THAT is a bottle of Prado Enea Muga 1982 a Rioja Gran Reserva that we’ve had for years. We had very good reasons to open it. We just won our fifth TSA design award! It was GREAT, both the wine and the winning:-)
Thanks, Texas Society of Architects. Jurors were Philip Freelon, FAIA, president of the Freelon Group in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Mary Margaret Jones, FASLA, president of San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates; and Rick Joy, AIA, founding principal of Rick Joy Architects in Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Joy, oh man!)
Only two Austin projects were awarded at this state level this year… what a tough, tough jury! It can really be a lottery… the rest of the awarded firms/projects were in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
Let me tell you, we were not counting on this one. The Austin design awards were tough competition already and we saw oodles of nice work there, so we were not counting on a TSA award this year, especially with MR Joy in the jury, we know just how demanding he is! Because he can.
“AIA Austin is pleased to announce the results of the 2008 Design Awards Competition. The AIA Austin design competition seeks to recognize outstanding architectural projects by members and to promote public interest in architectural excellence. The jury met on April 4, 2008 at the Chapter office and reviewed sixty-eight entries from local firms and made the following selections:
(The highest award given in this program)
M.J. Neal Architects
And it goes on to list the other Honor Award (the fabulous Concrete Studio by Mell Lawrence, a must see) 3 Citation awards and only 2 Merit Awards… This year there were only 7 awards in total!
MJ and I were stunned, this is such a tiny project (at only $40 per sq ft.) and it was competing against such heavy hitters, that we didn’t have many high hopes…
So, at the Saturday Gala, when the Merit and the Citations came and went, and the beautiful Concrete Studio by Mell Lawrence came in as the Honor Award winner, we were almost getting up to go, a bit dissapointed but happy to have seen some good architecture and greeted some colleagues and friends…
Then, on the screen, it appeared: “Pilates Studio.” by… M.J. Neal Architects. I looked at MJ in disbelief, “that would be us!” He had a funny look on his face as he buttoned his jacket in a hurry…
What a jury, Julie Eizenberg, AIA; David Baker, FAIA, Randy Brown, FAIA … they had the nicest things to say about the work, rigorous, sensual, creative… wow, I still can’t believe it, and the last award of the night, how about them apples, eh?
This award is not connected to the AIA National Institute Honor award for the Anthony Nak Project that we will pick up in Boston May 15.
Photo: Viviane Vives
MJ has been awarded the 2008 Silver Medal for significant contribution to architectural design from the Upsilon chapter of Tau Sigma Delta at Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture
He was very surprised and happy, we traveled to Lubbock so they could give the thing to him and so he could lecture them in exchange (not so sure about this barter here now, huh?)
OK, really, it was fun, MJ is a TTech alumnus and the students that hosted us (Adam Reed and Amber Howard) were intelligent, gracious and fun; we honestly had a great time with them and they took us to great restaurants!
– Publicatios in Serbia and Syria and other national magazines will be coming up as well, details on the next newsletter! project submission to be exhibited in the Architecture Gallery of the RIAI in 2008
I wanted to close with a couple worthy causes, our son Kilean participated in this video to help raise money for the Children’s Shelter.Gary Walker of TX-FX heads this remarkable effort every year!