INSIDE AN ARCHITECTS MIND – WHAT 40 YEARS HAS TAUGHT ME

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BI-WEEKLY BLOGS DEALING WITH LIFE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF ARCHITECTURE

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Terry R. Cunningham
Registered Texas Architect

Dive into the mind of one of a handful of practicing architects that have practiced architecture in Texas. With such an extensive practice almost a half century, Mr. Cunningham has a few thoughts and ideas that he would love to share with the future and bright architects.

This year I am celebrating my architectural registration for 40 years. It is a bit difficult to say that but this is a fact. In the summer of 1982, I subjected myself to the Texas Architectural Registration Exams. In that day, you took the tests in two phases. There was a design test where you started at 7am on a design problem with about 9 hours to complete a small set of plans. You actually worked on a drafting table with another 200 applicants working all around you in the Tarrant County Convention Center. It was a bit like some of those old Frank Lloyd Wright era pictures of a sea of draftsman all working in a large room. I passed that phase the first time. The second phase was a “fill in the answer with multiple choices” style test on technical subjects that lasted two days. This one was in an Austin civic building. It also had about 200 applicants working all around me. Amazingly I passed all of these tests the first time also. So, in September of 1982, I found myself a Registered Architect in Texas. At a moment like that you think “well what now?”. The “now” turned out to be a journey of job experiences which included architectural design, construction management, house building, land development, bank design-build and finally starting my own architecture firm.

 

 

Today that small architecture firm has not only survived but is in a thriving expansion phase. We are in the middle of designing numerous medical projects, professional offices, retail centers, industrial buildings, private schools and a corporate headquarters. The headquarters project is for the IBC company located in Arlington, Texas. This is a 23,000 s.f. contemporary facility in the Knight’s Landing Business Park in southwest Arlington. We are also designing a “flag ship” convenience retail store for this same owner which is located adjacent to the headquarters building. Both of these fine projects are currently under construction. Completion of both buildings is scheduled for late 2022. 

 

-JUNE – 8 2022