Sustainable Architecture In Vorarlberg

Sustainable Architecture in VoralbergSustainable Architecture in Vorarlberg by Ulrich Dangel

Earth Day is celebrating its 40th anniversary on April 22, 2010. This once-a-year event galvanizes millions of individuals across the world to help make the planet a cleaner, more sustainable, place to live.

Architects play a crucial role in this effort, helping to solve such issues as urban sprawl and density, environmental impact of building projects, energy performance of buildings, affordable housing, social equity and sustainable technology.

In his book, Sustainable Architecture in Vorarlberg, Ulrich Dangel, assistant professor of architecture at The University of Texas at Austin, discusses the regional building style in Vorarlberg, an Austrian city known for its sustainable construction methods that have culminated into a model for architecture worldwide.

Dangel will have a book signing from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 6 at Domy Books located at 913 East Ceasar Chavez, Austin, Texas.

By Amy Crossette, Director Public Affairs for School of Architecture, School of Information.

This book is available at the Architecture & Planning Library.

Transparent People: reBILD installation at the library

reBILD installation at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading RoomreBILD installation at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room. To see full size image, click here.

On February 25, 2010, reBILD created an installation in UT’s Architecture and Planning Library featuring
8 full-scale “statues” of people made of transparent tape and plastic-wrap arranged to appear as active patrons of the library. This specific location was chosen because of the light quality, scale and design of the main room, as well as the unique condition of libraries as spaces that discourage talking, altering what might otherwise be predictable reactions to this spatial intervention. A particularly surprising aspect of the project was the degree to which different kinds and amounts of light (natural, artificial, direct, indirect, etc.) dramatically changed the effect of the sculptures and, thus, changed their spatial presence.

reBILD plans to use observations made from this project as a starting point to inform their next project, which should be in late March.

reBILD is a student group at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture building on the initiatives of Linus Day, a 19th century experimental artist/architect. Our aim is to challenge preconceived notions of spatial experience and document the results to inform a wider sense of design. reBILD hopes to accomplish this goal by developing fun and decidedly unscientific experiments that alter spatial conditions and engage the community. reBILD grew out of a project that the founding students undertook as part of a Theory of Architecture class with Larry Speck, the organization’s advisor.

To see other images of this installation, visit the slide show on the Architecture & Planning Library flickr page.

Historic Preservation Program: A Retrospective of Student Work, 2008-2009

Historic Preservation Program: A Retrospective of Student Work, 2008-2009 exhibtion on view at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading RoomHistoric Preservation Program: A Retrospective of Student Work, 2008-2009 exhibtion on view at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room. To see full size invitation, click here.

“Historic Preservation Program: A Retrospective of Student Work, 2008-2009″ will be open in the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room in Battle Hall March 6 through May 24, 2010.

Presented by the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and curated by a committee of students, the exhibition showcases the products of various preservation classes from the past two years, including Preservation Studio, Graphic Documentation, and Materials Conservation.  The works on display from the multi-disciplinary classes include annotated drawings for building condition assessments, HABS-level documentation measured drawings, design proposals, photographs, and models.

Austin sites, including historic campus buildings, are the focus of all of the projects. This exhibit offers a preservation perspective for conservation, documentation, as well as exploration of new design ideas for several of the city and the university’s historic resources.

Sponsored by: The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, the University of Texas Libraries, the Texas Union Student Events CoSponsorship Committee, the Graduate Student Assembly, the Senate of College Councils, Kemp Properties and the Paul C. Ragsdale Excellence Fund for Historic Preservation.

Dodd speaks at Texas Preservation Summit, February 5, 2010

Beth Dodd, Head Librarian at the Architecture & Planning Library, participated on a panel discussion at the “Modernism + Recent past” roundtable.  The panel, made up of  6 professionals involved in historic preservation, spoke about their experiences and issues related to modernism and the recent past.  In an organized discussion, key themes of awareness, advocacy and action were addressed to identify specific challenges inherent in preserving the recent past with the end goal of suggesting proactive solutions statewide.

Discussion included an understanding that access to knowledge plays a significant role in historic preservation.  That open access and preservation of historic records must go hand in hand with the preservation of the building.  Modern buildings and their records share similar challenges including identification, documentation and preservation.  It was an opportunity to raise awareness about the incredible unique resources found in the University of Texas Libraries’ Alexander Architectural Archive- a public keeper and steward of knowledge.  Solutions included proactively identifying historic records, raising awareness of  public repositories, and encouragement to increase web presence and the use of Web 2.0 for sharing knowledge and images.  A stronger web presence helps in research and proves international interest in what might more commonly be considered a local issue.

