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Regional Inflections The jurors’ distinctive voices added an incorporeal dimension to their comments
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treasure in relationship to perhaps Faye Jones’ work in the sensitivity of using materials. This is a project that all of Texas should be proud of. I just think this thing is incredible.” And Trahan was equally laudatory: “I can’t say enough about this project. I’m intrigued with it because the reeds that inform this project have kind of a segmentation to them much like deformed rebar. I think of this bridge similar to the construction of a footing or a concrete beam where you use these stirrups to tie the major bars and the way these stirrups begin to randomly protrude upward and downward. And the intriguing thing about those that cantilever downward is the way they reflect in the water. And, of course, these gentlemen were brilliant in their photography, in the way it was photographed—I think it was a white swan in front; that delicate, soft, natural aspect in contrast to these rough-textured, rusting bars. It’s just beautiful.” The jurors also agreed that Texas architects have designed a great number of excellent projects, and that is manifest in the large number they awarded—23 with Design Awards and seven with Studio Awards. The projects will be celebrated during the TSA convention scheduled Nov. 2-4 in Dallas.
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THIS year’s Design Awards jury offered a study in regional vernacular, but not the architectural kind. It was their voices that fixed them to identifiable places on the map and hinted at the experiences that frame their sensibilities. Their two days of discussions was an aural feast for those in the room, with their unique inflections and cadences adding an incorporeal dimension to their comments. Schwartz, the consummate New Yorker, reveals his origins with each dropped “r.” Trahan’s Louisiana roots are evident in his measured, mellifluous drawl. Machado, though he emigrated from Buenos Aires four decades ago, still retains the rapid, clipped cadence of a native Porteño. Reviewing the 248 Design Award submittals took up half of the jury’s first day, with 73 projects remaining for the second round. By that point the jurors already were in agreement that three projects were definite winners—Floating Box House by Peter L. Gluck and Partners, Architects; Footbridge by Miró Rivera Architects; and Methodist Healthcare Ministries by Kell Muñoz Architects. While they commended the Floating Box House for its “powerful presence” and the Methodist Foundation Headquarters for its “spiritual essence,” the jurors were especially effusive in their praise of the Footbridge. (If only you could have heard their distinctive voices…) “I think this one is as close as one can get to a masterpiece,” Machado said. “With all due respect, it’s not a word I use too often. I think it is profoundly creative. Very fresh, unique, and memorable. I think it is an exquisite piece of architecture and I think it’s going to last in peoples’ imaginations as one of those rare moments when something new and fresh is done. It’s superb.” Schwartz agreed: “I think the jury, while we couldn’t give the grand award, all agreed that this was a project that elevated architecture to art and art to architecture. This is a magnificent project that shows the role of architects in art and infrastructure, architects in the making of art. Beautifully conceived, beautifully detailed. Relates to nature but holds its own as architecture and sculpture and engineering. I would say this is a type of project that any architect should aspire to. To me, it would be a national
The jury singled out Miró Rivera Architects’ Footbridge for particular praise. The project on Lake Austin, featured in the May/June Texas Architect, also received a 2006 AIA Small Projects Award.
TA Staff Update With the hiring of Andrea Exter as associate publisher, the magazine staff is back to full strength. She began duties Aug. 1, and soon became immersed in production of this edition. Her position requires project management skills as well as a high level of technical proficiency to build the ad pages from the digital files sent by advertisers. Andrea, a native of Lubbock, holds a degree in journalism from UT Austin and comes to TA from O’Connell Robertson and Associates where she coordinated marketing efforts for the firm with offices in Austin and San Antonio. And if you think this edition seems particularly hefty, you’re right. The 120 pages represents a number not seen since the mid-1980s. While this doesn’t break any records for Texas Architect, my survey shows this edition having the third-most
pages in TA’s history. (With 150 pages, the May/ June 1986 “Texas Sesquicentennial” edition still holds the record.) The combination of three factors resulted in this extra-large volume—features on 23 Design Award-winning projects; distribution at TSA’s 67th Annual Convention & Expo in Dallas; and the many advertisers who want to reach the readers of this “Design Awards” edition. Also, because this edition took extraordinary efforts to publish, the staff wishes to thank Teresa Sansone Ferguson and Andi Beierman for helping with production. Taking on the responsibilities of interim associate publisher, Teresa worked on the July/August edition and trained Andrea. Andi assisted Ashley St. Clair, TA’s art director, to lay out features and other pages. She also wrote the Backpage article that closes this edition.
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