Disappearing Steeples? Not These Churches!

June 23, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

How did I miss the eulogy for church steeples?  Apparently, in 2011, a reporter from US News and World Report noticed lots of disappearing steeples, and penned an article to mark the trend.  While there’s no question that some congregations have difficulty maintaining older buildings, our experience is that steeples, and similar structures, are increasingly important for churches and places of ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Historic Preservation

Church Closure - No Easy Solution

April 21, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

In the past decade, there have been increasing instances of church closure.  So what happens when a church is no longer needed?  When a congregation moves, or a denomination consolidates, something must be done with the old places.  Other congregations, or sympathetic groups may purchase and re-use the structures.  However, without a program or strategy for transition, many of these buildings ... Read More

Holy Place / Sacred Architecture / Adaptive Re-use / Historic Preservation

Church Steeple Restoration - Our Lady of Guadalupe in Austin

April 16, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

  The church steeple restoration at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Austin is nearly complete.  The project consisted of replacing most of the exterior materials on the original tower and restoring the original trim profiles.   The church called upon Heimsath Architect’s expertise when a portion of a column fell to the ground.  Originally constructed in the 1950’s, the church tower had been patched and ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Master Plan / Historic Preservation

The Church Design Process – Does It Look Like a Church?

March 21, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

In the early stages of a church design, when we begin working with congregation members, someone inevitably will say “I want this to look like a church.” In most instances, the person has a strong image in mind, often based on the church where they grew up.  The person may also be expressing displeasure with the current building, which, by implication, does not look like a church. But what should ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Design Process

Architectural 3D Design - My Personal Perspective

January 16, 2013 by: Clovis Heimsath

A half century ago I was an expert at drawing 3D images with a T-square and triangle.  Architects drew on large sheets of vellum or mylar with sharp pencil leads and precise technical pens.  The process of laying out a 3-D drawing started by locating the horizon line.  We worked from a 2D plan and would then project from the elevations by manually taking each line to the proper vanishing point. ... Read More

Design Process / Master Plan / Presentatons / Promotion

Residential Green Architecture - Frequently Asked Questions Part 2

December 26, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

There's lots of talk about green building - but what does it really mean for your project?  We've been impressed with many improvements in our industry that have come from the sustainability movement, often referred to as green building.  However, not everything that's promoted as green makes sense.  Here is the second half of my article on residential green architecture and the frequently asked ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Tip -- Houzz.com

November 26, 2012 by: Eric Mac Inerney

If you are thinking about remodeling or building a home, you ought to give Houzz.com a try.  It is a repository of 800,000+ pictures that various people have uploaded to the site.  With this you can browse and find spaces you like and create idea books that you can share.  One of our recent clients used this a lot both to help her understand what she wanted and to communicate this infromation to ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Technology

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Outside Your Building (Part 2)

November 13, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

Last week I dicussed options for reducing the amount of water that you use inside your house through adapting your habits and installing fixtures or appliances that are more efficient. This week we need to talk about what goes on outside, because a lot of the water that you use never actually enters your house but instead gets used for irrigating landscaping. This water has been processed to make ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Building (Part 1)

November 2, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

  GREEN BUILDING As the newest member of the Heimsath staff, I have been offered the opportunity to share some of my interests through this blog. Since I am particularly interested in green building, I wanted to kick off with a series on sustainable water solutions. A little background may be helpful to explain my interest in sustainability. I grew up on a farm in Vermont where waste was closely ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Austin's Alternative - Giving MetroRail a Ride

October 19, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Like many Austin residents, I'm quite familiar with our city's alternative transportation system.  I cross the rails at MLK or Manor Road or 45th Street - often several times a day.  However, I'm always in my car.  But a full day of presentations at the Austin Convention Center provided the perfect opportunity to test the train.  I've posted my thougths on Austin's transit system in a previous ... Read More