Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tour the Mission City During Convention

J. Brantley Hightower, AIA, recently purchased one of those cool new digital cameras that also shoots video. Wanting to explore this functionality, he agreed to put together a video illustrating some of the more interesting projects in San Antonio that attendees to this year's convention might want to see for themselves. At least until he's ready to move to Hollywood, Brantley works at Lake|Flato Architects.

Map out your experience of the host city for TSA's 71st Annual Convention and Design Products and Ideas Expo.

View TSA San Antonio Tour in a larger map

The San Antonio Missions
The Alamo (1744)
Mission Concepcion (1755)
Mission San Jose (1754)
MissionSan Juan (1755)
Mission Espada (1756)

The Riverwalk
concept by Robert H. H. Hugman (since 1929)

Bexar County Courthouse
Gordon & Laub (1896)

Tower of the Americas
Ford, Powell & Carson (1968)

San Antonio Central Library
Ricardo Legorreta with Johnson-Dempsey & Associates and Sprinkle Robey (1995)

Pearl Brewery
adaptive reuse by Durand-Hollis Rupe; Ford, Powell & Carson; Lake|Flato Architects (since 2005)
Center for Architecture by Marmon Mok

San Antonio Museum of Art
adaptive reuse by Cambridge Seven with Martin & Ortega and Chumney, Jones & Kell (since 1981)
additions by Overland Partners

Brackenridge Park
Japanese Tea Gardens (1917)

Lucile Halsell Conservatory
Emilio Ambasz (1988)

Trinity University
master plan by O'Neil Ford and Bartlett Cocke with William Wurster (since 1952)

McNay Art Museum
original mansion by Ayres and Ayres (1929)
Stieren Center by Jean-Paul Viguier with Ford, Powell & Carson (2008)

The AIA San Antonio guidebook, Traditions and Visions, mentioned in the video can be purchased on

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tools? The Purpose of Social Media

Image courtesy of Wired Magazine.

by Jamie Crawley, AIA, LEED AP
Hamilton & Associates
TSA New Media Committee

How many times have you heard (or told) the following story? 
“…I remember when you could only take the licensing exam once a year…and it certainly wasn’t given on a computer. You had to really draw!”

Well, times and technology continue to evolve (and I’ll admit I still like hearing the story), but today architects are venturing into another new digital realm: social media. Many view this landscape of internet marketing, social networks, tweets, and meet-up groups as a matrix - unfamiliar, unfocused, and without purpose. The intention of the  “Purpose of Social Media for Architects” seminar at the upcoming Texas Society of Architects Convention is to dispel some of the myths, illustrate tools for navigating Web 2.0, and provide techniques for engagement with a broader network of peers, clients, and allied professionals. Discussions with a panel of four architects (@falloutstudio/@abadi_access / @bobborson / @hpdarchitecture ) will attempt to dismantle the myths, generate dialogue, and ultimately empower attendees to utilize social media to achieve real-world business objectives. The revolution has already started, and it's only 140 characters in length!

Whether its Twitter, Facebook, blogs, meet-up groups, rss feeds, discussion forums, Flickr albums, or the trending application of the moment, these are all just tools--tools architects need to know and utilize in their modern practice. I still draw every day in a sketchbook that I carry alongside my iphone, and I feel just as comfortable working on an Apple or pc-based CAD system – all tools, all part of an evolving practice.

Peers have asked “Why is this topic so important?” There are several things to consider, but I will highlight two core concepts: relevance and dialogue. One of our panelists indicated to me that the reason they became immersed in the social media learning curve was out of fear of becoming irrelevant and not being able to communicate in an evolving digital practice. Sound familiar? No more drawing on the boards, now we look over someone’s shoulder at colored lines on a monitor and later at a building information model on a handheld device at a job site… We are in an eternally optimistic profession that revels in sharing our theories and work, often in dialogue with ourselves. But, the advent and proliferation of social networks allows us to engage a broader dialogue, filtering the stream of irrelevant information and building networks of actual people with thoughts, feelings, and ideas -- about us, our companies, and the world around us. Interested?

