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30 January 2017
What You Need to Know About Reclaimed Wood
Good news: we're not in the 80s any more. You can stop dreaming in beige and looking enviously at your neighbor's fake tumbled marble ceramic tile. There's a new-re-found interest in authenticity. What does that mean? Lots of things like using natural materials (with some careful use of synthetics and composites that don't pretend they're natural), doing away with materials mimicry, and burgeoning interest in reclaimed materials. Let's talk a little about why and how to use reclaimed wood, with a few bonus thoughts about what NOT to do.
21 October 2016
History, Theory, and Additions
A fair bit of the work we do involves working with historic buildings. This is becoming a more salient reality for many architects. Our cities are aging, downtowns are being revitalized, and there's more focus on keeping and building on what we have rather than wiping the slate clean and starting over. This article looks at a specific issue to illuminate two discrete positions: new additions to historic buildings. This is a project type we grapple with on a regular basis, so read on for some thoughts.
22 September 2016
UTMB's East Plant: MORE POWER
We've developed a bit of a sub-specialization in thermal energy plants with the completion of UTMB's East Plant. This is number three for Work5hop's personnel (UTSA's North Thermal Energy Plant and Northeast Lakeview College's Physical Plant are the others, both done while with another firm). A fourth plant -- a substantial expansion of UTMB's West Plant -- is under construction now. Read on for more about the East Plant, its design parameters, and its capabilities.
07 September 2016
We're a very design-centric firm, but part of design is a deeper understanding of concepts at work. That sometimes leads us a bit further afield than "look at this pretty picture" into the realm of numbers and analysis. The intersection of design, home ownership, and economics is an interesting one. First, let's talk about economics and owning a house, then we'll look at ties between design and the latter two concepts in a future post. Homeownership has declined nation-wide in the past several decades. As owning a home remains a dream of many and the level of homeownership is viewed as an indication of economic conditions, this is an important metric. We're going to evaluate that situation from the construction and real estate side.
08 July 2016
The Process, Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions
We'll wrap up our four-part series on the process of getting projects done with answers to some questions that we get frequently. Don't forget to go back and read our previous articles in this series, and if you have a question we didn't cover, send it in.
25 May 2016
The Process, Part 3: Things You Should Know About Construction
We hope you've been reading along with our series about the process of getting a project done. If not, you may want to go back and read Part 1 (hiring a designer) and Part 2 (the design process). Now, we're on to Part 3: construction. Things get tougher during construction. While hiring a designer and working through the design process might have been alternately a bit confusing (hiring) and fun (design), construction ups the ante into "playing for keeps" territory. Keep reading for more.
17 May 2016
The Process, Part 2: What's This Design Thing All About?
This second part in our series about the design and construction process on small projects is all about design itself. Design is the fun part, both for you and for us. This is the second-best stage of a project: the skies are clear and blue and we're talking about what can be. Everything is exciting at the beginning, and it's our goal for the tough parts of the project to be just as rewarding and exciting as the first conversation. The best part, of course, is when you get to use your new space for the first time, but there's work to do first. Read on.
19 April 2016
The Process, Part 1: So You've Decided to Hire a Designer
Maybe you've read our articles on right-sizing your house, renovating a historic property, or table design and thought to yourself "these guys sound like they know what they're talking about. I want them to work on my [fill in the blank]." Well, great. We're in. Please contact us. But if you have questions about the design and construction process, then this series of articles is for you. We're going to walk through the process of hiring a designer, designing your project, hiring and working with a contractor, and completion.
12 April 2016
Old Red Medical Museum Concept
As the first medical school west of the Mississippi, established in 1891, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's (UTMB) history is compelling and unique, and the university has long wanted to establish a museum dedicated to its history and the anatomical samples which were historically used for teaching purposes. The chosen site for the museum is a building universally called Old Red, formally known as the Ashbel Smith Building. It is the first dedicated building at UTMB, and it housed the entirety of the university's teaching and adminstrative operations when it was built. It's also one of the most significant buildings in the state – it was designed by Nicholas Clayton and completed in 1891. Work5hop worked with a UTMB committee to develop a conceptual design and to perform an analysis of the space for its fitness as a museum. Read on for more.
24 March 2016
Brackenridge by the Numbers
Brackenridge Park is in the news a lot these days -- we're working on its first new master plan in over 30 years, the Brackenridge Park Conservancy is starting to gain steam, and there's a bond election coming up that could fund some transformative projects in the park. In spite of that, many people don't really know much about the city's most popular park. So here are some facts and figures that you might find surprising.
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