/         MISSION

During the Fall semester the studio focues on building projects with a strong sense of site. Usually, the projects are located in downtown Houston, along the bayou and are characterized by their proximity to the water, within the flood plane and have topographic variances and non-rectangular shapes. These sites are also affected by various traffic flow patterns and existing neighboring buildings. The building scope is typically 25,000 square feet. The site and space program for the building are provided by the third year coordinator and are common to all third year studios.

During the Spring semester, the focus shifts to a larger building, typically around 45,000 to 60,000 square feet. The first few weeks of the semester are spent doing intense site analysis which results in a master plan developed in groups of two to four students. Later, the best master plan is selected by an independent jury and the building design begins. All students have the same site for their building design project which is done individually. During this semester, the criteria provided by the school is less regulated and professors have more freedom to emphasize teaching in a way that fits their studios.

The school criteria for the 3500 Arch Design Studio emphasizes on Speaking and Writing skills, Critical Thinking skills, Graphic skills, Fundamental Design skills, Collaborative skills, Use of precedents, Accessibility, and Site Conditions. The 3501 Arch Design Studio emphasis is on Speaking and Writing skills, Critical Thinking skills, and Graphic skills.

Why do we teach? Although almost 95% of our time is dedicated to the practice of architecture, we find it important to dedicate time to teaching design. That is why we chose to co-teach the Studio Brave at the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. We believe that being involved with teaching enhances our professional practice and feel that is important for practitioners to be involved in teaching architecture to provide a balanced education to upcoming generations of aspiring architects. We encourage all of the members our office to attend school pin-ups, juries or special classes as their schedules allow. Additionally, students are invited to our office to get their projects critiqued and to learn how a professional architecture studio operates.

Fernando Brave & Christian Sheridan