(Photo: Leonid Furmansky. baldridgeARCHITECTS 2016 AIA Austin Homes Tour)
Admit it: aren’t you just a little bit curious as to how houses are selected for certain home tours?
We are, so with the upcoming Annual AIA Austin Homes Tour 2016 (tickets go on sale September 15), we thought we’d ask….
First of all, there’s a committee of about thirty or more people. Anyone can join the committee but you must be an active participant, every year, so the AIA is looking for committee members who plan to be deeply involved and willing to volunteer their time. Every year. The AIA Austin has the longest running Homes Tour in the nation. This year marks the 30th Homes Tour.
According to Ingrid Spencer, Executive Director, AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture, the number of submissions for homes, after an initial call earlier in the year, in February, varies from one year to the next. In 2015 there were 16 submissions and this year 30 submissions. All architects with Homes on the tour must be licensed and members of the AIA Austin. This year the Committee selected 12 homes for the Tour.
(Photo: Leonid Furmansky. Faye and Walker Architects 2016 AIA Austin Homes Tour)
Is there a stipulation about style, we asked, or does the home have to be cutting-edge in terms of materials?
“The goal,” Ingrid tells us, “is to show the house as it was designed for the homeowner. It’s a look inside the realms of private homes, so we are looking for homes that are unique and special. The house does not have to be large, or fancy.”
Homes that are incomplete are not accepted. Homes that may not be complete at the time of the Homes Tour are also rejected. The geographic location of some homes may present an issue as the Homes Tour takes place over one weekend and people need time to get around to all the homes.
The submission process asks for photographs and a narrative, which should explain why the house is architecturally significant. Once the submissions have been received and reviewed, the committee members spend a Site Visit weekend in April, clambering on and off large rented tour buses as they visit all the homes, making notes and taking photographs.
The Thursday after the Weekend Site Visit, all the Committee Members vote, and if your home is being proposed for the Tour, you must recuse yourself.
There are 12 Homes on this year’s tour providing considerable diversity and interest. To manage the Homes Tour the AIA needs over 200 volunteers, cashiers, and docents, to escort the 2,500—5,000 people who will visit the Homes across Tarrytown, Barton Hills, Montopolis, Lake Austin, Highland Park West, Travis Heights, Govalle, North Loop and Bouldin.
“We are looking for volunteers who will treat these houses like special works of art,” says Ingrid.
On this year’s tour are homes by Mell Lawrence, Tom Hurt, Webber + Studio, Nick Deaver, Rick & Cindy Black, McKinney York, Tom Tornbjerg, Furman + Keil, Lake Flato, Faye and Walker, Baldridge Architects, and Rauser Designs. The works provide interest not only from a design perspective but from the creative and practical use of materials. For anyone who is interested in building or renovating a home, or for home voyeurs – the 2016 AIA Homes Tour is a must.
So don’t wait. If you want to see inside these Homes, buy your tickets as soon as possible. They cost $35.00 in advance or $40.00 on the day. If you want to just see one house, it costs $10.00 per house. There’s a free catalog with the advance tickets. Buy them here
Modern Austin will be touring all the homes. We’ll see you there!