The Texas Society of Architects 2019 Design Award jury met on May 9 and 10 in Austin to review 247 entries from across the state. This year, TxA asked the jury to give recognition to approximately 10 percent of projects submitted in order to increase the yield of Design Awards (previous years have featured only 10–15 winners total) and hopefully open the program up to firms and project types not usually laureled. After a congenial deliberation process, the jury gave Design Awards to 28 projects. As in years past, the majority of awards went to boutique-level projects, such as high-end residences, higher education, and cultural facilities, though three public projects did squeak through: a fire station in Dallas and two parks. And while there are a few first-time winning practices in this collection, most of them from out of state or the designers of little jewel-box-like projects, the lion’s share of awards were bestowed upon the usual suspects: Lake|Flato, the most decorated firm in Texas history, won six.

The Jury

“The fact that we went from the incredibly tight spec Perkins and Will building (The Richards Group Headquarters) to the highly aspirational Emancipation Park in the same year — one basically being highly efficient architecture to one that’s loaded with 200 years of history — speaks volumes to the larger evolution of the state.” – Eui-Sung Yi, Morphosis, Los Angeles

“Texas, more than other chapters, has a real important relationship to the land, which I think may be indicative of where Texas and Texas cities are now — leaving a rural environment, moving to the cities. I expect that will change. But right now it is really interesting to watch. It’s really interesting to look at the projects and see there’s a lot to learn.” – Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, Ross Barney Architects, Chicago

“The area that was missing was strong multifamily at the small scale and at the largest scale because it’s really difficult. I know it’s difficult. I’ve actually driven by some that looked pretty damn good. So, I don’t know where they were or if they don’t think they’ll be rewarded. But that was a missing category.” – Julie Eizenberg, FAIA, Koning Eizenberg, Los Angeles

“From interventions as small as Transformer, as unexpectedly delightful as 1217 Main Street, as determined as the revitalization of Emancipation Park and retreat homes embedded in varying Texas landscapes — I was able to appreciate the range of possibilities Texas has to offer. It’s exciting and inspiring.” – Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA, Wheeler Kearns Architects, Chicago

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