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(Shell)ter for Home (Shell)ter for Home, designed by Jeffrey Brown, AIA, of Powers Brown Architecture in Houston, is a 1,400-sf affordable housing solution based on Quonset hut construction (prefabricated, arched steel buildings introduced during WWII for their easy transport and assembly). Brown’s plan places the building on an east/west axis to respond to solar orientation and create public/private exterior space, along with “curb appeal.” Crimped steel ribs create self-supporting spans of varying lengths. The plan works on a four-foot module based on the Quonset system and the panel/sheet sizes of interior materials. Energy-efficient features include the recyclable steel and its high reflectivity, a foundation system yielding little impervious cover, and a double shell that provides an insulating air barrier. The program trades hallway space for sizeable living/dining and family room zones with overhead doors to create indoor/outdoor rooms. Brown describes the plan as “a flexible space, providing a sense of customization on a budget.”

Hutto City Hall Complex Austin-based architecture and planning firm Antenora Architects recently completed the schematic design phase for a new Hutto City Hall, with an adjacent multi-purpose building and municipal park. The projects are part of a master plan to redevelop 18 acres in downtown Hutto–the former site of a grain co-op and cotton gin–with civic facilities and surrounding mixed-use properties. City leaders asked the architects to develop a plan to preserve existing structures as part of a design that will reflect the city’s historic roots as a farming community. When the first phase of the $14 million project is complete, Hutto will have a city hall complex featuring grain silos converted into council chambers, a community park, primary street infrastructure, and a sustainable power co-generation plant. Antenora Architects collaborated on the project with several Austin-based firms, including TBG Partners, Bury + Partners, Bay & Associates, and AEC. Development partners for the retail, residential, hospitality, and office components of the project have not yet been determined.

The Collector The Collector, a conceptual project by Brendan O’Grady, AIA, of RTKL Associates in Dallas, is a mixed-use development imagined for construction in Shanghai. Planned to encompass more than 2.7 million square feet, the project is “designed to harness the energy of business, culture, and nature.” The structure is a type of solar chimney that acts as an air duct to trap and then remove solar gain through ventilation. Undulating roof canopies would be seen from a distance as planes fly into the city. The canopies minimize the heat island effect and serve as the primary component in a comprehensive rainwater collection system. Microclimates in spaces beneath the canopies and between buildings provide areas where outdoor events can be held in summer and winter months. Sustainable features include green roofs with native plants; transparent, double-skinned facades to reduce solar heat gain and allow natural daylighting; and an energy center that incorporates waste collection, rainwater harvesting, heat pumps, and a power-generation plant run on biofuels.

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Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2010: Design Awards  

This issue highlights the 2010 TSA Design Award winners. The eleven featured projects range from the new Lance Armstrong Foundation headquar...

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