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TRIBEZA Talk | October 2013

An Insider's Guide to Austin's Hidden Gems.

Hey, A Parallel Architecture! Tell us about your favorite buildings in Austin.

1. St. Martin’s Lutheran Church (606 W. 15th St.)

“An architectural playground masterfully controlled by rigor and detail, this modernist reinterpretation of a Romanesque church comes complete with deconstructed columns, flying beams, barrel vaults, exquisite brick work, and exceptional stained glass. Tour the grounds before taking in one of the classical concerts the building serves host to throughout the year.“

2. French Legation Museum Grounds (802 San Marcos St.)

“A favorite spot in a favorite neighborhood. Enjoy the ever-present breeze while taking in a concert, sharing a picnic, or attending their annual Bastille Day celebration.”

3. Austin Central Fire Station #1 (401 E 5th St.)

“Laid out on a diagonal symmetry, this rare art-deco Austin jewel perfectly embodies a stylized marriage between form and function. Opened in 1938, this building was considered to be the most modern fire station in America at the time and still elegantly serves as Austin's busiest station today. You’ve probably driven by it a hundred times without noticing it. Best when seen on foot.”

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A Brief History of The Tavern

Built in 1916 by architect Hugo Koehne, The Tavern is both one of Austin’s oldest bars and originally home to Enfield Grocery Store, constructed on what was then the outskirts of town. In 1929, the store evolved into a steakhouse—and more salaciously, a rumored secret upstairs brothel. Post-prohibition, the building was reborn, becoming local watering hole The Tavern and also one of the first public places in Austin to get air conditioning. But the building’s history lives on: The sports bar is still reputedly haunted by the ghost of a prostitute known as Emily, who is said to throw glasses off of shelves and change the channels on televisions, even if no one has touched the remote.

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Austin Instagrammer of the Month: Emily Blincoe

And you thought you were being really original when you Instagrammed a photo of your sandy beach feet next to a piña colada…the bar just got raised, friends. We cannot get enough of the photos shared by Austin photographer Emily Blincoe, whose series centered around structure, color, texture, and collections are visual CANDY (and with over 60K followers, apparently we’re not the only ones who think so).

Native Austinite Blincoe explains, “There is something appealing to me about setting some rules and seeing what I can come up with.” Her ‘Colors Organized Neatly’ series, for example, started over a year ago when she started “randomly gathering some red and green things from around the house” to shoot, and has expanded to include anything from buttons to hard candies to plants from her garden.

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In Figures: The F1 Tower

  • 385 tons: the approximate amount of steel in the Tower
  • 900 square feet: size of the Tower’s viewing deck, complete with panoramic Hill Country Views and a partial structural-laminated floor (meaning you can look straight down 230 feet at the ground); the next time someone suggests the scenic views at Mt Bonnell…
  • 10 months: from owner approval to race day, timeframe for completing the venue in time for the 2012 race. To expedite work, design strategies for engineering and fabrication were coordinated via 3D models rather than traditional paper mock-ups.
  • Double-helix: the shape of the Tower’s continuously-welded staircase, wrapped into a filigree-like diagrid (the decision to use a network of distributed, structural elements was a driving force behind the overall design).
  • 24 feet: the height of each section of the Tower during construction. Sections were assembled in multiple casting beds on the ground, then stacked vertically by cranes to create the full height of 251 feet.
  • 428: number of stairs to the top. Bring your tennis shoes.

Credits

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