Dancing with architecture: (1) UT Alumni Center and (2) JerryWorld

Looking up in the UT Alumni Center.

The bride and I took a Texas Exes-sponsored bus up to Arlington, Texas, to watch the Longhorns lose  to UCLA. A big reason for going was to see JerryWorld: Jerry Jones' (and Arlington's) stadium for the Dallas Cowboys. We'd been talking about going up to watch a Cowboys game in the new stadium, but once you factor in the cost of tickets, parking, overnight accommodations, food, and hard cider, you're looking at a house payment (no joke...). Seeing the Horns for substantially less via a bus was a great alternative (and although we lost in a sucker punched kinda way, it was a valiant effort).

A few days earlier I was at the Alumni Center, where the bus trip started, to yap about water at a conference. As I awaited my time at the podium, I admired the room, noting that whoever designed the space spent some time on the details. After some interweb searching, I discovered that Charles Moore designed the building along with Richard Dodge.

The building evokes Harwell Hamilton Harris, R.M. Schindler, and Frank Lloyd Wright in its use of wood and how it engages the outdoors. Moore worked with Louis Kahn, among others, before coming to Austin as an architectural professor at the university in 1985. He's mostly noted for his post-Modernist work such as the garish Piazza d'Italia in New Orleans and his strong use of color. His doctoral dissertation, and later a book, was titled Water and Architecture (hmmm...).

The meeting room.

Clever use of painted/stained wood where the treated wood is carried from the outside to the inside. Generally not a good idea to have untreated wood outside in Texas. 

Moore gets a little flamboyant when you look up. 

Wow, that's colorful!

One of the entrances. 

Nice little Harris/Schindler-esque detail on the eaves...

As far as stadiums go, this one built for the Dallas Cowboys is the best one I've ever been in. First rate. The design is gorgeous, the roof opens up (so God can check in on the 'boys...), it's fully air conditioned, the staff are uber-friendly, the food good and diverse, the mega-screens wonderful, the editing quick and multi-angled, and the DJ (yes, they have a DJ) awesome. Again, first rate. People make fun of it (aka, JerryWorld), but, wow, is it neat. My only quibble is with the acoustics: It. Is. An. Echo. Chamber. Chamber. Chamber...

The stadium was designed by Dallas-based HKS, Inc.. They've designed and built a number of stadiums across the planet, including Dell Diamond in Round Rock, the stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, and the current headquarters for Whole Foods in Austin.

Approaching the Deathstar...

Support structures.

Tom Landry looks over the scene.

A reflective sculpture at the main entrance for the peons.

Interior shot.

Even the sandwich architecture is impressive.

That ceiling opens.

Go horns!

No comments:

Post a Comment