PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston March 2023

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© GERALD MOORHEAD FAIA COURTESY WILSONART CHRIS COOPER PHOTOGRAPHY Rice silos. The 83-foot concrete cylinders are home to SITE Gallery Houston, an alternative space which invites artists to make site- specific installations aligned with Sculpture Month. Sawyer Yards was co-developed by Jon Deal, Frank Liu's Lovett Commercial, and Steve Gibson's Western General, a group of enlightened entrepreneurs responsible for Winter Street, Silver Street, and Spring Street Studios, who bet the arts could be financially viable and build community. Today Sawyer Yards represents one of the largest concentrations of studios and creative businesses, all within a former no-man's-land adjacent to downtown Houston. TEMPLE MT. SINAI, El Paso (1962): This soaring tent-like concrete sanctuary emulates the desert tabernacle of the Israelites described in detail in scripture. Inside, the ceiling resembles the tablets of the Ten Commandments. This dramatically sculptural building was designed by Los Angeles architect Sidney Eisenshtat, noted for his use of expressive forms in thin-shell concrete, white walls, simple materials, and natural light. WILSON HOUSE, Temple (1959, restored 1998): The historic Ralph Sr. and Sunny Wilson House in Temple was built as a model home for his then fledging laminate company, Wilsonart; and a living laboratory to test product quality and durability. The house was influenced by the California Case Study Houses, the type of architecture where decorative laminates in cutting-edge applications would seem right at home. Now owned by Wilsonart and run as a house museum, this modernist dwelling is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. T R A N S A R T F O U N DAT I O N , Houston (2018): This ethereal white box, blocks from The Menil Collection, evokes a chapel more than kunsthalle; as such, the building embodies artist, curator, and cultural anthropologist Surpik Angelini's mission. The Transart Foundation for Art & Anthropology was founded in 1996 as a private, experimental workshop; the new art space was designed by Houston/ NY firm Schaum/Shieh. Transart generated international press, being named Building of the Year by The Architect's Newspaper in 2018. U.S. FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, Alpine (2022): Larry Speck, former dean of UT School of Architecture, designed this courthouse as a simple, solid response to the ethos of West Texas, hearkening to the area's colonial past in a fresh and contemporary way. Its materials, primarily russet-colored, dry- stacked West Texas sandstone, link the building to the larger landscape and provide high thermal mass appropriate for a climate with striking temperature variations throughout the day. WATSON-GILES-FARENTHOLD HOUSE, Corpus Christi (1900, restored 1990): An area of Corpus Christi overlooking the bay is said to look exactly as it has since the 1930s. The Giles-Farenthold House is one of three homes that remain from that fabled era when magnificent mansions of the city's elite lined the bluff. An early resident, Dr. H.R. Giles, also owned the Giles Hotel and was elected mayor in a heated election (1935- 1937). In later years, the house was the residence of liberal Texas state legislator Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, one of the nation's most prominent feminists, and her husband, George. WITTGENSTEIN SILVER CABINET, Dallas (circa 1908): Adding to its already legendary silver collection, in 2013 the Dallas Museum of Art acquired a monumental silver vitrine originally owned by the German-Austrian Wittgenstein family, once the second wealthiest family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the Rothschilds. The vitrine — encrusted with enamel, pearls, opal, and other gemstones — expresses the exuberant spirit of progressive Viennese design in the first decade of the 20th century. Crafted by Carl Otto Czecshka (1878-1960), the work is the largest and most lavish example of decorative art produced by the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops). Wilson House kitchen The Silos at Sawyer Yards U.S. Federal Courthouse, Alpine 75 TEXAS DESIGN ICONS 60

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