors to several different galleries. The new addition serves as a waiting area for children and parents, and provides views to an outdoor space for educational activities. A sunscreen protects glass walls from the southern sun and provides side display panels for an outdoor, shaded, terraced classroom. The project is expected to be completed in early 2012. Gateway Park Gateway Park, designed by Perkins+Will’s Dallas office for a site outside Jackson, Miss., is conceived as an emerging type of mixed-use development known as an “airport city.” The 4.45 million-sf project is located in Mississippi directly south of Jackson-Evers International Airport on 200 acres of woodland. A newly approved Airport Parkway will bisect the site and create a shortcut from downtown Jackson. An office campus, a 10,000seat performing arts center, and a series of hotels, offices, and retail facilities make up the program. The development is based on a circular shape that visually stands out to incoming air traffic and to motorists along the airport’s main road. The architects included sustainable-design features such as expansive rooftops that will capture solar energy or serve as thermal masses through green roofs, as well as pond surfaces aligned with prevailing winds to provide inductive cooling for outdoor public spaces. Another strategy for renewable energy employs wind turbines – that double as kinetic art work – installed parallel to the new parkway. Numinous Space Architectural designer William Helm conceived Numinous Space as a design experiment, on an undisturbed 10-acre tract in a Chihuahuan desert basin between El Paso and Las Cruces. Inspired by James Turrell’s Roden Crater, Helm proposes to construct four elevated observation posts that frame views out to the surroundings from spaces designed to alter one’s perception of objective reality through optical phenomena. The four views of Numinous Space are: the horizontal Alpenglow, which sets up a foreshortened condition that flattens the perceived distance between the nearby man-made elements and distant mountains; the vertical Skylight, which guides the eye along a narrow slice across the site that corresponds to a vertical element on the horizon; the rectangular Mirage, which speaks to the purity of the horizon on a plain of vast extent; and the hemispherical Afterglow (shown), which melds the orange light of evening twilight with the cobalt blue of the overhead sky. Numinous Space was recognized with a 2010 AIA El Paso Honor Award in the studio category. (See p. 23.) 1 / 2 2 0 1 1 t e x a s a r c h i t e c t 25