There is a new LinkedIn group called Social Media for Architects that will act as an online threaded dialogue, populated by the panelists as well as many others interested and immersed in this new social web. Additionally, the hash tag #TSAConv on Twitter will provide a live, filtered dialogue about things going on at the TSA Convention. Seeing is believing, and I welcome your input in advance of the seminar (Comment here on the TSA blog or via the LinkedIn group). I encourage your attendance. See you in San Antonio!

I promise the panelists are pretty lively, just saying.

***Jamie Crawley, AIA, LEED AP is the Director of Architecture for Hamilton & Associates and is a member of the TSA New Media Committee. On twitter: @falloutstudio and @ha_architecture ***

Texas Architect Contributor: Filo Castore, AIA

Filo Castore, AIA is an architect who practices ecological common sense. He has lived in Houston since 1995, but wrote the article on the GSA Regional Field Office from his homeland of Italy while visiting family with his wife and daughter. See his article on page 72.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Congressman Doggett Tours TSA Office, Receives AIA Support

U. S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX-25) is the TSA office’s most recent “official visitor,” having toured and met the staff on Mon., Sept. 27, when he came by to receive public acknowledgement of his support of AIA positions, as well as the national PAC’s financial support. The congressman was lauded for his 100% voting record on 2009 AIA issues, including the “21st Century High Performing School Facilities Act” and “Small Business Financing & Investment Act of 2009.” 

Congressman Doggett has a long history of supporting AIA and TSA positions, especially in areas of historic preservation, small business tax policy, qualification-based selection of design professionals (QBS), and high-quality design for more energy efficient public buildings. Doggett’s history of professional support dates back to his service in the Texas Senate (1973-85) and continues through his service in Congress, which began in 1994.

Doggett serves on the House Budget and Ways & Means committees. Shown with Congressman Doggett (2nd from left) are: (l to r) Interim TSA Executive Vice President Tommy Cowan, FAIA; AIA Austin Executive Director Sally Fly, Hon. AIA; and John Nyfeler, FAIA, representing ArchiPAC, the AIA’s political action committee. Also involved in the meeting were TSA staff members Yvonne Castillo (General Counsel) and David Lancaster, Hon. AIA (Sr. Director for Advocacy).

Texas Architects' Lobby Day

While the 2011 Legislative Session begins on Jan. 11, 2011, TSA preparations are well underway for our FIRST EVER Lobby Day –“Advocates for Architecture Day”! It may seem too soon to register, but it’s not. If we reach our goal of getting 150 architects in the Texas Capitol at one time, we’ve got a lot of planning and coordinating to do, so please don’t delay and register now. Mandatory Advocacy Training will commence on Jan. 25, 2011, from 9:00 am to noon, with legislative visits throughout the day. A cocktail reception with 150 of your colleagues will occur at our new digs in East Austin (500 Chicon) the evening before at 6 p.m. on Jan. 24. TSA will schedule the appointments with your Representative and Senator, unless you prefer to schedule it yourself.  Custom-designed t-shirts are available for $30. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Celebration of David Dillon's Life and Work

by Stephen Sharpe, Hon. TSA

On Sunday, Sept. 26, about 200 friends gathered at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas to commemorate the life and work of the late David Dillon. They came together to share their remembrances of David with each other and with his family. The former architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News died suddenly of heart failure on June 3 at his home in Amherst, Mass.

Born in 1941 in Fitchburg, Mass., David came to Dallas in 1969 as an assistant professor of English at SMU, but found his life's calling several years later when he turned his attention to architecture criticism. He first wrote for D Magazine before being hired by the Morning News. In his more than 25 years on the newspaper's staff, David earned the respect and affection of many architects in Dallas and far beyond.

Welcomed by Dillon's long-time friend Max Levy, FAIA, the attendees at the Nasher heard remembrances and eulogies from 11 speakers. On the front row were Sally Dillon, David's wife of 39 years, and their two children, Christopher and Catherine.

