Fire/Beach House HDR Architecture, Inc., Dallas
Fire and Rescue Station #4 on Galveston Island is conceived as the primary fire and rescue support for island residences, Scholes International Airport, and Galveston Beach. The stated challenge was “finding an architectural solution that can survive a storm surge — such as Hurricane Ike in 2008 — to preserve life and material investments.” In the same way that pile dwellings are raised above the earth to protect the structure from storm and flood damage, the design proposal for Fire/Beach House elevates the living quarters above the utility bays. The analogy is further explored in the iconic images of fire, aviation, and beach rescue towers, each of which represents a raised observation and living quarter above a more utilitarian and functional base. In the Fire/Beach House, the apparatus bays act as a bypass for the potential rising waters to allow the living unit to survive a 20-foot storm surge. Designed to be a self-contained command center in the event of disaster, the reinforced structure has an elevated emergency generator and separate communication system as well as a space for landing a transport helicopter. Jury Sound Bites:
Itinerant Oil Worker Housing (I.o.W.H.) Alamo Architects, San Antonio — Mike McGlone, AIA; Helen Pierce, AIA
interesting as a reaction to Galveston Island’s
constant threat ... it’s a very clean parti — equipment below and people above ... very well presented ... dramatic renderings were irresistibly compelling
22 Texas Architect
1 Kitchen 2 Day Area 3 Observation Deck 4 Mezzanine 5 Apparatus Bay 6 Retractable Storm Doors
As a backdrop to this design exercise for Encinal Development in Encinal, Texas, the submission narrative observes that “while the ‘fracking’ for oil and gas in South Texas and elsewhere may be debated environmentally, economically, and politically the boom in available jobs it has created is unquestioned.” In South Texas, at the Eagleford Shale, the result has been that massive numbers of itinerant workers have flooded the area and the remote location greatly limits options for places to live. The workers must work long hours in harsh conditions, many living in cramped FEMA trailer camps, company barracks, and even their cars. In response to this very real need, I.o.W.H. seeks to provide a quick, low-cost, sustainable, multifamily housing option for a better quality of living for oil-field workers in Encinal and other locations. Due to the remoteness of the area, options for on-site construction are limited and expensive. I.o.W.H. utilizes pre-fabricated components manufactured 120 miles north in San Antonio. ISO Intermodal Shipping containers are to be repurposed to create the exterior enclosure, exploiting their low cost, strength, ease of transport, ruggedness, and sustainable benefits. The containers and other unitized components, like stairs and balconies, are also to be trucked to the site and quickly assembled.