Tom Kundig

Studio Sitges, Spain, designed by architect Tom Kundig. Photo: Nikolas Koenig

The object we use every day were designed by someone, from forks to phones. The thought behind material object design is the subject of the next Dallas Architecture Forum Design Symposium.

Tom Kundig

Tom Kundig, FAIA

Taking place on Oct. 30 at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the afternoon will be focused on how outstanding design utilizes materials, from common to rare, as integral elements of the design process. Attendees will also learn how leading architects and artists incorporate functionality into their designs, ranging in scale from small sculptures to residences.

Leading the discussion and providing the keynote address will be architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, one of the leading residential architects in the world (read our piece about his last visit to Dallas). He’s a principal and owner of Olson-Kundig Architects, a Seattle-based firm, which aims to create buildings that serve as a bridge between nature, culture, and people.

Joining Kundig will be highly acclaimed Dallas sculptor Brad Oldham, who has earned recognition worldwide with his site-specific artworks. Oldham has been described as a sculptor, place maker, and fearless fabricator. In both his large-scale sculptures and smaller pieces created for individuals, Oldham’s meticulous craftsmanship, passion, focus on materials, creativity, and consistent quality of work are evident.


Kundig & MCE

Architect Tom Kundig may be the hottest number in Seattle. But he wowed Dallas this week, entertaining more than 400 people at City Performance Hall Tuesday night as a speaker for the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Kundig, an award-winning architect and principal at Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects, has a huge international following thanks to his ability to turn concrete, steels, cranks and pulleys into very livable spaces, sometimes carved right into natural surroundings. He certainly has designed some of the most talked about homes in recent memory, and is tip-top on every billionaire’s list of most coveted architect for primary, secondary or subsequent homes.

He has a  Louis Kahn-like affinity for bare concrete, but he throws in a passion for raw steel, or sometimes rusty metal, almost full-scale use of “the seven simple machines.” It’s a balance between refinement and rawness, which he told us comes from an influence of the aircraft industry and steel, all in the neck of the woods where he grew up. Automobiles also had a tremendous influence on the 60 year old baby boomer. His parents are Swiss, and his father was an architect.

“Architecture is supposed to be provocative,” he said, “it’s supposed to poke society.”

His natural interest has always been with moving things, from logging to machines for daily living —

“A machine is not an inhuman thing,” he said. “why can’t a building change depending on the mood or circumstances?”

Kundig’s creations are amazing, a stark contrast to the austere white box usually associated with modern architecture. He designs for tech and Wall Street titans all over the world, but sadly cannot mention names because of strict NDAs. His toughest clients, he said, are media titans who want uber privacy. Never did work for Steve Jobs, but knows people who did. I would almost put money on a bet he’s done something for Bill and Melinda Gates.

(He is working on a project in Dallas. Shhh.) (more…)

Tom Kundig

Tom Kundig

Award-winning. Distinguished. Highest honors. Luminary.

These are just a few of the ways people describe residential architect Tom Kundig, FAIA. The owner and principal of Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects, Kundig is known for his distinct style that uses linear and cubic forms that both enhance and embrace the landscape. Kundig will speak at the Dallas City Performance Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, with a brief reception beginning at 6:15.

He’s no stranger to the limelight, as Kundig has received a National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His designs include a World Heritage site in Dachstein, Austria, that has been lauded time and again across titles such as The New York Times, The Telegraph, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, and in Diane Keaton’s recently released book House.

Jump for photos of his work and more on this amazing architect!


Photos courtesy of Emily Summers

If you love great design (and adult beverages) we have the event for you! Join the Dallas Architecture Forum on October 30 for an evening exploring one of the most compelling residences in Dallas. The evening centers on the stunning Park & Pearl Residence in the Dallas Arts District. Home to an impressive collection of bold contemporary art, this full-floor industrial masterpiece features interior architecture by Tom Kundig and interior design by Emily Summers.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres, and the chance to see the residence and hear from some members of the design team while enjoying the company of fellow design enthusiasts. Advanced ticked purchase is required and pace is limited so reserve your tickets today!