Recollections ranged the gamut of David's life, from his passionate following of professional hockey and baseball (particularly his beloved Bruins and Red Sox) to his stealth mentoring of a younger generation of journalists. Throughout the afternoon's reminiscences, the audience learned about David's enthusiasm for enduring friendships, his connoisseurship of fine food and wines, as well as his keen interest in explaining the importance of good architecture and urban design. Far from being overly sentimental, the event was a true celebration that mixed humorous anecdotes and stories that revealed David's sincerity and his disdain for anything false.

The speakers at the Celebration of Life included friends from the Dallas architectural community (Rand Elliott, FAIA; John Mullen, FAIA; Kevin Sloan, ASLA; and Frank Welch, FAIA) and colleagues from the Morning News (fellow arts critic Scott Cantrell; the newspaper's top editor, Bob Mung; entertainment columnist Michael Granberry; and Chris Vognar, another entertainment columnist). Other speakers were Steve Daniels, a colleague from David's days at SMU's English Department, and Allen Mondell, a fellow runner who frequently joined David on jogs through local parks.

I was particularly impressed by the eloquence of Jed Morse, the curator of the Nasher, who spoke without notes about David's being the "go to" guy whenever a program about architecture was being planned at the museum, and who elicited laughter with his comment about his relief to learn that the Nasher was one of the newer buildings in Dallas that David actually admired. Most memorable was the picture Morse sketched in words of David and Ray Nasher standing in the museum's garden and looking back at the building framed by the Dallas skyline.

Max Levy ended the program by reading an e-mail from Blair Kamin, the architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune, who expressed his sentiments about the loss of an honest voice who helped the public understand and appreciate their communities.

In honor of his architectural legacy, the Dallas Architecture Forum and AIA Dallas have established the David Dillon Memorial Scholarship. The initial scholarship will be given to an outstanding architecture graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington. Additional donations are being accepted to permanently endow the scholarship and expand it to a national level. For more information, contact Nate Eudaly at the Dallas Architectural Forum at 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Suite 100, Dallas, Texas, 75201.

These photos of the memorial service were taken by Mark Gunderson, AIA.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two Years Later, work on Governor's Mansion to Begin

By Mike Ward
Austin American-Statesman 
Sept. 24, 2010

More than two years after an arsonist torched the storied Texas Governor's Mansion, work to restore the exterior finally is about to begin. And thanks to the use of federal hurricane money to pay for about half of the $22 million project, the high-profile preservation work will not face the same magnitude of budget cuts that other agencies do as state leaders grapple with budget problems caused by the economic downturn. Because of that, the mansion repair budget was cut by about $450,000 — by eliminating two new guardhouses from the grounds. State Preservation Board officials confirmed new details about the project in announcing that the first restoration work on the 154-year-old structure — masonry repairs to chimneys and the thick, brick exterior walls, and a new roof — will begin in early October.
"We are under way," said an elated John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board, which is overseeing the restoration. The work has been repeatedly delayed by permitting, design and logistical issues — including a public controversy over the size and design of an addition, and whether one was even necessary.
The projected completion date is now February 2012, months later than originally forecast, Sneed said. After the fire, officials estimated that the project would take 24 to 30 months. Once a new roof is completed, extensive shoring installed inside the house after the blaze can be removed and the interior restoration can begin, officials said.

Click here to continue reading the article.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Texas Architectural Foundation Bike Ride

There's still time to sign up to join fellow architects and friends of architecture for the 8th Annual Texas Architectural Foundation (TAF) Tour des Monuments bike ride in San Antonio, Oct. 17, 2010. The tour begins at the Alamo and participants can choose from three routes of 13, 25, or 45 miles. Highlights include the missions, the Riverwalk expansion, new Pearl Brewery additions, and more. Custom-designed jerseys are available for $60. Register online or download a registration form to mail or fax to TAF. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 TSA Citation of Honor

TSA has awarded a 2010 Citation of Honor
to the following organizations and people: 1) Louise Hopkins Underwood, 2) the City of Fort Worth, and 3) Lawrence V. Lof. Award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony in San Antonio during the TSA Convention, Oct. 14-16, 2010.

