My girlfriend wanted to get away from Austin for a weekend Texas coast trip. We rented an AirBnB in Aransas Pass, TX with no real set plans, other than just hanging out. So I looked for eco-destinations in the area to go visit. We considered going to the Texas State Aquarium, but two adult tickets were going to be $80! Meaning we looked elsewhere. That’s when I found the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Corpus Christi, TX. We headed over there with her dogs because unlike the aquarium, these gardens were pet-friendly.
You could say my architectural preference is round. As documented on my travels and adventures, I came across lots of dome homes, rounded buildings, curved greenhouses, portable structures, and many other circular constructions!
Below is a hefty list of rounded structures to support the success and longevity of circular design.
The Domes, (AKA Baggins End Innovative Housing)
The Domes, (AKA Baggins End Innovative Housing) is an on-campus cooperative housing community designed by Ron Swenson. Consisting of 14 polyurethane-insulated fiberglass domes located in the Sustainable Research Area at the western end of Orchard Park, it is home to 26 UCD students. – The Domes Webpage
Learn more about my Muir Commons Cohousing & Davis Domes visit.
Here are some of my favorite architectural spots from my travels. Not all of these sites are located in Texas, but many have a roundish or natural material feel to their construction. Those are elements I truly admire in my ideal world of construction too. Check out each blog post for more pictures aside from the ones featured below!
Architecture Spot: Village Farms
“Village Farm features an initial phase of 40 home lots, and an additional 112 in phase 2. Amenities include a general store and cafe, community kitchen, pathways and sidewalks connect homes, farms, gardens, a school, neighborhood pocket parks and commercial areas into a seamless network reminiscent of a traditional village. A wide variety of activities and events, including pop-up restaurant nights, a weekly farmers market and cooking classes for kids and adults, foster community engagement and connectivity among residents.”
Architecture Spot: Community First Village
“Community First! Village is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, this transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.”
The San Antonio Aquarium was a fun, educational, and mainly hands-on experiential aquarium. I really thought this was a well done style of engagement for an aquarium. The aquarium featured interaction experiences and feedings in a pay-to-play, tokens-for-experiences style format. Which made sense, but quickly added up for a pricey day.
The front of the aquarium were the alligator feedings, marsupial and lemur experiences, as well as other feedings for smaller mammals. In back of the aquarium was the aviary rooms and parrot area. The aviary rooms gave you seeds to feed the birds in the designated space.
My girlfriend wanted to spend the weekend in San Antonio for a getaway. So naturally I wanted to see some gardens with her while we were in town! Our stops included the 33-acre San Antonio Botanical Gardens non-profit complex, as well as the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park.
If you’re interested in some eco-destinations in and around Austin, here are some links to more information! I cover each location in a blog post from one of my previous trips before officially moving to Austin.
As a friendly reminder, some of these locations are free self-guided tours, while others might require fees for tours. If there is a phone number or Facebook page, reach out and ask about scheduling a tour. Calling ahead will help prevent headaches for everyone, and potentially open new doors for opportunity!