The following themes, which form the conference tracks, will be explored throughout the conference.
A. Spanish Colonial Structures, Traditions and Cultures
In the Old World, Spain embodied a cultural richness that grew from the knowledge and traditions of a wide variety of religious and ethnic groups. In the New World, this richness combined with the indigenous cultures of Mexico, and was spread north with the establishment of military and missionary settlements from California to Texas. The San Antonio Missions, newly named to the World Heritage List, demonstrate the impact of Old World traditions and cultures in the New World. This track examines how 21st century technologies are being used to study, protect and interpret cultural amalgamations in the US as well as other countries. Topics include:
B. Revisiting Mid-Century Modern
APT continues to play a cooperative leadership role in evaluating, preserving and rehabilitating the built heritage of the Modern Movement. The rapid growth of San Antonio in the 1950s spurred the development of residential neighborhoods like Balcones Heights, Terrell Hills and Castle Hills, with examples of the clean designs in the Mid-Century style. These were paralleled by the work of architects O’Neil Ford, Bartlett Cocke, Henry Steinbomer and others, who designed churches, institutional structures, and commercial buildings during the same period.
Following the successful track and symposium in Kansas City, the 2016 conference will focus on buildings of the Mid-Century Modern era, and will consider:
C. Concrete: Materials and Innovations
San Antonio is an excellent venue for considering concrete materials and innovations. Our conference hotel – Palacio del Rio – is an innovative concrete building. In order to be ready for the opening of the 1968 Hemisfair the hotel’s upper floors were created from modular concrete units that were completely furnished before being lifted into place! In fact, concrete has been an important building material in San Antonio and the surrounding areas for over two centuries. At one time, nearby Seguin, Texas, had the largest concentration of 19th-century concrete structures in the U.S. The Alamo Cement Company was chartered in 1880 and produced cements that were used to build the Texas State Capitol and many other historic structures. San Antonio also is rich in 20th century concrete structures, including the innovative lift-slab construction dormitories at Trinity University designed by O’Neil Ford.
This track will explore:
D. Cultural Landscapes: Patterns and Palimpsests
Reading the landscape involves looking for imprints and patterns that provide information about the relationship of a group or community with the natural environment; in most areas, this process also involves searching for evidence of past configurations that reveal a layered history. The cultural landscapes of San Antonio are rich with the imprints of past residents, including Native Americans and 16th century Spanish settlers.
This track will consider a variety of cultural landscape issues, including:
E. Vernacular Heritage: Honoring the Ordinary
Vernacular architecture describes buildings constructed of local materials using traditional construction techniques. San Antonio’s La Villita, the ‘little town’ on the banks of the San Antonio River, now an arts community, provides examples of a variety of 19th century vernacular buildings. Vernacular architecture in Texas also includes the farms, ranches and community buildings constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries by Spanish, Mexican, German, Irish, English and Swedish settlers, among others. The surviving structures, including German limestone block houses, Mexican jacales, dog-trot houses and geometrically-complex wood-framed dance halls, are unique expressions of the cultural traditions of these early settlers.
This track celebrates vernacular architecture in Texas and the U.S as well as in other countries and will cover:
Abstract submissions are now closed. Please plan to join us for the 2016 Annual Conference! Click here to register today!