Michael Van Valkenburg Associates (MVVA) and Thomas Phifer & Partners have been announced as winners of an international competition set to transform 15 blocks of the neglected Waller Creek in downtown Austin, Texas, into a vibrant local attraction. Co-sponsored by the nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy and the City of Austin, the ambitious project intends to spearhead redevelopment within the city’s central business district with the 1.5 mile urban scheme that represents approximately 11 percent of Austin’s downtown.
“Today, we glimpse a transformation of Austin through a new community gathering place. This design team selection illustrates our City’s desire for great civic space, unique culture and opportunity for interaction with nature,” Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole said during the City Hall announcement. “We look forward to each new milestone of this development.”
Here is our interview with Kevin Alter, founder of Austin-based firm Alter Studio architects. Not only is the Harvard graduate an internationally recognized architect, but he has also been a visiting critic, reviewer, lecturer and visiting professor for a number of institutions worldwide.
The highly anticipated “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace, designed by American artist James Turrell, will open to the public today with a sunset light show. The abstract pyramidal structure complements the natural light present at sunrise and sunset, creating a mesmerizing light show that connects the beauty of the natural world with the surrounding campus. This experience is enhanced by an LED light performance that projects onto the 72-by-72-foot thin white roof, which offers views to the sky through a 14-by-14-foot opening. Additionally, the Turrell Skyspace is acoustically engineered for musical performances and serves as a laboratory for music school students, as it stands adjacent to the Shepher School of Music on the Rice University campus in Houston, Texas.
David Leebron, Rice University President: “The campus has to play its role in inspiring our students.”
Continue after the break to watch a sneak preview of the Turrell Skyspace light show.
Yasuaki Onishi, who is known for his art throughout Japan and internationally, currently has an installation on exhibit in the Rice Gallery in Houston titled, ‘Reverse of Volume RG’. On display until June 24, he uses plastic sheeting and black hot glue to create a monumental, mountainous form that appears to float in space. In using these simple materials, he is able to successfully meditate on the nature of the negative space, or void, left behind. More images and project description after the break.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architects PA in Raleigh, will be the featured speaker for the AIA Lecture Series in San Antonio, Texas, on March 30, beginning 6 p.m. in the historic Pearl Studio conference center on Grayson Street.
Houston is our focus this week for our Architecture City Guide series. We know Houston is packed with lots of great architecture so we are expecting to hear about your can’t miss buildings in the comment section below. Remember this list is intended to be added to by you, our readers. We will be updating our Architecture City Guides in the future to reflect your suggested buildings to visit.
Follow the break for our Houston list and corresponding map!