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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.
14 May 2015
One of Work5hop's specializations is master planning. Many of the things that designers do are easily comprehensible -- architecture, interior design, and a host of related fields are well understood. Master planning, however, isn't. That's unfortunate, because master planning is the step most critical to the success of building projects and how they relate to larger goals. This is true for a project as small as home renovation and as large as a university campus. My perspective on master planning relates directly to the belief that what you build should be translated directly from those larger goals. Read on for details.
12 December 2015
Stinson Field Control Tower
If you follow Work5hop on social media, you probably couldn't help but notice that we -- along with our teammate, Brantley Hightower of HiWorks Architecture -- won a recent competition to redesign a proposed new control tower at Stinson Field. This is a very important win for our firms, and we're honored to have been selected. We thought that the competition and our design might be worth an article to explain a bit more about both, plus a few words on where we go from here. Read on for more.
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.
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.
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.
15 January 2016
Opinion: The Public Realm
San Antonio has seen significant increases in property values over the past three years. That affects more than just your property tax: public policy adapts as well to address the changes in actual versus perceived land value. But dollars are only half of the equation for public entities. Just as important are how we want our city to develop and the kinds of places we want to create here. As a city, we should make decisions about public land which take quality of life into consideration, not just money. Read on for more thoughts.
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.
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.
15 March 2016
How Big Should My House Be?
A lot of people these days are reconsidering where they live in the city and what the tradeoffs are for choosing center-city living in terms of affordable space. If you're thinking along those lines, read on for our thoughts about what's important in a smaller home.
11 November 2015
Collateral Design: Principles
We could have started here, I suppose, in this resuscitation of Collateral Design with a series of writings about principles. But we didn't, mainly to give some context to this exchange, which lies at the heart of this series of back-and-forth about architecture, meaning, and philosophies about what we intend to accomplish with architecture.
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