The Texas Society of Architects Studio Awards Program recognizes real or theoretical unbuilt projects that demonstrate excellence in design. Submissions from students and practitioners are judged on equal footing, and projects of all types are considered together. Each year, the jury sifts through the entries looking for standouts that embody strong ideas critical to contemporary practice, resolve them thoroughly, and present them clearly.
The 2016 Studio Awards jurors met on Wednesday, August 17, at the New York City office of Diller Scofidio + Renfro to deliberate 45 entries representing a wide swath of project types — everything from boathouses to prison complexes. The jury comprised three DS+R architects:
A Word from Charles Renfro:
It was a pleasure and honor to jury the Texas Society of Architects Studio Awards. As a Texan and Rice alumnus, I keep close tabs on the work being done in the state and have been pleased to see the Texas architectural scene emerging on the world stage. I also remember, growing up in the 1970s in Houston, the absurd ambition of many of the projects that surrounded me. The Astrodome — an air-conditioned stadium. How amazing! Its neighbor, AstroWorld — an air-conditioned amusement park. Who woulda thought?!
These may not be the most environmentally or urbanistically sensitive projects, but they made the mythology of Texas real. While we have paused to understand how our work fits into the ecology of our cities and our world, I encourage architects in Texas (a distinction I include myself in) to keep the myth of Texas alive. There are few places in the world that can claim as much diversity, education, capital, land, ambition, and pride as Texas. This stew should give rise to some of the most compelling architecture and urbanism of the 21st century. The following projects are examples of such an ambition. Congratulations to the winners.