Texas Society of Architects The Voice for Texas Architecture
Dallas Visionary Willis Winters, FAIA
86 On the Cover
Front & Center
A Walk in the Park with Willis Winters, FAIA Gerald Moorhead, FAIA
Embracing the Edge Bercy Chen Studio Brett Koenig Greig
Block 21 Andersson-Wise Architects (Design Architect) and BOKA Powell (Architect of Record) Canan Yetmen
Trends and Marketplace
New Urban Tapestries Frederick R. Steiner
The Border Catherine Gavin
Mission Reach Tracy Idell Hamilton 48
On the Bayou Guy Hagstette, FAIA 54
Worthy of World Heritage Ford, Powell & Carson Rachel Wright, AIA, and Anna Nau
Snøhetta’s Park Pavilion Jack Murphy, Assoc. AIA
Minding the Gap Gregory Ibañez, FAIA Ecologies
A Walk in the Park
COVER PHOTO BY NICOLE MLAKAR. COLLEGE PARK PAVILION PHOTO BY CAROLYN BROWN.
Justin Oscilowski, Assoc. AIA, Contributing to the Craft Robert Bennett
Beyond the Box Workshop8 Ingrid Spencer
Austin’s Ecological Affluence Dean J. Almy, AIA
LRGV AIA Tour Stephen Fox
60 1/2 2014
Texas Architect 3
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January/February 2014 Volume 64, Number 1
The Official Publication of the Texas Society of Architects (Texas Architects) Texas Architect (ISSN: 0040-4179) is published six times per year (bimonthly) by the Texas Society of Architects, 500 Chicon St., Austin, Texas 78702. Phone: 512 478 7386. The Texas Society of Architects is the state component of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Copyright 2013 by the Texas Society of Architects. Catherine Gavin Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Julie Pizzo Wood Art Director email@example.com Monica Cavazos Mendez Assistant Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Elizabeth Hackler Designer and Assistant Publisher email@example.com Madeleine Dao Design Intern Contributing Editors Lawrence Connolly, AIA, Austin; Stephen Fox, Houston; Val Glitsch, FAIA, Houston; J. Brantley Hightower, AIA, San Antonio; Greg Iba単ez, FAIA, Fort Worth; Max Levy, FAIA, Dallas; Michael Malone, AIA, Dallas; Bryce A. Weigand, FAIA, Dallas; Frank Welch, FAIA, Dallas; Willis Winters, FAIA, Dallas Tod Stehling Advertising Representative firstname.lastname@example.org 512 569 3242 Ted Kozlowski Circulation Manager email@example.com 512 478 7386 James T. Perry Executive Vice President and CEO Texas Architects Publications Committee Filo Castore, AIA, Houston (chair); Dror Baldinger, AIA, San Antonio; Laura Bennett, AIA, Corpus Christi; Eurico R. Francisco, AIA, University Park; Murray Legge, FAIA, Austin; Audrey Max well, A ssoc. AIA , Dallas; Alexis McKinney, AIA , Houston; Ronnie Self, Houston; Margaret Sledge, AIA, San Antonio; Ron Stelmarski, AIA , Dallas; Thomas Upchurch, AIA , Brenham; Mark T. Wellen, AIA, Midland; Al York, AIA, Austin Texas Architects Board of Directors Val Glitsch, FAIA, Houston, President; Michael Malone, AIA, Dallas, President-elect; Jennifer Workman, AIA, Dallas, Vice President; Fernando Brave, FAIA, Houston, Vice President; Paul Bielamowicz, AIA, Austin, Vice President; Robert Lopez, AIA, San Antonio, Vice President; Bibiana Dykema, AIA, Corpus Christi, Secretary; James Williams II, AIA, Amarillo, Treasurer; Adam Gates, Assoc. AIA, Austin, Associate Member Director; Barrie Scardino Bradley, Public Member Director; Jorge Vanegas, Assoc. AIA, College Station, Education Member Director; Melina Cannon, Assoc. AIA, Midland, Regional Assoc. Director; Daniel Hart, AIA, Midland, AIA Director; James Nader, FAIA, Fort Worth, AIA Director; John Nyfeler, FAIA, Austin, AIA Director; Robert S. Roadcap III, AIA, Abilene Chapter; Jay Bingham, AIA, Amarillo Chapter; Richard Weiss, AIA, Austin Chapter; Elizabeth Price, AIA, Brazos Chapter; Sheldon Schroeder, AIA, Corpus Christi Chapter; Thomas Powell, AIA, Dallas Chapter; Carl Daniel Jr., AIA, El Paso Chapter; Sandra Dennehy, AIA, Fort Worth Chapter; Perry Seeberger Jr., AIA, Houston Chapter; Christopher Collins, AIA, LRGV Chapter; Lenora Clardy, AIA, Lubbock Chapter; Alan Roberts, AIA, Northeast Texas Chapter; Mike McGlone, AIA, San Antonio Chapter; Philip Long, AIA, Southeast Texas Chapter; Jane Kittner, AIA, Waco Chapter; Christopher Upton, AIA, West Texas Chapter; Kenneth Dowdy, AIA, Wichita Falls Chapter Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Texas Architect, 500 Chicon Street, Austin, Texas 78702.
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6 Texas Architect
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Front & Center The Buffalo Bayou Promenade is woven through previously impenetrable highway interchanges. The project introduced 23 acres of parkland in Houston’s inner city, linking downtown to the waterway.
Urban Ecologies by Catherine Gavin, Editor
ith its stacked interchanges and sweeping flyovers, the U.S. highway system offers plenty of poetic beauty, and Texas has no shortage roadway feats — witness the 26-lane stretches of the Katy Freeway and five-level junctions in Dallas and Houston. Our state’s freeway system has grown exponentially since its inception in 1954, and today, urban designers are rethinking highways, which have effectively become barriers in downtown districts. In Dallas, The Office of James Burnettdesigned Klyde Warren Park, built over the Woodall Rogers Freeway, now links downtown to the Arts District and Uptown and is encouraging calls for razing a 1.4-mile section of Inter-
Urban design and landscape architecture are stitching together, reinvigorating, and redefining key sections of Texas cities. state 345 that separates downtown from Deep Ellum. In Austin, urban designer Sinclair Black, FAIA, is advocating sinking Interstate 35 from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake. This initiative, which gained significant momentum throughout 2013, calls for dense mixed-use development over the freeway tunnel to bridge downtown and East Austin. In Houston, downtown is now connected to Buffalo Bayou via a greenway woven underneath and through layers of roadways. SWA Group led the project, creating 23 acres of parkland for pedestrians and cyclists. Urban design and landscape architecture are stitching
together, reinvigorating, and redefining key sections of Texas cities with a focus on pedestrianlevel connectivity and ecological infrastructures. Frederick R. Steiner argues that continued pressure on natural resources due to expected population growth necessitates green infrastructure that provides ecological benefit. He points out that Texas’ changing cultural makeup will further challenge designers to create meaningful public spaces for the entire population. Victoria Sambunaris’ photographs capture vast landscapes of the TexasMexico border, portraying the impact of both trade and natural disasters on rural ecologies. The projects explored demonstrate the vision and transformative impact of green infrastructure in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas. We also feature El Paso’s first net-zero senior housing project, a mixed-use development in downtown Austin, and the bid to make San Antonio missions the first World Heritage site in Texas — all examples of successful urban design initiatives. We thank Dean Almy, AIA, Guy Haggestate, FAIA, and Irby Hightower, FAIA, for their significant contributions to this issue; all three are members of Texas Architects’ newly established Urban Design Committee. In this “Ecologies” issue,
Texas Architect 9
Rachel Wright, AIA is
Eurico R. Francisco, AIA grew up in lush,
tropical Brazil, and he is encouraged to see that landscape architecture is integral to all three proposals for the Dallas Connected City Design Challenge. Read his recap of the architects’ presentations on page 16.
Greg Ibañez, FAIA and Brett Koenig Greig is
an architect at Loop Design in East Austin. She understands the neighborhood well and thinks that the Edgeland House fits perfectly into its low-key creative atmosphere. Read her thoughts on the house’s curb appeal on page 26.
his wife, Kathleen Culebro, recently purchased a circa1932 stone cottage in Fort Worth. They are planning a renovation/ addition on an optimist’s budget, bringing to mind “Doctor, heal thyself” and other similar clichés. Read Greg’s article about Klyde Warren Park on page 60.
Canan Yetmen writes
about architecture and architects every single day. Her first novel, “The Roses Underneath,” will be released in January. And yes, of course there’s an architect in it. Read her article about Austin’s Block 21 on page 66.
10 Texas Architect
Ben Koush is an
architect and writer in Houston. He took time off from working on his upcoming book about modern architecture to write about new park designs in his article about Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens. Read his piece on page 96.
Ingrid Spencer is
a contributing editor for Architectural Record and writes about architecture and design from her home office in Austin’s Zilker neighborhood. Read her article on El Paso’s new net-zero housing development on page 72.
Audrey Maxwell, AIA is Dean Almy, AIA is
an architect and urbanist who grew up living in cities around the world. He advocates for a better quality of life through the reintegration of the urban environment and the formation of meaningful places. Read his article about Austin’s ecological wealth on page 54.
an architect at Michael Malone Architects in Dallas. In her free time, she enjoys serving the community by participating in various charity activities. For the last issue of TA, she wrote an excellent article on the new business school at the University of North Texas. Read the article on the Texas Architects website.
an architect based in San Antonio. Focused on the significance of cultural resources, her projects range from adaptive reuse to the restoration of San Antonio’s Spanish Colonial Missions. Anna Nau loves to write about old buildings. A graduate of Southwestern University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Edinburgh, she is currently part of the writing team for the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage nomination. Read Rachel and Anna’s story on the missions on page 78.
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Of Note Le Corbusier’s Landscape
“Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes” reframed the architect’s conceptualization of landscapes and included the paintings “Blue mountains” (1910) and “Plan for Buenos Aires” (1929), among others.
by Charissa N. Terranova
It is a propitious time to revisit the lifework of the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier (1887–1965), particularly as his approach relates to landscape. Ecological crises, global warming, and sprawl urge a refashioning of 20th-century modernism that focuses on land, site specificity, and the limitations of natural resources, and Le Corbusier’s work has always been about landscape’s many splendors, artificial and otherwise. The recent Museum of Modern Art show “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes” reframed Le Corbusier according to his dynamic conceptualization of the landscape. Guest curator Jean-Louis Cohen reminded us that landscape in Le Corbusier’s work “retained nothing of the literal,” but rather was “edifying…because it generated analogies and metaphors….” Landscape as a theme in Le Corbusier’s work
12 Texas Architect
composition of geometric forms is reminiscent of his early work — hermetic forms rest in a garden of eucalyptus trees. “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes” was an overt foray into revisionist modernism for the purposes of scholarly excavation. Ultimately, it was an academic retelling of his story, not revolutionary in manner or intention. The show was put together with a careful eye for detail and a scrupulous will to recover projects that had gone by the wayside over the years,
Author of “Automotive Prosthetic: Technological Mediation and the Car in Conceptual Art”(University of Texas Press, Jan 2014), Charissa N. Terranova is a professor, writer, and critic based in Dallas.
INSTALLATION VIEW OF THE EXHIBITION “LE CORBUSIER: AN ATLAS OF MODERN LANDSCAPES” COURTESY THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK. PHOTOGRAPH BY JONATHAN MUZIKAR. “BLUE MOUNTAINS” (1910) AND “PLAN FOR BUENOS AIRES” (1929) COURTESY THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART AND THE FONDATION LE CORBUSIER, PARIS. © 2013 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK / ADAGP, PARIS / FLC.
covers a vast scale — its a matter of mountains, cars, concrete, and otherworldly imaginings. Through this looking-glass, the Villa Schwob (1916–17) and Mundaneum (1928) constitute a play between artificial and natural geometries, classicizing right angles, the primordial ziggurat, and the jagged, upright angles of the Alps. In urban plans for São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (1929) and the Plan Obus for Algiers (1932), a sinuous line molds landscape through architecture combined with transportation engineering. Similarly, an automotive landscape is at the root of Le Corbusier’s “Monument to the Memory of Paul Vaillant-Couturier” (1938–39). With an open hand gesturing outward and a long cantilever over the road, the monument to the communist leader was designed for Paris suburb Villejuif and intended to make an impression on motorists driving by. In Ilôt Insalubre No. 6 (1935–36), Le Corbusier conceptualized architecture in medias res: design in the middle of grassy green things; building as play between utility and place; the machine in the garden. The enormous wooden model for the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh (1951) brought home the importance of the artificial ground datum. Stained dark reddish brown, it read as a giant sculptural plane, a man-made plenum for reinventing urbanism, form, and place. The designs for an Olympic Stadium and Sports Center for Baghdad (1955–80) harked back to the strict modernist precepts of the Athens Charter (1933). A project from the last decade of his career, its
such as the conceptual Maisons Monol (1919), stone Villa de Mandrot (1929–31), singular Roq and Rob housing schemes (1949–55), visionary National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo (1954–59), and farsighted Computational Center for Silvetti (1961–64), to name just a few. With more than 320 objects, including drawings, paintings, maquettes, films, and reconstructed interiors, the show was expansive and densely packed. Without the aid of a pick-me-up along the way, it might have been exhausting. But the payoff of experiencing this one-time coalescence of objects was worth tired legs and aching feet. The four organizing themes of the exhibition — the landscape of found objects, domestic landscape, architectural landscape of the modern city, and vast planned territories — tied together harmoniously the exhibition’s many profound attractions. It was not a political show, neither a prise de parole for global warming nor a cri de coeur for the Kyoto Protocol. Nonetheless, the ecological stakes were palpable. With melting glacial poles weighing on the collective consciousness and the limitations of petroleum making themselves felt, it was the right time for a landscape-oriented review of Le Corbusier.
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PURCH by Rebecca Roberts
Generally, when we think of designing space for habitation, we think in terms of the human-scale of spaces. We think of the ways we move throughout our houses, offices, neighborhoods, and cities, and how we can design spaces to best suit our needs. Seldom do we recognize that we are not the only ones occupying these urbanized tracts of land — we share them with other species, many of which have resided in these locations long before we came. Through his PURCH project (Positioned Urban Roosts for Civic Habitation), architect Ned Dodington, Assoc. AIA, hopes to expand our perspectives on place-making to accommodate species other than our own. for bird feeding and nesting structures that were part of an art installation in Houston’s Russ Pitman Park. The feeders were constructed of laser-cut wooden fins, and some feeders used an acrylic film to hold bird food and water. Dodington assembled PURCH is a series of designs
Each proposal is distinct in that the details of the roosting structures cater to the kinds of birds that would flourish in those environments.
In fact, the unkempt urbanity was what inspired Dodington to begin the project. He commented, “I marveled at downtown Houston’s canyon-like streets and overall wildness.” What Dodington teaches us through PURCH is that we can forge a greater connection with other species by designing with their needs in mind. Rebecca Roberts is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture.
Ned Dodington, Assoc. AIA, raises awareness about animals in urban environments. His PURCH project was installed in Houston’s Russ Pitman Park.
PHOTOS COURTESY NED DODINGTON, ASSOC. AIA.
each feeder by hand and was responsible for its installation. He crafted the fins to meet specific conditions sought out by different birds. For the 15 pieces installed in the park, four different types of fins were designed. The installation in Russ Pitman Park is only one facet of PURCH, however, and additional
proposals include roosting structures in various Houston locations — near Buffalo Bayou, Main Street Square, and the Downtown Transit Center. Each proposal is distinct in that the details of the roosting structures cater to the kinds of birds that would flourish in those environments. The PURCH structures designed for Main Street Square, for instance, are calculated to attract rock pigeons, which currently live in the area and prefer nesting in cliffs; the depth of the nesting enclosures mimics cliff conditions. Additionally, the roosting structures are equipped with a horizontal landing surface, an overhang for weather protection, and a hang, clamp, or post for installation. While the PURCH structures meet the habitation needs of birds, they also satisfy the human desire for bird-watching by encouraging birds to thrive within the city. PURCH is a reminder that even urban environments are part of nature.
Texas Architect 15
Connected City Design Challenge by Eurico R. Francisco, AIA
takes a pragmatic approach and pushes the existing downtown fabric toward the river. “The grid has power, so let’s extend it!” said Bofill. The goal is not to make a pedestrian city out of Dallas but rather to establish four distinct riverfront districts, linked by Ricardo Bofill’s proposal
16 Texas Architect
Top left and right In
order to activate the Trinity River waterfront in Dallas, Ricardo Bofill proposed dense development along the shore interspersed with cultural facilities. Top and bottom OMA designed a new city connected to downtown Dallas via horizontal skyscrapers.
a “multifaceted mobility scheme.” Bofill’s vision emphasizes new ecological infrastructure defined by forests delineating and framing the path of the freeways south and west of downtown. The idea is to flood the district with green spaces. to the Trinity River, OMA’s scheme proposes a new city along the water. “2 Rivers / 2 Cities” encourages distinct development in both districts and Rather than extending downtown
bridges them with “horizontal skyscrapers.” Dense development is centered in two arcshaped loops, which are more or less parallel to the lower topographical areas within the study area. OMA also looked to green infrastructure as important for connecting the city; the proposal seeks to redirect growth by bringing water closer to the city and making it accessible through “key moments of connection and ecological intervention.”
ALL RENDERINGS COURTESY DALLAS CONNECTED CITY DESIGN CHALLENGE.
With the Connected City Design Challenge, Dallas is taking steps to link downtown to the Trinity River. Organized by the Dallas CityDesign Studio in partnership with the Trinity Trust Foundation, downtown Dallas Inc., and the Real Estate Council Foundation, the Challenge hopes to start a dialogue centered on smart urban design. Today, the district, which encompasses approximately 400 acres to the west of downtown, is a no-man’s land. Jill Jordan, Dallas’ assistant city manager, described it as full of “freeways, liquor stores, and bondsmen.” A controversial Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT) plan to build a toll road between the Trinity River and downtown has prompted concern and just might give the discussion of connecting the city with the river some legs. Last fall, the three finalists of the challenge, Ricardo Bofill of Taller de Arquitectura from Barcelona, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) from New York, and STOSS + SHoP from Boston and New York, presented their proposals to City Hall officials and the public. The diverse ideas and approaches were stimulating, and the auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art was filled near capacity for all of the presentations. Indeed, Larry Beasley, one of the competition jurors, remarked, “If you ever felt despair [about] this area, well, you won’t feel that way anymore after seeing these three proposals.”
