TRIBEZA Talk: An Insider’s Guide to Austin’s Hidden Gems
PUTTING ‘COMMUNITY FIRST!’
A project of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Community First! Village offers housing and support for the chronically homeless. “It’s really about dignifying a space for someone,” architect Beau Frail says of the project. As one of the organizers of the Tiny Victories design competition, Frail helped collect more than 50 plans for tiny (144-200 square feet) houses to be built at Community First! Village. “We encouraged people to be experimental and to be creative in their approach of designing the micro-home,” he says.
Ultimately six designs, including the elongated Porch With A Home by Page Southerland and the two-story Rooftop Hospitality House by Cody Gatlin of Fazio Architects, were selected for construction. With all of the designers working pro bono, the micro-homes are “a really great reflection of how the architecture and design community is giving back,” Frail says.
The houses are available for public viewing during a homes tour on October 31. For more information, head here.
Community First! home designed by Page Southerland Page | Photography by Jessica Mims
PREPARE FOR A BULLFIGHT
Drawing on his travels in Spain, Chef Shawn Cirkiel wanted to capture that country’s bright colors and rich textures for his new Airport Boulevard restaurant,Bullfight. “The big thing that we really try to convey in the shaping of the design and the graphics was that it’s not just masculine; it is very feminine and beautiful and artistic,” Cirkiel says. Working with FÖDA Studio, a geometric flamenco dancer emblem was created. “The bullfighting mimics the flamenco dancing and a lot of the same movements and the same shapes, they kind of all echo each other,” Cirkiel says. The design ideas carry over into the newly opened space with colorful ceramics from Keith Kreeger and Medieval-inspired lighting fixtures from Warbach Lighting & Design.
Working with architect Michael Hsu, Cirkiel, whose other ventures include Parkside, The Backspace, and Olive & June, says it’s his hope for the architecture, design, and food to work together to invoke Spain’s spirit. “All I do is read history and eat and drink and look at art and magically you end up in Spain,” Cirkiel says.
WORTH BARKING ABOUT
Picture this: a well-kept park where dogs play and exercise while their owners knock back a beer, grab a snack and mingle with fellow canine-lovers. This was Kristen Heaney’s vision for Yard Bar, a 30,000-square-foot dog park and dining space on Burnet Road.
Opened in August, the space is housed in a former Putt-Putt facility, repurposing some of the mini-golf course’s features, including the large concrete platforms from the 18th hole, and the 12-foot tall light poles.
“I love the way the space feels warm and communal,” Heaney says. Drawing on her experience in the restaurant industry, and as a project manager and designer with Andersson-Wise Architects and Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Heaney wanted to create a space for shared community. “People meet in the dog park and they come over and end up joining each other at tables for dinner and that’s all really fun,” Heaney says.
What are you most afraid of? The dark? Small spaces? Spiders? This year’s Scare For a Cure “Dread Asylum” promises to put all your fears under one roof. With a sci-fi tinged story featuring the criminally insane, you’ll wind through some 30 rooms while attempting to keep your sanity intact. Volunteers spend two months constructing the 120,000 square foot space in Manor, Texas, which 125 actors and crew members fill with outrageous characters and special effects. Now in its ninth year, proceeds from the $40 tickets benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas. Opens October 2 and runs through Halloween.
When was the last time you sent a text message to a tree — and it responded? This spring more than 21,000 text messages were sent to mail boxes, parking meters, fire hydrants and other inanimate objects as part of Hello Lamp Post, an interactive city-wide art and technology project. A collaboration between the City of Austin, Art Alliance Austin, and London’s PAN Studio, the project is now a finalist in the SXSW Eco Place By Design awards, happening October 5-7.
One of the project’s drivers, Art in Public Places’ Carrie Brown, shares some suggestions for how to engage with Austin’s architecture:
1. “Get out on foot. Walk around and take a little bit of time to see things outside of the car or off of your bicycle and really get to experience them in the space in which they exist.”
2. “Investigate your neighborhood, your area, or even a new part of town that you’re not familiar with.”
3. “Austin’s Atlas. It’s an artist-designed platform that allows you to engage with the city and find really unique things that maybe you would pass right by if you were just on your way to work or lunch.”