Texas Architect November/December 2013: Campus Architecture
This issue explores the value of architectural diversity and creative responses to context. The discussion begins with a series on the three presidential libraries in Texas. Located on university campuses, the libraries all respond to their academic settings in unique ways. Connection is a driving element of the other projects presented — a business school, museum, student center and dining hall, and race track. All strive to tie their respective campuses closer together with individual design statements.
R J Marfa Rand Elliott, FAIA, of Elliott + Associates Architects, Oklahoma City Situated on Yale Avenue and overlooking the Chinati Foundation property, the R J Marfa proposal is minimalistic and modest in scale, form, and materials. The 1,062-sf house is a series of cubic forms detailed in concrete, glass, and metal. The rough, generic materials are rendered crisply and elegantly— with details that recall the work of artist Donald Judd. Views from the living spaces frame the landscape, and the outdoor spaces (a 3,000-sf courtyard and “This proposal dials the architecture all the way back, and the landscape becomes part of the building just by framing it.” a 1,000-sf roof deck) are equally as bare as the home’s interior. Juror Lyn Rice summarized the proposal: “I think it does what minimalists do, which is to strip out everything that is unnecessary. It is both an object in the landscape, and it frames the landscape.” Amale Andraos compared the project to the Austin Aquatic Center, noting that the R J Marfa house represents a distinct integration of architecture and landscape. “This proposal dials the architecture all the way back, and the landscape becomes part of the building just by framing it,” she said. “With the pool, you are connected to the natural landscape through the materiality of the design. Here, the building is reduced to its bones within the landscape.” 11/12 2013 Texas Architect 41