Texas Architect: Studio RED brings Ulrich Franzen’s Alley Theatre Into the 21st Century

Jesse Hager, AIA writes about Studio Red's renovation to Houston's Alley Theatre for Texas Architect

Photos by Bill SaltHouston’s Alley Theatre is a masterpiece. Any renovation of it, no matter how greatly needed, is sure to stir up some controversy. The 1968 building put its architect, Ulrich Franzen, squarely on the map and was much lauded for its faceted, curving Brutalist-inspired design. However, as the years passed and Brutalism fell out of vogue, the building fell out of favor. Early renderings released by the renovation architect, Houston-based Studio RED, went too far, triggering cries of “Preservation!” rarely heard in Houston. As a result, most of the initially proposed alterations were scuttled in favor of a more subtle renovation that respects the original design while improving its performance...

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Sam Houston Tollway Northeast Toll Plazas

Bridges are a cherished design problem. The clear span represents a common exercise for architecture students exploring essential concepts of structure, tension, and compression. Regrettably, architects are seldom commissioned to design a bridge project.

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A Place Along A Path: International Coffee Building Renovation

At the time of the completion of the International Coffee Building in 1910, Commerce and Main Street were bustling with the activities that the street names imply. The International Coffee Building served as a roasting and distribution point for one of the key industries of the era. Since then, rail supplanted shipping and Houston, with the aid of the automobile, moved rapidly out from its historic center at Allen’s Landing. The downtown has shifted its energies away from the water. Buildings now are designed for firms that track materials digitally or sell digital commodities. What was once a vibrant center of city life has been literally overshadowed and left for appropriation by vagrants or artists.

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Making a Case for Research

Authors of Evidence-Based Design explain the importance of measured results.

published in Texas Architect. Read entire article here.


Master of Visual Poetics: Henrique Oliveira’s “Tapumes” at Rice Gallery

Five days before the opening of “Tapumes,” stacks of thin wood lay parallel across the Rice Gallery floor, arranged in varying widths of similar colors. Ladders and lifts outnumbered the installers. Behind the screened entry, shapes jump and dive into view giving passers-by a notion of what is to come, the first solo exhibition in the United States from Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira, now open at the Rice Gallery until May 9, 2009.

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