PageSoutherlandPage Thinks Forward by Catherine Gavin
With a new year comes a new name, and beginning January 1, 2014, PageSoutherlandPage will be known simply as Page. The transition is representative of an incoming new generation of leadership and the evolution of the 116-year-old firm into a robust organization where all employees will soon share in ownership. “We are redefining the culture of the firm,” said principal Larry Speck, FAIA. “We are making a much flatter organization, with the ultimate goal of encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit among our people and increasing collaboration among our various offices.” The rebranding effort also makes it clear that Page is focused on “design that makes lives better.”
to urban design that would “amplify the socioeconomic benefits of living in the city by bringing an active nature to residents’ doorsteps.” To make this possible, the proposal recommends the creation of three neighborhoods interspersed with landscaped areas. Described as “a new ecology for the city,” these green zones are also fundamental to the proposed water management system. The new neighborhoods — Decco, Viaduct, and Riverfront South — are proposed STOSS + SHoP presented a lyrical approach
Dallas, Houston, Denver, and Washington, D.C., as well as international affiliate offices, Page is a growing global firm. The new name draws on the company’s heritage, but is fresh. The firm’s new graphic identity DO NOT ALTER ARTWORK — consisting of its name followed by a slash — Page Southerland Page, LLP ©2013 speaks to the forward-thinking design the firm is With offices in Austin,
“If you ever felt despair [about] this area, well, you won’t feel that way anymore after seeing these three proposals.”
“The importance of creating an integrated brand for our firm is to enable us to do better work.”
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as mixed-use with a residential focus. In between the neighborhoods, fingers of urban forest extend from the river edge toward downtown, creating a “staccato of city, forest, city, forest.” The Connected City Challenge, if taken to heart by the City and civic leaders, is an opportunity to impact the expansion and transformation of Dallas’ most valuable real estate, downtown, and thus to directly affect the economic outlook and quality of life for decades to come. We hope that this will be the case. Eurico R. Francisco, AIA, is an architect in Dallas practicing at OMNIPLAN.
The STOSS + SHoP team presented a design for three neighborhoods along the Trinity. The new mixed-use districts are interrupted by pockets of dense forests.
known for bringing to complex projects. A new tagline — “think forward” — signals a time of evolving leadership and captures a prevailing mindset within the firm. Any integrated rebranding strategy addresses Primary Logo with Tag Line CMYK Full Color three essential questions: Who are you? What Use This Logo when on a black field do you do? How do you say it? Page began this process just over a year ago and will roll out a new website and a strong, integrated communications plan to help get the word out about their new name. Essential to the evolution of the brand, however, is that it represents the way the firm is working today. It is about the people who are engaged with Page. “The importance of creating Primary Logo with Tag Line CMYK an integrated brand for our firm is to enable us to Full Color Use This Logo when ondo a red field better work,” said Speck. “It keeps us focused on our values, and it enables us to clearly communicate to clients, potential clients, and others what we stand for in architecture and what we have to offer.”
Texas Architect 17
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AIA Austin Latinos in Architecture by Paul Medrano, AIA
Founded in 2010, AIA Austin Latinos in Architecture aims to serve and support the local Latino communities, strengthen networks among design professionals, and enrich architectural practices through diverse cultural exchanges by fostering participation in education, professional, and community-oriented programs. As part of the Austin community, the group strives to be a positive influence for Latino students who aspire to become architects, and its wide range of activities supports AIA Austin. Social hours; movie nights featuring Spanish architecture-related films; book signings; book drives; home tours; studio talks; and outreach to local high schools are just a few of the programs set up to encourage understanding about archi-
As part of the Austin community, the group strives to be a positive influence for Latino students who aspire to become architects.
PHOTO OF STUDENTS COURTESY AIA AUSTIN LATINOS IN ARCHITECTURE. PHOTO OF KENNETH E. BENTSEN, FAIA, COURTESY HIS FAMILY. PHOTO OF DAVID GEORGE, FAIA, BY HOLLY REED.
tecture. To further this goal, annual scholarships are awarded to young Latino students to attend The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture Summer Academy in Architecture. The annual exhibit of projects by Latino designers, “Perspectivas dosmil14,” is another outlet for education and community awareness pursued by the group. AIA Austin Latinos partnered with AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture and Lower Rio Grande AIA for the 2012 exhibit, which was featured in the Valley at the Building Better Communities Conference and at that year’s Texas Society of Architects Annual Convention in Austin. This year for “Perspectivas dosmil14,” they plan to invite the newly formed AIA San Francisco Latinos in Architecture Committee to join them.
Students attend many of the events organized by AIA Austin Latinos in Architecture.
Kenneth E. Bentsen, FAIA (1926–2013) by Stephen Fox
Houston architect Kenneth Edward Bentsen, FAIA, died on September 24 after an illness of several years’ duration. He was 86 years old. Bentsen was born in Mission, Texas, the son of Edna Ruth Colbath and Lloyd M. Bentsen. He was a graduate of the University of Houston (UH) (BA, 1951; BArch, 1952). While still a student at UH, Bentsen designed his first house, a sprawling contemporary ranch house for his parents, on the outskirts of McAllen. Still owned by the Bentsen estate at the time of his death, the house demonstrated his mature understanding of planning, construction, and finishes. After briefly working for Houston architects MacKie & Kamrath, Bentsen began his practice in 1958. One of his first buildings, the Gulf Coast National Bank (1959), was published in Architectural Forum magazine in 1960. displayed the impact of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, and Bentsen’s UH design instructor and friend, Howard Barnstone. But the buildings that brought him the widest recognition took a Regionalist turn. The First National Bank of Edinburg (1964 — now PlainsCapital Bank); a patio-centered house for his sister and brother-in-law in McAllen (1965); and Agnes Arnold Hall at UH (1966) were brick-faced buildings that incorporated open-air courtyards or concrete-framed breezeways. In 1967, Bentsen was commissioned to plan a new campus for what is now the University of TexasPan American, in Edinburg. Between 1968 and 1982, 18 campus buildings were constructed to his designs. He organized brick-faced buildings with arcaded passageways and interior courtyards, and ringed the new campus with a circuit of covered walkways that also conveyed mechanical services to buildings.
During the 1970s and ’80s, Bentsen’s office produced campus buildings for UH, The University of Texas at Austin, and UT Medical Branch in Galveston. He was also architect of Austin’s Texas Law Center (1977), headquarters of the Texas State Bar Association, and McAllen’s 11-story One Texas Commerce Center (1985), now called the Bentsen Tower. A major project from this period of his career was the 17,000-seat Summit (1975) in Houston. Extensively altered in 2005, it is now Lakewood Church. Kenneth Bentsen was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1971. In 1991, he retired. He and his wife, Mary Dorsey Bates Bentsen, were avid and discriminating collectors of contemporary art, and Bentsen was at various times a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Blaffer Art Museum of UH. He also served on the boards of directors of the Texas Society of Architects and AIA Houston. Kenneth Bentsen is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Bentsen’s earliest buildings
David W. George, FAIA (1922–2013) by V. Aubrey Hallum, AIA Emeritus, and Jeff Hallum, Assoc. AIA
David Webster George, FAIA, born in Tulsa, Okla., attended the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture prior to serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. Following the war, George became a Taliesin Fellow under Frank Lloyd Wright. After his apprenticeship, he received an architecture degree from North Carolina State University in 1949. Captain George was called to active duty during the Korean War and served with the first Republic of Korea (ROK) Artillery Corps. George was married to Xena Gill (now deceased), and together they had a daughter, Molly, who lives with her family
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in a “David George House” near Grapevine, Texas. This talented architect worked for one of Wright’s favorite architects, Harwell Hamilton Harris, in Fort Worth. While in Fort Worth, George formed a partnership with Charles Adams, who is now honored by AIA Fort Worth with a scholarship at the University of Texas at Arlington. After moving to Dallas, George
George was an architect’s architect, a gentleman’s gentleman, a man without guile.
PHOTO OF SUSAN LYNN WILLIAMSON COURTESY HER FAMILY. PHOTOGRAPH OF “SUNRISE FILMSET SUNSET, 2012” BY TERESA HUBBARD AND ALEXANDER BIRCHLER COURTESY BALLROOM MARFA. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TEX-FAB.
helped form The Architects Partnership, a very successful firm responsible for numerous design award-winning projects. Many of George’s residences were featured in national magazines and other architectural publications. He also received recognition from the New York Architectural League and the American Federation of Arts. George was an architect’s architect, a gentleman’s gentleman, a man without guile. After his memorial service, a loving client invited “all to come to the Hodge Orr Residence to celebrate David George’s life.” The Hodge Orr House was featured in the July/August 2012 issue of Texas Architect. This wonderful house is a real work of architecture, just as David Webster George was a distinguished architect and friend.
Susan Lynn Williamson (1958–2013) by Joel Warren Barna
Susan Lynn Williamson of Austin, a former editor of Texas Architect magazine, died October 10, 2013. Born in Dallas in 1958, Susan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin University, then started her professional life as a writer and photographer for the Luf kin Daily News. Later, after earning a master’s
degree in English/Creative Writing from The University of Texas at Austin, she helped create and edit American Short Fiction, which was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction in its first two years of publication. of Texas Architect in 1991. She worked for the magazine, later as executive editor and editor, until 1999. During her tenure, the magazine won a national award for association publications. Her writing and editing were characterized by a graceful clarity and precision, and her generous and steady spirit helped her forge strong friendships with colleagues and architects throughout Texas. Willis Winters, FAIA, of Dallas, a long-time contributing editor, said of Susan: “I deeply admired Susan for all she did for the Texas Society of Architects as the first woman editor of Susan became associate editor
“Susan’s quiet manner belied her intensity and her perceptual acuity. She was quick to see the essence of a thing and to have the exact words to express it.”
Calendar Austin Foundation for Architecture January 23 www.austinfa.org The Austin Foundation for Architecture will recognize local leaders who are working to better the urban experience in Central Texas. Join them at The Thinkery. Dallas Architecture Forum Lecture Series January 30 www.dallasarchitectureforum.org Madrid-based architects Selgas + Cano have exhibited throughout the world and just received the Kunstpreis Prize from the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. José Selgas and Lucía Cano will speak at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Theatre. Texas Architects Third Annual Design Conference: Borderlands January 31 – February 2 www.texasarchitects.org/descon The Texas Architects Third Annual Design Conference: Borderlands will feature Marlon Blackwell, FAIA; Rand Elliot, FAIA; Victor Trahan, FAIA; and Victor Legorreta. TEX-FAB 5 Austin February 19 – 23
Texas Architect. She was dedicated toward producing a publication of the highest editorial content and visual quality for our organization.” W. Mark Gunderson, AIA, chair of the publications committee during Susan’s year as editor, said, “Susan’s quiet manner belied her intensity and her perceptual acuity. She was quick to see the essence of a thing and to have the exact words to express it.” Susan is survived by her husband, Dan Galewsky; by her children, Jacob and Sophia; and by her father, Joseph Williamson, and brother, John Williamson. Her family asks that donations in her memory be made to The New Writers Project/Susan Williamson Fund at The University of Texas at Austin Department of English, One University Station B5000, Austin, TX 78712. (Contact: Cecilia Smith Morris, email c.smith-morris@ austin.utexas.edu.)
www.tex-fab.net TEX-FAB 5 SKIN: Digital Assemblies will be held at The University of Texas at Austin. Keynote speaker Michele Rojkind will kick off four days of parametric design and digital fabrication workshops.
Ballroom Marfa February 28 – July 6 www.ballroommarfa.org Ballroom Marfa will present “Giant,” the last in a trilogy of video installations exploring the social and physical sites of cinema in the southwestern United States.
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AIA Dallas 2013 Design Awards
The AIA Dallas Design Awards recognizes outstanding work by Dallas architects, both in the metropolitan area and around the globe. Built Awards were announced in October and were selected by jurors Dan Rockhill of the University of Kansas and Studio 804; John Ronan, AIA, of John Ronan Architects; and Jennifer Yoos, FAIA, of VJAA. Unbuilt Awards were announced in September and were chosen by jurors Chandler Ahrens of Open Source Architecture (O-S-A); Michael Folonis, FAIA, of Michael Folonis Architects; and Jim Richard, AIA, of Richard+Bauer. Both juries honored designs that respond to unique cultural, social, environmental, and contextual challenges. Built Design Awards: Honor 1 The Kiask Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts Gensler
The design of the Kiask Center in Philadelphia is centered on the chronological influence of libraries, using the past to inform the present and improve the future. The Class of 1976 Pavilion serves as the centerpiece of the space, featuring a glass and steel form floating within the wood-paneled Great Room. The Reading Room is designed to visually connect to the rest of the space while giving access to oneof-a-kind documents, in a highly-controlled environment.
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2 Galveston Fire and Rescue #4 HDR Architecture
The new design of Galveston Fire and Rescue #4 is an architectural solution that is responsive to building codes and restrictions and prevents damage during weather emergencies. The architects incorporated elevated design that is subtle and transformative. The overall design strategy allows for reuse of the facility with minimal rebuild or demotion in the event of another disaster. 3 Mockingbird Residence Buchanan Architecture
This controversial Dallas residence is designed using an innovative building envelope system commonly found in climate-controlled warehouse construction and features several sustainable solutions. The design incorporates unique details throughout the space, encompassing the client’s personal interests in stone and transforming a residential building into a work of art. 4 NEHO (Nueva Expansión Hospital Observatorio) HKS
The new inpatient Tower at Avenida Observatorio is an extension to the existing American British Cowdray (ABC) Medical Center in Mexico City and its new cancer center. The expansion design uses a combination of vision glass to enhance and frame views, while spandrel and sandblasted glass serve to block
and filter natural light. This solution enabled the design team to reintroduce and expand the existing green space, connecting the expansion to the existing building, while intertwining it with the urban environment. 5 South Intermediate High School Perkins + Will
The design of this Broken Arrow, Okla., high school’s Performing Arts Addition uses a simple planning strategy to integrate the existing structure with the new arts building. The design creates a courtyard that joins two different programs — art and athletics. The courtyard gives the school a new identity and creates a blended approach to community and education. 6 Pomona Residence Cunningham Architects
This three-bedroom, three-bath house in Dallas utilizes a simple design with careful detailing, integrating a side courtyard with a more formal garden space. At 2,700 sf, the design of the house is an elegant solution with careful detailing and sustainable features. The finishes direct one’s eyes to the outdoors. 7 College Park Picnic Pavilion and Site Improvements Snøhetta (Design Architect) with Architexas (Architect of Record)
This South Dallas park pavilion is a simple
AIA Dallas 2013 Firm of the Year
gesture, using modern design to create a unique outdoor structure. By inverting the traditional assembly of a clad frame, the pavilion’s structural system becomes the exterior detail. The acid green color of the interior references the vibrant greens of the park in early spring. The perforations of the wall panels evoke the shadows of the surrounding trees while increasing visibility into the pavilion at night, adding to site security. Built Design Awards: Jury Commendation 8 sustainABLEhouse buildingcommunityWORKSHOP
This initiative showcases how architects can invest in the inner city and make a difference. This particular project is an effort to design a new program model to increase economic, social, and environmental sustainability of affordable housing developments in Dallas. Unbuilt Awards Legacy ER Allen 5G Studio One-Forty: Retail Center Perkins + Will Straits Forum Convention Center HKS Dalian Planning Bureau Laguarda.Low Architects Preston Royal Branch Library
Michael Malone Architects has been selected by AIA Dallas as the recipient of its 2013 Firm Award. The firm is being recognized for fostering a culture of commitment to the design community through its practice, publication, and professional involvement. AIA Dallas’ 2013 President Kirk Teske, AIA, noted among the firm’s many accomplishments its history of leadership with the local chapter as well as with the Texas Society of Architects. Michael Malone, AIA, was Texas Architects’ vice president of outreach for 2013 and is serving as president-elect for 2014. He is also organizing our upcoming Design Conference, which will take place in Austin on Jan. 31–Feb. 2. Bob Borson, AIA, is currently chair of the Society’s Digital Communications Committee. Audrey Maxwell, AIA, serves on the magazine’s Publications Committee. The firm will be presented with the Firm Award on January 29, during AIA Dallas’ “Celebrate Architecture 2014” Awards & Honors Reception.
AIA Brazos 2013 Design Awards
AIA Brazos honored two projects with Design Awards in 2013. Jurors for the program were Nancy McCoy, FAIA, of McCoy Quimby Architects in Dallas; Al York, AIA, of McKinney York Architects in Austin; and Lilia Gonzalez, AIA, the University Architect for Texas A&M University in College Station.
In announcing the award,
Certificate of Merit 1 Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative Employee Service Center BBA Architects
The jury was impressed with this Brenham building’s geometry and form, as well as its ability to smoothly integrate both active and passive sustainable design features, such as an orientation favoring breezes for workers on the loading dock, and a rainwater collection system for irrigating landscaped areas. Citation of Honor 2 The South Padre Island Fire Station #1 BRW Architects
This three-story, 19,400-sf fire station sits on an urban site blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. The massing is broken down to relate to the scale of the surrounding residential structures, and bright exterior finishes and colors distinguish interior spaces.
Perkins + Will
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Fosu Marina and Master Plan OTA+
Austin-based OTA+ was approached by nonprofit Take Back Our Routes to design a new master plan and marina for the Fosu Lagoon area of Cape Coast, Ghana. Take Back Our Routes was created to empower Africa by partnering with Ghana Ocean Racing to develop a new marina and ocean racing center at the location, which was once used in the slave trade. The site, currently desolate and requiring extensive environmental remediation, carries tremendous symbolism. By re-appropriating the area with a new program, Take Back Our Routes hopes to affect the future of the region. included the design of multiple mixed-use high-rises, Africaâ€™s tallest building, a hotel district, new residential towers, performing arts and other cultural buildings, and a community market. To tackle the broad scope of the project in a limited amount of time, OTA+ enlisted the design help of award-winning international architectural firms, including IwamotoScott Architecture, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, Khoury Levit Fong, Veev Design, Maxi Spina Architects, and Murmur. The marina was designed to house a number of different programs, including the Volvo Ocean Racing Village and the Ghana Ocean Racing Headquarters, as well as a training museum, a hotel, shopping areas, an outdoor auditorium, a public plaza, and an urban park. The OTA+ master plan
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The public plaza is completely open on the ground floor and folds into a canopy structure at two locations. The canopy is lifted above the piers below and binds the multiple programs with a network of walkways that extend toward the ocean, symbolically connecting the city and people to the ocean routes. Between the walkways, a series of louvers shield the piers and public plaza below from intense summer sun. The pattern evokes the traditional multicolored Kente cloths popular in the region.
