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TEDx: How to Build a Better Block / Jason Roberts

In this TEDx Talk, Jason Roberts – known as the “The Bike Guy” in his Oak Cliff community outside of Dallas, Texas – gives his audience a how-to guide in improving a community one block at a time as part of a project called “The Better Block“.  The project did not start off as an organization with vast goals and strong following; instead it started off with Roberts’ interest and desire to develop his community into one that had a legacy apart from the highways and overpasses that dominate the landscape.  Inspired by the rich history and existing street life of European cities with their historic buildings and monuments, plazas, and vistas; Roberts started small and eventually built a foundation and organization that is now nationally recognized and used as a tool to develop cities across the country.

Read on for more after the break.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas / H3 Hardy C​ollaboration Architecture

© Chris Cooper
© Chris Cooper

Architect: H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture Location: Texas, USA Completion: 2011 Size: 70,000 square feet Cost: $25,000,000 Client: Botanical Research Institute of Texas Photographer: Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper © Chris Cooper Botanical Research Institute of Texas / H3 Hardy C​ollaboration Architecture © Chris Cooper

TEX-FAB 3.0 Conference

Taking place at the University of Texas San Antonio College of Architecture April 13-15, the TEX-FAB 3.0 Conference will include a series of workshops as part of the international digital fabrication competition. Conducted by leading practitioners in the field of digital fabrication, the workshop is comprised on four distinct sequences that begin with basic skill building and progress until a broad understanding of the topics presented is achieved. For more information, please visit here.

Thousands celebrate Santiago Calatrava's new Dallas Bridge

© Marco Becerra
© Marco Becerra

Thousands gathered Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of Santiago Calatrava‘s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that connects east and west Dallas seamlessly over the Trinity River. A parade of builders, including everyone from those to poured the concrete to Calatrava himself, were the first to march across the new Dallas icon, followed by nearly 16,000 other people. Although the bridge is still not quite ready for vehicular traffic, the city celebrated its commencement with an impressive display of fireworks. Continue reading for more.

SOL: The Net-Zero Community in Austin, Texas / KRDB

Courtesy of KRDB
Courtesy of KRDB

SOL Austin - Solutions Oriented Living – is a model development of a sustainable community that integrates social, economic and ecological components to create a “holistic community”.  The project was a result of a partnership between KRDB ArchitectsBeck-Reit contractors, the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC) and the Austin Housing Finance Corporation.  The medium density, single-family in-fill project in central east Austin, just three miles from downtown incorporates a significant portion of low-income and affordable housing, sustainable practices and consideration for the kind of future that developments like this can create. Read on for photos, plans and more information about this project, considered for the AIA 2011 Design Awards in Urban Design.

Courtesy of KRDB Courtesy of KRDB Courtesy of KRDB Courtesy of KRDB

Romanesque "Cistern" Re-Discovered Under Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston

Courtesy of SWA Group
Courtesy of SWA Group

Cities are ever-evolving and ever-transforming, constantly being regenerated – demolished and salvaged to start anew.  Houston, Texas’s first reservoir, built in 1927 near Buffalo Bayou Park, is no exception.  This is another one of those exceptional neglected spaces within a developed city that holds the potential to be transformed into “landscape infrastructure”, as referred to by Kevin Shanley, CEO of  SWA Group, the Landscape Architecture firm working on the park’s current 2.3-mile upgrade from Shepherd-to-Sabine, an extension to the Sabine-to-Bagby stretch. The story of the relationship between the re-discovered reservoir and Buffalo Bayou Park’s development is very exciting and promising.  Lisa Gray of Chron writes about the state of the reservoir today and the possibilities for its future. Continue reading for more.

Courtesy of SWA Group Courtesy of SWA Group Courtesy of SWA Group Courtesy of SWA Group

Houston’s historic Prudential Building destroyed Sunday

Sunday implosions marked the end of the Houston historic landmark. Originally opened in 1952 by the Prudential Insurance Co., the building represented a new era of national and international dominance for the city of Houston. Serving as the southwest regional office for the insurance company until the 1970s, the 20-story building was the tallest high-rise office building outside of downtown Houston.

Continue reading for more information on the historic Prudential building.

Apogee Stadium Awarded LEED Platinum Certification / HKS Architects

The United States Green Building Council has awarded the University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium, designed by HKS Architects and built by Manhattan Construction Company, a LEED Platinum Certification, making it the first newly constructed collegiate football stadium in the nation to achieve the highest level of LEED certification.

