Building in and for Marfa TX: A Train Station Hotel and the Marfa Baths

The studio will design a project across the street from the Judd Foundation, on Main Street in Marfa, Texas. Programmatic requirements will include: a train station, for one to four trains per day; a small hotel, catering mostly to \”art tourists\”; and Baths.The Baths will be used by two constituencies, the tourists and the locals, each with a distinct set of needs, desires and perceptions. For tourists the baths will be exotic, elegant, luxurious, and most likely referred to as a Spa. However, for the locals, (who might also be part owners), the facility will be more of a public pool, and the only one in town.A small ranching community of about 2300 residents, Marfa is located on a high desert plateau, surrounded by vast mountains, about 150 miles east of El Paso, in southwest Texas. Since the 1970s, the town has become increasingly well known for its substantial collections and installations of art, principally by Donald Judd.The influx of artists, art and subsequently tourists, has revitalized Marfa. That being said, the relationship between longtime residents of the town, and those who have come since the 70s, for reasons connected to art, is an uneasy one. The tensions in this relationship will be one of many factors students will be asked to consider in their thinking about the project.The studio will spend three days in Marfa, staying in a former gas station that has been converted to lodging for groups such as ours. We will spend a day in Houston on the way back to Boston.Prior to the Marfa trip, we will take a day trip to the new Dia space in Beacon NY.