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Embracing the Edge by Brett Koenig Greig
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Project Edgeland House, Austin Client Chris Brown Architect Bercy Chen Studio Design Team Calvin Chen, Assoc. AIA; Thomas Bercy; Ryan Michael; Brad Purrington; Daniel Loe; Augustina Rodriguez Photographer Paul Bardagjy
homas Bercy, of Bercy Chen Studio, cringes at the mention of curb appeal. For him, too many residential projects are presented as a big statement at the entry, leaving the rest of the building as an afterthought. He and his design partner, Calvin Chen, Assoc. AIA, took a very different approach for the Edgeland House, a 1,500-sf home hidden away in an industrial corner of East Austin. The house is obscured from the street by its siting, buried seven feet below grade. A passer-by can only see its atypical front yard — two triangular roofs covered in local prairie grasses peeling sharply up from the ground. In designing the Edgeland House, Bercy Chen merged architecture, land art, and ecology to create an inward-looking home with broad-reaching benefits for the local habitat. In 2009, Chris Brown bought a one-acre lot on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River. For years, the attorney and science fiction writer had been canoeing this stretch of river, drawn to what he calls pockets of “interstitial wild nature” inadvertently preserved within the surrounding industrial
zoning. Overgrown with willow trees and other invasive species, the property had long been a dumping ground for construction crews and transients, and through its center ran a decommissioned oil pipeline from the
The scar of disturbed earth provided a unique opportunity to partially bury the new house into the hillside. 1920s. Brown’s law background proved essential in helping him overcome the arduous regulatory hurdles he encountered when working with the City to remove the pipeline, clear the site’s environmental liability, abandon the utility easement, and prepare the land for residential use. Brown brought a very particular design problem to Bercy Chen. He wanted the designers to articulate this fraught site as the transition zone
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between rough and ugly human development and the remnants of wild nature that exist inside the city. Bercy Chen responded to this challenging brief with a dramatic scheme inspired by origami folds and fragmentation. While removing the pipeline had been a difficult task, the scar of disturbed earth provided a unique opportunity to partially bury the new house into the hillside. Bercy Chen studied an ancient North American housing typology, the Pit House, which takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year. The result of the team’s conceptual exploration is more sculpture than building; the ground seems to have split apart, revealing two crystalline polygons under cantilevering triangular roofs that point toward the river beyond. which serves as the promenade architecturale, a term Le Corbusier used to describe the procession through Villa Savoye at Poissy (1928). “You have to move through architecture to appreciate architecture,” said Bercy. Arriving at the house, one descends into the courtyard via a wide concrete stair. Tall curtain walls of glass rise up on either side and offer various perceptions of the space, depending on the time of day. When the sun is directly overhead, the glass is transparent, and the interior — an open living area and kitchen in the volume to the right, and two bedrooms with an office loft to the left — is completely visible as one follows the snaking path of the courtyard. When the sun is low, however, the opposing glass facades become prismatic, reflecting each other, the sky, and the grasses and vines that grow over the roof edge. The house is organized around a central courtyard spine,
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Previous spread The
texture and color of the Texas Blackland Prarie roof starkly contrasts the spare interior of the home. This spread One’s perception of the two volumes changes throughout the day. During daylight hours, the glazed panels reflect each other, but by the evening, the glass becomes highly transparent, unifying the living spaces.
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of the house hinted at “wild nature” on the roof contrasting with the pristine interior space below. “We began with this idea of the seamlessness between the site and the building, and privacy from the street.” But Bercy admitted, “We didn’t really think about the ecosystem and habitat aspect,” when imagining the green roof. Bercy and Brown eventually recognized the roof as an integral component to the restoration of the site, and they enlisted the Ecosystem Design Group (EDG) at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to devise an appropriate planting solution. For years, EDG had been researching green roof failure in Texas. The technology for these roofs was developed in Northern Europe, and the sedum species used there were not adapting well to the temperature extremes of Central Texas nor to its sporadic rainfall. In response, EDG developed a proprietary growing medium that allows for proper moisture control and temperature regulation, but that is also lightweight enough for roof installation. They decided to treat the Edgeland House as a micro Texas Blackland Prairie, a habitat that has shrunk to less than one percent of its original size due to agriculture and development. A diverse complement of 75 native grasses and plant species was installed over the roof and grounds. “Urban areas are typically the antithesis of a healthy ecosystem,” said John Hart Asher, an environmental designer with EDG. “But if we could do enough small projects, Austin could actually become one of the largest preserves of Blackland Prairie in the state.” It has been 18 months since the green roof was installed, and by all accounts, the habitat restoration of this pocket of riparian corridor has been incredibly successful. It is home not just to Brown and his family, but also to an array of wildlife. Migratory birds, insects, amphibians, and even Bercy Chen’s earliest renderings
This page Origami-
inspired roof projections create an intimate, shaded courtyard that is softened by the surrounding grasses and a pool.
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FLOOR PLAN 1 ENTRY 2 KITCHEN 3 LIVING ROOM 4 SMART POOL 5 PATIO 6 BEDROOM 7 BATHROOM 8 MECHANICAL ROOM 9 GUEST TRAILER
3 2 5
6 7 7
SECTIONS 1 STUDY 2 MASTER BEDROOM 3 KITCHEN 4 LIVING 5 DINING 6 POOL 7 BEDROOM
foxes find refuge on the roof, and coral snakes hunt for lizards in the courtyard. While most urban homeowners try to deter these so-called pests, this one delights in the biodiversity. Brown named his house after reading “Edgelands” by the English poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts. In his 2012 essay “Science Fiction in the Edgelands,” Brown noted that the term “edgelands” was a way
“Urban areas are typically the antithesis of a healthy ecosystem, but ... Austin could actually become one of the largest preserves of Blackland Prairie in the state.” for the poets “to describe the unnamed transitional zones created where urban development meets open land.” “By giving a name to these invisible places that exist at the margins of all our cities, they provide the rest of us with a vocabulary to use to be able to see these places,” said Brown. “Edgelands represent the potential for liberated territory.” A fruitful collaboration between Brown, Bercy Chen Studio, and EDG transformed one such marginal place into a verdant laboratory for building on the ecological and urban fringe.
Brett Koenig Greig is an architect with Loop Design in Austin.
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Third Annual Design Conference Register Now
Borderlands 31 January â€“ 2 February 2014 Austin Architecture tours and learning opportunities Marlon Blackwell, FAIA Marlon Blackwell Architect Fayetteville, Ark. Rand Elliott, FAIA Elliott + Associates Architects Oklahoma City Victor Legorreta Legorreta + Legorreta Mexico City Victor Trahan, FAIA Trahan Architects New Orleans All events take place at the Marriot Austin Downtown/Convention Center unless otherwise noted. Hotel group rate ends January 15. Call 512 236 8008 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Society of Architects group to receive the rate of $159/night. texasarchitects.org/descon #DesCon2014
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This issue on “Ecologies” explores urban design across Texas and focuses on the increasing importance of green infrastructure for our cities. With the rehabilitation of the San Antonio River, the state now has the longest linear park in the nation. Dallas is also leading urban design trends with its progressive parks plan — Klyde Warren Park is just one example of the good work being done. Houston and Austin are also both relying on green infrastructure to create valuable public spaces. Other important urban design initiatives featured include mixed-use development in downtown Austin, El Paso’s first net-zero senior housing project, and the push for San Antonio’s missions to be added to the World Heritage List.
New Urban Tapestries
Austin’s Ecological Affluence
Beyond the Box Paisano Green Community, El Paso
Frederick R. Steiner
Dean J. Almy, AIA
Minding the Gap
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Tracy Idell Hamilton
48 On the Bayou
Guy Hagstette, FAIA
Gregory Ibañez, FAIA
66 Block 21 W Austin Hotel + Residences with Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin
Andersson-Wise Architects (Design Architect) and BOKA Powell (Architect of Record)
78 Worthy of World Heritage Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña, Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, and Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Antonio
Ford, Powell & Carson
Rachel Wright, AIA, and Anna Nau
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New Urban Tapestries by Frederick R. Steiner
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are country and western. The reality of the state is that it is urban and becoming more so and, in the process, changing the concept of “western.” An estimated 85 percent of the 26 million Texans live in urban regions. Of the state’s total population, some 75 percent live in the Texas Triangle, one of the eleven fastest growing megaregions in the United States. The Texas Triangle is formed with Houston and San Antonio at the base, DallasFort Worth at the apex, and Austin in between. By 2050, around 30 million people, 70 percent of Texas’ projected population, will live in the four metropolitan areas that make up the megaregion. Between 2010 and 2050, the overall Texas Triangle will grow by 93.3 percent and reach over 38 million people. Outside the Triangle, the El Paso-Juarez Borderplex represents a significant urban conglomeration. As Texas has grown, ranch and farmlands around cities have disappeared along with valuable wildlife habitat. With the epic drought of the past few years, water has become scarcer, and many trees have died. In 2011, the state lost as much as 10 percent of its trees due to drought — that is, somewhere between 300 and 500 million trees. Wildfires have destroyed additional vegetation as well as buildings. Although Texas is energy-rich, the energy-water nexus The myth and image of Texas
poses challenges. Increased energy use requires more water — and more water, especially hot water, increases energy consumption. Water use holds a fundamental key to the future of Texas. Abundant in the past, water provides ecosystem services largely taken for granted. The drought has altered this perspective. As a result, the green spaces within cities have become more valuable. We call interconnected open spaces that provide ecosystem services “green infrastructure” or “ecological infrastructure.” Ecosystem services are the things we derive from nature that have been traditionally viewed as free, such as the relative abundance of water historically in Texas, clean air and water, oxygen production, crop pollination, wildlife habitat, and the warmth of the sun. Green infrastructure helps to maximize the benefits of these services. of national and global urbanization trends and can be a leader with ecological responses in cities. Early in the 21st century, the planet became majority urban. In response, over the past several decades, new, innovative green spaces have been planned and designed. Around the world, the most compelling new landscapes transform previously abandoned and polluted sites. These efforts provide models for Texas. Texas is on the front line
MAP AND POPULATION DATA PROVIDED BY UT AUSTIN TUFLAB. PHOTO OF KLYDE WARREN PARK BY AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY INC. RENDERING OF BUFFALO BAYOU PARK COURTESY PAGE, FORMERLY PAGESOUTHERLANDPAGE. PHOTO OF MISSION REACH COURTESY THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER AUTHORITY. RENDERING OF SOUTH SHORE WATERFRONT COURTESY AIA SDAT.
As one of the fastest growing megaregions in the nation, the Texas Triangle has a crucial need for well-designed open spaces. Recent examples include Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park, Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park, San Antonio’s Mission Reach, and Austin’s South Shore Waterfront.
In Seattle, landscape architect Rich Haag rescued an abandoned gas works complex and converted it into a park. In Germany, landscape architect and urban planner Peter Latz performed a similar industrial metamorphosis with Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. In Paris, a deserted, elevated rail line became the Promenade Plantée in 1988, two decades before landscape architect James Corner led a team that performed a similar conversion with the High Line in Lower Manhattan. In Madrid and Seoul, highways have been removed and replaced with parks. In Boston, an interstate highway was buried, with new green spaces placed above. A smaller stretch of highway now has the active Klyde Warren Park as a roof in Dallas. More ambitious projects are tackling even more derelict and hopeless places, such as a polluted canal in Brooklyn and a poisonous river in Newark. Architect-landscape architect Susannah Drake and her Brooklyn-based dlandstudio proposed an innovative scheme called Sponge Park to restore the Gowanus Canal. Added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2012, the Gowanus Canal flows through several neighborhoods that were industrial and manufacturing powerhouses during the last two centuries, before emptying into the New York Harbor. The basic idea for this new type of public open space is to create a system of rain gardens. These gardens will collect and cleanse stormwater before it enters the canal. Between rain events, the gardens will create accessible, open space amenities for underserved neighborhoods. The concept is to reduce paved surfaces and replace them with green surfaces that recharge water and can be used by people of all ages. Across New York Harbor, in Newark, New Jersey, Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture is making over another EPA Superfund site, the Passaic River. Formerly the dumping ground for dioxin from the defunct company that manufactured Agent Orange, the Passaic is hazardous to fish and people. The scheme is to reclaim the river and convert it from a flowing corridor of shame into a place of civic pride. As a central feature of this effort, a new riverfront park featuring an orange boardwalk has been designed by Weintraub. we are not only growing more urban, we are also becoming more diverse. Cowboys, even the urban type, are being replaced by vaqueros, as the state has become majority minor-
ity. Since 2004, ethnic minorities, the majority of which are Latinos, have outnumbered those whom the U.S. Census classifies as “whites.” The challenge for architects, landscape architects, and planners, then, becomes to design more interconnected green infrastructure and to do so with greater cultural sensitivity. How do we accomplish this task? For starters, we need a new urban ecological aesthetic. This aesthetic would help connect our actions to the web of social and biophysical processes that surround us. The new George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas provides a contrast between a traditional aesthetic and a more ecological approach that is setting a new precedent. The 15-acre park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), provides a dramatic contrast to both the LEED Platinum
As a result [of population growth and drought], the green spaces within cities have become more valuable. certified, Robert Stern-designed building, which reflects the prevailing conservative aesthetic of the campus, and the manicured grass lawns that represent the traditional campus landscape. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Ecosystem Design Group was a consultant to the MVVA team. Wildflower Center scientists developed a native grass mix called HABITURF for the arid regions of Texas that was used, in combination with other native species, throughout the Bush Center. These plants appear messier and wilder than traditional grass lawns. In addition, bioswales in the park recycle and clean stormwater DALLAS
City Limits Population
Density per sq mile
Change POPULATION IN CITY
Metro Areas Population Change since 2000 POPULATION IN PERIPHERY
per sq mile
Air Quality 0-100 Water Quality
Superfund Sites HANGE IN POPULATION C 1990-2000
Back in Texas,
HANGE IN METRO POPULATION C 1990-2000
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runoff and reduce irrigation needs. The native plants also provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and other species. This rather radical departure from the carefully groomed lawn aesthetic of SMU and much of Texas raises the bar for ecological design in the state. Texas cities are leading urban growth and becoming centers of design innovation. For
The challenge for architects, landscape architects, and planners becomes to design more interconnected green infrastructure and to do so with greater cultural sensitivity. instance, as described in this issue of Texas Architect, Buffalo Bayou Park revitalizes a green corridor in Houston; Klyde Warren Park connects two central city districts of Dallas; improvements continue to expand the value of the San Antonio River to more communities; and two proposals in Austin present a bold new vision for the city.
Texas cities possess considerable potential to advance green infrastructure and urban ecological aesthetics. The potential rests on two factors beyond the growth rate. First, the population diversity presents particular challenges and opportunities. We need to better understand the culture and building traditions of Latin America. Second, Texas cities differ significantly from one another, setting up several urban design laboratories. The necessity to construct new urban ecologies is evident. As Texas cities continue to grow, we need to expand, rather than deplete, ecosystem services, especially those related to water, through design and planning. Our future depends on these services. Trend is not destiny, as Lewis Mumford observed. The growth of Texas cannot be sustained without enhancing the ecological processes of the state. Frederick R. Steiner is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture.
Clockwise from left On
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PHOTO OF PASSAIC RIVER PARK BY COLIN COOKE. RENDERING OF SPONGE PARK COURTESY DLANDSTUDIO. PHOTO OF GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL CENTER BY MICHAEL MALONE, AIA.
the East Coast, Lee Weintraub’s Passaic River Park and dlandstudio’s Sponge Park are transforming EPA Superfund sites into community assets. Meanwhile, in Dallas, Michael Van Valkenburgh’s park for the George W. Bush Presidential Center presents a model for a new ecological landscape aesthetic for Texas.
The Border PHOTOS COURTESY YANCEY RICHARDSON GALLERY IN NEW YORK.
by Catherine Gavin
in Big Bend; vast, open spaces with trains running through them; lines of containers waiting to move here or there — the large-format photographs of Victoria Sambunaris (American, b. 1964) depict the harsh climate and evidence of trade along the U.S.-Mexico border. For more than a decade, Sambunaris has spent three to seven months a year traveling the United States with her five-by-seven wooden field camera and sheets of color negative film. Her most recent trek has taken her from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, Calif., and back, crossing the border at particular points along the way. Sambunaris’ focus is on the intersection of geology, politics, and culture; she looks intently at the landscape, collecting maps, geology books, and reference material along with mineral specimens, journals, and road logs throughout her journey. “Texas has been a big subject matter for me,” said Sambunaris. “It is the state where I have traveled the most.” The Río Grande River plays a prominent role in the photographs of the state, as do trade, industry, and transportation. From 2009 to 2010, Sambunaris’ photographs explored the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the international border; her work in 2011 focused on wildfires in West Texas. She is currently developing a series on the presence of the energy industry along the Texas Gulf Coast. Steep, arid river banks
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Mission Reach by Tracy Idell Hamilton
PHOTO COURTESY THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER FOUNDATION.
n a bright morning last October, more than 50 years after the San Antonio River south of downtown was turned into a flood control ditch, hundreds of residents turned out to celebrate the completion of what is now the nation’s largest urban river restoration and linear park. Dog walkers, runners, kayakers, neighbors, and families joined dozens of elected and agency officials along the banks of the river park, which, at three times the acreage of Central Park in New York, now boasts hike and bike trails winding through native grasses and among young trees, pavilions of indigenous sandstone, and portals that reconnect the river to its surrounding neighborhoods and to San Antonio’s historic Spanish missions. The eight-mile stretch of the Mission Reach, as the park is known, is part of the larger San Antonio River Improvements Project, a $358 million, decades-in-the-making collaboration to turn the long-neglected river north and south of downtown’s famed River Walk into a walkable, bikable urban park. In addition to luring locals and tourists alike to its newly hospitable banks, the revitalized river has spurred a renaissance of urban develop-
The 1.3-mile stretch of new walkways, landscaping, parks, and public art includes a lock and dam for barge access and links a number of historic, commercial, and cultural institutions back to the river. ment, most notably thus far along the northern Museum Reach, designed by Ford, Powell & Carson and completed in 2009, which extends architect Robert H.H. Hugman’s original River Walk, built in the 1930s, up through Brackenridge Park. That 1.3-mile stretch of new walkways, landscaping, parks, and public art includes a lock and dam for barge access and links a number of historic, commercial, and cultural institutions back to the river, including the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl, the former brewery that’s
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Previous spread The
Mission Reach is the southernmost portion of the San Antonio River. The floodplain-turnedpark was rehabilitated by Rialto Studio. This spread Water access and paths for bird watching, hiking, and biking have redefined the park. Indigenous sandstone and limestone were used for portals, walls, and pavilions, and native grasses and flowers are the first stage in the restoration of the woodlands along the river banks.