Louise Hopkins Underwood has spent a lifetime promoting the arts and architecture, which culminated in the creation of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts a decade ago. The center, located in downtown Lubock, was created to give local artists a place to express themselves and to allow community interaction. It has evolved into a campus that serves as a showcase for architects, artists, and landscape architects. Each project or opportunity that arises at the center is met with a collaborative effort meant to promote creative thinking in regard to the built environment.

The City of Fort Worth established the Fort Worth Public Art program in 2001 with four overall goals: 1) to create an enhanced visual environment, 2) to commemorate the city's rich cultural and ethnic diversity, 3) to integrate the design work of artists into the city's capital infrastructure improvements, and 4) to promote tourism and economic vitality in the city through the artistic design of public spaces. Through legislature, starting in 2001, the city has set aside 2% of all city Capital Improvements Program projects, including infrastructure projects, for public art. To date, over $18 million has been allocated towards public art.

Lawrence V. Lof is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and also serves as the director of the Historic Rehabilitation Program. He is being recognized with a TSA Citation of Honor for his achievements in preserving and restoring historic architecture in Brownsville, along with establishing preservation and restoration construction training as part of the university's curriculum.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Texas Architect Contributor: Sean Burkholder

Sean Burkholder is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Penn State University. He holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Miami University and a master’s of landscape architecture from Harvard. Burkholder is easily distracted by shiny objects and spends more time than he should postulating the possibilities of vacant urban land. He writes about Overlook Pavilion on page 56 of the Sept/Oct Design Awards edition of Texas Architect.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Custom Residential Architect's Network Symposium: Oct. 1-4, Austin

2010 CRAN Symposium: Looking Back to Move Forward

Oct. 1-4, 2010
Hilton Hotel Downtown
Austin, Texas

The third annual Custom Residential Architect’s Network (CRAN) symposium, “Looking Back to Move Forward,” takes place Oct. 1-4 in Austin. Among the events scheduled for this residential architects' network are a keynote address by Claire Conroy, editorial director for Hanley Wood’s Residential Architect and Custom Home magazines, and the AIA Austin Homes Tour. Click here for more information.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 TSA Associate Special Merit Award: "Exploring Architecture" Program

Brandon Allen, Assoc. AIA, Mark Trance, Assoc. AIA, Grant Libby, Assoc. AIA, Amelia Potee, Assoc. AIA, and Alberto Zamora

"Sometimes architectural DNA can show itself in such a way that you just have to stop and watch it unfold. In this case, it is a group of architectural interns who have developed the Exploring Architecture program in Fort Worth. From curriculum to mentorship, these associates have developed a program that engages and challenges high school students who have an interest in the architectural profession," states AIA Fort Worth President Paul M. Dennehy, AIA.

The Texas Society of Architects|AIA has awarded the 2010 Associate Special Merit Award to the "Exploring Architecture" program developed by the AIA Fort Worth Associates Forum. The award will be presented during the TSA Convention in San Antonio, Oct. 14-16, 2010.
Exploring Architecture is a mentorship program started by AIA Associate members to provide high school junior and senior students interested in architecture the opportunity to experience the profession through a dynamic, open, and informal environment supported by the people in the community.
Students are required to submit an application, an essay, and a recommendation letter. Volunteers then meet and deliberate on who will qualify for the program.
The program consists of eight weekly engagements, each highlighting the different disciplines that evolve around architecture. With the support of the AIA and local professionals, the Exploring Architecture program began in the fall of 2009.

AIA Fort Worth Announces Jury for Excellence in Design Awards

The jury for AIA Fort Worth's Excellence in Design Awards is scheduled to meet Oct. 5, 2010, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The deadline for entries in the design awards program is Wed., Sept. 22.

Awarded projects will be announced in the museum's Main Lecture Hall on Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. Following the announcement, lead juror Will Bruder, AIA, will be the keynote speaker for the “Tuesday Evenings at the Modern” lecture series.

This year’s design awards jury is comprised of Will Bruder, AIA, of Bruder+Partners in Phoenix, Ariz.; Victor “Trey” Trahan, FAIA, of Trahan Architects in Baton Rouge, La.; and Louise Harpman, Assoc. AIA, of Specht Harpman with studios in Austin and New York.

