As y’all know and have heard to death, at least from our end, we were awarded a National Institute Honor Design Award this year for the Anthony Nak Jewelry Flagship Store by the American Institute of Architects
Ok, so we went to Boston and picked up the thing.
We were the only Texans at the design awards, but MJ made sure he was wearing his boots.
This project has won almost every award I can think of so, although the National was a surprise, it didn’t surprise me as much as you’d think… Nevertheless, out of curiosity, I went and researched a bit to see how rare this really was for Austin and wow, as far as I could find here, or here there have only been three other projects in Austin, TX ever awarded a national AIA award… it’s really kinda freaky, actually, they are:
– Lake Austin Residence by Lake | Flato Architects, Inc., San Antonio, 2005 (hopefully this one is still standing)
– Anthony Nak Flagship Store, by yours truly, M. J. Neal Architects, 2008
That is not a lot of projects for a whole CITY, F-O-U-R??? It just doesn’t sound right to me… C’mon guys the work in Austin is GOOD, I’m I missing something? Texas architects in general fared a tad better, but besides Lake Flato, not so well, actually…
MJ still can’t believe it, but it’s real, I got in on camera! Slide show to follow, surprise, surprise!
The most wonderful thing about Boston was seeing Reese Schroeder, one of mj’s oldest and best friends. In the slide show you’ll see us at the opening of the Apple store where strangely and appropriately, we ended up celebrating the win after a dinner at Aquitaine that knocked our socks off. We enjoyed the Metropolis as well, and manager Tim is just too cute!
On the slide show, you’ll find also some pics of the only Corbu building in the USA at Harvard and the Office da’s McAllen building (worth the walk.) plus some bonus material!
We stayed at the Clarendon Square and I HIGHLY recommend the place, quiet, flawless, beautiful, comfortable, it’s all that and more!
On with the show!
(most pics by Viviane Vives (Who doesn’t mind shooting for hire email vvvATbarcelonafilmsDOTcom) some by MJ Neal, AIA and some by Reese Schroeder, AIA. All rights reserved)
MJ was 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; 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…)
Seriously, it was fun, MJ is a TTech alumnus and the students that hosted us (Adam Reed and Amber Howard) were intelligent, gracious and we had a great time with them and going to great restaurants!
If they were sick and tired of hearing MJ reminisce about his drinking, his drinking buddies and his drinking holes during his six years at TTech a million years ago, they didn’t show it. (Jeez baby, no wonder you didn’t have the grades to join the actual Honor Society that gave you the award, but I guess is all better now… except wait, it’s Friday, oh no, Margarita day… gotta go!)
The highlights of the trip besides getting to hang out with Adam and Amber, were meeting with MJ’s old professors (still there, still as sweet!) the White twin brothers, Jim and John, and going to visit the Bruno House! MJ was just excited, tickled pink (yet sober, I swear.) He had been there when Bruno had started the house and 30 years later, he’s still at it!!!!
An absolute must see and a wonderful man and artist whom Wallpaper just published!
Posted by Viviane
You might have noticed that we are posting design projects that are, how to say it delicately, a bit “fatter”. Yes bigger buildings, we are entering competitions and establishing relationships with other outfits and new types of clients. We are emphasizing more and more the importance and weight that the opportunity to contribute, not only with good design and sustainable practices, but also social purpose, bear with us.
I think I speak for each of us when I say that contributing to our communities is important and a part of our collective vision as professionals and artists.
We never, ever, want to let go of the little projects (MJ keeps drilling me on how important it is to make thoughtful design available to EVERYONE. You can really see him enamored of every single project at the office, like the little Wimberly cabin that will soon go into construction, 750 sq ft!) But, that said, we are putting a lot of effort lately into landing bigger projects.
They really challenge MJ as a designer, they give us the opportunity to engage the whole of the team, and we feel that we can do service to a greater amount of people at once.
An example of this line of thinking is a project we did a while ago in collaboration with Land Design Studio and Foda Studio, who else:-), for a new school building for American Youth Works. I think it exemplifies the type of work and service I am talking about. Designing places where youth can develop and play, experiment, shine… We do think that built environment affects personal development, potential. Can we help someone soar?
I really like seeing the Ramp House on the screen, makes me feel nostalgic, though… I just remembered that I have some footage on HD of our last days at the Ramp House, I need to dig it out and make a small video… in all my spare time, right… but it really would be nice, if a bit painful.
|From Ramp House|