Texas Society of Architects Honors Work of Two UH Architecture Professors

Keeland Center and Northside planning study awarded coveted Design Award

The work of two professors at the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture has been recognized with the Texas Society of Architects' prestigious Design Award.

Associate professor and architect Geoffrey Brune was honored for his vision of the Burdette Keeland Design Exploration Center and William Truitt, adjunct assistant professor, was recognized for his planning study on Houston's near Northside neighborhood.

"Geoff and Bill are representative of the creativity and innovation that describes our faculty and is shared with our students," Joseph Mashburn, dean of the college, said. "We are proud of them and congratulate all the winners."

Brune designed the Burdette Keeland Design Exploration Center as a laboratory space for architecture and industrial design students that ‘recycled' one of UH's oldest buildings. The renovated structure houses state-of-the-art equipment and the Graduate Design-Build Studio. Students and faculty use the facility for research, studio work and individual projects.

The design concept emphasized energy conservation including functional natural light, ventilated shops and shaded south facing glass. The new and existing construction, use of building materials and organization of machines are clearly defined.

The building also features the only sloped, green roof in the city. Green roofs are vegetation-covered roofs on buildings that create an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional roofs.

"This award recognizes that a functional and well-designed building can be achieved even with a restricted budget, complex client and small scale of space," Brune said. His firm, GBA Architecture, donated its time to the project that took three years to complete. The Keeland Center opened its doors in 2007.

Truitt's study of Houston's near Northside, conducted by Truitt Foug Architects, considers Northside Village as primed for tremendous growth in the coming 30 years. The area between downtown and the northern suburbs is largely overlooked for development and neighborhood improvements, according to the study.

"Our goal is to broaden the perception of the city to include these middle territories lying between the center and the new suburbs so they are seen in relation to the history and topography of the city as a whole," Truitt said.

The 15 winning design awards and four studio awards came from 354 entries from across the state. The Brune and Truitt awards were the only two recognized among submissions from Houston.

The winning designs will be featured in the September/October issue of Texas Architect magazine. The Design Awards will be presented during the TSA convention in Fort Worth Oct. 23-25.

For more information on the UH Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, visit www.arch.uh.edu/.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.