Since 1983, the annual Excellence in Design Awards program seeks to recognize design excellence by its members and to promote public interest in architectural excellence, helping to foster an understanding of its impact on the built environment. Visiting jurors select local projects from built and unbuilt categories for Honor and Merit Award distinctions.

For 40 years, Will Bruder, AIA, has explored inventive and contextually exciting architectural solutions in response to site opportunities and user needs. Will is a craftsman in his concern for detail and building processes, and a sculptor in his unique blending of space, materials, and light. His studio invents form specific to function and client aspiration. Through creative use of materials and light, the work is known for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Victor F. "Trey" Trahan, III, FAIA, has been recognized and published both nationally and internationally for innovative design and creative use of materials. An accomplished designer, he is a 2010 recipient of the P/A Award, the 2005 Architecture Review Emerging Architecture Award, and one of thirteen architects selected internationally to design a house for the New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward as part of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation project.

Louise Harpman, Assoc. AIA, is a partner at Specht Harpman, an architecture and design firm with offices in New York and Austin. Specht Harpman was recently named one of Wallpaper* magazine's "top 50 up and coming firms from around the world.” Specht and Harpman have been selected by the Architectural League of New York for the "Emerging Voices" awards program, were named "Tastemakers" by House and Garden magazine, and are listed one of New York City's "Top 100" architects by New York Magazine.

For more information about the Oct. 5 event, click here.
For an Excellence in Design Awards entry form, click here.

The New Urban Neighborhood: Brownfield?

Sept. 16, 2010
By Nancy Warren

A house in the country will always have its appeal.

But lately more homebuyers are preferring the city - for reasons ranging from the sheer excitement of the surroundings, to the rescue of impoverished areas and the preservation of shrinking green space.

One prime area of urban housing growth is the type of site known as "brownfields." These are often-abandoned commercial and industrial spaces that have outlived their original uses.

With the right environmental cleanup, though, they can be converted to housing - even entire neighborhoods.

Older suburban homes and large new developments have lost none of their popularity, but for the right buyer the urban option is one worth exploring.

Clearly, urban living is not for everyone - it usually attracts single professionals and couples without children. But the lifestyle has aspects that would appeal to anyone.

Two major attractions are cutting down on a long daily commute to city employment and taking advantage of the area's cultural scene.

Convenience like this coincides with the environmental interests of both city and suburban officials - having a population within a few public transit stops or even in walking distance of work and recreation reduces automotive pollution and traffic hazards.

And placing new housing in established urban buildings can slow suburban sprawl, with one study showing that, given factors such as pre-existing architecture and infrastructure, every hectare (about 2.5 acres) of brownfields that is redeveloped spares 4.5 hectares of green space.

Click here to read more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Executive Director for AIA Houston

AIA Houston and the Architecture Center Houston Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of James R. (Rusty) Bienvenue as their new Executive Director. Rusty is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received a JD degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He was a contract attorney at Vinson & Elkins in Houston until he moved to the Houston Bar Association, where he became Director of Committees, Events, and Programs. He is currently Executive Director of the Houston Lawyers Referral Service until he begins his tenure at AIA Houston on Oct. 4, 2010. 

James R. (Rusty) Bienvenue
In addition to a particular interest in architecture, Rusty has over ten years of experience as a non-profit executive, managing budgets and staff, planning events and programs, and working with volunteers. He is a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives and the Houston Society of Association Executives, the National Association of Bar Executives, the State Bar of Texas (on inactive status), and the Rice Design Alliance. 

Barrie Scardino, current Executive Director, is retiring at the end of 2010.

Cameron Sinclair and Will Wynn to Speak at TSA Convention

General Session One: Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity
The Real Purpose of Design
Friday, Oct. 14, 2010, 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

In the past century, the ten deadliest natural disasters include floods, earthquakes, cyclones, and tsunamis, with death tolls ranging between 80,000 and well over two million. One of these top ten is the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti. Since January, Architecture for Humanity (AFH) has been in the field assisting the people of Haiti. Founded in 1999, AFH is a nonprofit that helps architects apply their design skills to humanitarian efforts. Sinclair will share the story of how AFH came into being and why he decided his purpose is in spreading and supporting social, cultural, and humanitarian design.

