Highway interchanges have evolved from important infrastructures that help distribute traffic to unique landmarks that define cities. As multiple road networks embrace and form distinctive sculptures, these road intersections range from singular bridge connections and roundabouts to numerous, layered and multi-layered interchanges. They twist, turn, loop, and wrap around sparse land, vegetation, or existing structures in a bid to transfer travelers from one roadway to another. However, they also create a moment of enclosure, forming partially bounded areas and a sense of space. These spaces could be viewed as liminal and transitional, with no fixed typology able to be hosted. But that blurring character calls for ideas of urban intervention to disrupt the notion of what these spaces can be. They can be readapted from car-dominant sculptures into more human-friendly places and re-integrated as extended schemes of the city's architecture.
Houston: The Latest Architecture and News
2 Courtyard House / Robertson Design
Architects: Robertson Design
- Area: 4200 m²
- Year: 2017
Manufacturers: Miele, Delta Light, Hevi-Lite, RAM Windows, Rieder Group
Sid Richardson Residential College / Barkow Leibinger
Architects: Barkow Leibinger
- Area: 148000 ft²
- Year: 2021
Houston Endowment Headquarters / Kevin Daly Architects + PRODUCTORA
Architects: Kevin Daly Architects, PRODUCTORA
- Area: 31718 ft²
- Year: 2022
Professionals: CMTA, Arup, BGE, Transsolar, Forney Partnership, +4
It’s Time to Be Honest About the Impending Costs of Climate Change
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
The passage of the Biden Administration’s climate change package, the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” has predictably split along partisan lines, with Republicans characterizing the bill as an act of reckless government spending, certain to raise taxes and fuel further inflation. But does this act really represent reckless spending? The legislation authorizes $430 billion in spending, the bulk of which—more than $300 billion—is earmarked for tax credits; other spending, and initiatives aimed at stimulating the clean energy economy; and reducing carbon emissions. (The bill also allows Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies for certain expensive drugs.) The bill is funded in part by a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and an excise tax on companies that repurchase shares of their own stock. Given the scope of the problem, and the escalating future costs of climate inaction, this legislation is an exceedingly modest, but very necessary, first step.
Texas Tower / Pelli Clarke & Partners + Kendall/Heaton Associates
Architects: Kendall/Heaton Associates, Pelli Clarke & Partners
- Area: 1815000 ft²
- Year: 2022
Winners of the 2022 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers Announced
The Architectural League of New York has announced the winners of the 41st cycle of the annual Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers. Open to young architects and designers ten years or less out of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, the award seeks to recognize visionary work by young practitioners and encourage the development of talented young architects and designers.
Greenbriar Residence / CONTENT Architecture
Architects: CONTENT Architecture
- Area: 4129 ft²
- Year: 2018
Manufacturers: Hansgrohe, Neolith, Western Window Systems, Acme Brick, Decolav, +6
Professionals: Fractal Structural Engineering, Welch Builders, Dungan Miller Design, Alisa Dawson Design
8 Stories of Architects Embracing Refurbishment and Adaptive Reuse
Over the past year, established practices have continued to champion the transformation of existing structures, with adaptive reuse and renovations increasingly becoming a defining aspect of contemporary architecture From the renovation of landmark structures to the adaptive reuse of obsolete facilities, the idea of giving new life to existing buildings has been embraced as the premise for a more sustainable practice, but also as a means of reinforcing the urban and cultural identity of cities. Discover 8 designs and recently completed projects that showcase a new common practice of reusing existing building stock.
OMA / Jason Long's Adaptive Reuse of Historic Houston Post Office Opens to the Public
The first phase of the POST Houston redevelopment project is nearing completion, and the finished areas are now open to the public. Through adaptive reuse and precise interventions, Jason Long and OMA New York have transformed the historic Post Office mail sorting warehouse into a new public destination and cultural venue for Houston, featuring a diverse collection of programs meant to evolve and adapt to the needs of the city.