The Preservation Summit, sponsored by Preservation Texas, was organized as an opportunity to identify issues related to the preservation of the historic built environment, develop strategic approaches and solutions to issues and to cultivate partnerships across the state.

Log goes 3-D

Log 17 cover: Untitled by Tristan Eaton, 2009Log 17 cover: Untitled by Tristan Eaton, 2009

Check out the latest issue, Fall 2009, of Log [Observations on architecture and the contemporary city].  The initial thought for this issue was to “explore the idea of depth in the superficial in architecture” (1) so a 3-D drawing for the cover seemed perfect as it references the idea of depth, which can only be seen properly by using 3-D glasses.

Naturally, the initial superficial attraction to the 3-D cover will soon be overshadowed by the articles this issue contain, which, are as always, engaging and timely. “Log 17, guest edited by Mark Foster Gage and Florencia Pita, features essays and conversations focusing on relationships between new media and materiality in architecture – with an emphasis on sensation and affect.”(2)

1. –, “Cover Story.,” Log, no. 17 (Fall 2008): 152

2. Contents. Log.

Karl Kamrath, Architect and Collector

Karl Kamrath exhibition on view at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading RoomKarl Kamrath exhibition on view at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room

“Karl Kamrath: Architect and Collector” will be open in the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room in Battle Hall through March, 2010.

Houston modern architect, Karl Kamrath (1911-1988) collected and consumed information on Frank Lloyd Wright and organic architecture, and then incorporated his own articulations of Wright’s principles in built form. His interest in organic architecture was evident in projects that blended into the landscape while satisfying the individual needs of his clients.

This exhibit highlights several of these projects through drawings and photographs from the Karl Kamrath collection in the Alexander Architectural Archive. Evidence of Kamrath’s collecting practice is displayed through books and journals selected from the Library’s Special Collection of published material.

Karl Kamrath, Architect and Collector continues a series of student-curated exhibitions held at the Architecture and Planning Library, drawing from rare and unique resources used during their research.

This exhibit reflects the scholarship of Katie Pierce, who recently completed her master’s thesis in architectural history on Kamrath. Pierce was also the lead processor of the Kamrath archive while earning her Masters degree at the School of Information. She is now an IMLS Doctoral Preservation fellow in the School of Information.

Katie Pierce stands by one the cabinets displaying drawings and artifacts from the Karl Kamrath Collection.Katie Pierce, curator, stands by one the cabinets displaying drawings and artifacts from the Karl Kamrath Collection.

School-wide Open House iPod Raffle Winners

Raffle winner and graduate architecture student Chris Emens receives his prize from the Architecture and Planning Library’s Head Librarian Beth Dodd.

Undergraduate architecture student Walter Medrano and graduate architecture student Chris Emens were the winners of this year’s school-wide open house raffle. The event provided an opportunity for students to discover nine of the school’s rich resources showcasing collections, programs, facilities, and expert staff. School of Architecture students were required to visit each participating site in order to become eligible for the raffle. Two iPod Shuffles were generously donated by the Campus Computer Store.

Both Walter and Chris found the open house event to be a valuable experience making them aware of the wide variety of resources available to students. Participating locations included the Alexander Architectural Archive, the Architecture and Planning Library, the Career Services Center, the Center for Sustainable Development, the Computer Lab I/O Central, the Design Lab (Woodshop), the University Co-op Materials Resource Center, Materials Lab and Conservation Lab, and the Visual Resources Collection.

JOURNALS ON(_)LINE(S)

Joshua Bailey, fourth-year architecture student and library student associate, stands behind the mobile he designed for the Architecture and Planning Library.

The UT Austin Architecture and Planning Library (APL) recently installed a two-story mobile in the grand stairwell of Battle Hall.

The installation is intended to raise awareness about electronic journals made available through the University of Texas Libraries that focus on subjects related to the research needs of School of Architecture students, faculty, and staff.

Almost one-third of the 215 journal subscriptions at the APL are available online. The mobile is proportioned to represent this trend—quarter-scale booklets represent journal titles that can be found in print, while the symbol @e is used to represent electronic journals.

