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architecture + interiors
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23 June 2017
Tesla! Solar! Roof!
Turn your roof into a powerplant, harnessing the energy of the sun! Install it for less than traditional clay tile roofing! Warranty lasts for infinity years! It's the best thing since sliced bread, and better as a roofing material! Take a deep breath. Tesla's very good at this superlative marketing thing. And -- spoiler alert -- the solar roof is pretty cool. But there are some things to consider before you climb up on your roof with a hammer and nails. Er, wiring harness. Er, batteries? Hang on. Let's talk it through.
14 April 2017
Flasher, the Pearl, and Tobin Hill
Flasher Equipment Company is one of the largest landholders in Tobin Hill, and their property is the linchpin to the next phase of changes coming to one of the city's rockstar urban redevelopment precincts. As their property changes hands -- and character -- what should happen to make the most of it from an urban planning perspective?
14 March 2017
State of Work5hop: Year 2
2016 was a great year. We built on the successes we had last year, had a few (great) surprises along the way, and ended on a high note. Read on for more about what 2016 held and what we're looking forward to in 2017.
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.
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