Farshid Moussavi Architecture Reveals Design for Houston Ismaili Centre
Farshid Moussavi Architecture has recently revealed the design for the Ismaili Center in Houston, a project dedicated to cultural exchanges and civic outreach. An ambassadorial building for the largest Ismaili Muslim community in the United States, the new building will host educational, cultural and social events, while also providing a space for contemplation and prayer. The design showcases a contemporary image while reinterpreting traditional Persian elements, thus establishing a dialogue between tradition and modern architecture.
A Virtual Tour of Luis Barragan's Unbuilt House in Houston Texas
In 1984, the Menil Museum in Houston, Texas, commissioned the Mexican architect Luis Barragan to build a 3,000-square feet guest house to be located across the street from the famous Rothko Chapel. The architect came back with a design for a dazzling purple, pink, and orange 8,000-square feet mansion that looked to be more at home in Mexico City than a Houston residential suburban lot. So, due to the ensuing conflict between client and architect, the house would never get built, only displayed as an exhibition within the Menil’s galleries.
OMA / Jason Long Unveils Design for Music Venue in Houston
OMA New York / Jason Long has revealed the design for The Terminal, a new performance venue serving as a cultural anchor for POST Houston, the office's redevelopment of the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office in downtown Houston. Integrated within the eastern wing of the mixed-use design, the 5,000 capacity music venue makes use of industrial materials and lighting effects to create a performative space on and off the stage.
Winners of the 2021 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers Announced
The Architectural League of New York has announced the 6 winners of 2021 Prize for Young Architects + Designers Awards, the North American annual competition that celebrates the works of young architects and designers who have completed their bachelor’s or master’s degree within the last ten years. This year's theme was Housekeeping, which asked participants to explore how the domestic settings have changed over the past couple of years, changing the definition of "ideal residence".
In Transit: Large-Scale Road Infrastructures Seen from Above
We live in a tangled web of flows – of capital, information, technology, images, structures, in constant momentum dominating all aspects of our lives. The large-scale road infrastructures shown here are products of this powerful desire for movement, which for many years was also synonymous with development, as portrayed by the famous Goethean character Faust in his endless quest for a (false) sense of progress.
From these tangles of concrete and steel, at multiple levels and in different directions, emerges a geometrically organized chaos that tears the urban fabrics in a relentless effort to prioritize the flows with the fewest obstacles and the highest capacity possible.
The Chase Residence: The History Behind One of Texas' Most Radical Houses
The following text is excerpted from John S. Chase — The Chase Residence (Tower Books, 2020) by architect and University of Texas professor David Heymann and historian and Rice University lecturer Stephen Fox. Richly illustrated with archival materials and new drawings, the book is the first devoted to Chase, who was the first Black licensed architect in Texas. The study is divided into two parts, with Heymann examining the personal, social, and architectural significance of Chase’s own Houston house and Fox describing Chase’s architectural career.
This excerpt draws on Heymann’s analysis and highlights the first incarnation of the Chase Residence (Chase substantially altered its architecture in 1968). It places great emphasis on the house’s remarkable courtyard, a modernist innovation, and a singular statement about domestic living at the time. New section, elevation, and perspective drawings prepared for the book help illustrate the ingenuity of the house’s configuration. Finally, the excerpt was selected in part to honor Drucie (Rucker) Chase, who passed away in January of 2021.
Nancy and Rich Kinder Museum / Steven Holl Architects
Architects: Steven Holl Architects
- Area: 237213 ft²
- Year: 2020
Manufacturers: Terrazzo & Marble
Houston's First Botanic Garden Opens as a Museum of Plants
Dutch landscape architecture and design firm West 8 has unveiled the first phase of Houston's first ever Botanic Garden in Texas. Designed to be a "museum of plants", the project features evolving collections to inform scientists, tourists and horticulturalists alike. Conceived over twenty years ago by locals, the project has been developed on an island in the city’s expansive Bayou system.