fast becoming one of the top culinary, cultural, and urban living destinations in San Antonio. which runs from the old Lone Star Brewery on the city’s near south side to Mission San Francisco de la Espada, is less urban and manicured than its northern counterpart, but it was a much more complicated project in the way the design approached flood control. It’s a far cry from the work first done by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the late 1950s, which was brought in to control the deadly floods that periodically sweep through the city. Using best practices at the time, they cut off river meanders and cleared woodlands to build a trapezoidal channel. That solved the flooding problem but destroyed what made the area beautiful and gave nearby neighborhoods their value. In the decades that followed, as the fame and value of the River Walk increased, many recognized the untapped potential of the degraded river to its north and south. By the late 1990s, as San Antonio’s economy boomed along with the rest of the country’s, the city of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the San Antonio River Authority, which is responsible for the preservation and management of the river and its watershed, agreed to make river improvements a funding priority. That’s also when another crucial decision was made: The River Oversight Committee was established and drew its members from businesses and neighborhoods along the river. Led by Lila Cockrell, former mayor and long-time river booster, and Irby Hightower, FAIA, founding principal at Alamo Architects, the committee was tasked with overseeing planning, design, management, and construction, making sure to incorporate residents’ input at every step. It has done just that, meeting every month for the past 15 years. Hightower, who was recently named San Antonio’s Downtowner of the Year by the city’s Downtown Alliance, and who received the Texas Society of Architects 2012 James D. Pfluger Award for Community Service for his work on the river and his passionate commitment to urban design, says the The Mission Reach,
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committee’s success came in part because it included members who had already been part of other long-term projects, including architects who understood the importance of careful planning. Their first job was to commission an overarching planning document. The committee spent a year reviewing previous plans and other flood control projects and gathering residents’ input. The resulting planning guidelines outlined a community vision that diverged dramatically from older master plans. Rather than lining the channel with concrete, the committee proposed using the principles of fluvial geomorphology to create a natural channel that would still provide crucial flood control. Following the adoption of this idea, SWA Group of Houston was hired to create design guidelines for the entire project, which, as a testament to
The River Oversight Committee was tasked with overseeing planning, design, management, and construction, making sure to incorporate residents’ input at every step. the committee’s thoroughness, remained relevant throughout the project’s evolution. “Our first guiding principle was to make sure the project was as good and interesting as Hugman’s River Walk, with the same idiosyncratic, naturalistic design,” said Hightower. Equally important, he said, was “connecting the river up with the city in every place we possibly could” — every nearby park, neighborhood, commercial development, and cultural and historic institutions — “to pull them in and connect them.” Rialto Studio of San Antonio designed those connections on the Mission Reach as a consultant to the River Authority, since the work was outside the scope of what the Army Corps could legally do. It was funded
SAN ANTONIO RIVER RIVER WALK HIKE & BIKE PATH PADDLING AREAS
PHOTOS COURTESY THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER FOUNDATION. PHOTO OF RESTORED PRAIRIE BY LEE MARLOWE. MAP COURTESY SAN ANTONIO RIVER AUTHORITY.
by the venue tax, which voters extended in 2008 based on the county’s commitment to spend $125 million on the river project. “Without them, we would have just had a linear park through town,” said Principal James Gray Jr. “We tried to make each one special and safe, and universally accessible.” That included creating connections from the river to the four historic Spanish Missions. Today, they make up the San Antonio Missions National Park and are seeking UNESCO World Heritage Status. Rialto realigned Theo Street to create a direct walking connection to Mission Concepción, for example, and built a tall, circular sandstone portal at the top of the east bank in the expanded Concepción Park that allows visitors to see the mission, perhaps a quarter mile away. Rialto also connected neighborhoods that had been cut off from the river by the Army Corps’ work in the 1950s. “Anywhere the trail came up to the top of the bank,” Gray said, “we grabbed a hold and designed a connection.” Rialto used the indigenous reddish brown sandstone (often left coarse) in combination with limestone for portals, walls, and pavilions. Prickly pear, thornless yucca, and agave, specimens of which have survived generations in landscaping throughout the South Side, were added, along with other drought-tolerant natives. Along the river banks, native grasses and flowers are once again established, along with tiny native tree seedlings, which will eventually grow into woodland stands thick with understory. “That will take 30 to 40 years,” noted Hightower. This long-term vision reflects the nature of the Mission Reach project. enhancements to the base project that residents wanted and were willing to pay for continue. Most notably, this includes Confluence Park, an homage to South Texas’ varied ecosystems, with a community garden and a stunningly designed rainwater catchment system that will serve as an outdoor education center. While the core project is complete,
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This spread Ball-Nogues
Studio’s proposal for Confluence Park will transform a three-acre former industrial storage yard into an educational green space. Rainwater capture is at the center of the design. Water will be stored in slender tanks and then irrigated throughout the site via the dramatic undulating roof.
CONFLUENCE PARK SYSTEMS 1 PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL 2 WATER INTAKE 3 WATER STORAGE TANK 4 WATER LEVEL INDICATOR 5 IRRIGATION PIPE
RENDERINGS AND DIAGRAM COURTESY BALL-NOGUES STUDIO.
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The park will be built at the confluence of San Pedro Creek and the San Antonio River, just south of Concepción Park. Like the river, San Antonio’s creekways were long ago channelized, becoming blighted dumping grounds cut off from the neighborhoods they run through. The River Authority’s Westside Creeks Restoration Project aims for a similar revitalization of Alazán, Apache, Martínez, and San Pedro creeks, maintaining their flood control ability while creating new recreational opportunities for many of the West Side’s historic but long-neglected neighborhoods. Confluence Park will be funded by the San Antonio River Foundation, created by the River Authority a decade ago as a nonprofit to provide the enhancements not paid for by public money. The foundation funded the significant public art component of the river project, which includes F.I.S.H., Philadelphia artist Donald Lipski’s school of giant fish swimming through the sky beneath the interstate overpass on the Museum Reach. The park is the foundation’s most ambitious project to date. It bought a 3-acre parcel of land, a former industrial storage yard owned by CPS Energy, and donated it to the River Authority. Through a request for
Renderings show an undulating pavilion roof that will funnel water into a cistern, a handful of tall vertical storage tanks with solar-powered pumps, and a series of hollow concrete “ribbons” that will move water captured all across the property. proposals process, it chose Ball-Nogues Studio of Los Angeles to design the park, with Rialto Studio serving as landscape architect. Stuart Allen, an artist whose work is part of the Museum Reach and who sat on the foundation’s board, is serving as a liaison and consultant. “We debated whether to even call it a park, since it’s so much more than that,” said Allen. “But we eventually embraced the idea because, while it will be an educational center, it will also serve the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Rainwater capture and reuse throughout the park was a clearly useful idea, given the region’s propensity for drought. But rather than a traditional system buried underground and within walls, Ball-Nogues, with input from the foundation and Rialto, “extroverted the process,” said BallNogues’ Andrew Fastman, AIA. Renderings show an undulating pavilion roof that will funnel water into a cistern, a handful of tall vertical storage tanks with solar-powered pumps, and a series of hollow concrete “ribbons” that will move water captured all across the property. Allen acknowledged that the exotic look of the designs might seem foreign to neighbors, and he said the foundation has already hosted events on the property to create buy-in and inclusiveness, which is just starting to result in the kind of investment that has followed the river project to the north. “San Antonio has historically moved slowly,” Allen said. “If this was California, the area would have gentrified the moment the project was announced.” But the South Side neighborhoods are slowly improving, and many people have high hopes for several properties along the Mission Reach, including the old Lone Star Brewery and the red brick, circa-1909 Mission Road power plant, already cleaned up and ready to sell by CPS Energy. With only a few small projects remaining in Brackenridge Park, Hightower said he’d like the oversight committee to take on one more assignment: the creation of a “leave behind” document, which explains what wasn’t built that the community wanted and what compromises were made because of various constraints. “We need to always be improving the river,” he said. “I don’t want people 50 years from now to think they need to preserve some part of the design that was simply the best we could do at the time, given the circumstances.” Tracy Idell Hamilton is a former reporter for the San Antonio Express-News who covered the river project for several years. She lives near the Mission Reach and enjoys visiting it nearly every day.
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On the Bayou by Guy Hagstette, FAIA
rban design involves big ideas that take time to be realized. In 1912, Houstonians approved park bonds to implement a plan for parks and parkways along Houston’s bayous that was created by city planner Arthur C. Comey. Thousands of acres were acquired, and miles of parkways were built over a period of several decades. Floods, wars, an economic depression, and the automobile turned attention elsewhere, and for much of the 20th century Houstonians viewed their bayous as little more than drainage ditches. Buffalo Bayou, which was the focus of the 1912 plan — and which, incidentally, is the stream along whose banks Houston was born and Texas won its independence — became a civic embarrassment. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) began its efforts to restore the bayou a quarter century ago. Taking a cue from the 1912 initiative, the nonprofit organization commissioned a visionary plan by Thompson Design Group in 2002, “Buffalo Bayou and Beyond.” It is an ambitious agenda for linear green space, compatible urban development, flood control, and multimodal access along 10 miles of the bayou. It calls for an urban waterfront in downtown Houston, new linear parks in a revitalized East End-Fifth Ward, and a pastoral “West Sector” upstream from downtown. BBP then committed itself to excellence in implementing the plan. Two projects are now showing how that commitment is achieving transformative results. Allen’s Landing
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RENDERING COURTESY THOMPSON DESIGN GROUP AND BUFFALO BAYOU PARTNERSHIP.
Houston’s Plymouth Rock, Allen’s Landing is the spot where the city and its port were founded, but by the late 20th century, its small public park was little more than a parking lot, homeless encampment, and some derelict buildings. Using private and public funds, BBP first transformed the park and then, in a bold move, purchased a decaying, century-old industrial structure that abutted the park and was a piece of the port’s history. The Sunset Coffee Building was not an easy project to take on. Fundraising for a derelict building is hard work, especially for one known as the “UGB” (ugly green building) or the Love Street Light Circus, as it was called in its 1960s psychedelic heyday. The first floor of the small, threestory building had been inundated during major floods, and to complicate matters further, the building was a contributing structure in a National Historic District, making it subject to design review if federal funds were used to renovate it. Despite these challenges, BBP remained committed to design excellence and engaged Lake/Flato and BNIM to transform the structure into a focal point for downtown’s urban waterfront. “True to BBP’s mission, the design goals focused on responsible stewardship of the site and structure,” said Steve McDowell, FAIA, of BNIM. “The vegetated rooftop terrace provides a new vantage point from which to enjoy
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An entry bridge will pass over the plaza to the building’s second floor and then cantilever out to the bayou … This mix of activities and “eyes on the park” will also help activate the adjacent green space. building’s first floor and the park. An entry bridge will pass over the plaza to the building’s second floor and then cantilever out to the bayou. The building’s first floor will be a bike and watercraft hub funded with federal transportation dollars. The second floor will be BBP’s offices, but eventually could become a cafe or museum. The third floor and rooftop will be an event venue. The building will be managed by Houston First, the city’s convention and entertainment corporation. This mix of activities and “eyes on the park” also will help activate the adjacent green space. The West Sector
In partnership with the City of Houston and Houston Parks Board, BBP has also begun a multi-million dollar waterfront connection from Allen’s
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RENDERINGS COURTESY LAKE|FLATO AND BNIM. PHOTO COURTESY BNIM. PHOTOS OF HOBBY CENTER BRIDGE AND SABINE PROMENADE COURTESY SWA GROUP AND BUFFALO BAYOU PARTNERSHIP.
the banks of the bayou at the urban edge.” The site’s history is captured by the simple building shell, which reads through new awnings that shade windows to save energy. The building’s simple form will be balanced with a new cistern that will supply irrigation water. Assisting in the effort to restore the site, the Texas Historical Commission focused on the two facades that had faced the port, allowing more interventions on the street frontages that were originally obscured by other buildings. An adjacent below-grade foundation slab will become a lower-level, community-oriented plaza accessed from the
Landing upstream to Sesquicentennial Park (1998) and then along BBP’s Sabine Promenade (2007) to 160 acres of parkland, all acquired with the 1912 park bonds. This 2.3-mile green space had been given over to flood control channelization work after Houston’s catastrophic 1929 and 1935 floods, and only in recent decades have incremental improvements begun to realize the area’s potential as parkland. With its pastoral character and adjacency to revitalizing neighborhoods, it is the “West Sector” of BBP’s plan, now known as Buffalo Bayou Park. The Buffalo Bayou Park project was born when the Kinder Foundation, which played a leadership role in the creation of Houston’s Discovery Green, recognized BBP’s success in implementing its plan in partnership with the City of Houston and Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and pledged an unprecedented $30 million to the West Sector. The grant was conditional on the project’s completion in five years, public-private collaboration, adoption of an enforceable park master plan, and a funded maintenance plan. The conditions were welcomed by BBP and by its public partners. BBP also committed to raise an additional $23 million of private funds. All told, BBP, the City of Houston, and HCFCD were poised to invest more than $70 million in the newly-named Buffalo Bayou Park. Presented with this unparalleled opportunity, BBP turned to SWA Group, which had already delivered several of its award-winning projects. The SWA team looked first to the bayou. “Buffalo Bayou is a living, breathing urban river, with waters that can rise 35 feet in 12 hours during a tropical downpour,” said SWA principal Kevin Shanley. “It wants to continue to support a vibrant and indigenous ecology, while providing the open space desperately needed by a rapidly growing and increasingly dense urban population.” As a consequence of these concerns, the resulting plan focuses on restoring the natural landscape that was lost when the bayou was channelized in the 1950s in response to the earlier floods. Wilderness areas will be created along two old bayou meanders, and a series of perennial gardens co-designed with Reed Hilderbrand are planned. The project focuses on passive recreation and includes a riverside footpath plus additional trail connections to augment the city’s new hike and bike trail. Two already-completed iconic pedestrian bridges join two others recently built by the city to improve connectivity across the bayou. Finally, 500 custom-designed trail lights will allow use of the park into the evening hours. They also will be the backbone for an extension of BBP’s signature “Lunar Cycle Lighting,” created by artist Stephen Korns and L’Observatoire International. This environmental artwork will turn blue lights on and off sequentially with the phases of the moon, with the progression beginning and ending at Allen’s Landing. Special destinations will activate key areas of the pastoral park — a dog park, a civic event venue, monumental art, and a large bat colony at the Waugh Bridge. Two new entry points at either end of the park will have visitor information, restrooms, bike and kayak rentals, a nature playground, and food service. One is Lost Lake, where an old pond is being restored and new gardens added. The other is the Water Works, home to the City’s historic cistern, an underground concrete cathedral 1.5 times the size of a football field. SWA teamed with Page (formerly PageSoutherlandPage) to design the project’s two buildings and two major pavilions. Page principal Larry Speck, FAIA, drew on his experience integrating architecture into park landscapes. “The architecture occurs in the park in places where there is intensification of activity,” said Speck. “The buildings needed to be strong enough to be landmarks, open enough to invite you in, and shady enough
Opening spread The
“Buffalo Bayou and Beyond” plan by Thompson Design Group shows the downtown sector of the park. BBP plans to engage Thompson Design Group for signature downtown waterfront spaces. Opposite page top to bottom The
renderings by Lake|Flato and BNIM show the proposed rehabilitation of the Sunset Coffee Building. It is shown prior to work beginning. Above SWA completed the Hobby Center Bridge and the Sabine Promenade in 2007. Below “Lunar Cycle Lighting” animates the Sabine Promenade.
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GREENTREE NATURAL AREA MEMORIAL HEIGHTS OVERLOOK LIVE OAK SEATING CIRCLE
BAYOU PARK GULLY
ST. THOMAS MEADOW
TIRRELL MEADOW INFORMATION KAYAK RENTAL PICNICS
site plan shows the 2.3-mile long, 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park. Right Lost Lake has a pavilion designed by Page. Opposite page top The park provides a green front lawn for downtown’s skyline. Bottom Aerial view of the pavilion and lawn at Water Works.
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WORTHAM FOUNTAIN PLAZA
JACKSON HILL HIGH BRIDGE
BAT COLONY VIEWING AREA
POLICE MEMORIAL FOOTBRIDGE
WATER MUSIC PLACE MEMORIAL VIADUCT ARTPLACE BEL-AIR MEADOW
LOWER TAFT FOOTPATH
INFORMATION BICYCLE RENTALS SKYLINE OVERLOOK ELEANOR TINSLEY MEADOW
ALLEN PARKWAY PROMENADE
PLAYGROUND AND PICNIC PAVILION
to keep people comfortable. It was also important that they feel like a natural extension of the landscape design and that they be completely consistent with the larger framework of the park.” Broad eaves shade the structures from the sun and grills at their outer perimeters mitigate the harsh contrast between bright sun and deep shade. Large board-formed concrete piers establish a civic presence for the modest structures, and their thermal mass will help cool the ambient temperatures within. There also is design consistency among the structures that creates a sense of continuity and calm in support of the overall goals for the park. This synergistic relationship between architecture and landscape and
Buffalo Bayou is a living, breathing urban river, with waters that can rise 35 feet in 12 hours during a tropical downpour. between activity and nature will create a new destination for Houston that will require better connections to the vibrant city that surrounds it. Two quasi-freeways, 1912 parkways on 1950s traffic engineering steroids, still cut the park off from surrounding neighborhoods. Recent city projects have improved access across Memorial Drive, but Allen Parkway remains a dangerous-to-cross barrier. BBP has proposed restoring Allen Parkway closer to the original 1912 plan by the 2015 completion of the park. It is working with city officials as public pressure mounts for safe passage into what will be one of Houston’s premier parks and a major milestone in implementing the “Buffalo Bayou and Beyond” plan. even if they take more than a century to be realized. With a historical symmetry any architect would love, Houstonians took note of what is happening on their bayous and went back to the polls in 2012 to approve a $205 million proposal by the Houston Parks Board to resurrect the 1912 plan — this time, as a 150-mile system of trails and bayou greenways serving a city of over 600 square miles and more than two million people.
RENDERINGS COURTESY SWA GROUP.
Plans have true power,
Guy Hagstette, FAIA, is project manager for the Buffalo Bayou Park project.
