Monday, December 14, 2009

University of Texas makes the top 10 of Architecture Schools

"Love ‘em or hate ‘em, school rankings are influencing prospective students’ decisions on where to apply, and architecture firms’ decisions on whom to employ. RECORD looks at this year’s survey and asks people in academia and the profession what it all means."

Hook em'

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A look at why Cedar Park is more eventful

The Austin Business Journal recognized two of BWM Group's commercial projects at the Williamson County Growth Summit. The Cedar Park Event's Center holds up to 9,000 persons and will generate up to $200,000 in sales tax.

The 1890 Ranch shopping center is not just another retail center. In addition to generating payroll in excess of $10 million, BWM designed a great place. Visitors can splash in the sundial while waiting for their movie to start and park their car in one of many shaded spots from the existing oak trees saved.

Monday, December 7, 2009

New park for Pflugerville

Lake Pflugerville Park lands on the front page of the Statesman Metro Section this weekend. BWM developed the master plan and design for the City of Pflugerville. Working with HDR engineering, the team developed a loop trail around the City’s new regional storm water lake. This trail was a crucial component to the city-wide trail system by connecting the newly developed residences around this lake to the rest of the community by linking the loop trail to the City’s existing network of trails. Through a multitude of stakeholder meetings, BWM was able to span residential surface drainage and develop a congruous and durable trail system that was pleasing to the eye, accessible to all and an asset to the cities entire trail system. Photo by Deborah Cannon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Contractor of the Year Award

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) awarded T.A. Todd Construction the Contractor of the Year Award for the Georgetown residential remodel designed by David Rothenberg.

Notice how the remodel adds a new 300 square foot sunny family room by moving the mechanical equipment to the attic and consolidating the corridor spaces to the center.

The Georgetown town home was a part of the NARI tour of homes on October 24th and 25th.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Texas Tubing at Zedler Mills

Luling Texas has just purchased a 38 acre parcel of land immediately south of their historic Zedler Mill site. Luling purchased the property to serve as an open space for play. The site will also serve as a put in and take out for a short float down the San Marcos River through the park or part of a larger ride on the official Texas Paddling Trail. Tim Bargainer, Brandon Hay, and Sallie Burchett will be presenting the draft master plan of the site to the Zedler Mills committee this evening. The plan ties the open space park and historic site together and also links them to the adjacent Southside Park and other community spaces.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let's get started already - in downtown New Braunfels

In hopes that the downtown New Braunfels master plan does more than sit on the shelf, resident Sofia Baltadano de Wilbert said it best. “Let’s get started already. There are so many things that we can improve.” Torti Gallas, Capital Market Research, TND Engineering and BWM Group are pleased to have drafted the plan and hope to see it implemented as well. The picture above shows the current pedestrian environment that links their charming downtown square to the beautiful Comal River. Guess which phase we suggest for the W. San Antonio Street pedestrian improvements? Read the full article about the community's response here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Texas Counties Award Brushy Creek Regional Trail

The Brushy Creek Regional Trail has done it again. Williamson County has received its fifth major award: an Innovative Best Practices Award from the Texas Association of Counties. In addition to its aesthetic and recreational appeal, the unseen virtue is that six public entities were able to work together and come up with a plan that benefits the entire region. BWM congratulates Williamson County and Jim Rodgers on a job well done. As master planner and designer, we are honored to have participated in this valuable community asset.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Seaholm Power Plant is a Great Place

We didn't create this place -- but recognize one when we see it. The developers for the reuse of Seaholm Power Plant and the City of Austin hosted ACL after parties at the future mixed use development this weekend. The organizers used the smoke stacks as an architectural canvas painting with lights and hues that pulsed along with the music. It was a fantastic artistic display for downtown Austin. It was also a wonderful reminder about the great places that are created with the right lighting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle [your old college apartment]

