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site/floor plan 1 Main Entrance 2 Offices 3 Showroom 4 Steel Product Warehouse 5 Crane-Operated Warehouse 6 Loading Dock 7 Storage Yard 8 Truck Entrance






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ubiquitous, that we see in our landscape, but here the architect has taken this type to task in really looking at the materials that are being sold within the plant or being fabricated within the plant and looked at that as a way to begin to shape the structure itself. From the industrial bays to the showroom, the tectonics of the building has a way of engaging the visitor [to say] ‘This is what we do here,’ but also in making the envelope for someone to experience. And it’s a very hard thing to do, because on one hand the building is highly didactic and on the other hand it has to be highly functional. Machinery is going on in the back, people are selling things in the front and to create an architecture that blurs those two boundaries, I think this building should be applauded for that. The manufacturing component could have been easily forgotten. The elements could have been hidden, but here they’re exposed, and they’re exposed in a way that is celebratory.” Fellow juror Brigette Shim was equally enthusiastic in selecting the project for a Design Award: “I think that this building type is so important. It’s so much a part of the economic engine that drives all of North America, and I would say it’s a building type that is often neglected by architects. So the fact that this was a steel company [and] the fact that they could use their own off-the-shelf elements to actually create their own building that is both warehouse and office, I think, is fantastic. It’s both advertising, but it’s also about good architecture. For me, within the warehouse part of the building I appreci-

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ated the clerestory windows, the way that natural light came into a big warehouse space, and then the attention to the office spaces, to trellises and pergolas, all using their own material – steel – to actually create a wonderful range of spaces that serves the fabrication aspect and the office aspect of their needs.” Triple-S Steel’s new building also earned national recognition this year from the American Institute of Steel Construction in its 2007 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program in the category of Projects Less than $15 Million. And, according to the architects, the owner’s satisfaction with the project and long-standing history with the steel industry has led the Stein family to fund a new AISC award for innovative design in steel construction. Based in Houston, Triple-S Steel began as a small new and used steel distribution yard owned by Bruce Stein. His father, Johnny Stein, formed his own scrap metal company, Dixie Iron and Metal Co., in 1932. As described by TSA Design Award juror Peter Bohlin, FA IA, “The steel headquar ters is rather simply realized, using steel elements that the company produces or which they supply, and the plan is pretty straight-forward. The sun shading and its edges are carefully conceived. The result is really a very good corporate project, and one that says a good deal about the quality of Texas architecture.” Stephen Sharpe is the editor of Texas Architect.

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Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  
Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...