EdCouch Elsa ISD Fine Arts Center

Fine Arts Center
Edcouch Elsa Independent School District

Kell Muñoz Architects design for a new Fine Arts Center in Edcouch-Elsa, Texas evolved from a significant community conversation involving teachers, students, parents, museum specialists, performers, arts administrators, foundation administrators, historians, activists, cultural geographers and the firm to discuss an appropriate way to convey the community’s history, heritage, hopes and aspiration through an important civic building.

Having chosen to raise taxes to create this unique public asset, the residents of Edcouch Elsa needed the building to be efficient, affordable and meaningful.  From various focus group sessions and working in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, Kell Muñoz Architects researched the rich “corrido” tradition of this part of the border.

A corrido is both a historic and contemporary format of story-telling used over generations in Latino culture.  A corrido has a highly defined structure and formulaic motif that distinguishes it from other more mundane “canciones” or songs.  Edcouch-Elsa ISD has its own “Football Corrido” called La Maquina Amarilla, or the Yellow Machine, which plays every Friday night on the local radio station during the season.

La Maquina Amarilla became the point of departure for a conceptual architecture that in tradition is tied to the simple forms of the garages and auto shops that dot Highway 107 as it runs through the town.  This “corrido” is connected to international modernism, but it’s most important gesture is the 300 linear feet of murals that imbed identity in the building and give voice to the community itself.

Inspired by the patterns of sound waves of specific, important corridos, The Corridor of Edcouch-Elsa is an attempt to tell the story of artistic achievement and cultural negotiation in a community that is woven together in a very unique manner.  It blurs the line between architecture and folkloric tradition in a “Mestizo Fashion” that is symbolic of our country’s demographic shift.

– Honor Award; LRGV AIA, 2009
– Honor Award; Texas Society of Architects, 2008
– Honor Award; San Antonio AIA, 2008

LOCATION:
Edcouch, Texas

PROJECT OWNER:
Edcouch-Elsa ISD

CONSTRUCTION COST:
$6.9 Million

SIZE:  31,000 SF.

SCOPE:  New Construction

COMPLETION DATE:
April 2007

FIRM’S RESPONSIBILITY:
Prime Professional

SERVICES:
Full service architectural and interior design services.

Principal-In-Charge:
Ronald J. Biediger, AIA

PROJECT MANAGER:
Manuel Hinojosa, AIA

PROJECT ARCHITECT:
Ronald J. Biediger, AIA

PROJECT DESIGNER:
Henry R. Muñoz III

CONSULTANTS:
MEP: Goetting & Associates, Inc.
Structural: Hinojosa Engineering, Inc.
Civil: Noe Garza Engineers, Inc.
Theater Consultant: WJHW, Inc.

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