BWM Group has had the pleasure of working with the Renaissance Properties to design the renovation of the Townhomes @ Riverside Grove. Originally built in the early 1970's the interior layouts were dated and not code compliant. The exterior was deteriorated and aesthetically uninspiring. BWM identified major updates for the facility with extreme respect to the budget. Renaissance is able to offer an affordable housing product with units starting at $130k. Take a peek yourself at the before and after images. Wow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Park(ing) Day

The City of Round Rock and BWM Group are celebrating Park(ing) day on historic main street. We transformed two parking spaces into a miniature park for the day. Why? To celebrate the virtues of green space: social, environmental, and economic. Come by for some lemonade.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Texas Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ta dah! Here is the finished product. It took 4 hours of dashboard baking, instead of the 2.5 to 3 hours as suggested. I think that was because ours cookies were big. (We are in Texas after all where everything is bigger.) The only negative I found was they didn't really brown. But they were crispy, fully cooked, yummy and gooey. What is the moral of the story? Don't leave your Chanel lipstick or labrador in the car, but feel free to bake cookies in it....oh, and ask your City Council Members, County Commissioners, Governor, and President for more tree shaded sidewalks.

Heat Index

I read an article last night about baking chocolate chip cookies in your car when outside temperatures are above 100. Well, shoot, I thought. My black car tells me it is 107 when I pull out of downtown Round Rock at the end of the day. So, we are baking chocolate chip cookies in my car this afternoon! I put them in at noon and they should be ready in 3 hours. Come on by 102 E. Main Street in Round Rock after 3:00 for a taste test. Talk about passive energy use. Who needs solar panels? Wind farms, schwind farms.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Worst drought since 1872

According to the River Systems Institute, Texas is experiencing one of the worst droughts on record and described as the worst drought conditions in the country. These conditions have not been seen since 1872! Please conserve your water use - and those of us in development need to think about the implications of our planning (or lack of) ranging from vegetation type to land use decisions.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Guggenheim was not meant to be white

:: Photo: Daniel Wolf and Mathew Wolf in memory of Diane R. Wolf, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation via The New York Times

I know how he felt. One holiday season I was driving through Cedar Park and was struck by the monotony of white holiday lights...everywhere. Where was the color? How about some red, green, or even purple? I made it home and declared only colored lights at our house from now on. My moderate - yet leaning right when it comes to aesthetics - husband quickly stomped out my declaration of hue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


We saw this entrance feature to a residential subdivision outside Bastrop, Texas. We liked it so much we came back to photograph it. It reminded us of the past when a monument marked something special and of interest. It also reminded us that bigger is not always better. The classic column has a bed for a pretty foliage and a light on top so the entrance can be seen at night. The dark stone compliments the native landscape. Be on the lookout for a replica in some of our projects. As Chales Caleb Colton said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Landscape Architecture Connects the Inside & Outside

"Landscape architecture is not a correcting or mitigating agent for architecture. When engaged simultaneously with the architecture, it transforms it and makes possible connectivity between inside and outside.”

I really love this statement from Diana Balmori, of New York's Balmori Associates about landscape architecture [creating great places].

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Critcal Path Schedule Item

:: Image Justin Maxon/The New York Times

When Round Rock creates their pedestrian plaza in downtown we will remind Will Hampton to make sure the seating arrives on time. In Times Square pedestrians are resting on 376 temporary plastic lounge chairs until the furniture arrives.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why BWM Group?

This is our first blog posting. I don't want to rush into this Internet thing, it could be a fad.

I joined BWM Group in April of 2008 for several reasons. The most important reason is that I was really impressed with the quality of their park designs. To complement that, everyone at BWM Group believes in doing the right thing and creating these great places.

Of course we don't always have the luxury of working on a Pecan Orchard or River Corridor. We realize there is a demand for picking up a quick hamburger on the way home to feed the kids before you log back in to finish that pesky proposal. So we keep smiling and doing what needs to be done.

We strive to improve the quality of peoples lives by creating spaces that nourish and feed the soul. I look forward to sharing our success stories in this blog in the upcoming years.

Sallie Burchett