Developed by Michael S. Prentice as a marketing campaign, Seeds of Sharpstown – now a program of Alta Arts – strove to highlight the renaissance of this noted mid-century neighborhood by creating a better understanding of one of Houston’s historical hidden gems through art projects and the Sharpstown Prize for Architecture.
Prentice offered derelict houses scheduled for demolition to two Houston artists – Alexander Squier and Havel Ruck Projects – and commissioned them to use the properties as art installations that brought new media perspectives to Sharpstown. He followed their success with the creation of the Sharpstown Prize for Architecture.
The Sharpstown Prize for Architecture was created in 2017 by Michael S. Prentice to challenge graduate level architecture students to design a single-family residence with modern and progressive materials while adhering to the appropriate deed restrictions.
Unlike similar architectural competitions, this one was unique in that the prize was the actual building of the home based on the winning entry.
The public is invited to an open house on Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 10am to 4pm.
Renowned internationally for their transformation of condemned properties prior to demolition, Havel Ruck Projects did not fail to deliver. The Houston Chronicle commented, “Their new monumental installation transforms a condemned Mid-Century Modern home in Sharpstown into a “sculptural void” lined with a reflective metal skin that captures sunlight and fills the interior with refracted light.” In addition, Sharp was one of five international finalists for the Architizer A+ Awards – the largest awards program celebrating the year’s best architecture and products.
Prentice chose artist Alexander Squier to take the helm in designing something with a “wow” factor that would make people react in two ways – that they are seeing a unique work of art, and secondly, bringing a new level of awareness to Sharpstown. Given free reign, Squier turned the derelict property into an exceptional phenomenon. Everything found in the installation was constructed from items exclusively found in the house or on the property. Approaching it as an archaeological exploration, Squier’s inspiring work garnered attention from the media that went beyond the greater Houston area. Here’s a link to his website.