P A P E R W O R K
fibrocity The idea behind Perkins + Will’s entry in this year’s Living City Design Competition is the need for a sustainable model for Houston’s continued rapid growth. Aspects of the project counteract negative consequences of the metropolis’ largely uncontrolled sprawl and lack of adequate public transportation, conditions that have resulted in severe traffic congestion, a geographically fragmented populace, and health problems related to poor air quality. Located just south of downtown, fibrocity’s 15-acre site will form a bridge spanning the existing lanes of US 59 and State Highway 288. By decking over the expressway, new tracts of greenspace are created for parkland, pedestrian activity, and agricultural production. Structural components will harness wind energy produced by the constant vehicular traffic and will also capture water for reuse and irrigation. The competition is sponsored by the International Living Building Institute in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Fire/Beach House The concept for Fire and Rescue Station #4, planned for a site on Galveston Island three blocks from the Gulf of Mexico, merges the utilitarian program of an emergency command center with the casual atmosphere of a beach house. HDR’s design team, led by James Henry, AIA, in its Dallas office, set the living quarters above the three utility bays to serve as a raised observation post. Eight sleeping quarters with individual bathrooms serve as a respite for firefighters. The apparatus bays open at both ends to allow storm surges of up to 20 feet high to flow through the structure, which is reinforced to accommodate rooftop landings of a rescue helicopter. Encompassing almost 14,000 square feet, the building is protected from extreme weather conditions by cast-in-place concrete, acrylic panels on extruded aluminum framing, and ipe decking. Fire/Beach House, equipped with its own generator and communication system, is conceived as a self-contained unit capable of maintaining critical services in the face of a hurricane affecting nearby Scholes International Airport or other parts of the city.
Museum Tower The latest addition to the evolving Dallas Arts District is under construction on the block between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Myerson Symphony Center. The 42-story Museum Tower is on track for owners to take occupancy of its 116 units (a total of 370,000 square feet) late next year. The design architect is Scott Johnson, FAIA, of Los Angeles-based Johnson Fain, with Gromatzky Dupree and Associates of Dallas as architect of record. High-performance glass on the high-rise’s two curving long sides will provide residents with sweeping views over Dallas, while the narrow ends are designed as outdoor “skyrooms” offering shade and fresh air. Two elevator banks will deliver residents and guests directly into living areas. The site is adjacent to Woodall Rodgers Park, the public greenspace now being built by decking over the below-grade expressway. Museum Tower’s ground-level amenities will include a private sculpture garden and a pool for residents, with parking for 300 vehicles located on three subterranean levels.
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