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Austin’s Ecological Affluence by Dean J. Almy, AIA
mbedded in an ecotone at the interface of the Balcones Escarpment and the Blackland Prairie, Austin’s geography is central to its environmental distinctiveness and urban identity. When Edwin Waller planned the city in the 1830s, he bound the grid by the banks of the Colorado River to the south, Shoal Creek to the west, Waller Creek to the east, and the planned Capitol Square to the north. From the beginning, Austin’s hilly topography and proximity to water have had profound effects on the city’s evolving architectural character. Today, as the city is facing exponential population growth and ongoing development pressure, a series of initiatives could establish Austin’s green infrastructure as the preeminent agent of a new compact and connected city. Vancouver on the Colorado
In the 1960s, the character of the river’s green infrastructure was substantially changed with the construction of Longhorn Dam, which formed
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PHOTO BY DAVID SUCSY.
Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake). The new lake inspired a grassroots effort to establish a “greenbelt city.” In the 1970s, two initiatives, the Town Lake Greenbelt and the Creeks Project, created paths and bridges along the Colorado River and many of the city’s creeks, repositioning Austin’s landscape as a social nexus for the city. This ecological consciousness directed growth patterns in central Austin toward an environmentally aware city. As the land along Austin’s greenbelts has been built up, however, the conflicts between the needs of the city’s underlying natural systems and the dynamics of urban growth have increased. Similar circumstances elsewhere gave rise to what is now referred to as the “Vancouver model” — development characterized by the construction of high-rise point-towers in response to substantial land costs, a demand for inner-city housing, and a mandate to preserve important viewsheds of the landscape. Recent high-rise development in Austin has followed the same pattern. Developers are capitalizing on underutilized land in the
A series of initiatives could establish Austin’s green infrastructure as the preeminent agent of a new compact and connected city. downtown warehouse district and along the lake and creek shores, redefining the skyline. Projects such as Block 21, home to W Austin and Austin City Limits, are increasingly providing the framework for hybrid, multiuse areas that are injecting new residential and cultural vivacity into the downtown. This is a far cry from the mono-programmed office towers of the last century. Green Infrastructure and Designer Ecology
The planned transformation of Waller Creek is the perfect example of the current development pressure and the need for clear, well thought out
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Austin is quickly becoming Vancouver-on-the-Colorado as towers have flourished in response to increasing land costs and demand for downtown housing. Right A study by the design team of Ken Smith Landscape Architect and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects illustrates the catalytic effect of the Waller Creek Corridor project on adjacent development parcels and advocates for the need of urban design controls along the corridor.
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WALLER CREEK AND EAST AUSTIN DEVELOPMENT SITES URBAN CANYON URBAN WILD
Waller Creek Update by Ingrid Spencer Since selecting a winning design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Thomas Phifer and Partners last fall, Austin’s Waller Creek Conservancy has continued sprinting forward with its plans to transform the 1.5-mile creek corridor from neglected waterway to vibrant downtown destination. First, a massive tunneling project is underway to divert floodwaters and create viable areas for environmental conservation and development. “The tunnel has been completely excavated and the concrete lining is 35 percent complete,” says Joe Pantalion, deputy director of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department. More than 100 people are
RENDERING OF DEVELOPMENT STUDY BY KEN SMITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AND TEN EYCK LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS. RENDERING OF THE GROVE BY MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURG ASSOCIATES. PHOTO OF THE TUNNEL EXCAVATION BY TODD SPENCER. PHOTO OF THE UT AUSTIN STUDIO BY MURRAY LEGGE, FAIA.
urban design. Situated to the east of the downtown grid, Waller Creek has been historically prone to flooding. This hydrological situation, the environmental impact of the adjacent Interstate 35, and the superposition of a number of Capitol View Corridor zoning ordinances have resulted in relatively sparse development of the properties located along its banks.
What are urgently needed in the district are regulations that will guide the urban design relationships between the pending architectural development and the programs and places soon to be established along the new linear park system.
A principle component of MVVA’s vision is the integration of landscape and programmed activities. The Grove is to be the site of movie nights, open-air markets, and outdoor exhibitions.
working on the tunnel, which is roughly 5,600 ft long with a finished diameter of 20.5 to 26.5 ft. The tunnel will be completed in early 2015. There is also an effort by the Conservancy to engage the public in becoming active participants with this major renovation of their city. Two Creek Show installations are currently planned to activate parts of the creek during SXSW. A phosphorescent graffiti project by landscape architect Jason Sowell called “After Image” will provide a glowing path along the creek, while a wood installation designed and built by third-year undergraduate architecture students in a UT Austin design/build studio taught by Murray Legge, FAIA, will engage the public in an
The creek traverses a number of important urban districts: the eastern edge of the central business district adjacent to the Austin Convention Center, the State Capitol complex, and the main campus of The University of Texas at Austin. The intermittent flooding is being mitigated by the construction of a massive new flood diversion tunnel with an inlet at Waterloo Park at 15th Street and an outfall at Lady Bird Lake. The new substructure, partially funded through the creation of a tax increment-financing (TIF) district, will re-circulate a consistent flow of water through the creek bed, completely altering the hydrological status of the creek and forming the basis of a new designer ecology. The new vision for the corridor, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates together with architects Thomas Phifer and Partners and spearheaded by the Waller Creek Conservancy, is meant to establish Waller Creek as the social and cultural nexus on the eastern edge of the city, trans-
as-yet undisclosed location near the creek. “We’re getting there,” says Conservancy President Melba Whatley, Hon. TxA. “There are so many layers to this process, but we’re grateful that our efforts have gained us credibility and confidence.”
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forming the various nearby districts. The planned linear park meanders through 15 blocks and is programmed with five distinct park nodes. Beyond the virtues of the landscape intervention itself, however, is the catalyzing effect the project will have on surrounding properties. The juxtaposition of the Waller Creek Corridor with the zoning mechanisms established by the TIF district, releasing the height restrictions on the properties, will encourage significant development along the corridor. Austin is about to realize the effects of this planning mechanism with a number of high-rise propositions currently in the pipeline. Among them is a proposal for Austin’s tallest building to date, a residential tower that may reach as high as 65 stories, which is part of the Waller Center project. What are urgently needed in the district are regulations that will guide the urban design relationships between the pending architectural development and the programs and places soon to be established along the new linear park system — regulations that will ensure that Waller Creek becomes the nexus of urban life in Austin that it promises to be. Ecologically Integrated Urbanism
In the ongoing struggle between the forces of environmental stewardship and those of economic opportunism that have so defined Austin’s political discourse, the district known as South Shore Waterfront remains perhaps the most contested underdeveloped territory in the inner city. It’s also the one with the most promising future. Currently subject to a set of 1960s and ’70s land-use ordinances, the once inexpensive and still underutilized land on the south side of the lake is home to the Austin American Statesman and various corporate office buildings, all of which enjoy a surplus of surface parking. These properties are barriers to connectivity; they prevent the completion of the Lady Bird Lake greenbelt and obstruct public access to the waterfront from the neighborhoods of South Austin. Encompassing 98 acres within the Waterfront Overlay, a regulatory mechanism devel-
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The district known as South Shore Waterfront remains perhaps the most contested underdeveloped territory in the inner city. It’s also the one with the most promising future. oped in the 1980s to preserve the Lady Bird Lake greenbelt, South Shore Waterfront has become the arena for an ongoing debate over the future of the greenbelt and the changing status of South Austin, from a territory of protected inner-city neighborhoods to a bohemian cultural center. In an effort to untie this Gordian knot of land ownership and neighborhood activism, and to help the district reach its full potential as a cultural epicenter for South Austin, a series of initiatives intended to steer the community toward consensus over the future of the area has been undertaken. First, a citizens task force study, executed by the ROMA design group, was produced. It was followed by the reestablishment of the Waterfront Planning Advisory Board (WPAB), charged with stewardship of the Waterfront Overlay District. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects provided pro bono services though their Sustainable Design Assistance Team (SDAT) and produced an impartial assessment of the district’s potential future. Executed with significant citizen input, the SDAT study set the groundwork for a scenario-based planning effort, spearheaded by the City of Austin, together with Fregonese Associates, that was recently undertaken as part of the Sustainable Places Project (SPP). One scenario within this study, developed by the Texas Urban Futures Laboratory (TUFLab) — an applied research studio at The University of Texas at Austin — capitalized upon a potential route of the future urban rail, which is planned to bisect the district. TUFLab proposed a fully integrated development model that aims to establish a balance between transit-oriented development and
public benefits, in the form of new public spaces, the provision of a waterfront promenade, and increased accessibility from the neighborhoods to the lake. A low-impact-development based infrastructure system would provide comprehensive ecosystem services to the new district, thereby establishing an entirely new integrated model for ecologically responsive urbanism in Austin. As a result of these efforts, managed by the city’s urban design division, the production of a master plan for the district was recently approved by the Austin City Council. of the City of Austin’s new Imagine Austin comprehensive plan, a vision for a compact and connected city is now the foundation of municipal policy. The livability of this ambitious project is predicated upon the successful integration of numerous planning efforts that are moving toward implementation, not least of which is the establishment of the urban rail system meant to bind the city together with a more sustainable mode of public transit. Austin’s urban rail system, not yet approved by the voters, will add an additional catalyst to the already overheated development pressures in the inner city. Whether or not Austin can achieve the promise of an ecologically based and sustainable city remains to be seen, but with population growth in the metropolitan area on track to reach 7.8 million residents by 2050, and considering that ecological resources in central Texas continue to dwindle, the need has never been more pressing.
PHOTO BY THOMAS MCCONNELL. RENDERING OF PROPOSED URBAN STRUCTURE BY UT AUSTIN TUFLAB. RENDERING OF SOUTH AUSTIN WATERFRONT COURTESY AIA SDAT.
With the adoption
Dean J. Almy, AIA, is an architect, director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at The University of Texas at Austin, and chair of the City of Austin’s Design Commission.
Opposite page View
looking south across the Colorado River to the South Austin Waterfront development site. Top UT Austin TUFLab’s proposed structure plan shows the integration of new density with green infrastructure. Bottom The SDAT team produced renderings to illustrate potential community benefits of the waterfront development including the continuation of the greenbelt.
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Minding the Gap by Gregory IbaĂąez, FAIA
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rban freeways are a decidedly mixed blessing in cities across the country, especially in postwar boomtowns like Dallas where, despite government and community aspirations, mass transit and bicycle traffic constitute a small percentage of the number of trips to the city center. For better or worse, the highway system, with its significant environmental cost, delivers the vast majority of the people to the core. Given that fewer than 7,000 people currently reside in downtown, commuters traveling from other parts of the city are essential to the economic and social vitality of the district. But Dallasâ€™ freeway network encircles the Central Business District, forming a noose and isolating the core from the surrounding areas, to the detriment of both. Woodall Rodgers Freeway (Texas State Highway Spur 366, on maps) forms the northern portion of that loop, dividing downtown from Uptown. In the early 1950s, it was originally conceived as a sunken roadway, but a second, more economical, elevated design emerged as construction
PHOTOS BY THOMAS MCCONNELL.
progress languished due to right-of-way acquisition costs. In 1968, the City firmly committed to a below-grade solution, and although the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) questioned the added expense, in 1971 they relented and approved the project. Lack of funding once again delayed the start of construction, with the roadway finally opening in 1983. The road severed two parts of the city; however, the idea of reconnecting the districts was part of the original discussions. The Dallas Morning News detailed city planners Warren Travers’ and Vince Ponte’s model for the freeway, explaining that “apartments, parks, or a large parking garage could be built on the land above the freeway.” Ponte was quoted as suggesting a “great park” be placed there to help draw the “Turtle Creek atmosphere toward the core of the city.” (Turtle Creek is a beloved park located a mile north of downtown in a highly desirable neighborhood.) Fast-forward to 2003, when On October 3, 1968,
Given that fewer than 7,000 people currently reside in downtown, commuters traveling from other parts of the city are essential to the economic and social vitality of the district. the Arts District development was taking shape on the edge of Uptown, separated from downtown only by the sunken highway. One day, as landscape architect James Burnett and a few Uptown property owners made the trek over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway to visit the Nasher Sculpture Center, the group paused to ask Burnett if he thought something could be done about the cacophonous, traffic-clogged canyon below. That “something” became Klyde Warren Park, a 5.2-acre green oasis that drew more than one million visitors in its first year of operation.
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In terms of urban design, Klyde Warren Park accomplishes the goal of linking the north and south sides of Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and it has the added benefit of blocking the incredibly loud din that the freeway produces. Although work remains to be done to improve the pedestrian experience around the park, traveling to and within the Arts District is much more pleasant with the streetscape upgrades. Today, museums, concert halls, and theatres are all within easy reach on foot, a triumph of sustained focus and long-term planning in a city not often recognized for either. In 2003, The Office of James Burnett (OJB) was retained to develop a conceptual design for the park, which was added later to the Downtown Parks Master Plan. In 2005, the Real Estate Council awarded a grant to study the technical feasibility of the concept, which was completed by OJB with Jacobs Engineering (then, Carter + Burgess). The same year, the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation was chartered, and in 2007, it was awarded a 50-year operating agreement by the Dallas City Council,
Technically, the design had significant constraints, especially given the limited depth of structure that could be achieved above the road. making it fully responsible for the management of the park. In 2005, more than 20 firms were considered for the project, with the OJB/Jacobs team ultimately being selected. The final project cost of $112 million was funded by $20 million from the City Bond program, $20 million from TxDOT, $17 million from federal stimulus funding (as a “shovel-ready” project), and $55 million in private funds. The naming donor was Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, who opted to name the park in honor of his son Klyde. Additional private funds were also funneled into the founda-
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tion. In 2009, construction began, and in October 2012, more than 40,000 people attended the festivities celebrating Klyde Warren Park’s completion. one block to the south, Flora Street forms the spine of the Arts District and is lined with a collection of noted architectural works. It might be viewed as the equivalent of the formal living room in a home, beautiful and great for special occasions, but also a place where no one feels comfortable underdressed or sprawling on the sofa with a beverage. In this analogy, Klyde Warren Park is the spacious den, a room where everyone enjoys just hanging out, with entertainment, snacks, and plenty of drinks. In fact, the vast number of activities at the park are there by popular demand — community sessions during the design-concept phase yielded 50 elements, which were reduced to 15 major functional areas. Klyde Warren Park is not an informal green space, but rather a highly programmed public space that seemingly offers something for everyone. “We felt that the park needed to appeal to all groups,” said James Burnett. “It is not a museum garden or forecourt.” Burnett listed Bryant Park in New York as a particular source of inspiration: “We had some anxiety about the ideas working in Dallas, but surprisingly it translated very well.” Technically, the design had significant constraints, especially given the limited depth of structure that could be achieved above the road. The main supports are a series of box beams spaced to allow 4 ft of soil, 20 ft on center; trees were planted in the deeper soil pockets. Elsewhere, the soil depth is between 6 and 24 in, enough to support only the grass and native plantings. The designers dropped the structure as much as possible so that the park is level with the existing sidewalks, in order to maximize the pedestrian connection to the adjacent streets. One concession to the freeway below is an 8-ft wall along the northwest edge that encloses the exit ramp coming up to St. Paul Street. The team considered using railings, Running parallel to the park,
KLYDE WARREN PARK EXPLODED AXON 1 REGIONALLY APPROPRIATE PLANTS 2 AMENITY FEATURES 3 ENGINEERED SOIL 4 PEDESTRIAN PAVING SYSTEM 5 LIGHT RAIL TRACK 6 ENGINEERED STRUCTURAL FILL 7 TOPPING SLAB 8 HDPE STRUCTURAL FILL 9 DROP SLAB INSERTS 10 PRESTRESSED BOX BEAN SYSTEM 11 EXISTING BRIDGE STRUCTURE
This spread Concerts and yoga classes frequently occur on
the lawn. The structural system is designed to accommodate trees and plants in a relatively shallow depth. The popular features of the park, including the Children’s Park, the food trucks, and the moveable tables and chairs, all sit atop the Woodall Rogers Freeway.
5 6 7
PHOTOS BY THOMAS MCCONNELL AND MEI-CHUN JAU. RENDERING BY THE OFFICE OF JAMES BURNETT.
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Warren Park now connects downtown Dallas with the Arts District and other areas in Uptown. People come to the park from all over the city to enjoy a variety of activities.
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This spreadÂ Indoor
and outdoor seating at the restaurant provide prime viewing of the park. Thomas Phifer and Partners designed both the restaurant and performance pavilions with reflective knife-edged roofs clad in laser-etched metal panels.
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have become a signature of the firm. Readers may be familiar with the Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University, which was another collaboration between Thomas Phifer and Partners and OJB. At Klyde Warren Park, the collaboration resulted in two buildings — a restaurant and a performance pavilion. The restaurant, Savor, a self-described “gastro-pub,” seats 175 patrons inside and another 150 under the deep overhanging roof. At the eastern end of the building are public restrooms and a take-out service called Relish serving more informal fare. The restaurant dining rooms are enclosed by an all-glass curtain wall, which maximizes views to the park. Since Savor opened, tables have been difficult to reserve, as the restaurant has become a destination for the glitterati of Dallas, adding yet another layer to the overall scene. Adjacent to the restaurant is its sibling, the Muse Family Performance Pavilion. Both the restaurant and pavilion have knife-edged, metallic roofs that levitate above the ground. But at the performance pavilion, the stage structure is clad in highly polished, reflective metal panels laser-etched with an organic
The restaurant dining rooms are enclosed by an allglass curtain wall, which maximizes views to the park. pattern. Likewise, the thin tube columns and other vertical elements are clad in the same mirror-like metal, with the entire assemblage reflecting people, grass, and views of the surrounding cityscape. When not in use for performances the stage becomes a shaded platform with tables and chairs. of Klyde Warren Park, some of its effects are already apparent. To the surprise of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, a significant number of visitors come from the surrounding suburbs, where presumably lawns and trees are in abundance. Obviously, the interactive nature of the park is appealing, but families are also able to plan a full day of touring sites such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Dallas Museum of Art, which recently eliminated its general admission fees and has seen a significant attendance increase. The Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art are planning modifications to their northern boundaries, originally expressly designed to block views of the freeway, in order to facilitate access to and from the park. The Dallas Downtown Parks Master Plan identifies more than 87 acres of green spaces, parks, and plazas within the freeway loop. There are three “priority” parks planned, ranging from 3.5 to 8.7 acres; given the visionary leadership of Willis Winters, FAIA (see “A Walk in the Park with Willis Winters, FAIA” on page 86), we can expect more enhancements to the public realm along the lines of Klyde Warren Park. Speaking as a resident of the area for more than three decades, the transformation is nothing short of astonishing.
