BILL MAY
A R C H I T E C T
I grew up in a small coastal company town developed  
by
Dow Chemical Company and designed by Alden
Dow, a talented architect with obvious connections.
Mr. Dow's buildings, inexpensive wood structures due
to war-time restrictions, were unique and reflected
Frank Lloyd Wright's influence on Alden Dow's work.

After World War II architects, mostly from Houston,
continued designing unique homes and a few
commendable commercial structures. My father, a
young doctor, designed a home, contracting the shell
and finishing it himself.  A picture of our house later
graced a postcard with a caption of "modern houses in
Lake Jackson" .  This environment was no doubt a
subliminal architectural influence.

I always liked to draw and usually worked on
construction jobs during summers.  There were no
architects in my town while growing up, but after two
years in college I decided I wanted to be an architect.  
In my last year of school I got a job with an architect.  I
was eager to learn and he taught me much.  I
continued to work after graduation until I went to the
Army.

While in the Army in Virginia, I was exposed to real
colonial architecture for the first time in my life.  I was
impressed with the architecture of  
Williamsburg,
"
Westover" and "Bacon's Castle",  not with the detail,  
but with the beautiful proportions which it seemed
were common to good architecture regardless of the
style.

After Military service, I soon moved to Houston and
worked for several firms, none of which had principals
with the knowledge to impart or inclination to teach.  
Without the opportunity to work with strong design
mentors, I have sought knowledge and inspiration from
great works of architects past and present. I look at
their work with a critical eye in search of patterns and
clues to process.  

I found myself being drawn to projects that displayed
big ideas, bold geometry and a consistent detail.  I
respected the works of those whose work reflected
unique sites and program requirements.  Works of
Louis Kahn, The Kimble Museum in Ft. Worth and The
Salk Center in LaJoya  were notable examples . I also
found myself drawn to the work of
Mario Botta, Luis
Barragan and others.

Over the years, a personal architectural philosophy
has emerged which,  when allowed, I try to implement
in my work.  I seek to accurately ascertain and
assimilate the unique project requirements.  I look to
create strong conceptual solutions developed with
good proportions, simply and consistently detailed.  I
search for design cues in the client, the site and the
program.  
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house Dad built
Westover
Kimbell Museum by Louis Kahn
Salk Center by Louis Kahn
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Bill May Architect     3701 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005    713-666-5669     bill@billmayarchitect.com