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The History of South Llano River State Park
The South Llano River State Park project is a joint effort between Work5hop and our good friends at Ford, Powell & Carson. The project involves a restoration of a 1910 residence and a new headquarters, and it is currently at the end of the schematic design phase. Rachel Wright with Ford, Powell & Carson is our guest author.  This is the first in a series of articles talking about the history, design process, and eventual construction out at South Llano River State Park.
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A Day In the Life: A Visit to the Precast Plant
Every now and again, we'll be posting articles about what we're up to.  Design and construction may not be as exciting as, say, being a touring musician or pyrotechnics techician, but occasionally we get to do neat stuff that you don't see every day.  This first article is about a visit to the precast concrete plant.  Don't know what that is or how it could be called "neat?"  Then A) please humor me on the whole "neat" thing, and B) read on.
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A Building or a Fork?
A few words about the whys and wherefores of the intersection of building and planning, with a side comparison of buildings and eating utensils.  The two (uh, building and planning, not building and forks) should be a lot more similar than they are to many designers.  Here's also what that approach means in the instance of a particular Texas A&M component campus.
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Modeling Carlos Cortes's San Antonio Grotto
The grotto on the San Antonio River is a one-of-a-kind blending of Carlos Cortes's faux bois artistry with some very unusual architectural and engineering work.  Other pieces have been written on Carlos's work; this article focuses on the techniques used during design and then to communicate the design to the entire construction team.
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Essay: Gentrification
Investment has risen in the near-urban core recently, particularly in that ring of neighborhoods immediately surrounding downtown, so gentrification is a popular discussion point lately.     I believe it's important to improve our neighborhoods while keeping -- and increasing -- the diversity of experiences and culture which defines the city.
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Gallery: 618 East Locust
This is a gallery of a first and ongoing project: 618 East Locust.  The home was built around 1920, and most of its original architectural detail was lost in a series of renovations beginning around 1950.
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Historic Homes: Advanced Class
What, you thought it was that easy ?  Nope.  Those were just the basics.  What, you've already bought the house?  Well, good for you.  Time to get serious about this.  Unless you want to just hand the project off to someone else (like Work5hop!), historic preservation and renovation are hands-on, in-depth projects.  Once you get deeply into it, you'll run across situations that you never imagined.  I've tried to lay out a few of them here.
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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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Historic Homes: Basic Do's and Don'ts
Buying a historic home can be a leap of faith; many people are unfamiliar with the particular challenges of an older building.  Do you know what you need to know before jumping in?  Here are a few things you should know as well as some things you should and shouldn't do.  Give it a read before you buy and renovate a historic home.
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Collateral Design: Complexity and Contradiction
This second in a series of blog posts rescued from digital dust tackles the question of what "complex" really means for modern architecture.  As technology and aesthetics have changed, we've traded traditional ornamentation for building performance in some interesting ways.
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Collateral Design: Thermal Delight in Texas
The latest entry in the Collateral Design series tackles a timely topic, given that we're in the middle of our annual mid-September heat wave: thermal comfort and its meaningfulness to life, architecture, and everything.  It also includes slant references to Ben Franklin's finest literary work.  Bonus points if you catch those.
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Collateral Design: Decay and Renewal
Back in 2011, Brantley Hightower (fellow architect, former college roommate, co-best man, and founder of HiWorks Architecture) and I co-wrote a blog called the Collateral Design Blog.  It was largely structured as a dialogue, based off of the emails we'd send back and forth.  From time to time, I'll be mining that work for articles here.  First up is a discussion about design, decay, weathering, and how all of that interrelates.
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220 West Fair Oaks
220 West Fair Oaks is an Alamo Heights home built in the 1940s.  Work5hop collaborated with with Homes by Estate, a local interior design firm, on a comprehensive renovation and addition.  Click through for photos by CraigMac Visuals.  Plan by Work5hop.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Essay: Appearances Don't Matter
Designers spend a great deal of time on how things look.  But that's only one part of a much bigger picture; the experience of a space, which is what impacts us the most, is much more than appearances.  Read on for more thoughts on what we should value in design.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Why Do We Ignore Ceilings?
Ceilings are really about light.  To the extent that most architecture is really about light, ceilings are pretty important, then.  That's why it surprises me to that ceilings are the most ignored surface in most buildings.  More musings follow.
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Hurricane Harvey Is Coming: Is My House Going to Fall Down?
Is your San Antonio house in danger from Hurricane Harvey or another tropical storm or hurricane?  No, probably not, but there are some things you should take care of to help decrease your risk.