PHOTOS BY THOMAS MCCONNELL.
While it is too early to assess the lasting impact
which would have been more transparent, but instead concluded that the blank wall would be less intrusive than the constant flow of cars. Other than that edge, the park is fully open visually to the neighboring sites. It extends three blocks in length, and is interrupted only by Olive Street, which crosses the park at the eastern end. The street facilitates crosstown traffic and a trolley line, while also servicing valet parking access for the restaurant. East-west circulation is provided by two pedestrian walks, each with a different character. Running the length of the southern edge is Jane’s Lane, a wide path finished with decomposed granite and marked by a series of parabolic arches, each with a globe light suspended beneath. The linear path contains lightweight tables and chairs, which are convenient for enjoying fare from the nearby food trucks. The Chase Promenade travels along the north side of the Ginsburg Family Great Lawn, gently arcing to the southwest and southeast, and is finished with linear concrete pavers. It serves as the main artery to reach the Botanic Garden, Children’s Park, restaurant, and the Dog Park, so it also provides the best place for people-watching.
Gregory Ibañez, FAIA, is principal of Ibañez Architecture in Fort Worth.
in the design of the park. Aside from the aforementioned arches, there are two well-crafted trellis structures shading the ping-pong and foosball tables that are part of the landscape design. The two major structures in Klyde Warren Park are the work of Thomas Phifer and Partners and are the latest in a series of bespoke pavilions that Architecture also plays a significant role
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Block 21 by Canan Yetmen
Project W Austin Hotel + Residences with Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin Clients Owner/Developer Stratus Properties; Hotel Operator: Starwood Hotel and Resorts Architects Andersson-Wise Architects (Design Architect) and BOKA Powell
(Architect of Record) Design Team Arthur Andersson, FAIA; Chris Wise, AIA; Heather Plimmer;
Christopher Sanders, AIA; Catherine Craig; Leland Ulmer; Laura McQuary; Robin Bagley Logan; Alex Lopez; Steve Dvorak; Chris Barnes, AIA; Dennis Gulseth, AIA; Rick Floyd; Thomas Stastny, AIA; Tonya Hudson; Vince Miller, AIA; Kyn Sledge, AIA; Tom Lekawski, AIA Photographers Andrew Pogue, Art Gray, Jonathan Jackson, Thomas McConnell, and Tim Hursley
n 2005, the City of Austin issued a request for proposals to invite developer and architect teams to present ideas for designing what Mayor Will Wynn called “the most developable block in Austin.” Unencumbered by the zoning constraints of the Capitol View Corridors, the presence of any historic structures, or even an alleyway, the brownfield site, which was a parking lot located on prime downtown real estate, represented a major piece of the city’s ongoing growth puzzle. Development along the western end of Second Street had already brought Antoine Predock’s new city hall and the pair of CSC buildings (Page, formerly PageSoutherlandPage) that established the new southern entry of downtown. Block 21, as this prime parcel was known, would stitch these projects together, beginning major development on the north side of Second Street and pushing momentum toward the east, to the newly remodeled convention center and the centerpiece of Austin’s Great Streets program, the Second Street retail district. With so much promise and potential riding on a project, Mayor Wynn’s edict of “More is More” took hold, and teams were instructed to propose downtown’s largest mixed-use development — part retail, part residential, and part nonprofit — and make it sustainable, profitable, and (no small challenge) a statement about Austin’s future. teamed with local developer Stratus Properties, proposed the winning scheme, which hinged on the development of the prominent corner at Second and Lavaca streets as an outdoor loggia, a porch, a place synonymous with Texas. The proposal, which originally included space for KLRU, Austin’s PBS station, as well as a low-rise residential tower, evolved when sights were set higher and higher as design and development converged. “With the importance of this site, Local architects Andersson-Wise Architects (AWA),
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Clockwise from top left The
residential tower rises like a mountain behind Austin’s Antoine Predock-designed city hall. The loggia encourages pedestrian circulation and relates to the scale of adjacent buildings. The lobby of the W provides intimate spaces for meetings or socializing. Austin’s Great Streets program encouraged wide promenades and outdoor spaces.
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inspiration from Mesa Verde and other cave dwellings, Andersson-Wise’s design for the tower is an elegant addition to the expanding Austin skyline.
Mesa Verde, Colo. With the broad face of the tower facing south toward prevailing breezes, its cave-like balconies provide shade in the summer and sun in the winter. The tower’s structural components are turned inward to create a 400-ft sheer curtain wall that at times seems to vanish into the sky. The building conducts a playful dialogue with city hall as well as the
With the broad face of the tower facing south toward prevailing breezes, its cave-like balconies provide shade in the summer and sun in the winter. remaining context, mindful and reflective of its neighbors. “It’s a polite conversation,” said Andersson. The tower’s broad face rises up behind city hall, a metaphorical mountain behind the seat of government (fortuitous, in Feng Shui). The notorious “stinger” — a protrusion that jabs a sharp point northward across Second Street from the city hall’s northern face — is deflected by a massive concrete shear wall. The concrete at the base of the building forms a series of what Andersson calls “ruins” from which its components rise. No curb cuts interrupt the pedestrian flow along the hotel’s main parking entry, a deliberate gesture to further encourage the foot traffic supported by Austin’s Great Streets Program. From there, the
transition from outside to inside is a gentle play on the dappled shade of the riparian landscape along nearby Lady Bird Lake, which supplies the breezes that animate the outdoor spaces. The placing of the large ACL lobby terrace, stepped back just above the street, compounds the street interaction, allowing people to spill out from the building and interact with surrounding events and amenities. These design gestures, supported by the synergy among the project’s pieces, come together to create a place greater than the sum of its parts. The condominiums sold quickly, and surrounding retail development exploded. Block 21 stands at the heart of a vibrant downtown district, full of shops, restaurants, and residential towers. The front porch at the corner of Second and Lavaca streets even has a new full-time resident: an 8-ft statue of Willie Nelson that was installed in 2012. The legendary singer leans on his guitar, surveying the activity and marking the entrance to ACL Live. What could be more Austin than that? Canan Yetmen writes about architecture. Her first novel, “The Roses Underneath,” was released in January.
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Beyond the Box By Ingrid Spencer
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Project Paisano Green Community, El Paso Client Housing Authority of the City of El Paso Architect Workshop8 Photographer Jesse Ramirez
or the 83 proud residents of Paisano Green, El Paso’s first net zero, LEED Platinum-certified low-income senior housing community, the 59,787-sf development is home. But to the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP), the city itself, and architecture firm Workshop8, in Boulder, Colo., the project has been a fortunate experiment that has changed laws and lives, providing a shining example of sustainable business practices from an unlikely, dusty border town setting. Stimulus package funds made available to housing authorities across the country in 2009 presented the initial opportunity. Gerald Cichon, HACEP’s CEO, had long hoped to do something special for the senior housing stock in his city and saw this as an opening not to miss. “Our mission has always been safe, clean, affordable housing,” he said, “but I saw this grant as a chance to put El Paso on the map for sustainability.” Cichon enlisted help from two design professionals: architect and The University of Texas at Austin lecturer Francois Levy, AIA, and architect
“Texas firms did have a leg up, since we had to find people who would understand the specific needs of our climate and geography.” and University of California Berkeley Department of Architecture professor Robert Herman, FAIA. Together, they created a request for proposals with extensive requirements. “We couldn’t limit ourselves to only looking at firms in Texas for this, but Texas firms did have a leg up, since we had to find people who would understand the specific needs of our climate and geography,” said Cichon about why they decided to open the competition nationally. it was a collaborative group of design professionals calling themselves Workshop8, in Boulder, Colo., who The leg up for Texas firms notwithstanding,
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Previous spread Paisano
Green is El Paso’s first net-zero senior housing community. Right Workshop8 designed the building envelopes with tight R-26 walls containing a hybridized system of insulation and no thermal bridging. Opposite page The flats are connected via a colorful canopy. Wind turbines contribute to the efficiency of the development.
won. All with day jobs at various firms or running their own small practices, the friends were struggling to find challenging, creative work during the recession. “It was a core group of five of us, plus another architect, an energy modeler, and a few others,” said Workshop8 principal J. V. de Sousa. “We wanted to experiment with a competition to see if we could work together.” Turns out they could. After coming together specifically for this project, Workshop8 has gone on to do multiple projects across the country, including but not limited to sustainable low-income housing. “We don’t want to only be known as the ‘net zero low-income housing guys,’” said de Sousa, while admitting that Paisano Green was a great stepping-off point as well as an education for the team. Despite having no experience drafting legislation, de Sousa participated in changing the law, since El Paso’s publicly held utility company had recently eliminated its net meter rate, and without it, the project could never achieve net zero. In place now is legislation that allows only for a very specific entity (almost exactly Paisano Green) to have a net meter rate. Although it was a triumphant feat, the law was written very specifically for the Paisano Green project in order to avoid establishing a precedent for future similar projects. If another commercial property in El Paso wanted to establish a net meter rate, it would have to fight a similar fight. “I don’t blame the utility company,” said de Sousa. “They were extremely helpful and accommodating, once they understood what we were doing. They have to be very careful with these types of things, to make sure distribution of energy is as stable as it can be.” the project stands alone as an elegant, modern, sustainable development. Once a small derelict housing project on a 4.2acre site surrounded by a truck customs inspection station and the border crossing to Ciudad Juarez to the west, a six-lane road and the El Paso Even without its backstory,
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Zoo to the north, the County Coliseum concert venue to the east, and a wastewater treatment plant to the southeast, the development has become an icon for the city. Two spinning wind turbines mark the entrance to the facility, leading to a first-floor community center and administration offices topped by the “ jewel box” — an outdoor patio surrounded by colorful, recycled acrylic panels shaped to evoke windblown grass. Through the
A steel structure canopy wall clad with colored perforated metal panels inset with a series of LED lights becomes, at night, a light show easily seen from nearby Scenic Drive. community center, residents proceed to a lush, efficiently irrigated “Tapestry Garden” flanked by four three-story “flats” to the west and a linear two-story building to the east. A steel structure canopy wall clad with colored perforated metal panels inset with a series of LED lights becomes, at night, a light show easily seen from nearby Scenic Drive. The canopy connects all four flats with stairs and walkways, while the panels shelter the western facade from weather and the constant noise from the customs station. The canopy also provides a setting for solar panels on its upper beams. Those panels add to the total 165-kilowatt array, which is distributed atop most of the project’s flat roof surfaces. The sustainable features are more than solar bling, however. The building envelope construction was tight, with R-26 walls containing a hybridized system of insulation and no thermal bridging. Windows were carefully chosen, sized, and placed for maximum efficiency, with overhangs and rainscreens used for shading. Recycled, recyclable, low-maintenance, or locally sourced materials were used throughout. Instead of wood for stairs and railings, a durable, low-
SITE PLAN 1 ENTRY PLAZA 2 COMMUNITY BUILDINGS 3 BOONE AVENUE RESIDENCES 4 PLAZA 5 TAPESTRY GARDEN 6 PICNIC AREA 7 FLATS 8 COURTYARDS 9 PARKING
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Clockwise from topÂ In
order to make the site more sustainable, the architects decided not to plant trees; solar panels and window grilles respond appropriately to the harsh, sun-drenched climate. The community center welcomes people to the site. The Tapestry Garden connects the duplexes to the flats.
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Situated at the entry of Paisano Green, the community center welcomes residents and visitors alike to the property. Colorful acrylic panels partially enclose an outdoor patio, which residents refer to as the “jewel box.”
maintenance plastic lumber made from recycled wood fiber and polymer was used. When it came to outdoor sustainability, some LEED mandates had to give. “One size does not fit all,” said de Sousa about a LEED Platinum
Two spinning wind turbines mark the entrance to the facility, leading to a community center topped by the “jewel box” — an outdoor patio surrounded by colorful, recycled acrylic panels shaped to evoke windblown grass. requirement for shading needs outdoors that just wouldn’t work for this climate. Known as “The Sun City,” El Paso gets some 302 days of perpetual bright sun per year. “The requirement calls for shading of hardscape areas, which is usually accomplished with trees,” said Aaron Nelson, LEED consultant and sustainability coordinator for the project. “For this project, it just wouldn’t be sustainable in this dry, hot climate to have that many trees to water.” After much review of the project, the U.S. Green Building Council agreed to change the requirement for this specific project, and the team proceeded, going above and beyond most other LEED requirements. Splurges on such high-end systems as air-to-heat exchange water heaters were made with long-term efficiency in mind, a way of thinking that
extended to energy recovery ventilator units, high efficiency fixtures and appliances, ultra low-flow plumbing fixtures, and LED lighting. With a total construction cost of approximately $15 million, the project wasn’t cheap, and educating residents to be stewards of their environment has been a process. But the project works, and the accolades are already coming in, with a 2012 Citation Award for Built Architecture from AIA Colorado and a 2013 National Award of Merit for Program Innovation in Project Design from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. As residents compete to see who can use the least energy each month, Cichon continues to host interested visitors from housing authorities across the country. Also, nearby Fort Bliss, the nation’s largest army post, has expressed interest in going net zero and is taking to heart all the lessons learned by Paisano Green. “The U.S. military is taking notice,” says Cichon, “So yes, we’re proud.” Ingrid Spencer is co-founder of Creek Show, planned for Waller Creek in Austin, and a contributing editor to Architectural Record.
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Worthy of World Heritage by Rachel Wright, AIA, and Anna Nau Projects Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña Interior Restoration; Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo Interior Restoration; Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo Facade Stabilization; Mission San Juan Capistrano Structural Stabilization and Interior Restoration, San Antonio Client Archdiocese of San Antonio Architects Ford, Powell & Carson Design Team Carolyn Peterson, FAIA; Rachel Wright, AIA; Allison Chambers, Assoc. AIA; Anna Nau Photographer Mark Menjivar
mid new bike trails and picnic tables, natural grasses and canoe slips, and native birds and shaded overlooks, four of San Antonio’s Spanish Colonial Missions emerge along the Mission Reach stretch of the River Walk. These missions — Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña, Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission San Francisco de la Espada — are each part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. They are also home to active Catholic congregations under the direction of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The completion of the Mission Reach project represents a culmination of decades of effort, not only to restore the important riparian woodland ecosystem of the San Antonio River, but also to infuse a renewed vitality into the South Side neighborhoods that flank the river. Restoration of the river ecosystem coincides with cultural restoration efforts for these neighborhoods and the missions. The eight-mile stretch of the San Antonio River invigorates these mission complexes, as it has for most of the past three centuries. The missions have been constants in the city’s history, continually linking San Antonians to their rich cultural past. Their foundation dates to 1718, when a Spanish expedition led by Father Antonio Olivares reached the banks of a small river meandering through open grassland. Known as the Yanahuana to the indigenous peoples of the region and coined the San Antonio de Padua by an earlier Spanish expedition, the river was the heart of the mission chain. Although the missions’ shared history includes 18th-century prosperity, secularization in 1824, and decline in the mid-19th century, each
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individual mission has a colorful and varied history all its own. San Antonio’s modern love affair with its Spanish Colonial mission buildings can be traced to early efforts to save the missions from development and encroachment at the turn of the 20th century, which culminated in large-scale restorations during the 1930s and 1950s. The establishment of the National Park in 1978 cemented the historical and cultural significance of these sites and helped to ensure their continued preservation. Today, the parish churches are each roots of their community, continuing a living tradition that is nearly 300 years old. A heroic capital campaign was completed in 2010 by Las Misiones, the arm of the Archdiocese of San Antonio responsible for the stewardship of the mission church buildings. The campaign garnered unprecedented support from local and regional communities, amassing $15 million for immediate restoration projects and a maintenance endowment.
Previous spread The
Mission San José underwent a multi-phase conservation program from 2010–2012. Right and below Racked and semi-detached stone units of the carved facade were stabilized, and failing 20th-century repairs were removed and replaced using lime-based patching materials and compatible limestone.
at Ford, Powell & Carson, the campaign has already funded a variety of restoration efforts at missions San José, Concepción, and San Juan. The cleaned and meticulously restored carved facade at San José, once obscured by decades of dirt and neglect, reveals one of the best examples of Spanish colonial stone ornamentation in North America. With their cream plaster walls, adorned in rich reds and ochres, the newly restored interiors of Missions Concepción and San José demonstrate a simple yet powerful link between parishioners of today and those of three centuries ago. Although the restorations strive for faithfulness, they also bring congregations into the 21st century with Enlisting the help of preservation architects
The cleaned and meticulously restored carved facade at San José, once obscured by decades of dirt and neglect, reveals one of the best examples of Spanish colonial stone ornamentation in North America. thoughtful lighting designs, contemporary liturgical layouts, and new, carefully integrated building systems. The latest mission church to receive restoration work, Mission San Juan underwent both a structural stabilization and a restoration, reopening this past spring. Severe cracking due to soil settlement had left the primary facade in a precarious situation, a state observed and documented by preservationists and structural engineers over twelve months. Ultimately, the project required a grade beam and 30 piers at the perimeter of the building, approximately 28 feet below grade. The project not only safeguarded the mission for future generations, but also provided valuable archaeological information that will further illuminate daily colonial life at the mission. The restoration project immediately followed, including a fresh coat of plaster, new liturgical furniture, and an upgrade of electrical, HVAC, and sound systems. The river plays an integral role in the preservation efforts surrounding San Juan. With the Mission Reach’s various trails and enhanced water accessibility, visitors can now experience the river at the water level, which gives them a more historically faithful approach to the mission compounds. Additionally, the National Park Service reopened the water flow of the mission’s historic acequia in September of 2011. Restoring the seven-mile portion of the Spanish colonial irrigation system had been a battle since the late 1960s, when the water was halted by flood improvements. Ultimately,
80 Texas Architect
This page clockwise from topÂ As
part of the recent project at Mission San Juan, the bell tower was restored, including the stabilization of masonry and the repair of the bells. The new coats of interior and exterior plaster revitalize the mission, while remaining historically faithful.
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This page clockwise from top A
current project at Mission Concepción is addressing the documentation and stabilization of historic ornamentation on the stucco facade. The interior restoration included the replication of Spanish Colonial polychrome ornamentation.
82 Texas Architect
the acequia water will serve acres of nearby historic farmland, but it is currently being used to irrigate a 3-acre demonstration plot at Mission San Juan operated by the Park Service. The return of the water to the acequia actively reunites the mission with the river and provides visitors with a clear understanding of the dynamic role the river played in the history of the mission complex. — formerly Mission San Antonio de Valero — set to be nominated to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List in
MISSION REACH MAP MUSEUM REACH DOWNTOWN REACH EAGLELAND PROJECT MISSION REACH
With the four missions and the Alamo
MAP COURTESY THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER AUTHORITY.
