Houston: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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".
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 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.
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.
Steven Holl Unveils New Images of the Completed Kinder Building, part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston
Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the third gallery building on the MFAH Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus, the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building will open to the public on Saturday, November 21, 2020. Dedicated to the Museum’s international collections of modern and contemporary art, the newest addition will exhibit a wide range of works, ranging from painting and sculpture to craft and design, video, and immersive installations.
The Rothko Chapel in Houston is set to reopen this September. As one of the world’s most celebrated sacred spaces, the chapel recently underwent restoration as part of the first phase of Opening Spaces, a $30-million master plan for its campus. The work is being completed to more closely align the building with the original vision of the Chapel’s founders Mark Rothko and John and Dominique de Menil.
The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art, part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is scheduled to open for the public on November 1st 2020. The intervention was conceived for the “display of the important and rapidly growing MFAH collections of 20th- and 21st-century art”.