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Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Construction is set to begin in October on a new home for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Designed by Legorreta+Legorreta of Mexico City with local firm Gideon Toal as the architect of record, the $65 million project will bring the museum’s total square footage to 125,500. The new building will offer more space for traveling exhibits, as well as permanently housing several added features. A plaza entryway will form the center of the museum’s new campus-like environment, facilitating pedestrian traffic from the building to its neighbors, the Will Rogers Center and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. The area will also serve as a focal point for the southern end of the Fort Worth Cultural District, highlighted by a “lantern” structure that will let in daylight while providing gentle illumination to the grounds in the evening. The museum’s interior will feature courtyards, skylights, pergolas, and abundant natural light. The new museum is scheduled for completion in September 2009.

Cinnamon Shore The first master-planned New Urbanism development on Texas’s Coastal Bend, Cinnamon Shore will be a 64-acre community development on Mustang Island between State Highway 361 and the Gulf of Mexico. At a cost of more than $235 million, Cinnamon Shore will include single-family homes and condominiums, as well as shops, restaurants, hotels, and office space surrounding a town center. Designhouse of Austin is planning the 16,000-sf retail plaza that will feature an observation tower patterned after a lighthouse and a boulevard that will connect the development’s entrance to the beach. The developer, Sea Oats Group, has set design codes to accentuate architectural styles familiar along the Gulf Coast, featuring a lightness of proportion and color within a walkable, mixed-use community. Pedestrians will be able to reach one end of the community from the other in less than 10 minutes, passing homes set close to narrow, landscaped streets. Phase I of construction on the project began in March and is expected to be completed early next year.

groHome The 2007 Solar Decathlon team at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture has developed its entry for the biannual international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Through partnership with the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, the students have adopted the modular groHome concept from CMPBS’s Pliny Fisk. Set on pedestal footings to minimize damage to the site, the structural frame uses lightweight, high-performance elements that can be assembled with minimal tools. Photovoltaic and solar thermal panels incorporated into the roof and walls provide energy needs, and high-tech fenestration conserves energy use. The units can be multiplied to create a groCommunity in which individual dwellings are purposely planned for future infill as well as a variety of utility sharing possibilities. Solar Decathlon 2007 takes place Oct. 12-20 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where judges will assess projects from 20 schools invited to participate.

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Texas Architect July/Aug 2007: Luxury