With the Mission Reach’s various trails and enhanced water accessibility, visitors can now experience the river at the water level, which gives them a more historically faithful approach to the mission compounds. 2015, the historical, cultural, and economic significance of these sites to San Antonio is even more apparent. If the bid is successful, the missions will become the first World Heritage Site in Texas and one of only 22 such distinguished sites in the United States. According to the nomination document, the San Antonio missions are the “most complete and intact example” of missions in the former frontier of Spain’s North American colonial empire. Uniquely clustered along the river, the mission buildings and their extensive water distribution systems stand as an extraordinary testament to the blended indigenous and European culture that has persisted up to the present day. Mission Espada’s acequia and stone aqueduct still carry water, as they have done continuously since their construction. Remarkably, many current mission parishioners can trace their lineage to the original mission inhabitants. According to a 2013 economic impact study sponsored by Bexar County, the potential benefits of World Heritage status are considerable. Through direct tourist spending, additional job growth, and increased local hotel tax revenue, San Antonio and Bexar County could see anywhere from $44 million to $105 million in additional economic activity as a direct result of the missions being inscribed on the World Heritage list. Coupled with the strong stewardship of the National Park Service and the excitement generated by the Mission Reach, the landmark restorations of the mission churches are a superb illustration of the continual relevance of historic places. Far from staid and immutable, these mission churches — the oldest buildings in the region — demonstrate the strumming vitality and richness that historic resources can provide our communities.
ZOO WITTE MUSEUM
SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART
MISSION SAN JOSÉ
Rachel Wright, AIA, is a preservation architect and Anna Nau is an architectural conservator and historian. They have worked on the missions for many years as part of the Ford, Powell & Carson team.
MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
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Architectural Cruise to Italy and the Adriatic
Join the Texas Society of Architects and Past President Dan Hart, AIA, on a unique architectural excursion aboard Silversea Cruises Silver Wind. 10-19 September 2014 We will visit Italyâ€™s Rome, Sorrento, Venice, and Sicily, as well as Greece and Croatia. The itinerary also includes private architectural tours and seminars. Donâ€™t miss this outstanding voyage of exploration. For reservations and details, contact Doug at Carrousel Travel: 800-800-6508 firstname.lastname@example.org
46 Texas Architect
Urban Design Awards 2014
the texas Society of architects announces the addition of the Urban design awards component to our annual design awards program.
Sketch by Stephen kornS and Lâ€™obServatoire/haLie Light internationaL
Look for more information in the coming months. texasarchitects.org
86 Texas Architect
A Walk in the Park … with Willis Winters, FAIA written by Gerald Moorhead, FAIA photography by Nicole Mlakar
Willis Winters, FAIA, was promoted to the position of director of the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Winters joined the department 20 years ago under director Paul Dyer and has made significant contributions to the department and to the citizens of Dallas in his positions as manager and then assistant director of planning, design, and construction. Winters was born in Garland, Texas, where his father served 32 years as director of the Garland Park and Recreation Department — a forecast of his own future, perhaps. After high school in Dallas, he attended The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, graduating first in the class of 1980. He spent 11.5 years with Fisher and Spillman Architects/F&S Partners Architects and two years partnered with Craig Blackmon, FAIA, doing architectural photography and small architectural commissions. As the lean years of the early 1990s settled in, Winters responded on a whim to a job opening with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. The rest is history, as someone once said. Earlier this year,
is an expansive enterprise, encompassing 23,018 acres in 374 parks, 41 recreation centers, six golf courses, the Dallas Zoo, Fair Park, the Arboretum, 17 lakes, 115 miles of trails, and a vast array of programs and activities, all administered under an annual operating budget of over $78 million. Winters works closely with Dallas Park and Recreation Board and its president, Max Wells, to establish the strategic vision and governing policies for the department. Winters credits his professional staff with the creative success of managing this behemoth. The total staff includes nearly 900 full-time and part-time employees and more than 5,000 volunteers. This crew is obviously much larger than all but a few of the firms with which we architects may be acquainted. Every capital project undertaken is a collaborative effort among Winters’ talented staff of architects, landscape architects, engineers, and project managers, and one or more private The Dallas Park and Recreation Department
partnership groups. Typically, he will take the lead in organizing the partnership, developing the vision for the project, procuring funding, and selecting the design consultant. Then, the staff team follows through with implementation under Winters’ leadership and direction. As the leader of this diversified recreation and maintenance public service mega-operation, Winters is in the position to have the greatest impact on the quality of life in Dallas of any public official. That civic life is in sure hands. One of Winters’ most important projects was the restoration of Fair Park, a 277-acre historic destination that attracted over 5.2 million visitors
Winters is in the position to have the greatest impact on the quality of life in Dallas of any public official. last year through activities including the State Fair, athletic events in the Cotton Bowl, musicals, and many festivals. Work has proceeded over numerous phases, investing over $260 million that includes architectural restoration, artwork conservation, and landscape reconstruction in addition to renovating and constructing new buildings for contemporary uses. in the United States and has the fourth largest system of parkland. However, by the end of the 20th century, the city had fallen significantly behind national benchmarks for reinvesting in park systems. Winters co-led (with assistant director Eddie Hueston) and managed the preparation of a new comprehensive master plan (A Renaissance Plan, 2002, Carter & Burgess) to set strategic goals and, most important, construct a business model of public-private partnerships to finance implementation. “Fulfill the community mandates by providing all citizens with quality programs and access to safe and well-maintained park facilities throughout Dallas, while protecting and managing the Department’s natural resources Dallas is the seventh largest city
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and implementing the citizens’ vision for quality recreational amenities,” summarized the Plan. one is struck by the even and dense distribution of parks across the entire city. The vast majority are neighborhood parks and recreation centers, providing the kind of open space, modest sports areas, and organized activity programs that are the essence of urbanity. Looking at a map of Dallas parks,
The Park Pavilions of Dallas, a program initiated and directed by Winters, brings attention to the importance of these neighborhood parks, engaging national design talent for pavilions. The Park Pavilions of Dallas, a program initiated and directed by Winters, brings attention to the importance of these neighborhood parks, engaging national design talent for pavilions. Horticulture and reforestation have been added to the normal maintenance routines to further enhance the neighborhood parks. There are also a dozen historic parks in the city, built from 1925 to 1939, which contain marvelous stone structures built by WPA programs that are being rehabilitated in the Pavilions project. Park improvements and maintenance must be paid for, of course, and the comprehensive plan proposes partnerships of various kinds. For example, Winters is in the very early stages of talks with partners to develop a program for land-sharing of schoolyards and play fields. These facilities would be used by the schools during the day and available to the community as parks during evenings and weekends, with shared maintenance and operating expenses. Previous spread As
director of the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department, Willis Winters, FAIA, leads a team of 900 employees and 5,000 volunteers. Right The model for the College Park Pavilion by Snøhetta is displayed in the city offices. Completed in 2013, the pavilion is part of the design excellence program for Dallas parks.
88 Texas Architect
This partnership could also involve the healthcare sector, fitness organizations, and sports teams in promoting the Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative, directed at obesity among Dallas youth. Other recent partners include Belo Corporation and Belo Foundation for the 1.7-acre downtown Belo Garden and the Downtown Parks Master Plan; the Dallas Zoological Society for projects at the Dallas Zoo; and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society for projects at the Dallas Arboretum. The comprehensive plan was expanded in 2004 with a Downtown Master Plan (Carter & Burgess), which was updated this year (Hargreaves Associates). The most spectacular parks in the city are the result of this plan and several others are in the works. With 87 acres allocated within downtown, the plan will link a network of sites to define a pedestrian-friendly city center. The two-acre Main Street Garden inaugurated the plan. The most unconventional of the downtown parks is Klyde Warren Park (see pages 60 in this issue of TA), which bridges over the depressed Woodall Rodgers freeway on the north edge of the Arts District. Other downtown parks in the planning stages include Carpenter Plaza, Pacific Plaza, West End Plaza, and Farmers Market District – Harwood Park. Even with all these wide-ranging projects to be conceived, organized, funded, and executed, Winters has still maintained his connections to architectural journalism. In addition serving as a contributing editor for TA, he has written or co-authored several books: “AIA Guide to Dallas Architecture”; “Fair Park”; “Great American Suburbs”; “Crafting Traditions: The Architecture of Mark Lemmon”; and “Dealey Plaza.” He is currently working on “The Buildings of Texas, Vol. 2.” We trust that the citizens of Dallas appreciate Winters for their quality of life, which he is working to improve every day. Gerald Moorhead, FAIA, is a friend of Winters and an author of “The Buildings of Texas,” volumes 1 and 2.
Clockwise from top
Winters’ job requires extensive coordination with stakeholders involved in each project. He continues to work closely with Klyde Warren Park President Tara Green and Vice President Celia Barshop. Gail Terrell, the vice president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board represents District 8, where the Snøhetta pavilion was just built. In between meetings, Winters can be found at his office in City Hall.
regularly presents planning initiatives at community meetings. The groundbreaking for construction at Carpenter’s Plaza occurred on December 15; Winters is pictured with Mike Hellmann and Robert Decherd, vice chairman of the board of the A.H. Belo Corporation. Decherd is a strong advocate for the Downtown Parks Master Plan.
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IconIc Dallas archItecture // team awarDs
Fun for the whole family! 3rD annual
22 we have archItecteD a great race! Just as the iconic Dallas skyline represents some of the world’s best architecture, the Dallas Center for Architecture has designed one of Dallas’ best 5K events to showcase some of the city’s most impressive architectural icons. 5K Run, 1K walk, live music, great food and tasty beverages! And did we mention tech shirts too?
FormFollowsFitness.com /FormFollowsFitness thank you to our Partners
Resources Time & Parking; DOCK EQUIPMENT : Southern Dock Products;
Plastering); OTHER WALL FINISHES: Amrerican Gypsum - Type X
WINDOW TREATMENTS: Capitol Blinds; TRASH/LINEN CHUTE :
and Standard; TILE: TAKLA Porcelain Tiles (Casey Carpet of Las
American Chute; FIREPLACES: Earthcore Industries; POOLS AND
Cruces); FLOORING: FORBO Resilient Flooring; PAINT : Sherwin
EQUIPMENT : Liquid Assets; THEATER SEATING: Mobiliario; VENUE
Williams Paints and Protective Coatings (Miguel Campos); SPE-
PLANT SELECTION, SITE PRARIE RESTORATION : Lady Bird Johnson
VIBRATION ISOLATION : Moore & Assoc; THEATER CURTAINS: Texas
CIALTIES: SPEC Signs (Jaye Andres), Bobrick Bath Accessories,
Wildflower Center; CIVIL : Waterstreet Engineering; LIGHTS: Agi
Scenic Co.; ELEVATORS: Kone; FIRE PROTECTION : Northstar Fire
Ebassy Fire-FX Fire Cabinets, Amerex Fire Extinguishers, Lanz
Protection; MECHANICAL : Dynamic Systems; PERFORMANCE
Cabinets; EQUIPMENT : ThyseenKrup Elevators, BROAN HRV, LG
DIMMING: Barbizon Light of the Rockies; ELECTRICAL : Walker
Mini Split Heat Pumps (Smith and Sons); SPECIAL CONSTRUC-
Engineering; AUDIO VISUAL : Service Tech; SECURITY: Convergint;
TION : Flexible LIFELINE Systems; FIRE SUPPRESSION : TNT Tech
LANDSCAPING: Clean Scapes; LANDSCAPING PAVERS: Kiwi
LLC; PLUMBING: Praxis Industries (Ferguson), GE GeoSpring
Company; UTILITIES: Commercial Consolidated; SITE UTILITIES:
Hybrid Water Heater; ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION : XZERES
Mastec; PAVING: Contractors Ashphalt; PAVEMENT MARKING:
Wind Turbines, Sanyo PV Panels
Edgeland House, Austin Contractor Bercy Chen Studio LP (Design-Build) Consultants
STRUCTURAL : MJ Structures; SOIL ENGINEERING,
CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS AND RETAINING WALLS:
RCS Concrete Professionals; STEEL : Estructuras Hidalgo; MASTERBED STAIRCASE: Steelhouse (Designed by Agustina Rodri-
guez); GREEN ROOF SYSTEM (GEOWEB SYSTEM): Alcoa Geosystems (Geo Solutions); FINISHES: H&H Tile & Plaster (Swimming Pool); DINING CHAIRS: RAD (Ryan Anderson Design); CABINETS: IKEA; PLUMBING: Chabert Plumbing; HEATING, VENTILATING, AND AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC) : Ehrlich Mechanical; ELECTRICAL :
Austin Electical Contractors
Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Archer Western Contractors
W Austin Hotel + Residences with Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin
Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK Contractors Flintco and Lippert Brothers Consultants
PRIME CONSULTANT AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT :
The Office of James Burnett; ARCHITECT : Gensler; FOUNTAIN
LEAD DESIGNER AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT : The
DESIGNER: Fluidity Design Consultants; LIGHTING DESIGNER:
Office of James Burnett; ENGINEER OF RECORD: Jacobs Engineer-
Fisher Marantz Stone Partners; AQUATIC DESIGNER: Pacific
Contractor Austin Commercial, LP
ing; ARCHITECT (PAVILION/RESTAURANT) AND ENVIRONMENTAL
Aquascape; ASSOCIATE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT : Murase
GRAPHIC DESIGN : Thomas Phifer & Partners; ARCHITECT (CHIL-
Associates; CIVIL ENGINEER: Cardinal Engineering; ELECTRICAL
DREN’S RESTROOM/SITE STRUCTURES) : Endres Studio Architects
ENGINEER: Alvine Engineering; STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Thornton
Engineers; INTERIOR ARCHITECT (RESTAURANT) : The Johnson
Tomasetti; ARCHITECT OF RECORD: Frankfurt Short Bruza
Studio; PARK CONSULTANT : Biederman Redevelopment Ventures;
Associates; SITE FEATURE ARCHITECT : EndresWare Architects
PROGRAM MANAGER: Bjerke Management Solutions; LIGHTING:
Engineers; CONSULTING ARBORIST : Robert Birchell & Associ-
Focus Lighting Design; WATER FEATURE DESIGN: Fluidity Design
ates; IRRIGATION DESIGNER: Sweeney Associates; CONSULTING
Consultants; ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER OF RECORD:
HORTICULTURIST : Mary Irish Horticulture Consulting, Dr. Michael
DESIGN ARCHITECT : Andersson-Wise Architects;
ARCHITECT OF RECORD: BOKA Powell; INTERIOR DESIGN (HOTEL/ CONDOMINIUMS) : Andersson-Wise Architects with Heather
Plimmer; INTERIOR DESIGN (MUSIC VENUE) : Rios Clementi Hale Studios with Heather Plimmer; SUSTAINABLE DESIGN: Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems; COMMISSIONING: ACR Engineering; ENERGY RENEWABLES: Meridian Energy Systems; DAYLIGHTING/ENERGY MODELING: Clanton & Associates, Ener-
modal; CIVIL ENGINEER: Bury+Partners; LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT : Talley Associates; STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Thornton Tomasetti; MEP ENGINEER: JJA; THEATRE : Theatre Consultants Collabora-
tive; LIGHTING: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design; FOOD SERVICE AND LAUNDRY: William Caruso & Associates; TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND AUDIO VISUAL : IP Design Group; SECURITY AND BUILDING CONTROLS: Securitas Systems; CODE : Schirmer
Engineering; CURTAIN WALL : CDC; ELEVATOR: Persohn/Hahn Associates; ACOUSTICAL – BUILDING: PMK; PARKING PLANNING: Parking Planners; TRAFFIC: HDR|WHM Transportation Engineering; GEOTECHNICAL SERVICES: Henley Johnston & Associates; ENVIRONMENTAL SITE SERVICES: Terracon; WIND TUNNEL TESTING: Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (RWDI) Consulting Engineers
& Scientists; MUSIC VENUE – HOUSE SOUND: Steven Durr Designs; MUSIC VENUE – BROADCASTING TECHNOLOGY: Beck Associates; PERMIT EXPEDITOR: Austin Permit Service; MODEL : The Model
Shop; 3D & ANIMATION: Alpha Vision Renderings and Animations; GRAPHICS: Jankedesign; EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE/WINDOW WASHING: Excalibur SwingStage
CONCRETE : APAC Texas; REBAR: Capitol City
Focus EGD; IRRIGATION DESIGN: Sweeney Associates; ENGINEER
Schnelle; ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dyal and Partners
(CIVIL, BRIDGE STRUCTURAL, SITE ELECTRICAL) : Jacobs Engineer-
Building Resources CEMENTITIOUS CLADDING PANELS:
ing; ENGINEER (UTILITIES): Dal-Tech Engineering; ENGINEER (SITE STRUCTURAL) : Endres Studio Architects Engineers; LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR: ValleyCrest Landscape Development; WATER FEATURE CONTRACTOR: Greenscape Pump Services
PRECAST CONCRETE BOX BEAM FABRICATORS: Texas
Prestressed Concrete And Speed Fab-Crete; CONCRETE UNIT PAVING/PRECAST CONCRETE : Wausau Tile; GRANITE PAVING AND BOULDERS: Cold Springs Granite; TREE GRATES: Hendricks Archi-
