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RDA News & Notes

Category: Charrettes

REflections on RE-CRAFT


Melvalean McLemore represented her team to receive Best Overall Design. Team members not pictured are Peter Ho, Diana Ngo, and Octavie Berendschot.

To escape the summer heat, over thirty-five designers competed in air-conditioned studios on Saturday, August 3 for an intense eight-hour challenge to propose a new campus for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). The center is a nonprofit arts organization within the Museum District on Main Street. Their mission is to advance education about the process, product, and history of craft. The Rice Design Alliance’s (RDA) young professional group, rdAGENTS, hosted the event in the cool studios graciously provided by the Rice School of Architecture.

Participants had an opportunity to attend a site visit a week prior, Saturday, July 27, at HCCC on Main Street. That hot steamy morning, team members received a tour of the site, inside and out. They started under the shade in the craft garden amongst the cotton, bamboo, and indigo plants, they walked though the exhibition galleries, Asher Gallery, offices, and studios. The front door on Main Street was another stop to view the current façade and street view. A week later, at the charrette, each team received a program, which defined the issues of creating a cohesive campus that would encompass all the important aspects of the center and increase their Main Street exposure and identity.

On Monday, August 5, invited jurors consisting of HCCC’s neighbor Christine West, Executive Director of Lawndale Art Center; Ernesto Maldonado, principal of Glassman Shoemake Maldonado and HCCC board member; Sheryl Kolasinski, Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer of the Menil Collection; and Julie Farr, Executive Director of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, deliberated over the 10 entries. They determined the team that addressed the most aspects of the program in the clearest manner.

The Brave Architecture team (Team 5) made up of Diana Ngo, Peter Ho, Melvalean McLemore, and Octavie Berendschot were the winners of “Best Overall” award for their designs and ideas. The judges liked how they closed in the garden, creating essentially one entrance, and their design was clearly defined.

Cre8 Architects team (Team 8) made up of Amber Moncla, Stein Hansen, Stein Hansen, Bayardo Selva, and Luis Fernandez received “Best BIG Idea” award for their entry that proposed to close a portion of Rosedale Street and create a larger block with well-defined areas for exhibitions, programming, and creating a plaza. Clark Condon’s team (Team 6) made up of Sarah Smith, Luis Hildalgo, Jason Rainosek, Luke Love, and Taylor McNeill received “Best Garden Design” for their garden layout and good presentation. The garden area recreated the repetitious of Cs from the logo.

Below are galleries of the team entries.

Team 1
Shawn Wright
Ned Dodington
Jessica Knapp
Grace Rodriquez
Jonathan Lampson

Team 2
Jonathan McMillian
Joe Cowan
Riley Anderson
Stephen Evans

Team 3
Philip LeBlanc
Rudy Fabre

Team 4
Erin Shedd
Alfonso Hernandez
Valeriya Bowker

Team 5
Melvalean McLemore
Peter Ho
Diana Ngo
Octavie Berendschot

Team 6
Taylor McNeill
Jason Rainosek
Sarah Smith
Luke Love
Luis Hildalgo

Team 7
Courtney Harper
Kyle Thiel
Scott Brooks
Shih Wei

Team 8
Amber Moncla
Bayardo Selva
Stein Hansen
Luis Fernandez

Team 9
Arnika Shroff
Marquez Colby
Anthony Vu
Justin Mason
Robert Morris

Team 10
Anna Naydenova

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2013 Design Charrette

WHAT: Re-Craft: A New Palette for HCCC, 2013 Rice Design Alliance Design Charrette

WHEN: The Charrette will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2013, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A site visit for the participants will take place on Saturday, July 27, at 9:00 a.m. at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main Street.

WHERE: Rice University, School of Architecture, Anderson Hall (Building 4), 6100 Main Street (Off Entrance 1).

WHO: The competition is open to architects and non-architects, designers, individuals, with teams of up to five.

Rice Design Alliance’s 2013 design charrette will challenge participants to integrate the campus of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). HCCC is a nonprofit arts organization located in the Museum District on Main Street. Its mission is to advance education about the product, process, and history of craft.

Charrette participants will be challenged to brainstorm general solutions to integrate different aspects of the center, including ways to help increase visibility on Main Street. More information and program elements will be presented to participants on the day of the charrette.