The 31,000-seat Apogee Stadium features luxury suites, an amenity-filled club level, a Spirit Store, a corporate deck and a unique end-zone seating area. In addition to hosting UNT events, it will serve the entire North Texas region as a venue for outdoor concerts, community events, high school games and band competitions. More project information after the break.

Habitat For Humanity Adopts Student House Design

Courtesy of Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon
Courtesy of Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon

Vert House, a low-cost sustainable house design, has been approved and adopted by Houston Habitat for Humanity. Designed by Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon, graduate architecture students at Rice University, the 1,300 square-foot, 3-bedroom house will be constructed by Rice students and alumni in Spring 2012 as the Rice Centennial House, a student initiative in honor of of the university’s centennial celebrations. The design will also be added to Houston Habitat’s portfolio of home designs for additional builds in the future. More information on the project after the break.

Canyon Lakes / Haecceitas Studio

The concept of territorial architecture is a topic that questions various strategic understandings of complex site systems defined by conceptual ideologies, environmental implications, and identification of emerging phenomenal underlying patterns. Borrowing influences from Zaha Hadid’s dramatic early paintings, the constructed landscapes of CJ Lim, and the writings by Sanford Kwinter, these investigations by Haecceitas Studio attempt to construct a series of methods, which will reveal the haecceity of multivalent landscapes. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Rice School of Architecture 2011 Fall Lecture Series

Rice University’s School of Architecture shared with us their current lecture series that started on September 1st and runs until November 17th. Each year, the Rice School of Architecture pulls big names in the architecture world to its lecture series. This year’s main topic is JUDGEMENT in Architecture, with Neil Denari and Ben van Berkel on the list to speak among others. More information on the series after the break.

Urban Reserve 22 / Vincent Snyder Architects

© Chuck Smith Photography
© Chuck Smith Photography

Architects: Vincent Snyder Architects Location: Dallas, Texas, USA Project Team: Vincent Snyder, Jon Geib Structural Engineer: Lobsinger & Potts Structural Engineer Inc. Contractor: Urban Edge Developers Project Year: 2007 Project Area: 3900 sqf Photographs: Chuck Smith Photography

© Chuck Smith Photography © Chuck Smith Photography © Chuck Smith Photography © Chuck Smith Photography

Texas Society of Architects' 25-Year Award Presented to I. M. Pei & Partners' Fountain Place

© Andreas Praefcke / Wikimedia Commons
© Andreas Praefcke / Wikimedia Commons

Each year the Texas Society of Architects recognizes a building that was completed 25-50 years ago which they believe has “stood the test of time by retaining its central form, character, and overall architectural integrity”.  This year, the prestigious honor is awarded to Fountain Place, designed by Henry Cobb of I. M. Pei & Partners and completed back in 1986 in Dallas, Texas.

Arthouse at the Jones Center / LTL Architects

© Michael Moran Studio
© Michael Moran Studio

Located in the heart of downtown Austin, this project is a renovation and expansion of an existing contemporary art space. LTL was commissioned to design 21,000 sqf of new program within the building envelope, including an entry lounge, a video/projects room, a large open gallery, multipurpose room, two artists’ studios, additional art preparation areas, and an roof deck.

© Michael Moran Studio © Michael Moran Studio © Michael Moran Studio © Michael Moran Studio

Architect: Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis Architects (LTL Architects) Location: Austin, Texas, USA Project Area: 21,000 sqf Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Michael Moran

FibroCITY / Perkins+Will

Courtesy of Perkins+Will
Courtesy of Perkins+Will

FibroCITY is a proposal by Perkins+Will that operates as a restorative catalyst for communities that have been segregated by 20th century superhighways and the environment built around the car. FibroCITY is a template that restores urban voids with places for people, activities, and interactions, set in Houston, Texas, USA. More on this project after the break.

AIA Lecture Series: Frank Harmon

Architecture City Guide: Austin

Courtesy of flickr's common creative license / Chris Yasick
Courtesy of flickr's common creative license / Chris Yasick

'Minimal Complexity' at the TEX-FAB 2.0 and REPEAT Exhibition

Courtesy of Vlad Tenu
Courtesy of Vlad Tenu

Hosted at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston, Vlad Tenu’s winning entry to REPEAT: digital fabrication competition, Minimal Complexity, was the highlight of the lively TEX-FAB 2.0 and REPEAT exhibition. The event included a distinguished group of speakers from the academic, professional and fabrication communities that took place from February 10th to the 13th. More images and exhibition highlights after the break.