TEX-FAB extends its reach to Austin, this year adding the University of Texas School of Architecture as a member organization. In doing so, the UT SOA is supporting the largest and most complete event to date with Michel Rojkind as our Keynote lecture with 6 speakers and 4 moderators. Moderators will delve into techniques to highlight the differences between working methods, while within the workshops, session leaders will further develop those topics as functional methods for the production of design solutions.
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It’s been two year’s since the construction of the 42-story Museum Tower in Dallas. As many of you may recall, the luxury condo has been in dispute with the neighboring Nasher Sculpture Center over an intense “hot spot” caused by the tower’s highly reflective skin. Although Nasher has demanded that the Museum Tower cover its southwestern facade with an external louver system, thus blocking the glare from penetrating Nasher’s Renzo Piano-designed cast aluminum sunscreen, the developers have refused to oblige due to a fear of jeopardizing the project's profitability.
Negotiations have turned to squabbles and proposals have fallen on deaf ears. However, a team lead by REX and Front has been commissioned by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund (DPFPF) - the Museum Tower’s developer - to explore a "third option," one that would not require changing the construction of either Museum Tower or the Nasher.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) Chosen as Landscape Architect for Menil Collection Master Plan
In another pleasing step forward in its ultimate execution of David Chipperfield‘s master plan for the museum campus, the Menil Collection has hired Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates to design a new landscape for the 30-acre neighborhood that connects more than a half-dozen museum buildings.
When Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, gives a bad review there is the sense that he is essentially dismantling a building, chipping its façade apart, like breaking down some charade in defense of the public’s honor. Like a hired killer he disappears the architecture, but at the same time heightens its visibility in the culture.
This ability, to provoke in such ways, is precisely why Thom Mayne would like to bar Mr. Hawthorne from taking a crack at reviewing the new building he and his firm, Morphosis designed for the firm’s new offices.
On a recent tour of the new digs, Mayne, as reported in The Architect’s Newspaper, was overheard saying, “There are no good writers in Los Angeles” and “All local writers are horrible.” To add further insult, he wants a science writer to cover it. That should be a short review.
Despite the romantic notion about cities that develop organically have a rich diversity of form and function, we cannot overlook the deadly side effects of negligent city planning. As Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star points out, last month's tragic fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas is a grim reminder that planning has a time and place and its ultimate utility resides in the initiative to protect residents and make for healthier communities. The tangle of bureaucracy associated with planning, zoning and land use regulations can give any architect or developer a massive headache. In some cases, the laws are so restricting that diverging from bulk regulations becomes very limiting.
Aiming to build awareness of urban design solutions capable of shaping Dallas forward, The Connected City Design Challenge is asking participants to develop a more refined and specific strategy for connecting the downtown and river, and assist in securing future public and private investment. By empowering both designers and citizens, The Challenge will work to realize integrated solutions that improve the livability and viability of our city. In order to secure the most capable design talent and facilitate a variety of solutions, this will be structured as a competitive process consisting of two idea streams: a professional stream and an open stream. Requests for qualifications are due May 9 for the professional stream and for the open stream, the deadline for submissions is October 3. For more information, please visit here.
On March 26th, architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects will discuss how housing can evolve in multiple ways to address contemporary challenges in "Moving House," delivered as the Rice Design Alliance's 2013 Sally Walsh Lecture at the The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Dedicated to "honoring Walsh’s groundbreaking foray into modern design by bringing cutting edge designers to Houston," the lecture is sponsored in collaboration with the Rice School of Architecture, the AIA Houston Chapter, and the Architecture Center Houston Foundation.
The Applied: Research Through Fabrication exhibition which took place the first weekend in March highlighted the winning proposal of their competition, titled 'Cast Thicket', designed b yo_cy’s Ken Tracy and Christine Yogiaman. The project was exhibited at the two-day event led by internationally recognized instructors within the field of parametric modeling provided a robust opportunity for participants to be exposed to the highest level of concentrated learning possible. More images and information on the event after the break.
LocationDallas, United States
Architect in ChargeDan Shipley
BuilderRick Fontenot of Constructive General Contractors
ClientRick & Julie Fontenot
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.”
Architect: Taniguchi and Associates Location: Houston, Texas, United States Architect of Record: Kendall/Heaton Associates Project Manager: Project Control Contractor: W. S. Bellows Construction Corp. Consultants: GBA Architecture, Ingenium Inc., CHPA Consulting Engineers, Walter P. Moore, Office of James Burnett, Fisher Marantz Stone, Minor Design Group, Theater Projects Consultants, Inc., Waterscape Consultants, Inc., Shen Milsom Wilke, CDC Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Persohn/Hahn Associates, Ulrich Engineers, Inc. Project Area: 3,716 sqm Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Hester & Hardaway
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.
Read on for more after the break.
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
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.