An entry fee of $25 for RDA members and $35 for non-members will cover breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day. To Sign up CLICK HERE!

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Museum Park Neighborhood Focus of Next Charrette!

WHAT: People, Places, and Promenades: Unifying Museum Park Super Neighborhood, 2012 Rice Design Alliance Design Charrette

WHEN: Saturday, August 4, 2012, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Reception** will be held Monday, August 6, from 6-8 pm. A site visit will take place on Saturday, July 28 at 8:30 am at the Garden Center in Hermann Park.

WHERE: Rice University, School of Architecture, Anderson Hall (Building 4), 6100 Main Street (Off Entrance 1).

Register here!

Rice Design Alliance’s 2012 design charrette will focus on creating a master plan for the Museum Park Super Neighborhood, the boundaries of which are Hermann Park, Main Street, State Highway 288 and Highway 59. This thriving cultural center of Houston contains eighteen museums, including The MFA,H and Houston Museum of Natural Science, five churches, several preschools, MacGregor Elementary School, Park Plaza Hospital, Baylor Outpatient, Hermann Park, the little train, Hermann Park Golf Course, and the zoo. During spring breaks, over 275,000 people a day frequent the area, and in a year, the neighborhood attracts between 8-12 million visitors.

Charrette participants will be challenged to brainstorm general solutions for the constant growth in the area, including ways to help ease vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

rdAGENTS, Rice Design Alliance’s young professional’s group, invite interested parties to participate in the juried competition. An entry fee of $20 for RDA members and $30 for non-members will cover breakfast, lunch, and refreshments at day’s end. The competition is open to architects and non-architects, designers, individuals , and teams of up to five.

To register online, click here. For more information please call 713.348.4876.

** Jurors for the competition will announce the winning designs at the evening reception at the Rice School of Architecture, open to the public on Monday, August 6, 2012. **

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2012 Design Charrette


Click here to register!

WHAT: People, Places, and Promenades: Unifying Museum Park Super Neighborhood, 2012 Rice Design Alliance Design Charrette

WHEN: Saturday, August 4, 2012, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Reception** will be held Monday, August 6, from 6-8 pm.

WHERE: Rice University, School of Architecture, Anderson Hall (Building 4), 6100 Main Street (Off Entrance 1).

Rice Design Alliance’s 2012 design charrette will focus on creating a master plan for the Museum Park Super Neighborhood, the boundaries of which are Hermann Park, Main Street, State Highway 288 and Highway 59. This thriving cultural center of Houston contains eighteen museums, including The MFA,H and Houston Museum of Natural Science, five churches, several preschools, MacGregor Elementary School, Park Plaza Hospital, Baylor Outpatient, Hermann Park, the little train, Hermann Park Golf Course, and the zoo. During spring breaks, over 275,000 people a day frequent the area, and in a year, the neighborhood attracts between 8-12 million visitors.

Charrette participants will be challenged to brainstorm general solutions for the constant growth in the area, including ways to help ease vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

rdAGENTS, Rice Design Alliance’s young professional’s group, invite interested parties to participate in the juried competition. An entry fee of $20 for RDA members and $30 for non-members will cover breakfast, lunch, and refreshments at day’s end. The competition is open to architects and non-architects, designers, individuals , and teams of up to five.

To register please call 713.348.4876.

** Jurors for the competition will announce the winning designs at the evening reception at the Rice School of Architecture, open to the public on Monday, August 6, 2012. **

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Charrette Shop Shapes Up Workshop Houston

Charrette winner Linh Dan Do stands in front of her team's design. Not pictured is team member Sarah Simpson.

Over twenty designers came out on Saturday, August 6, for an intensive eight-hour challenge to propose a new campus for Workshop Houston, a non-profit in Houston’s Third Ward that provides youth with creative, technical, and educational resources. Rice Design Alliance’s young professionals group, rdAGENTS, hosted the event in the space generously provided by the Rice School of Architecture, which asked participants to expand Workshop Houston’s existing campus into a more efficient and user-friendly place for students.

