Haggerty / Hanley Home

As opposed to more civil and public projects, O’Neil Ford also designed various private Texas homes. This example here is Haggerty/Hanley Home that incorporates the brickwork and simple lines that Ford is typically known for that preserves beauty of the environment. In private homes, Ford was also known for his romantic influences. In this home, there is a tiled inner courtyard as well as a layout that sort of embraces the family or person. Not seen in this picture, O’Neil Ford also respected the simplicity of wooden doors with simple herringbone designs.

Dentwood Addition Neighborhood Home

Trinity University – Skyline Campus

Trinity's Skyline CampusTrinity University in San Antonio was one of O’Neil Ford’s major projects that he designed himself. Affectionately called the Skyline Campus, the campus sits on the site of a former rock quarry on hills that overlook downtown as well as the sports fields. The buildings themselves reflect the design philosophy that Ford kept. Buildings were kept to maximize the use of brick and ceramics in a simplistic way with glass and steel shown at a minimum as seen in the original drawing below. The red brick was meant to blend well with the environment as to not overpower it. This is as opposed to the overwhelming use of modern materials such as glass and steel which aren’t as natural.

An old architectural drawing of the Murchison Tower by the Parker Chapel

La Villita

Image result for la villitaA significant part of Ford’s character in his architectural works is trying to stay true to his source material. He had a profound respect for history and culture and their resulting influences on the architecture. The restoration of La Villita is an example of his desire to preserve that history. Now on National Register of Historic Places, La Villita is a 300 year old Spanish settlement in what is now San Antonio. Before his restoration, the place was in a poor state due to floods and the Great Depression, becoming a slum in the process. Ford restored the area as well as creating the Paseo del Rio, a riverfront promenade, to revitalize the area and attract more people while keeping it’s history. Today, La Villita is home to a bustling arts districts with galleries and shops.

Little Chapel in the Woods

Image result for little chapel in the woods historyO’Neil Ford was particularly known for his unique take on European modernist architecture and combining it with Texan influences. The Little Chapel in the Woods is one of example of that, residing in Denton, Texas as part of Texas Woman’s University. The building appears to resemble a typical church building in Texas. It’s very simple and plain, but it weaves in the stone work and arches that you might see in more classic European buildings as well as a liberal use of imagery in the stained glass work. That is where this building’s claim to fame comes in as the stained glass tells of the hard work that woman do in their professions.

Image result for little chapel in the woods history

Renzo Piano – Auditorium Parco della Musica

Located in Rome and designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, Auditorium Parco della Musica is a combination of three music halls, which surround a large outdoor amphitheater. This building was completed in 2002, and once inaugurated, quickly became one of the most-visited cultural music venues in the world. The exteriors of the music halls are designed to look like the beetle shells,  and thus the halls have acquired the nickname, “the beetles”.  These auditoriums are world renowned for their acoustics, although this aspect of the construction was not designed by Piano. The outdoor space was designed to be reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman performance stages.

Interestingly, during construction some artifacts and the base of a villa from the 6th century BC were discovered. Because of this, Piano redesigned that part of the building so as not to disturb the historical site, and the complex now contains a museum.

Scholastic Building – Soho, New York.

Completed in 2001, the Scholastic Building located in Soho – a neighborhood in New York, is a post modern styled building designed by the internationally reknown architect, Aldo Rossi.

The building building is structured into five different layers; the green House atrium, penthouses, resource center with living room and offices, upto 6,700 – square-foot store, and a basement 299-seat auditorium.

With a neat uniformity in height and scale, the Scholastic Building sends out one clear message; a building fits in by standing out. To make the building fit in, columnar facades are clearly visible, same colors are used, the curtain walls are deeply recessed, and the “Kit of parts” construction technique is used.

To stand out, materials such as steel, glass, terracota, cast iron and brick are used. Clearly visible cylindrical columns also help the building stand out. Monumental rear facades further contribute to the building’s noticeable structure.


Michael Graves – Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

These sister hotels are located between Epcot and Hollywood Studios in Orlando Florida. The Swan resort is crowned with 47 ft  tall Swan statues on either side and the Dolphin resort has two 56-foot (17 m) tall Dolphin statues. Though both resorts are separate, they are designed to be cohesive using the same color scheme for each building. Graves was hired because of his reputation for building striking and unique buildings. The Swan hotel shows off sea foam green waves on the side of the building while a large pyramid adorns the front of the Dolphin hotel. These resorts are inviting while still being impactful to make an impression on visitors and guests.

Bayside Police Station

This is Bayside Police Station is located in Sandringham, Australia, designed by the firm FJMT. The goal was to break the traditional idea of what a police station was. The thought was the make it a inviting place that was weaved into the community.  The building creates an open environment and creates more interaction between the employees and the neighborhood. There is a garden surrounding the building and the buildings walls allow more natural light to come into the building creating a more bright, energetic environment.

Rokko Housing One

Rokko Housing One Commentary built in 1983 by Tadao Ando in Japan.  It was built symmetrically with a group of units conforming to the slope creating gaps intentionally.  This gaps also work as plazas.  A total of twenty units were built on the slope which forms terraces with various directions that have a view to the ocean.  The wholes created in between are areas of ventilation and insolation. Ando’s idea was to create an opportunity to connect with nature as his style was based on simplicity and nature.

Renzo Piano – California Academy of Sciences

Designed by Renzo Piano and completed in 2008, the California Academy of Sciences is a highly environmentally friendly building. It has earned a number of awards, including Platinum certification by the LEED program. The roof of the building is green, and was designed to look like rolling hills. According to Piano, he was inspired by the seven major hills of San Francisco, which is where the museum is located. Another great aspect of the roof is the opening glass ceiling. Overnight, the ceiling opens up to allow cooler night air into the building, which helps regulate the temperature for the next day.