General Session Two: Will Wynn, former mayor of Austin
Leading Communities Toward a Shared Purpose
Friday, Oct. 14, 2010, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Early in his political career, Will Wynn developed a strong sense of purpose related to reducing carbon emissions. As Mayor of Austin, Will Wynn worked to raise awareness of the problems associated with climate change and link effective public policies needed to deal with the challenge. Wynn will present his observations and experiences joining sound urban planning with effective climate protection, demonstrating how electric utility policies and development regulations can compliment each other to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions.

World Green Building Week

WorldGBC and its member Green Building Councils celebrated the inaugural World Green Building Day on Sept. 23, 2009, to raise the profile of green buildings globally in the lead up to COP15 in Copenhagen. The day was shaped by a series of synchronized events hosted by GBCs around the world, including the official launch of the Asia-Pacific Regional Network.

Drawing on the success of last year's celebration, WorldGBC has extended this year's event to "World Green Building Week'" (Sept. 20-26). Key activities for this year include the launch of the WorldGBC Special Report "Tackling Global Climate Change - Meeting Local Priorities" and a series of synchronized green building events hosted by Green Building Councils from around the World.

The WorldGBC Special Report will be available for download from its website on Sept. 20, the first day of World Green Building Week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

DOCOMOMO Tour Day, October 9

The fourth Annual DOCOMOMO US Tour Day will include more than twenty modern architecture tours throughout the United States. DOCOMOMO US in collaboration with select local preservation organizations, will highlight significant buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement with tours throughout the United States.

DOCOMOMO is an international organization founded in 1988, which stands for the DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the MOdern MOvement. DOCOMOMO promotes the study, interpretation, and protection of the architecture, landscape, and urban design of the Modern Movement. DOCOMOMO has chapters or working parties in 54 countries and over 2,000 individual members.

For more information, visit

Houston Mod, a modern architecture and design preservation advocacy group, will host a tour of the interiors and exteriors of six homes in Glenbrook Valley, plus a driving tour of notable nearby architecture in SE Houston. Glenbrook Valley has met the criteria to become the first post-war historic district in Houston and Texas. During a special reception at the last tour stop, participants will have the opportunity to mingle with special guests including original architects, local historians, and neighborhood leaders.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Studies: Green offices improve workers' health

USA Today
Sept. 15, 20010

Workers who moved from conventional office buildings to eco-friendly ones report less absenteeism and greater productivity, according to two studies by researchers at Michigan State University.

"These preliminary findings indicate that green buildings may positively affect public health," the researchers write in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The studies looked at the impact of office buildings in the Lansing area that were certified by the private U.S. Green Building Council.

The studies found that absentee hours due to asthma, respiratory allergies and stress averaged 1.12 in the conventional buildings but 0.49 in the green buildings. One study evaluated 56 workers while the other 207, reports the online Green Building Advisor.

The researchers said they would continue to track the workers, partly to determine whether employee responses are due to the fact that their behavior is being studied or that their new offices are actually improving their health.

Other studies have linked green building, which can improve indoor air quality via extra ventilation and less-toxic materials, to a reduction in health problems. A recent study of a Seattle public housing complex found that residents' health, primarily asthma in children, improved after their homes got a green makeover.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation (Livestrong) Headquarters in Austin features green design achieved through recycled and non-toxic building materials. The project received a 2010 TSA Design Award and is featured on page 44 of the Sept/Oct 2010 issue of Texas Architect.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2010 TSA Flowers Award: AIA San Antonio

AIA San Antonio was recently awarded the TSA Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Architecture through the Media in Honor of John G. Glowers Honorary AIA. The award recognizes AIA San Antonio's column "Building San Antonio," which appears in the Real Estate section of the San Antonio Express-News

The column represents a huge volunteer commitment for the chapter. Christine Vina, Assoc. AIA, has been the driving force in maintaining the column's viability. She is solely responsible for keeping the Express-News editor up-to-date with the chapter's column production and content. A talented writer, Vina provides a final edit before columns are delivered to the paper and often pitches in to fill a gap when a column writer is unavailable. AIA San Antonio has produced 48 columns to date.  The chapter will receive the Flowers Award during the TSA Convention in San Antonio in October.

