On October 25 at the Annual Conference in Galveston, the Texas Society of Architects presented its 2019 25-Year Award to San Antonio’s Lucile Halsell Conservatory. Located in the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the conservatory was designed by Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz in partnership with Jones & Kell, now Muñoz & Company. 

The conservatory opened to great fanfare in 1988, its futuristic glass structures garnering awards from the National Glass Association and Progressive Architecture, and the 1990 Quaternario prize. With five glass houses linked by a central courtyard and buildings integrated into the landscape, a trademark style for Ambasz, the project revolutionized greenhouse design. 

Even before construction was completed, The New York Times’ Paul Goldberger wrote about the conservatory, calling it “at once a place for the display of plants, a ceremonial public square for San Antonio, and a poetic essay on the relationship of manmade and natural structures.” Three decades later, this Texas treasure continues to celebrate human connection to the plant world. 

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