As teams arrived, they were each given a program that outlined the details of the challenge. After learning about Workshop Houston’s own programming, which includes a Scholar Shop, a Style Shop, a Beat Shop, a Bike Shop, and a Chopper Shop, participants drafted innovative designs that considered existing buildings, as well as land that Workshop Houston hopes to expand onto in the near future. Entries showcased ideas for a more expansive campus and for more efficient space for the five shops.

On Monday, August 8, a jury consisting of Nicola Springer, Vice President at Kirksey; Reginald Hatter, Co-Director of Workshop Houston; and Danny Samuels, Rice Architecture Professor and Director of The Rice Building Workshop, blindly judged the entries based on how well the entries complied with the needs of WH, how cost-effective design implementation would be, how efficient the space was, and the clarity of the presentation. Winners were announced Monday night at a festive reception held at The Rice School of Architecture.

Recent Rice School of Architecture graduates Linh Dan Do and Sarah Simpson (Team 3) won “Best Overall” prize for their economically and environmentally sustainable and flexible design that efficiently addressed the campus needs of WH. Team member Sarah Simpson says, “Inspiration was drawn from the buildings already on site and the surrounding neighborhood for the material palette, which consists of simple woods and metals, and additionally, we tried to tie in some exciting sustainable concepts, like rainwater collection, cooling plant screens; and vertical shading that doubles as signage on the sunniest eastern and western facades.” Judges also particularly liked the modularity of the design approach, as each building could be built singularly as funding allowed. Frank Kelly, Luis Ayala, Tracy Eich, Jorge Tiscareño, and Ramy Hana from the SHW Group (Team 1) won an “Honorable Mention” for their visually-detailed, open, connected campus concept that utilized the existing buildings.

Below are galleries of all of the entries:

Team 1
Frank Kelly
Tracy Eich
Luis Ayala
Jorge Tiscareño
Ramy Hanna

Team 2
Don Hickey
Ali Naghdali
Shane Wilson

Team 3
Linh Dan Do
Sarah Simpson

Team 4
Adam Adams
Jennifer Traina-Dorge
Amy Sullivan

Team 5
Peter Mussig

Team 6
Sarah Kariv

Team 7
Arnika Shroff
Marquez Colby
Anthony Vu
Robert Morris

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Charrette Shop: Workshop Houston Chosen for 2011 Design Charrette

WHAT: 2011 Rice Design Alliance Design Charrette

WHEN: Saturday, August 6, 2011, 8:00 am- 4:00 pm. Reception** will be held
Monday, August 8, from 6-8 pm.

WHERE: Rice University, School of Architecture, Anderson Hall (Building 4)
6100 Main Street (Off Entrance 1).

Rice Design Alliance’s 2011 design charrette will focus on creating a plan for Workshop Houston’s future—a non-profit organization located in Houston’s Third Ward whose mission is to provide youth with creative, technical, and educational resources. These resources take place through five “shops”—the “Scholar Shop,” the “Beat Shop,” the “Bike Shop,” the “Chopper Shop,” and the “Style Shop”—each focused on nurturing students’ practical and creative skills.

The charrette, named “Charrette Shop,” will seek to maximize the efficiency of Workshop Houston’s current space, and build a plan for expanding the space. More information will be delivered to participants on the day of the charrette.

rdAGENTS, Rice Design Alliance’s young professional’s group, invite interested parties to participate in the juried competition. An entry fee of $20 for RDA members and $30 for non-members will cover breakfast, lunch, and refreshments at day’s end. The competition is open to architects and non-architects, designers, individuals or teams of up to five.

To register online, click here. For more information please call 713.348.4976.

** Jurors for the competition will announce the winning designs at the evening reception, open to the public on Monday, August 8, 2011. **

We would like to thank our contributing firms Colby Design, Houston Trust Company, Gant Architects, Garza+McLain Structural Engineers, Inc., Val Glitsch FAIA, HFP Acoustical Consultants Inc., Knoll, Miller Dahlstrand Architects, Murphy Mears Architects, Oxford Builders, Inc., Rentacrate LLC, Stone Construction, Straus Systems, Transwestern, and Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers, Inc.

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Ray + Hollington Team Members paddle the 100 feet distance to the finish line

Floating, Sinking, and Boat-Loads of Fun

rdAGENTS hosted its first annual Anything That Floats competition April 9, drawing seven teams consisting of architects, engineers, graduate students, and even high school students. The event, which challenged participants to build floating devices from discarded materials, took place along Buffalo Bayou at downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park.

