U.S. Federal Courthouse in Alpine, Texas by architect Larry Speck

U.S. Federal Courthouse

The Alpine Federal Courthouse is a simple, solid response to the extraordinary qualities of the local Texas landscape, the West Texas climate and the specific mission of its occupants. The powerful Trans-Pecos terrain dominates the experience of this locale. The building's materials―primarily russet-colored, dry-stacked West Texas sandstone―link the building to the larger landscape as well as providing high thermal mass appropriate for a climate with a high diurnal swing. Primary departments…

General Services Administration Field Office in Houston, Texas by architect Larry Speck

General Services Administration Field Office

The FBI's recently opened 275,000-square-foot field office integrates concerns for security, sustainability, and appropriate image into a thoroughly synthesized design solution. A lightweight metal frame is hung from powerful concrete walls to carry a “second skin” for the building. Heavily fritted, laminated glass attaches to the lightweight frame with stainless steel clips. The almost opaque glass, placed away from the actual thermal wall of the building, shades the structure substantially…

Computer Sciences Corporation in Austin, Texas by architect Larry Speck

Computer Sciences Corporation

The twin CSC buildings on Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin occupy a critical site in the revitalization of the city’s core. They emphasize the longstanding role of office buildings as “fabric” in the urban environment and draw their architectural character from urban design goals. The buildings each encompass 350,000 square feet, creating an appropriately scaled edge to the lake and parkland, and framing a public plaza with City Hall in between. On the lake side of each block, a courtyard is…

Robert E. Johnson Legislative Office Building in Austin, Texas by architect Larry Speck

Robert E. Johnson Legislative Office Building

Located in the shadows of the Texas State Capitol building in central Austin, the Robert E. Johnson Legislative Office Building stands as a symbol of contemporary state government and the agencies that inhabit it.  The design creates a dignified but accessible place, emblematic of open, participatory government and welcoming to constituents and the general public. Conceived as a sustainability model for future state office buildings, the 320,000 square foot project pays particular attention to…