R. Gommel Roessner (1911-2001)
Roessner, R. Gommel
Roessner, Roland Gommel
Birth/Death: b. 19 November 1911 - d. 26 February 2001
Occupation: American architect
Location: St. Petersburg, FL; Austin, TX
Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1948-decease
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1968
American Architects Directories:
Biographical listing in 1956 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1962 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1970 American Architects Directory
Contributed by the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas:
Roland Gommel Roessner received his bachelor of architecture degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1935 and his master's from the University of Cincinnati in 1942. After serving in World War II, Roessner practiced in St. Petersburg, Florida, before joining the faculty of The University of Texas School of Architecture in 1948. Roessner, who successfully combined teaching with a professional career, realized the importance of integrating practical experience with a strong theoretical foundation. He was responsible for establishing the school's Professional Residency Program, which provided the students with on-the-job training within the profession before the completion of their degrees. Roessner's early use of computers to augment teaching included a project for teaching management processes in architecture.
Roessner's ability to create spaces that preserved the client's privacy while maintaining an openness in plan garnered for him numerous design awards. His graceful design for the George Thorne House (1953) received Newsweek 's 1955 House of the Year Award. His talent for flexible planning on restricted sites is perhaps best illustrated by The Oaks Apartments (1962) which provided each apartment, grouped around an intimate, secluded courtyard, with its own private balcony and view. This sensitive project, which carefully preserved the site's beautiful oak trees, received an AIA Award of Merit in 1965. Roessner's other projects included the Foster Residence (1963), the RGK Foundation Building (1980), and the Southwestern Bell Telephone Building in Corpus Christi (1981). Roessner was named professor emeritus in 1983 and an endowed Centennial Professorship was established in his name at The University of Texas at Austin. He is an AIA Fellow.
Memorial resolution from University of Texas (source: web page http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2001-2002/memorials/Roessner/roessner.html)
The American Institute of Architects Archives
Membership file contains membership application, chapter transfer, Fellowship nomination, request for emeritus (retired) status.
Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas
Roland Gommel Roessner Photographic material, Records, and Drawings; Residential architecture in Austin, Texas, 1935-1991
A resume, published articles, brochures, magazines, slides, and architectural drawings highlight both the academic and architectural design careers of Roland Gommel Roessner. A History of Austin Architects and Architecture: 1934-1986 and one unidentified photograph are also contained in this record group.
The brochures demonstrate Roessner's participation in state-wide exhibits and academic programs at The University of Texas School of Architecture. One firm brochure of the Oaks Apartments concludes this series. Magazines (1954-1987, with gaps) illustrate Roessner's residential work in Austin. The bulk of the material consists of 35 mm slides of private residences, apartments, businesses, and some floor plans that Roessner designed. The images are identified using the resident owner's name. Roessner disposed of most of his older drawings by returning them to his clients. The collection does include architectural drawings for three Austin residences designed by Roessner.
Roessner's most extensive written work, Architect Client: An Experiment in Computer-Augmented Teaching of Architecture Management (ca. 1968) was co-authored by Thomas E. Burke, a research associate at the College of Business Administration at The University of Texas at Austin. The publication contains the results of a project, begun in 1965, focusing on the development of a computer program to introduce prospective clients to the various phases and decisions related to residential design and construction.
Added to the collection in December 1992: Series H contains the contents of seventeen scrapbooks. Six of the notebooks contain portfolios from different stages of Roessner's career (1955-1983), highlighting an assortment of projects. Three albums contain clippings, photographs and contest entry forms concerning design awards which Roessner won.
Two albums are dedicated to the Roland Gommel Roessner Centennial Professorship in Architecture which was established in 1983. Photographs document the luncheon held in his honor; clippings, letters and brochures give further information about the award. Two notebooks contain photographs of Roessner's early work (1935-1942); most of the buildings are unidentified. Two notebooks are filled with newspaper and magazine clippings (1946-1980). One notebook is dedicated solely to the RGK Foundation Building. One scrapbook contains a varied assortment of photographs of people.
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