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Architect Who "Builds the Best Damn Barns in the Country”

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Photos courtesy of Garden & Gun

Inside the January issue of Garden & Gun: a lengthy feature on Texas-based and Texas-born architects Ted Flato and David Lake, whose credits include the AT&T Center (the San Antonio Spurs' home court), buildings for the University of Texas and Arizona State, and personal commissions for clients such as Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and actor Tommy Lee Jones. It was for Jones whom the pair built three horse barns around the state, each in their signature "Air Barn" style—open, nearly wall-less deviations from the more traditional enclosed, center-hall variety. "The thing is that I really hate ugly barns, and I’m pretty fussy about my plows, my tractor, and my horses," Jones told reporter Guy Martin. "[...] A barn is a place where I live, and I want it to work, and be strong and beautiful. Ted and his people understood that better than anybody.” (At one point, Jones also said this point-blank: "Ted Flato builds the best damn barns in the country.")
The Garden & Gun piece makes clear that these guys don't have one particular architectural philosophy, but rather aim to combine elements of their Texas roots (the ubiquitous use of steel, for instance, which is ripely available in the state) with modern creature comforts. "We thought that the old buildings in Texas did all the right things,” Flato says. “They were all built before air-conditioning, and they held so many lessons. A lot of the early architecture we did was for clients who wanted houses in the country, where we could say, okay, what you need out here is more porch than house. So we started putting in dogtrots to catch the breeze and cupolas to provide a natural chimney effect to get rid of the heat, and big rolling doors that opened rooms to the out-of-doors." Read the full story over at Garden & Gun or browse some selections from Lake/Flato work above.

· Catching the Breeze [Garden & Gun]
· Lake/Flato [official site]