Texas Architect Contributor: Rebecca Boles, AIA

Rebecca Boles, AIA is an architect equestrian who teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. Her preferred alternate transportation is the horse. Boles writes about Fort Worth’s Sid W. Richardson Visual Arts Center on page 64 of the Sept/Oct Design Awards edition of Texas Architect.

Monday, September 13, 2010

AIA Austin Homes Tour in October

AIA Austin is holding its annual Homes Tour the weekend of Oct. 2-3, 2010. This year’s self-guided tour includes 12 homes, featuring traditional and contemporary designs and new construction and renovation projects. For additional information, visit 
Peninsula Residence, designed by Fred Hubnik, AIA

Project Type: Renovation/New Construction
Square Footage: 6,000 sf Renovation/500 sf New Construction
Project Team: Fred Hubnik, AIA; Calvin Chen, Associate AIA; Thomas Bercy; Tom Torbjerg; Joseph Winkler

The Peninsula Residence is an extensive renovation using glass, steel, detailing, and light to adaptively reinvent the home, radically changing its interaction with the landscape. The “bones” of the original house were saved and completely re-organized, creating clean lines and a bold presence. A triangular pool extending to the boathouse echoes the water of Lake Austin and reflects the image of Mount Bonnell.

Stratford Drive House, designed by Dick Clark, AIA

Project Type: New Construction
Square Footage: 5,000 sf
Project Team: Dick Clark, AIA; Matt Garcia; Kevin Gallaugher; Suzi Dunn;
Karen Kopicki

This house takes an architecturally minimal approach, with simple massing, an understated material palette and large expanses of glass. The main space is configured for entertainment with a glass-encased living area and large sliding doors from the dining and pool rooms. The home offers spectacular views of the Austin skyline.

Westlake Drive House, designed by James LaRue, AIA

Project Type: New Construction
Square Footage: 4,722 sf
Project Team: James LaRue, AIA; Randall Ware; Emily Marks; Kyle McCollum

This contemporary Hill Country home was designed for a golf-loving family. The unique modern architecture of this Westlake home is complimented by spectacular furniture and art.

Photo credit: JH Jackson Photography

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Discover Design. Over Dinner.

Austin Foundation for Architecture presents:
Discover Design. Over Dinner.

Back by popular demand! This special series of dinner parties for discovering design offers great design, good food, and conversations about architecture with new friends. Help support the work of the Austin Foundation for Architecture. For more info, visit .

Designs by Hugh Randolph, AIA; Paul Lamb, AIA and Fern Santini;
Tim Cuppett, AIA; and, Dick Clark, AIA.

2010.09.14 After a book signing at Nest by nationally recognized architect, Bobby McAlpine, dinner will be at the home of art consultant, Deborah Page Schneider | Deborah Page Projects and David Schneider which was designed for entertaining by Hugh Randolph, AIA; landscape by Bill Bauer and Bill Roberts, built by Chupik Properties. Food by Pink Avocado; Music by Brett Barnes and Meredith Ruduski; Featured artist Michael Wilson.

2010.10.19 Located on a steep site in Westlake Hills, this 5,000 square foot house merges traditional Texas forms and materials with unique contemporary details. Oriented towards a spectacular view of downtown Austin, a forty foot span of sliding glass doors makes the pool deck a natural extension of the open living space. Join architect Dick Clark, AIA and his very special clients for this dinner.

2010.10.21 The Nowlin house was completed in 2002. It was inspired by the architecture of the ancient Maya, a lifelong interest of the owners. The structure is an example of true collaboration between the clients, architect, builder, interior designer, and many local artisans and craftsmen. The interiors are heavily influenced by early French Art Deco, and include many extraordinary pieces. Architect: Paul Lamb, AIA; Interiors: Fern Santini | Abode; Contractor: Escobedo Construction. Featuring catering by 34th Street.

