Eavesdrop> Police raid millionaire murder suspect’s Houston condo

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
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Robert Durst. (Courtesy HBO)

Robert Durst. (Courtesy HBO)

The last time Robert Durst—the accused killer and heir to one of New York City’s most influential real estate dynasties—was behind bars in the Southwest, he was on trial for the murder of his neighbor, Morris Black, in Galveston, Texas. That time he was caught after swiping a sandwich and some Band-Aids from a Pennsylvania supermarket while wearing cross-dressing attire. Now, he is donning an orange jumpsuit once again.

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These competition-winning bus shelters in Austin will harvest rainwater for a pocket park

(Courtesy Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

(Courtesy Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

It’s a matter of time before the canine-abused fire hydrant is outfitted with its own sound system—like this park bench. Two designers are retooling a high-traffic bus stop in Austin, Texas, to incorporate a pocket park for city dwellers to revisit distant nature.

COntinue reading after the jump.

SoftLAB 3D prints a kaleidoscopic pavilion for 3M at SXSW 2015 that showcases colorful dichroic film

(Courtesy SXSW 2015)

(Courtesy SXSW 2015)

A household name in resilient scotch tape and self-adhesive velcro, 3M wowed the crowd at  South by Southwest 2015 (SXSW) with a 3D-printed pavilion awash in kaleidoscopic colors, with every inch of the structure designed to showcase a 3M product at work.

Continue reading after the jump.

Notes from the 2015 Texas Society of Architects Design Conference in Denton

(Brantley Hightower)

O’Neil Ford’s Little Chapel. (Mia Frietze)

This year’s Texas Society of Architects Design Conference focused on the topic of craft and was framed by a discussion of noted regional modernist O’Neil Ford. It was held in the north Texas town of Denton where Ford began his professional career and executed several important early projects.

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Eavesdrop> Ski Bummer: Proposed enormous indoor ski slope resort in Texas calls it quits

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Monday, March 23, 2015
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The Grand Alps Resort. (Courtesy Grand Alps Group)

The Grand Alps Resort. (Courtesy Grand Alps Group)

Grand Prairie, Texas, has been spared what could have been the nation’s first indoor ski resort and Hard Rock Hotel. The project’s developer, The Grand Alps Group, pulled the $215 million proposal after a meeting with Grand Prairie’s mayor and city manager. They were not happy about losing the big fish. “We were a little surprised,” City Manager Tom Hart told the Dallas Morning News. “We thought we had a pretty good meeting.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> It’s Very European! Houston developers invoke the Old World to help sell real estate

Before and after of the Alessandra Hotel design. (Courtesy Gensler)

Before and after of the Alessandra Hotel design. (Courtesy Gensler)

Eavesdrop is scratching its head. First, in January, Gensler released new renderings for the Hotel Alessandra in downtown Houston. Where before the firm had proposed a sleek modern glass tower for the site with strong, swooping vertical lines that accentuated the building’s height, the new iteration shows a collection of rectilinear facade treatments of varying levels of transparency arranged to express a podium, tower, and crown with cornice. Jonathan Brinsden, CEO of the project’s developer, Midway, described the new look as a “modern interpretation of European style.”

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Shigeru Ban’s humanitarian architecture highlighted by the Dallas Center for Architecture

Architecture, On View, Southwest
Thursday, March 12, 2015
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Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2013. (Bridgit Anderson)

Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2013. (Bridgit Anderson)

Shigeru Ban: Humanitarian Architecture
Dallas Center for Architecture
1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway
Dallas, Texas
Through April 25

The Dallas Center for Architecture is presenting a selection of Pritzker Prize winning architect Shigeru Ban’s disaster relief designs. Ban’s humanitarian architecture has confronted some of the world’s most devastating natural and manmade cataclysms in the last 20 years. The Japanese architect is known for his pioneering designs for United Nations refugee shelters in the mid-1990s, using inexpensive and often recycled materials such as paper tubes and cardboard to make durable, shock-proof structures.

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On View> Aspen Art Museum presents “Décor: A Conquest”

Art, On View, Southwest
Monday, February 16, 2015
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(Courtesy Aspen Art Museum)

(Courtesy Aspen Art Museum)

 

Décor: A Conquest
Aspen Art Museum
637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, Colorado
Through March 1, 2015

Objects of war have long been used for decorative purposes. Mounted on walls and thus removed from their original context, these weapons take on new meaning. In his inaugural exhibition for the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1974, Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaer explored this familiar, yet strange dual identity of weapons as everyday objects but also as “symbols of power.” The Aspen Art Museum, in its new building by Shigeru Ban, has reinstalled this pioneering work.

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Where Nature and Technology Merge: Texas Society of Architects announces Field Constructs Design Competition

Wetlands of the Circle Acres Nature Preserve, Austin, TX. (Courtesy FCDC)

Wetlands of the Circle Acres Nature Preserve, Austin, TX. (Courtesy FCDC)

As architects and designers increasingly defer to nature in light of environmental issues, eco-friendly technology takes precedence. The Texas Society of Architects has announced the Field Constructs Design Competition which welcomes proposals from artists, designers, architects, and landscape architects for a temporary site-specific public installation within the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas.

Continue reading after the jump.

Here’s the Urban Land Institute’s plan for turning the Houston Astrodome into a park

Even though it has been an empty, rotting hulk for nearly a decade, Houston hasn't been able to make a decision on the Astrodome. (Courtesy Uffah!!!/flickr)

Even though it has been an empty, rotting hulk for nearly a decade, Houston hasn’t been able to decide whether to save or raze its beloved/neglected/hated Astrodome. (Courtesy Uffah!!!/flickr)

In late January 2014, an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services panel presented recommendations for the dilapidated Houston Astrodome. The report follows several ill-fated dome reuse attempts, including a plan and $200 million bond referendum to turn it into a convention center that was shot down by Harris County voters in 2013. The ULI panel was definitive in its assessment. The dome, it stated, must be saved. It also unveiled a plan, complete with design sketches and funding strategies, to transform the former stadium into a public park that could be completed in time for Super Bowl LI, which Houston is hosting in 2017.

Continue reading after the jump.

Reinventing the Face of Tragedy: Architects Plan a Revamp of the Dallas Holocaust Museum

Architecture, Southwest
Friday, January 30, 2015
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Front exterior. (Courtesy Dallas Holocaust Museum)

Front exterior. (Courtesy Dallas Holocaust Museum)

Commemorating history’s most infamous mass genocide, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance in the West End of downtown Dallas is relocating to a new home directly across the street.

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Eavesdrop> Zaha to touch down in Houston

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Monday, January 26, 2015
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(Montage by AN; skyline photo by Tom Haymes / Flickr)

(Montage by AN; skyline photo by Tom Haymes / Flickr)

 

It was announced in July of 2014 (very quietly evidently) that Zaha Hadid had been commissioned to design a new headquarters for real estate/oil and gas conglomerate The Richland Companies in Houston. Why had we not heard about this? Well, thanks to Vladimir Kagan, we are now in the know!

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