Texas Architect July/Aug 2011: Placemaking
The July/August 2011 edition explores the theme of “placemaking” through feature projects designed to foster a sense of a greater whole instead of just a single building. Such a comprehensive approach to architecture requires a concerted effort to understand what works best for a neighborhood, an urban center, or an isolated development. Feature articles spotlight the Wylie Municipal Complex, the Omni Hotel and Residences in Fort Worth, the City of Grand Prairie’s The Summit, the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Bayou Bend, and the Byrne-Reed House in Austin. Other articles include a commentary on the loss of the idyllic greenspace in front of the Kimbell Art Museum now that construction is underway to expand the museum, plans for new bayfront development in Corpus Christi, and the architectural improvements brought to tiny Albany due to its up-and-coming arts scene.
P L A C E M A K I N G Connections by STEPHEN SHARPE, HON. TSA The overarching idea behind the popular term placemaking is that thoughtful architecture can transform the public realm by establishing an interconnectedness within a community. This edition features five recent projects that represent successful placemaking on both large and small scale. The common thread running through all of them is how they each have created new or recreated lapsed relationships to their surroundings. The Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center at Bayou Bend welcomes art lovers into the all-but-hidden Riverside enclave of the Museum of Fine Arts Houstonâ€™s restored estate of Miss Ima Hogg. The Summit in Grand Prairie brings together residents in a communal setting for exercise and informal fellowship, with immediate access to a large public greenspace. The City of Wylie Municipal Complex consolidates previously far-flung public services within three buildings physically linked by landscaped courtyards and a single grand architectural gesture. The Omni Hotel and Residences enlivens the street life at the southern end of downtown Fort Worth across from the cityâ€™s convention center. The restoration of the Byrne-Reed House in Austin returns a beautifully proportioned historic residence that was obscured for decades beneath a shroud of stucco. (clockwise from far left) Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center at Bayou Bend in Houston by Leslie K. Elkins Architect; The Summit in Grand Prairie by Brinkley Sargent Architects; City of Wylie Municipal Complex by Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture with ArchiTexas; Omni Hotel and Residences in Fort Worth by HOK and Gideon Toal with Loone & Associates; Byrne-Reed House in Austin by Clayton and Little Architects 7 / 8 2 0 1 1 T E X A S A R C H I T E C T 37