Competing teams gathered at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, unaware of what materials they would receive to build their respective floats. Each team was allotted two 10’ lengths of 3-4” PVC pipe, two 4’ lengths of 3-4” PVC pipe, one 4’x8’ sheet of 2” foam insulation, two 3’x4’ sheets of ½” plywood, and one 6’x8’ sheet of waterproofing sheeting, all generously donated by J.E. Dunn, Gowan, Inc., and Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing. Teams, which each consisted of a maximum of five people, could bring hammers, nails, duct tape, battery-operated power tools, and any other “connecting” materials to construct their floating devices within a three-hour time frame.

Once the three-hour time was up, teams brought their floats down to the banks of the bayou where they chose two team members to paddle 100 feet to the finish line. With adrenaline racing, each team excitedly took their turn, paddling as quickly as they could amid minimal bouts of water-logging and high-energy crowd-cheering.

After the judges (rdAGENTS’ steering committee) deliberated and lunch was served by the Good Dog Hot Dogs truck, awards were distributed. Each team received a “Certificate of Buoyancy” and certain teams were recognized based on other criteria. The “Bayou Beauty” award was given to Jeff Talbott, Jose Aguilar, Jeanette Dicorcia, Hugh Yildrim, and Giang Phan for having the most aesthetically pleasing float. As the only team whose boat flipped, Rainard High School’s Alex Beck, Ellen Vaughan, Devan Mendez, and David Johnson were given the “Best Sinker” award along with floaties, as homage to their valiant effort of swimming their boat across the finish line. Rainard High’s other team, which included John Cramerus, Leighton Moreland, Micah McClimans, Daniel Rasi, and Robert Mendez took home the Grand Prize for speed with their unique aero-dynamic design.

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Willow Waterhole Awakened! Charrette Entries Online

CharretteWEB

Dozens of designers came out on Saturday for an intensive, all-day challenge to revitalize Willow Waterhole Park in Southwest Houston. RDA’s young professionals group, rdAgents, hosted the competition that sought to maximize the 279-acre greenspace of Willow Waterhole, making the park a more sophisticated nature preserve.

Like last year’s charrette that focused on Galveston’s Seawall, the day’s program was divided into three tracks. The 12 participating teams of architects, graphic designers, and those passionate about the park chose between a Master Plan Track, which considered the park as a whole, an Architecture Track, and a Graphic Design Track. Participants were charged with taking the mostly vacant greenspace and designing measures to promote nature, unify the six detention sites of the park, increase public outreach and awareness, create opportunity for revenue, and showcase creativity and ingenuity.

The entries were blindly judged Monday afternoon by Art Storey, Executive Director of the Harris County Public Infrastructure Department; Ben Crawford, Senior Associate, Senior Project Designer HOK; Howard Sacks, President of Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy; Matt Baumgarten, Associate with SWA; and Roksan Okan-Vick, Executive Director of the Houston Parks Board. Winners were announced Monday night at a festive reception at Rice School of Architecture.

The team from TBG Partners (Team 11) won “Best Overall” prize for their strong representation of park connectivity. Team member Pete Simpson says, “Our main goal for the project was to make connections. We wanted to connect the park through contiguous greenspace for park users and wildlife internally, as well as connect to the community externally.” The team accomplished this by considering the ecosystems in the broader Houston region, with an iconic nature center, amphitheater, and viewing tower for the park.

Clark Condon Associates (Team 4) won “Best Master Plan” for their well-rounded, straightforward, nature-first vision. The team’s ability to unify the six disparate parts of the park were striking to the judges. The “Best Architecture” award went to Team 6 (Genevieve Buentello, Antonio Flamenco, Mike Garcia, Camilo Parra, and David Robinson). The team’s visual articulation of innovative elements like the multi-level viewing tower partly submerged in water were architecturally appealing. SHW Group’s team (Team 1) took home the prize for “Best Graphic Design Solution.” Judges responded to the team’s elegant response to the existing park plans, and their nod to the natural surrounding environments.