Together, the objects hanging in the stairwell illustrate technology’s impact on journal publication and the transitional tension between printed and digital media.

The Journals On(_)line(s) installation, designed by architecture senior Josh Bailey, was funded in part by the School of Architecture’s John Greene Taylor Endowment for Collections Enhancement and the University of Texas Libraries.

Library Web Site Documents Dallas Architect’s Legacy

The Architecture and Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin has launched a Web site that will serve as the authoritative resource for information about an acclaimed Dallas architect and his work.

The Architectural Legacy of Herbert Miller Greene” is now available for online research about Dallas architect Herbert Miller Greene (1871–1932).

Featuring architectural drawings and archival material, the Web site grew out of an exhibition at the Architecture and Planning Library in 2005. It includes a online version of the exhibit, as well as all source documentation used during research conducted for the exhibit including full text articles from the Dallas Morning News archive, scans of Greene’s archival records and links to other source documents on the Web.

The Web site is the result of a collaborative effort by the Alexander Architectural Archive, the Architecture and Planning Library and the School of Architecture’s Visual Resources Collection. It focuses on Herbert M. Greene’s Dallas architecture, his Masonic commissions and The University of Texas buildings he designed. The site provides 139 images depicting 42 projects.

Herbert Miller Greene built over 90 projects throughout Texas and other U.S. cities and founded one of the oldest continuously operating architectural firms in Texas. In 1922, Greene received a 10-year contract from The University of Texas at Austin to succeed the esteemed Cass Gilbert as university architect, where he worked with associates Edwin B. LaRoche and George L. Dahl on designs for over 15 buildings on campus. The following year, Greene was the first Texas architect to be elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

The John Greene Taylor Endowment for Collections Enhancement funded the processing and preservation of Herbert M. Greene materials throughout the Alexander Architectural Archive, as well as curation of the exhibition.

The endowment—established by Greene’s grandson John Greene Taylor—supports the Architecture and Planning Library, the Alexander Architectural Archive and the School of Architecture’s Visual Resources Collection by providing funds for collection cataloging, digitization, acquisition and outreach.

Collection of Prominent Texas Architect Donated to University of Texas Libraries

The University of Texas Libraries has acquired a collection of materials belonging to Houston architect and Frank Lloyd Wright devotee Karl Kamrath (1911-1988).

The materials, donated by Karl’s children– Eugenie Mygdal, Jack Kamrath, Karl Kamrath Jr., and Tom Kamrath–will join an earlier lot donated to The Alexander Architectural Archive.

The collection, which includes business papers, project records, correspondence, original architectural design drawings, photographs, prints and ephemera, provides insight into the prolific Texan’s work, much of whose modernist design aesthetic paid homage to Wright.

The strengths of this archive are in its design drawings and post-construction photographs, including some of Kamrath’s award-winning projects such as the Kamrath residence of 1939, Temple Emanu-El in Houston, the Houston Fire Alarm Building, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, and the Contemporary Arts Association in Houston.

Karl Kamrath grew up in Austin and earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas. In 1934, he moved to Chicago, where he worked for the architectural firm Pereira and Pereira, the Interior Studios of Marshall Field and Co. and the Architectural Decorating Company.

In 1937, he and another former graduate of the university, Frederick James MacKie Jr. opened their own architectural firm, MacKie and Kamrath in Houston, Texas. MacKie and Kamrath were among the first Houston architects to follow a modernist approach to design for which they received national recognition.

Kamrath left the firm from 1942 to 1945 to serve as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers. Shortly after his return in 1946, Kamrath met Wright and immediately became an advocate of Wright’s Usonian architecture style.

Kamrath became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1939 and was elected to fellowship in the institute in 1955, and at various times served in an adjunct capacity at the University of Oklahoma, The University of Texas, Texas A&M University and the University of Oregon. He was also a founder and served on the board of the Contemporary Arts Museum from 1948 to 1952.

“Our archive already contains a strong collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-related work,” says Frederick Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture. “The Kamrath Collection enhances the depth of Wright-related materials and will benefit architectural scholars for generations to come.”
The sister collection for the office of McKie and Kamrath, including the bulk of the office files, job files and construction documents, resides at the Houston Metropolitan Research Collection of the Houston Public Library.

The Kamrath archive is projected to be processed and available for use by patrons by August 2007.

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