Welcome bcINTERN Ana Colon!

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Ana Colon is a bcINTERN at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. She is interested in how [bc] takes into consideration the social, economic, and environmental issues facing communities in need and its approach to community engagement.

Having lived in disadvantaged neighborhoods herself, she became interested in learning to help these communities through design. She did research with a team at her university on social justice issues in architecture in 2018. Later on that year, she helped make a panel on those topics to present at the American Institute of Architecture Students National Conference, Forum, to raise awareness.

Ana received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design, with a specialization in Architecture, at the University of Colorado.

Tangelo Quarters Opens Its Doors

We are excited to announce that 18 families have now moved into their new homes at Tangelo Quarters! This our most recent multifamily development in partnership with the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville and the Housing Authority of Brownsville. All families living at Tangelo Quarters will enjoy a range of community amenities, such as a playground area, barbecue pavilions, and a community garden all connected by accessible routes strategically placed throughout the property.

The site is located in the Southmost area of Brownsville, a neighborhood that has historically had to deal with flooding issues due to inadequate infrastructure. With this context in mind, we designed native landscape and LID (low-impact development) infrastructure to help with drainage. As families get settled in and the vegetation starts to bloom, we expect Tangelo Quarters will set a precedent for approaching new healthy thriving communities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Last month, the Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville hosted a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening. During the event, every family received the opportunity to cut the ribbon of their new home. There was also live music and food to celebrate the families and all the collaborators that made this project possible. It was a great event -- and we were happy to be in attendance to help welcome new residents home to Tangelo Quarters!

Scroll through the photos below to check out the site and see some of its residents.

Read our earlier post from Tangelo Quarters construction.


Casitas Azucar: Construction to Begin in April!

Design Associate Luis Murillo works on Casitas Azucar in [bc]’s Brownsville office

Design Associate Luis Murillo works on Casitas Azucar in [bc]’s Brownsville office

We are excited to announce that in partnership with the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB) we have designed a new multifamily development in the city of Santa Rosa, TX, which will begin construction next month. The project consists of 50 detached single-family dwellings and also includes a community room, office, laundry room, playground area and barbecue pavilions as site amenities.

This large development, called Casitas Azucar, will significantly increase the share of affordable rental housing in Santa Rosa -- a rural community with just under 3,000 residents.

The design concept was driven by Santa Rosa’s rural environment and its historic, industrial buildings. Each unit type in the development follows a simple scheme which gave our design team the opportunity to focus on the creation and articulation of green space -- a key ingredient to healthy communities.

We increased green space per family through strategic placement of each unit and the use of modular arbor structures which were articulated to enhance the garden and patio space for each habitant. By treating every unit type uniquely to its location in the site, we were able to highlight green space and create a cohesive design that carries throughout the patio spaces. These strategies result in green spaces full of trees which are used as an extension of the family’s home, representing a continuation of each dwelling’s interior living space.

When families and individuals can spend time at home comfortably both indoors and outdoors, their quality of life stands to improve. Ultimately, our goal for Casitas Azucar is to increase the opportunity for community by addressing public and private green spaces -- to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy them how they wish. Stay tuned for more updates from this exciting development!


El Sonido del Agua

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We are excited to share that on Saturday, January 26, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]), La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), A Resource in Serving Equality (ARISE), the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, and Texas Housers, with the support of UTHealth School of Public Health, UTRGV School of Medicine, and UTRGV-Cameron County will host a conjunto music celebration as part of the El Sonido del Agua project.

The celebration event will mark the live debut of six original songs that have been written through El Sonido del Agua—a multiyear initiative funded by the ArtPlace America National Creative Placemaking Fund which aims to mobilize and equip residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s colonias to tackle public health issues that arise from inadequate infrastructure. The lyrics of the songs composed tell the story of what colonia residents experience—the day-to-day challenges of living in these substandard subdivisions, such as flooding and a lack of street lighting. Project partners and participants hope to utilize these songs to draw attention to inequities of place and build momentum for colonia residents’ organizing campaigns to win change for their communities.

At the event, the four musicians commissioned through the project, who have worked alongside residents over the past several months to craft lyrics, will play the corridos for a live audience. Project partner organizations will speak about the goals of the project and the suite of events that will be taking place over the next few months as part of the effort.


Kickoff! Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator

Learn more about Activating Vacancy.

Kickoff AVAI

[bc] is excited to announce a kickoff for the Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator (AVAI), a new art and public interest design initiative in Market Square, the center of Historic Downtown Brownsville. This program will create a viable means for artists to thrive in a region where attaining basic needs can be a struggle. The incubator will provide a catalytic hub for Downtown Brownsville and the arts, creating a platform for artistic production and collaboration between artists and the community. AVAI begins Spring 2016 and is produced and curated by [bc] in partnership with the City of Brownsville.

Come hear about the new Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator and other exciting new initiatives happening in Downtown Brownsville. Share your downtown stories and help us envision the future of arts and culture in Downtown! We'll start off with a social hour, including some creative activities and refreshments, followed by a panel discussion with local artistic and cultural leaders. 

where: 609 E 11th Street

when: friday, april 8th, 5pm social hour , 6pm panel discussion. 

 

 

 

Call for Artists! Announcing the Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator

[bc] is excited to announce the launch of the call for artists for the Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator (AVAI), a new art and public interest design initiative in Market Square, the center of Historic Downtown Brownsville. This program will create a viable means for artists to thrive in a region were attaining basic needs can be a struggle. The incubator will provide a catalytic hub for Downtown Brownsville and the arts, creating a platform for artistic production and collaboration between artists and the community. AVAI begins Spring 2016 and is produced and curated by [bc] in partnership with the City of Brownsville.

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