Yesterday evening, some of the BRAVE team went to Talento Bilingue De Houston in Houston’s East End in support of B/A’s Architectural Intern, Alicia Islam. Alicia recently wrote and contributed an article to local publication Houston History titled “Past, Present, and Future: The Women Shaping Houston’s Architecture” where she discusses the historical and profound impact that women have had on our city.
Last night’s launch party featured a panel discussion between retired educator and University of Houston administrator, Dr. Dorothy Caram, lawyer and former Mayor Pro Tem, Gracie Saenz, and lawyer and owner of Villa Arcos, Christian Navarro on Latino empowerment and their contributions to our community. The discussion was led by Houston History editor and University of Houston Honors College history professor, Dr. Debbie Harwell. Harwell, a former professor of Alicia’s, created Houston History with the goal of making our region more aware of its history and more respectful of its past and to contribute to the development of a stronger historical consciousness in Houston.
Yesterday morning, University of Houston-Victoria and community leaders broke ground with ceremonial shovels to signify the beginning of construction on the three-story, 272-bed Don & Mona Smith Hall, named after the university’s provost emeritus and his wife. We’re thrilled to be a part of this project!
AIA Houston’s Kids & Architecture Committee scheduled another great class on a beautiful Saturday, pairing architects with students to meander around a section of Houston and lay down some pencil (or pen) to paper. This past weekend, the focus was on Hermann Park and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion.
AIA Houston schedules the Kids & Architecture Sketching Classes every so often and will reconvene in the fall once school starts up again.
BRAVE / Architecture was the recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston Chapter’s 2018 Firm of the Year Award at this year’s annual Celebrate Architecture Gala. The award is given annually to a Houston architecture firm that has produced distinguished architecture for a period of at least ten years. In addition to architectural accomplishments, the judging panel, which consisted of representatives from AIA Kansas City, recognized the firm’s significant contributions to both the profession and the community.
BRAVE / Architecture has become a successful, non-traditional practice by turning the traditional model around: they do not hire based on project needs, but rather seek project opportunities based on firm resources, capabilities, and ambitions. To that end, they also redefined hiring practices by allowing the team to conduct the search and hire with its own goals in mind. This means each person is hired by their co-workers and peers rather than by management. The staff seeks people who are inclined to immerse themselves in architectural research early in their careers while applying fresh and innovative thinking to projects.
The firm has completed numerous projects in and around the Houston area, but is best known for their award-winning Sicardi Gallery (now Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino), one of the first art galleries in the United States to represent avant-garde and contemporary artists from Latin America. The project has been featured in a variety of publications, most recently Phaidon Press’ Destination Architecture: The Essential Guide to 1000 Contemporary Buildings.
Last Saturday, the BRAVE team participated in the Acre Homes Complete Communities Design Workshop. Complete Communities is a City of Houston initiative geared towards improving neighborhoods and communities so all Houston residents and business owners can have access to quality services and amenities. Acre Homes was one of the five neighborhoods included in the workshop’s program.
A variety of topics were discussed during Saturday’s community meeting / design workshop; the participants were strategically divided into nine groups to discuss subjects like use of public spaces, housing, and economic development. Our group was tasked with developing a plan to re‐purpose Bethune Academy’s current building. The school is scheduled to relocate next year and it’s existing building is anticipated to be left vacant. Our team presented two schematic concepts that we hope will help the community make a strong case for repurposing the building into an asset for the neighborhood’s development.
To find out more about Houston’s Complete Communities initiative, check out their website here.
This photographic post follows Brave/Architecture during a 24 hour period. Everyone was tasked with recording two images during October 10th. Each image was taken during two separate one-hour periods recording a specific moment in each person’s day. It is a glimpse into our history during one day on this world.