tectural Products/Big D Metalworks; SAFETY SURFACE: Pebbleflex; ARTIFICIAL TURF : Forever Lawn; BOLLARDS: Cal-Pipe Security Bollards; EXTERIOR LIGHTING: Hess, Erco, Bega, Io Lighting, Celadon Group, Bk Lighting, Lumiere, We-Ef, Designplan, Color Kinetics, Permlight, Lithonia, Meteor; PLAY EQUIPMENT : Goric Marketing Group, Berliner Seilfabrik; BICYCLE RACKS: Forms + Surfaces; LITTER RECEPTACLES: Landscape Forms; BENCHES: Forms + Surfaces, Landscape Forms; DRINKING FOUNTAINS: Most Dependable Fountains; FENCING: Ameristar; IRRIGATION: Hunter Industries; CUSTOM PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS: Solartonic; ELECTRICAL OUTLET : Pedoc Power; SECURITY CAMERAS: Bearcom; EMER-
Steel; FORMWORK : Ceco; CONCRETE PLACING: Clark Concrete;
GENCY CALL STATIONS: Code Blue; LIGHTWEIGHT SOILS AND FILL :
CONCRETE ACCESSORIES: Studio K; POST TENSION SUPPLIER:
Soil Building Systems; TREES: Select Trees, Cc Tree Farm; DESIGN
Southwest Post Tension; MASONRY: P&S Masonry; DECORATIVE
SOFTWARE : Autocad, Vectorworks
Industries; MISCELLANEOUS METALS: Perry & Perry; MILLWORK : AMI Hospitality, Buda Woodworks; KITCHEN MILLWORK : Bulthaup; CLOSET MILLWORK : California Closets; MILLWORK SUPPLY: Chad-
wick Designs, Creative Mouldings; WATERPROOFING: Chamberlin, SW Sealants; GLASS HANDRAILS: Custom Components; ROOFING: Fifth Wall Roofing; FIREPROOFING: LCR Contractors; CEMENT COMPOSITE FACADE : RM Rogers; INTERIOR GLASS: Austin Glass
& Mirror; DOORS, FRAMES & HARDWARE: Hull Supply; SPECIAL DOORS: Miner Central, ED Flume, Won-Door, Morales & Associ-
ates; ACCESS FLOORING: Prestige Interiors; CURTAIN WALL : Win-Con Enterprises; RESIN FLOORING: Advanced Concrete Protection; TILE & STONE: Alamo Tile & Stone, Lyn-Tile; PAINT : Alpha Painting, Schnurr; CARPET : Austin Fine Floors; DRYWALL : Baker Drywall; FLOORING: Rockford; PLASTER: Southwest Progressive; WOOD FLOORING: Woodwright; MISCELLANEOUS SPECIALTIES:
Chatham Worth Specialties, DEA Specialties; SIGNAGE: ION Art; KITCHEN EQUIPMENT : Alliance Food Equipment; WINDOW WASHING EQUIPMENT : Excaliber; RESIDENTIAL APPLIANCES: Meile; FENCING: Metalink Corporation; PARKING EQUIPMENT : Mitchell
POSITE - BRAZILIAN IPE : Advantage Trim and Lumber; THERMAL & MOISTURE PROTECTION : Hydrotech; ROOFING: Sika Sarnafil; OPENINGS - GLASS CURTAIN WALL : Cricursa (McCoy Associates); TILE FLOORING: Dal-Tile; TERRAZZO FLOORING: Preservation
& Protection Systems; SPECIALTIES - ACOUSTICAL SYSTEMS: Eurospan; SPECIALTIES - ACOUSTICAL SYSTEMS: Snaptex; EQUIPMENT - VERISMO ESPRESSO CAPPUCINO MACHINE : Verismo; COFFEE GRINDER: Fetco Corp; PANNI GRILL : Equipex; UNDER BAR ICE MAKER: Hoshizaki; WATER FILTER: Everpure; WALL MOUNTED SHELVING: Metro; MOP SINK : Advance Tabco; WALK IN COOLER/ FREEZER: Thermo-Kool; RANGE/OVEN : Vulcan Hart; CHEESEMELTER: Wolf Range; CONVECTION OVEN : Blodgett Oven; EXHAUST HOOD: Captive-Aire; ICE CREAM DIPPING CABINET : Delfield; MICROWAVE OVEN : Panasonic; ELECTRICAL CONVEYOR TOASTER: Star
Mfg; DISHWASHER: Champion; REACH IN REFRIGERATOR: Traulsen; STEEL FURNITURE : C+P Moebelsysteme; FIRE SUPPRESSION :
Ansul Fire; PLUMBING: Zurn Plumbing Products Group; PLUMBING - WASH BASIN : OMVivo; BATHROOM FAUCETS: Vola; TOILETS/ URINAL : Duravit; LED LIGHTING DOWNLIGHTS: Lucifer, Philips CK; DECORATIVE PENDANT : Artek; RECESSED COMPACT FLUORESCENT DOWNLIGHT : Kurt Versen; INGRADE RECESSED UPLIGHT : Bega
Landscape Resources CONCRETE UNIT PAVER/TACTILE
METALS: A Zahner Company, Austin Outdoor Studios; STRUCTURAL STEEL : Ennis; MISCELLANEOUS STEEL : Miscellaneous Steel
SwissPearl; DOORS: Dawson Doors; WOODS, PLASTICS, COM-
Paisano Green Community, El Paso Consultants
ARCHITECT : WORKSHOP8; STRUCTURAL
ENGINEER: Gebau; MEP ENGINEERS: Priest Engineering; CIVIL ENGINEER: JVA; LIGHTING DESIGNER: Clanton & Associates; SOILS ENGINEER: Raba-Kistber Consultants (SW); SURVEY ENGINEER:
Frank X. Spencer; SPECIFICATIONS: Delet; ENERGY CONSULTANT : Sustainably Built
CONCRETE : Jobe Materials (Mimbella Contrcators);
MASONRY: ACME Brick Company; METAL : Marquez Wrought Iron; WOODS, PLASTICS, COMPOSITE : Darrel Julian Construction; ROOFING THERMAL & MOISTURE PROTECTION : BASF Sonoshield HLM
5000 (BAM Roofing); THERMAL & MOISTURE PROTECTION : GAF Materials Corporation - MSDS #2060, Dupont Tyvek Home Wrap, Fortifier Building Systems Group, DOW Styrofoam WEATHERMATE Plus, Grace Ice & Water Shield, US Metals Flat Lock Metal
PAVERS: Stepstone; UNIT PAVERS: Yellow Mountain Stoneworks; TREEGRATE : Ironsmith; STEEL LANDSCAPE EDGING: Permaloc
Cleanline; ARTIFICIAL PLAYGROUND TURF/ARTIFICIAL DOGPARK TURF : K9 Grass and Playground Grass Byforever Lawn; MEINDERS GARDEN IPE BRIDGES: Yonah Mountain Timber Frames; WATER FEATURE SEALANT : Gaco Western; ORNAMENTAL FENCING: Ameri-
star; PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT : Playworld Systems; CUSTOM PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT : Urban Art Projects; INTEGRATED HANDRAIL LIGHTING SYSTEM : Luxerail By Io Lighting; DOG WASTE RECEPTACLE : Mm Cite; TRASH RECEPTALES: Creative Pipe; CONCRETE PLANTERS: Quikrete Products; UMBRELLAS: Tropitone; BIKE RACKS: Creative Pipe; SECURITY BOLLARDS: Cal Pipe
Security Bollards; HYDROFOG CHILDRENS’ PLAYGROUND MISTERS: Hydrofog; LIGHTING: Io Systems; CAMERAS: Axis Communications; TREE ANCHORS: Platipus Tree Anchors; DESIGN SOFTWARE: Autocad, Vectorworks
Roofing, GAF EverGuard TPO 60; OPENINGS: Pella Fiberglass Windows, ROPE Resilient Base, Masonite Front Doors (Frontier Door, El Paso); PLASTER FINISHES: Sto Powerflex Silco (Kenyon
Texas Architect 91
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Continental Cut Stone ................................. 34 254 793 2329 firstname.lastname@example.org www.continentalcutstone.com
Architectural Engineers Collaborative ....... 18 512 472 2111 email@example.com www.aecollab.com Avadek ................................................................ 6 713 944 0988 firstname.lastname@example.org www.avadek.com Blackson Brick ............................................... BC 214 855 5051 email@example.com www.blacksonbrick.com BMC .............................................................. 13, 18 281 569 2579 X525 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.buildwithbmc.com Boothe Concrete ............................................ 95 512 454 1641 email@example.com www.bootheconcrete.com
Dallas Center for Architecture ................... 90 www.formsfollowsfitness.com Deacero .............................................................. 8 800 332 2376 www.deacero.com Detex Corporation ........................................... 11 800 729 3839 firstname.lastname@example.org www.detex.com
Hunt & Joiner ................................................. 93 214 760 7000 email@example.com www.h-jinc.com
Tri-Kes Dallas ................................................. 94 469 385 1995 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tri-kes.com
Jewell Concrete Products (Oldcastle Architectural Products Group) .................. 2, 8 800 792 3216 jim.Paluch@oldcastle.com www.oldcastle.com
Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams ....................................................... 93 972 934 3700 email@example.com www.wjhw.com
L.A. Fuess Partners ....................................... 93 214 871 7010 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lafp.com
York Metal Fabricators ................................. 95 800 255 4703 email@example.com www.yorkmetal.com
Page (formerly PageSoutherlandPage) ...... 25 www.pagethink.com
Fibrebond .................................................. 92, 94 800 824 2614 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fibrebond.com
Petersen Aluminum ........................................ 18 800 722 2523 email@example.com www.pac-clad.com
innovative construction method uses precast concrete buildings to shorten the time from architectural design to project completion.
FIBREBOND | 800.824.2614 | 1300 Davenport Drive | Minden, LA 71055 | www.fibrebond.com
Taggart Cojan Sorensen Photography ...... 92 512 589 1728 www.taggphoto.com
Peacock Pavers .......................................... IFC, 1 800 264 2072 www.peacockpavers.com
Schuler & Shook ............................................ 93 214 747 8300 firstname.lastname@example.org www.schulershook.com
Geolas Publishing (The Draftery) ............... 32 913 645 7271 email@example.com www.thedraftery.com
Dyal and Partners .......................................... 20 512 810 3311 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dyalpartners.com
BUILDING BETTER SCHOOLS
92 Texas Architect
Frost Bank ...................................................... IBC 800 513 7678 www.frostbank.com
Trends of the Trade Marketplace
Transformative Grant for The Contemporary Austin
Marianne Vitale’s “Common Crossings” is on permanent exhibit at The Contemporary Austin Laguna Gloria.
This past September, the Betty and Edward Marcus Foundation awarded The Contemporary Austin a $9 million grant that will be used by the museum to create a sculpture garden on its 12-acre lakeside estate of Laguna Gloria. Approximately $5 million will fund the commissioning and acquisition of sculptures and permanent installations by some of today’s leading artists. Another $2 million will go towards an endowment for maintenance and conservation of the works, and the remainder will fund a series of commissions, exhibitions, and public engagements. was chosen through a selective competition initiated by the trustees of the Marcus Foundation in the interest of awarding its final grant to “the Texas institution that proposes the most innovative, visionary visual arts initiative for the future.” Since its founding in 1994, the foundation has provided more than 125 grants to support the visual arts throughout Texas, with the majority of this funding dedicated to visual arts education. The Contemporary Austin
Chicago Minneapolis Dallas schulershook.com
Visit www.thecontemporaryaustin.org for more information.
Submit to Present at 2014 Texas Architects Convention
WRIGHTSON, JOHNSON, HADDON & WILLIAMS, INC.
COMMON CROSSINGS (DETAIL) COURTESY THE ARTIST AND ZACH FEUER GALLERY. PHOTO BY DAVE MEAD. PHOTO OF CRAIG DYKERS BY HOLLY REED.
P r i n c i Pa l
Craig Dykers of Snøhetta was a keynote speaker for the 74th Annual Convention and Design Expo in Fort Worth.
The Texas Society of Architects 75th Annual Convention and Design Expo will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, November 6–8, focusing on the theme of “Imagine.” Now’s your chance to be part of the biggest design discussion of the Southwest.
a s s o c i at e P r i n c i Pa l
4801 Spring Valley Road Suite 113 Dallas, TX 75244 v: 972.934.3700 f: 972.934.3720 e: email@example.com i: www.wjhw.com
S O U N D S Y S T E M S | AU D I O V I S UA L | V I D E O & S C O R I N G D I S P L AY S | B R O A D C A S T P R O V I S I O N S & V I D E O P R O D U C T I O N | A C O U S T I C S & N O I S E C O N T R O L | T H E AT R E PLANNING | LIGHTING & RIGGING | DISTRIBUTED TV & S AT E L L I T E | VIDEO S U R V E I L L A N C E & A C C E S S C O N T R O L | T E L / D ATA S T R U C T U R E D C A B L I N G
Visit www.texasarchitect.org/convention to submit your proposal. The last day for submissions is Friday, February 14.
Texas Architect 93
Trends of the Trade Form Follows Fitness 5K
Over 1,000 runners participated in the 2013 Form Follow Fitness 5K.
With the original ribbed texture of Tretford, Acousticord creates a contemporary European surface engineered specifically for walls.
800 200 8120
On Saturday, February 22, the Dallas Center for Architecture (DCFA) will host its Third Annual Form Follows Fitness 5K. More than 1,500 runners, walkers, and design enthusiasts will come together for this race through downtown Dallas showcasing some of the city’s most impressive architectural icons. The run will begin at Klyde Warren Park at 9:00 a.m., and other sites along the route will include: Sir Norman Foster’s Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House; I.M. Pei’s Fountain Place and Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Hall; Rem Koolhaas’ Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre; Renzo Piano’s Nasher Sculpture Garden; Philip Johnson’s The Crescent; and Thom Mayne’s Perot Museum of Nature and Science. A 5K walk/ guided tour and 1K run will also be available. All proceeds from the event will benefit DCFA Foundation. DCFA was founded in 2008 and works to increase the public’s understanding of the power of architecture through scholarships, programs, exhibits and tours. Visit www.formfollowsfitness.com for more information and to register.
AIA CES & LA CES Lunch & Learns available!
5734_TRI-KES AcousticordAd_3.5x4.5_Final.indd 1
3/28/13 4:45 PM
www.butterfieldcolor.com 8191 Old Hwy 81 Temple, TX 76501 1-800-282-3388
AIA Fort Worth Homes Tour Set for April Save the date for the 2014 AIA Fort Worth Homes Tour, taking place on April 26-27. This year’s tour will feature homes by Ames Fender, AIA, Bennett Benner Partners, Architects + Planners, Firm 817, John Wesley Jones, Architect, and Norman Ward, AIA. showcases outstanding residential architecture in the Fort Worth area designed by local architects and features a variety of living accommodations and architectural styles. The selected homes were chosen for their architectural excellence and ability to communicate to the public the important role the architect plays in residential design. The AIA Fort Worth Homes Tour helps make possible the variety of programs offered to the public throughout the year at the Center for Architecture in Fort Worth. With over 1,000 in attendance, it already has become one of the chapter’s most important outreach programs. The annual homes tour
Building Better Schools.
Rusty Crawford Director of Business Development firstname.lastname@example.org www.fibrebond.com
103 Natalie’s Point Burnet, TX 78611 Direct 512.826.2903
For more information, visit www.aiafw.org.
94 Texas Architect
Ziegler Cooper Gets the Gold
PHOTO OF RUNNERS COURTESY DALLAS CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE. AIA FORT WORTH HOMES TOUR LOGO COURTESY AIA FORT WORTH. PHOTO OF ZIEGLER COOPER OFFICE BY JUD HAGGARD.
Ziegler Cooper Architects’ new downtown Houston office was designed with sustainability in mind.
This past October, Ziegler Cooper Architects’ new office in the Bank of American Center in downtown Houston became the tower’s first tenant to receive LEED CI v2009 (Commercial Interior Design and Construction) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Throughout the relocation process, Ziegler Cooper sought ways to make its new office a sustainable place to work. The company started by selecting a site located in a densely populated area with close proximity to shops, restaurants, and alternative transportation options for its employees. It then took a multifaceted approach during building and construction to achieve its Gold certification. For example, during construction, indoor air quality was closely monitored and low-emitting materials were used to promote a healthy work environment for the construction team as well as the firm. In addition, more than 90% of all construction waste was diverted from the landfill and able to be recycled, and 95% of appliances installed were Energy Star qualified. The company also emphasized the incorporation of natural daylight. These and many other features resulted in an inspirational space that distinctly reflects Ziegler Cooper’s ongoing commitment to the environment through sustainable design.
Texas Architect 95
Myriad Botanical Gardens by Ben Koush
Downtown Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens received a huge face-lift from The Office of James Burnett in collaboration with David Epstein, AIA, of Gensler’s Austin office. The reinvigorated park’s beautiful pavilions and diversity of gardens are attracting people from all over the city.
n 2010, Project 180 was launched by Oklahoma City to refurbish public areas of downtown. The project’s master plan was designed by The Office of James Burnett, and its name refers to the number of acres to be improved. Its approximately $175 million budget was funded by a variety of sources, chiefly tax increment financing, which was provided in large part by the construction of the new 50-story Devon Energy Tower (2012), a shiny new bauble designed by Pickard Chilton. While much of the money went to new streetscapes, a large chunk — about $40 million — was allocated for Myriad Botanical Gardens, a then derelict, 17-acre park characterized by a tube-like Crystal Bridge and a large, sunken pond originally designed by Conklin & Rossant in the 1960s. Burnett’s office sought to correct as many of the design “mistakes” as possible, while working elements that could not be removed (the Crystal Bridge) and those that were desirable (allées of mature trees), into a new, coherent project. The pond was reduced in size, and its northern, short end was replaced with a 28,000-sf event lawn. The slope down to the pond was eased with the installation of tiered and switchback ramps and bigger and broader stairs. The park was further
divided into several distinct areas, each with its own type of activities. The Office of James Burnett invited Gensler to design several new park pavilions and redesign the entry area to the Crystal Bridge. Gensler’s team, headed by David Epstein, AIA, designed a diaphanous bandstand made of bent steel tubes that anchors one end of the even lawn. Epstein also After developing the master plan,
The redesign represents a prevailing trend, not only in landscape architecture, but in image-crafting for “urban” areas in contemporary cities.
Ben Koush is a Houston-based writer and architect.
96 Texas Architect
PHOTO COURTESY THE OFFICE OF JAMES BURNETT.
designed a circular, open-air pavilion for the southwest quadrant of the park, about which a smaller activity lawn, a water park that mimics the atmospheric effects of a thunderstorm, and a children’s garden pivot. A much larger, glass-enclosed circular pavilion on the park’s eastern edge contains a full-service restaurant and faces a plaza that doubles as a skating rink in the winter. The architectural language is a crisp version of neo-modern with a lot of very precisely fitted-together white-colored cement board, sheet metal, and plaster panels accented by pipe columns. This thoroughly polished project is part of a larger comprehensive and sensible improvement plan that extends throughout Oklahoma City’s downtown — a plan that even goes so far as to reroute a section of interstate freeway away from this core area. Myriad Botanical Gardens’ redesign represents a prevailing trend, not only in landscape architecture, but in image-crafting for “urban” areas in contemporary cities. Nowadays, the idea is not to “create order out of the desperate confusion of our time,” as Mies van der Rohe once said of his work, but rather to create interest out of the desperate monotony of our time — to harness the authentic, gritty “chaos” of older downtown areas, smooth it over a bit, and neatly package it for mass consumption.
This issue on “Ecologies” explores urban design across Texas and focuses on the increasing importance of green infrastructure for our cities...