2010.10.26 Tim Cuppett, AIA and Marco Rini's home featured on the 2009 AIA Homes Tour. This home is livable history - a storybook renovation of a lovely "antique Austin treasure" with intimate, romantic spaces indoors. Outdoors, you will enjoy beautiful gardens. Celebrate Autumn as Marco prepares a very special menu.

$100 per person
or Dinner Deal: All 4 for $300 per person

Phone: 512.452.4332

The Austin Foundation for Architecture is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization formed to develop the general public's education, awareness, and appreciation for architect, and to promoted responsible stewardship of the Central Texas environment; and development of sustainable architectural leadership for AIA Austin, and other public, professional, and community organization in Central Texas.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Texas Architectural Foundation Bike Ride

Texas BIKEiTECTS are invited to join fellow architects and friends of architecture for the 8th Annual Texas Architectural Foundation (TAF) Tour des Monuments bike ride, Oct. 17, 2010. The tour begins at one of San Antonio's most treasured spots, The Alamo. Tour participants will choose from three routes of 13, 25, or 45 miles and will enjoy the missions, the Riverwalk expansion, new Pearl Brewery additions, and more.

Ride fees are $20 for students, $40 for professionals, and $75 for families. Custom-designed jerseys are available for $60. Register online or download a registration form to mail or fax to TAF. For more information contact BIKEiTECTS Chair Alan Harmon, Assoc. AIA, at or Emily Speight at

Thank you to our current Tour des Monuments sponsors:

Journeyman Construction & Haynes Whaley Associates

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Texas Architect Contributors: Jim Atkins, FAIA & Grant Simpson, FAIA

Jim Atkins, FAIA, likes to spend time with his extended family in Korea, where he enjoys researching and writing about the architecture of the ancient ruling dynasties. See his second article in a two-part series on risk management, co-authored by Grant Simpson, FAIA.

Grant A. Simpson, FAIA, can often be found in his backyard tropical paradise accompanied by classic Hawaiian music when he is not studying or writing about architects and architecture. The second of his two-part article on risk management, co-authored with Jim Atkins, FAIA, focuses on solutions related to substitutions and can be found on page 86 of Texas Architect's Sept/Oct Design Awards edition.

Emerging Professionals

A Diverse Group Defined by Common Needs
From newly minted to seasoned practitioner, emerging professionals are the future.

by Kevin Fitzgerald, AIA

Director of the AIA Center for Emerging Professionals (CEP)

The definition of architecture’s emerging professionals (EPs) is wide and diverse, given to many classifications and perhaps a few misunderstandings. But possibly the most unasked question about this group is simply: what, exactly, are they emerging from? College? Internships? Are they emerging from established practices to hang their shingle? Are they emerging from the economic morass of the Great Recession? Or are they simply coming into their own as designers?
Answer: All of the above, and more.

Who they are

The AIA defines emerging professionals as architecture students, intern architects, and architects licensed for less than ten years. If you had to put them in an average age range, it’s roughly 18-38 years. But this broad age range may be too simplistic. Emerging professionals can also be second-career architects whose ages range into their forties and fifties. For simplicity’s sake, EPs are the group of architects in the first decades of the architectural profession, climbing its steep learning curve and establishing themselves as architects or allied design professionals.

As EPs move beyond academic education and the Intern Development Program, they enter into the profession as architects, and practice management becomes a greater concern: mastering design and project management, building client relationships, and promoting their abilities in the marketplace.

EPs are struggling with the state of the economy, but their problem solving skills and self-motivation has kept them working on independent design projects, competitions, and other professional development programs. They are apprehensive about job prospects, and challenged by less opportunity for crucial work experiences. Remember the first time you detailed a wall section for a project in construction documents or wrote your first proposal? Rest assured, EPs that work with (or for) you have the same thirst to learn.

Click here to continue reading the article.