E d i t o r ’ s N o t e
Industrial Strength Revitalized Pearl Brewery demonstrates public attraction to respectful design
Courtesy of Pearl Brewery
Panoramic view of Pearl Brewery from 1910.
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Modernists are drawn to pure expressions of function, form that instantly communicates the essence of a building’s use. The Texas landscape is rich in examples, oftentimes overlooked because they are straightforward, generic, inconspicuous—precisely the qualities that make them worth our attention. J. Brantley Hightower, AIA, in a short essay “The Lure of the Industrial” on page 44, opens the feature section with musings on his and his fellow architects’ fascination with buildings “that reflect the most direct solutions to complex problems.” Their purity is beguiling, he states, because “they are defined by the simplest realities of program and structure.” This edition highlights projects that derive from industrial context, function, or aesthetic. Featured buildings range from a small office building surrounded by petrochemical refineries in Texas City to adjacent utility facilities at UT Austin that respectfully conform to a prescribed material palette. Another project, shown on the cover, is the Full Goods building at the redeveloped Pearl Brewery in San Antonio. Perhaps showing one of the least glamorous aspects of the building, the photograph by Casey Dunn concisely conveys its unadorned beauty and elemental honesty. When originally built in 1974, Full Goods was a simple metal-clad warehouse for storage of beer before shipment. By the time Silver Ventures bought the 22-acre site after the brewery closed in 2001, the decrepit and outdated warehouse seemed to have slim chances of survival. But David Lake, FAIA, saw great potential in reconfiguring Full Goods as a focal point of a new gathering place dedicated to culinary arts and cultural activities. Beginning on page 46, Vincent Canizaro, PhD, profiles the reinvigorated Pearl and the ongoing plans for improvements as outlined in the master plan by Lake/Flato Architects. The brewery played a significant role in the history of San Antonio since it was first established in the 1880s as the
J.B. Behloradsky Brewery (also known as the City Brewery), then sold in 1887 to the San Antonio Brewing Association. According to AIA San Antonio’s San Antonio Architecture: Traditions and Visions, “Six years later the company hired August Maritzen, one of the foremost brewery architects of the day, to design the new facility that became known as Pearl Brewery. Maritzen’s brick brew house (1894), with its arched windows and mansard-roofed tower, was San Antonio’s tallest building at the time. Local architects contributing to the complex include Otto Kramer, who designed the ellipticalshaped brick stables building (1894); Albert F. Beckmann, who supervised construction of Maritzen’s 1897 stock house and other buildings; and Adams & Adams (1939), Leo M.J. Dielmann (1930s and 1940s) and Bartlett Cocke (1950s).” After 118 years of industrious activity along the San Antonio River, Pearl Brewery closed in January 2001 following several years of struggling in an increasingly competitive market. With its demise that left more 150 people unemployed, most locals expected Pearl’s historic buildings would be razed and replaced. Fortunately for San Antonio, Pearl is thriving once again thanks to Silver Ventures President Kit Goldsbury, David Lake, and others who are working on the multi-phase project. To witness the renewal, visit Pearl on Saturday mornings when people flock to the farmers market or any weekday to see the latest exhibit at the Center for Architecture in Full Goods. The entire development is a case study in how a visionary client and insightful designers can transform a post-industrial landscape into a place of enrichment and vitality. S t e p h e n
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This edition highlights industrial design throughout Texas, as well as the recipients of TSA's 2009 Studio Awards. Texas Architect, the offi...