Alexander Dahlgren’s International Modernist Achieves Icon Status

One of the most exciting things about architecture is to see the reinvention and reinterpretation of classic styles. When it’s done correctly, it’s mesmerizing. Alexander Dahlgren’s new construction at 6434 Royal Lane will become another Dallas architectural icon — mark my words. Inspired by the international modernist style developed in the 1920s and 1930s, our Inwood House of the Week is exceptional in every way.

Dahlgren has stayed true to the original concepts of the international modernist style with a focus on the basic tenents: simplification of form, rejection of ornamentation, and the use of glass, steel, and concrete as the main building materials. The style emerged from France, Germany, and Holland after World War I and dominated architecture until the 1970s.

With Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, and the Sydney Opera House as just a few of the stunning examples of this architectural style, it’s easy to see how it inspires architects today.

“I think a house that is properly designed from a floorplan standpoint automatically creates the best exterior,” Dahlgren said. “I like houses that are very straightforward.”

Straightforward does not mean dull. One glance at the arcade entry tells you this house is about the reveal. “Psychologically the arcade establishes something special is about to happen,” Dahlgren said. “There is a definite sense of arrival, that you are really going somewhere. The arcade design is used a lot in Europe and the Middle East. When you access rooms that have interior courtyards or very urban houses in Europe or the Middle East, there is a transition. This house is reminiscent of those homes.”International Modernist
Dahlgren builds to the site. One of the most important features on this site is the ancient oak tree in the backyard. “The whole house design is centered on that tree,” Dalhgren said.” It’s like having a 10-foot-tall painting of the tree.”

This 4,278-square-foot house is designed for art lovers. It’s flooded with indirect daylight, the biggest portions of glass face north, and there is UV protection on all of the glass. You can rest assured your collection will be protected in this house.

Dahlgren is obviously meticulous. While he is all about aesthetics, he’s also cognizant of what makes a house smart and livable. For instance, you may think a home on Royal Lane is inevitably going to be noisy. There are three coats of masonry stucco with an elevated water-resistant barrier and six inches of foam insulation in the walls. The house is dead silent once you enter those magnificent mahogany doors.

International Modernist

The entry has lights that are hidden in the ceiling. Notice there are not any visible registers for HVAC. They are also hidden!

International Modernist

International Modernist


The house has a strong central axis. Dalghren gives a lot of thought to how the spaces in a home will be used. He arranges spaces within the building and property lines and orients them to light and sound.

Dahlgren’s floorplan is remarkably flexible. The downstairs configuration has two bedrooms plus an office, that could easily be used as another bedroom. There are two more bedrooms and a second living room upstairs.

“I think that people should be delighted every day when they are in their homes,” Dahlgren said. “Our houses can elevate us in terms of the way we live. If you go to luxury hotels because they are so much nicer than where you live, you should upgrade your home. There are so many things that impact the way you feel, and that has to be part of the way you live.”

“This is a home that resonates with today’s modern luxury buyers,” Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate listing agent Weston Pugh said. “Families love the house because it’s so livable. It’s luxurious but relaxed.” Pugh and Jeff Updike have this international modernist-style home listed for $1.249 million.

Remember, luxury properties in Texas are selling like hotcakes. According to the most recent report released on Dec. 14 from the Texas Association of Realtors, luxury home sales
(homes that sold for over a million) increased 19 percent.

Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, commented, “Despite slowing growth trends across the Texas housing market, job market and economy in 2017, Texas luxury home sales volume has continued to grow at a booming pace. Rising home prices, high-end remodeling activity in major metro areas and relocation activity from out-of-state residents all continue to be drivers for Texas home sales of $1 million and higher.”

What this means is if you are interested in our international modernist Inwood House of the Week, don’t wait long, it will be not be lingering on the market.

Open House: Sunday, Jan. 14, 1 to 3 p.m.

Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com

6 Comment