The San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized exceptional architectural projects designed by local firms at its annual award ceremony last Friday, Oct. 30 held at the DoSeum. Chapter members nominate the projects – big and small, built and unbuilt – which are then presented to a jury of three notable architects from out-of-state who conduct a blind judging.

This year’s jury included Roberto de Leon, co-founder and principal of Kentucky-based De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop; Brian Phillips, the founding principal of Philadelphia-based firm ISA, making his second appearance as an AIA San Antonio judge; and German architect Juliane Wolf, design principal at Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects.

This year, 53 projects were nominated and nine were selected as winners in three categories: Honor Awards, Merit Awards, and Citation Awards. Lake/Flato Architects dominated the awards, winning two of three Honor Awards and three of four Merit Awards.

The 2015 jurors included Brian Phillips, Juliane Wolf, and Roberto de Leon. Photo Courtesy of American Institute of Architects-San Antonio.
The 2015 jurors included Brian Phillips, Juliane Wolf, and Roberto de Leon. Photo Courtesy of American Institute of Architects-San Antonio.

Most of the firm’s work is outside San Antonio, but this year it was recognized for three major local projects. An Honor Award was given for the firm’s design of the Alamo Brewery, and Merit Awards were given for its adaptive design and expansion of the Briscoe Western Art Museum, and its design of the Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf.

The Committee on the Environmental Award for Sustainability went to Overland Partners for its design of the Liberal Arts Building at the University of Texas at Austin.

Two Citation Awards also were awarded, one to Munoz & Co. for its Mestizo City cube built out of colorful soda bottles and debuted at Art Basel in Miami, and Ravine Retreat, a residence by Tobin Smith Architect.

The Mayor’s Choice Award recognizes publicly-funded architectural projects, which was first given by former Mayor Howard Peak in 2000. This year, Mayor Ivy Taylor chose the Francis R. Scobee Education Center designed by DHR Architects.

Gabriel Durand-Hollis, FAIA, principal of DHR Architects (left) and designer Robert Moritz accept the 2015 Mayor's Choice Award from Mayor Ivy Taylor. Photo Courtesy of American Institute of Architects-San Antonio.
Gabriel Durand-Hollis, FAIA, principal of DHR Architects (left) and designer Robert Moritz accept the 2015 Mayor’s Choice Award from Mayor Ivy Taylor. Photo Courtesy of American Institute of Architects-San Antonio.

The 25-Year Distinguished Building Award recognizes “architectural projects of significant cultural importance that were completed at least 25 years ago.” The award went to the John H. Wood, Jr. United States District Courthouse, formally known as the Confluence Theater of Hemisfair ’68. The New York firm, Donald Deskey Associates, conceptualized the circular courthouse building, and the local firm, Marmon, Mok & Associates, designed the structure.

The award ceremony presents Student Awards that feature designs from aspiring architects. All three of the awards were given to the University of Texas at San Antonio architecture students.

Councilmember Roberto Treviño (D1), an architect by trade, gave a speech during the ceremony to thank the San Antonio College’s (SAC) Architecture Department for its “Biotechnic” art installation on the City’s Houston Street Parking Garage.

“Earlier this year, the City implemented a plan to improve the customer experience at our City-owned parking facilities. As part of this plan, we looked at improvements that could be made to the exterior, with a focus on projects that would engage the public – particularly on Houston Street,” Treviño said. “Houston Street is experiencing a revitalization, and we are excited that new businesses are opening, vacancies are being eliminated, and downtown is welcoming more pedestrians.”

Councilmember Roberto Treviño speaks at the Houston Street Garage public art dedication as SAC students look on. Photo by Robeert Rivard
Councilmember Roberto Treviño speaks at the Houston Street Garage public art dedication as SAC students look on. Photo by Robeert Rivard

Councilmember Treviño engaged SAC architecture students to create an art installations to beautify the Houston Street Parking Garage.

“From this idea, the ‘Architecture That Engages’ design competition evolved and the result is truly amazing,” he said.

“Architecture that Engages” is a competition that challenges students to create “public art projects that represent architecture in light of public art.”

(Read more about the “Biotechnic” art installation here.)

The Texas Society of Architects will host its state-wide awards ceremony in Dallas this week. The competition received 256 submissions, 14 of which were selected, and three of which went to San Antonio firms. Lake|Flato Architects received two awards and Overland Partners received one.

Overland Partners designed the Gourd for the San Antonio Botanical Gardens’ human-sized birdhouse competition. Image courtesy of Overland Partners.
Overland Partners designed the Gourd for the San Antonio Botanical Gardens’ human-sized birdhouse competition. Image courtesy of Overland Partners.
  • Lake|Flato Architects – Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center
Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center. Courtesy image.
Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center. Courtesy image.
  • Lake|Flato Architects – Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion
Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion. Photo by Casey Dunn.
Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion. Photo by Casey Dunn.

Honor Awards (Top Awards)

  • Naples Botanical Garden Visitor Center in Naples, FL – Lake|Flato Architects
  • Alamo Brewery – Lake|Flato Architects                  
  • Blue Lake Retreat in Marble Falls – Lake|Flato Architects             

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Merit Awards:

  • House 334 – Craig McMahon Architects
  • Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf – Lake|Flato Architects, Associated Firm: Mackey Mitchell Architects
  • Briscoe Western Art Museum Addition & Renovation – Lake|Flato Architects, Associated Firms: Ford Powell & Carson
  • Bluffview Porch House in Dallas – Lake|Flato Architects                                                                         

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Citation Awards:

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Student Awards:

  • San Antonio Museum of Modern Art (SA MOMA) – Chase White, UTSA
  • Center for Children’s Skill Development – Ksenia Nation, UTSA
  • Museum at Boisbuchet – Yuma Tanaka, UTSA

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Committee on the Environment Award (COTE):

University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts. Courtesy image.
University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts. Photo courtesy of Overland Partners.

Mayor’s Choice Award:

The Mayor's Choice Award was the Rancis R. Scobee Education Center designed by DHR Architects. Photo by Bahram Mark Sobhani.
The Mayor’s Choice Award was the Rancis R. Scobee Education Center designed by DHR Architects. Photo by Bahram Mark Sobhani.

25-Year Distinguished Building Award:

  • John H. Wood, Jr. United States District Courthouse – Marmon, Mok & Associates
John H. Wood, Jr. United States District Courthouse. Courtesy image.
John H. Wood, Jr. United States District Courthouse. Courtesy image.

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Rivard Report Staff

Rivard Report Staff

This article was assembled by various members of the Rivard Report staff.