Project for The Friesenhahn Cave Site
Program author and past Lyceum Fellowship winner, Murray Legge, challenges students to create a solution to this intriguing site.
2022 Competition Overview
The project is sited on the Friesenhahn Cave site outside of San Antonio which is owned and managed by Concordia University in Austin, Texas. The cave is one of the most important paleontological sites in the United States. Homotherium serum or Scimitar Tooth Cats lived in the cave more than 15,000 years ago and used it as their den. The cave's original formation, with its descending entry ramp leading deep into the earth, made an ideal home for the Ice Age cats. This 20,000 year old single room den is located on an approximately four acre site, situated in the midst of the suburban sprawl of San Antonio. The impressive feline remains originally found in the cave are in the Texas Memorial Museum on the University of Texas Campus.
Competition Program and Themes
The program introduces a number of overlapping themes or ideas to consider. The primary task is to create a boundary and threshold between the buildable portion of the protected historic cave area. Conceptually it is a boundary between the "present day suburban condition" and the interior protected cave or "deep time" of the Pleistocene epoch (ice age). This is both a literal and conceptual boundary experience. Consider the experience of going back in time 20,000 years or so.
Murray Legge, FAIA
Murray Legge Architecture, Austin, TX
Program Author / Jury Chair
Peter N. Vincent, FAIA
Peter Vincent Architects, Honolulu, HI
Lyceum Fellowship, Director
Dr. Jennifer Hofmann
Kenneth Francis, ASLA, PLA
Owner + Principal-in-Charge
Nichole Wiedemann, AIA
University of Texas at Austin