Below are galleries of all of the entries:

Team 1
Luis Ayala
Eddie Blanco
Ramy Hanna
Frank Kelly
Jorge Tiscareño

Team 2
Marcos Cabrera
Marquez Colby
John Luna
Robert Morris
Arnika Shroff

Team 3
Linh Dan Do
Megan Schneider
Sarah Simpson

Team 4
Riley Anderson
Jamie Hendrixson
Mary Keilers
Lindsay Landers
Paul Weathers

Team 5
Scott Dooley
Brad Ewing
Angel Rivera
Will Wilkinson
Shane Wilson

Team 6
Genevieve Buentello
Antonio Flamenco
Mike Garcia
Camilo Parra
David Robinson

Team 7
Ernesto Maldonado
Kristin Schuster

Team 8
Matthew Easterly
Katy Emde
Flo Hannah
Andi Ritchie
Don Verser

Team 9
Terrence Newton
Roselynn Newton

Team 10
Yogesh Arote
Theodora Batchvarova
Brian Janhsen
Chris McBride
Daniel Ortiz

Team 11
Kyle Grist
Meade Mitchell
Kinoto Miyakoda
Pete Simpson

Team 12
Aaron Beasley
Kenneth Beasley
Ray Mora
Evan Vargas

Special thanks to Karen Rose for spending the day helping all the teams with Civil Engineering questions, and for Lonnie Hoogeboom, who provided all the beverages throughout the day.

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RDA Announces 2010 Charrette Focusing On Willow Waterhole

Interested participants can download an application here.

WHAT: 2010 Rice Design Alliance Design Charrette

WHEN: Saturday, August 7, 2010, 8:00 am- 4:00 pm. Reception will be held
Monday, August 9, from 6-8 pm.

WHERE: Rice University, School of Architecture, Anderson Hall (Building 4)
6100 Main Street (Off Entrance 1).

In 1992, Rice Design Alliance held a national design competition called “Heart of the Park” for Houston’s Hermann Park, which eventually led to a master plan that culminated in what the park is today. This year, RDA’s 2010 annual design charrette—a gathering of people for an intensive day of brainstorming and design—will focus on maximizing the potential of The Willow Waterhole Greenway Project, a 279-acre greenspace featuring six detention lakes, designed to reduce flooding along Brays Bayou. While the exact goals of the charrette will not be revealed until the day of the competition, August 7, overarching objectives include transforming the park from a disjointed neighborhood space into a more cohesive, natural community space. The charrette will conceptualize measures to make the park a more sophisticated nature preserve, while maintaining characteristics that make the park a welcoming area for various forms of wildlife.

rdAgents of the Rice Design Alliance invite interested parties to participate in the juried competition. An entry fee of $20 for RDA members and $30 for non-members will cover breakfast, lunch, and refreshments at day’s end. The competition is open to architects and non-architects, designers, individuals or teams of up to five.

Jurors for the competition will announce the winning designs at the evening reception, open to the public on Monday, August 9, 2010.

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800px-GalvestonSeaWallAndBoulevardPostcard

Charrette 2009: Galveston’s Future at the Seawall

This year, the Rice Design Alliance Charrette brought participants together to take a closer look at the Galveston Seawall. Plagued with empty lots, Hurricane Ike debris, and sparsely populated tourist centers, Seawall Boulevard retains, nonetheless, the potential to unify the residential and tourist communities and create a heart to the island.AndrewatWork
Andrew Sheehan (pictured left) was a member of the team that took top prize at this year’s RDA Charrette competition. Sheehan, an architect with Curry Boudreaux Architects and a first-time participant, agreed to look back at the experience for RDA. For a complete list of winners and a look at all the entries, click here.

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A CHARR-WHAT??

Let’s begin at the end. Driving home from the judging reception for the RDA’s 2009 Charrette, my wife asked: “By the way, what does charrette mean anyway?”

cartI fumbled through an explanation about “carts” and told her that charrette was just a traditional term for an intensive design exercises. According to Wikipedia, I wasn’t far off. From Wikipedia:

Thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the word charrette is from the French for “cart” or “chariot.” It was not unknown for student architects to continue working furiously, at the last minute, on the illustrations for their design presentations, even while riding in the school cart (“en charrette”) through the streets of Paris en route to submit the projects to their professors. Hence, the term metamorphosed into the current design-related usage in conjunction with working right up until a deadline.

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