This gorgeous Cliff Welch modern on East Lake Highlands will be on this year's White Rock Home Tour benefiting Hexter Elementary.

This gorgeous Cliff Welch modern on East Lake Highlands will be on this year’s White Rock Home Tour benefiting Hexter Elementary.

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with Dawn Reser Schaeffer to talk about Hexter Elementary and the White Rock Home Tour. Schaeffer, who has a daughter at the Blue Ribbon Elementary school off Peavy Road, is one of the home tour organizers for the 10th annual event. It’s a great, cost-effective fundraiser for the school, she said, because the community bands together to keep costs low, and there’s a great inventory of modern homes near the neighborhood school. Parents volunteer and contribute, and homeowners vie for spots on this highly anticipated home tour, one of the few that features modern architecture exclusively.

She could not be more right, especially considering that one much-talked-about home, PV14, will be on the tour and it’s just down Peavy from Hexter. The Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate did a great feature on the designer of the home, Michael Gooden in their recent home and design issue. You can see it on the tour, though, and help support a fantastic Dallas ISD campus. Other homes include an amazing Cliff Welch modern on East Lake Highlands that fuses masonry, wood, and glass seamlessly to provide a mid-century modern look in a new build. Parts of it have a very Tom Kundig-type feel with the exposed beam supporting the roof just outside the master bedroom.

This mid-century modern renovation by Studio Perk is LEED Gold certified.

This mid-century modern renovation by Studio Perk is LEED Gold certified.

Another home you don’t want to miss is a beautiful LEED Gold remodel of a near-teardown midcentury on Sylvania. This home was in awful shape, but D’J Perkinson of Studio Perk brought it back to life as one of the most eco-friendly homes in Dallas. It’s as easy on the eyes as it is on the earth!Jump for a sneak peek at these two homes, as well as more information on the tour and how you can win tickets!


6210 Lakehurst IHOTW

This is the kind of home that evokes a vision of fairies dancing in the front yard, like Sleeping Beauty’s Flora, Fauna and Merriwether. Did I spell that right?

But it is also one of the most highly detailed, thoughtful homes I have ever seen. How about an exterior pass-through dumb waiter for the car?  Located in the heart of the Preston Hollow fairway — blue chip location just west of Tulane — 6210 Lakehurst is one of the more unusual, charming homes dotting that all-but-completely rebuilt neighborhood.

But 6120 Lakehurst doesn’t look like every kid on the block. This home dances to it’s own drummer, always has. Built in 2004, the home is a “tidy” 5070 square feet on a 74 by 151 foot lot. I say “tidy” because most of the new homes on this block are giants, running from 6500 to 8,000 square feet. Really, it’s too much. (more…)

6205 Del Norte IHOTW

Following up on my interview with Seattle starchitect Tom Kundig, this sleek contemporary pup at 6205 Del Norte seems to have gone to an architecture school where Tom taught. The home, circa 2014, is textbook what the buyer of today wants: warm contemporary design that is light on the land — note the huge, beautiful twisty old oak in the back the house was built around?  The entire back courtyard is a green garden designed to be the focus of the entire house. Well-sized at 4812 square feet square feet, this is the perfect house for a downsizing baby boomer, professional duo or even a family of four.6205 Del Norte rear yard (more…)

Dallas design doyenne Emily Summers, the master behind this gorgeous room, will be featured in the first Dallas Architecture Forum spring  panel discussion on Jan. 17. (Photo: Eric Piasecki)

Staff Reports

Learn from Dallas’ leading architects, designers, and landscape architects about what inspires their design at the first Dallas Architecture Forum spring 2019 panel discussion. The Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, design, and the urban environment, begins its series on Thursday, Jan. 17, with “Design Inspirations Part One,” moderated by Eurico Francisco, Design Principal at HDR Architecture.

“Dallas and North Texas are known for award-winning projects – residences and public buildings, interiors and landscapes. With this panel the Forum will continue its exploration of what motivates and inspires some of our area’s outstanding design professionals to create their highly regarded projects,” stated Forum executive director Nate Eudaly. “These design leaders will highlight some of their amazing projects, and there will be time for those attending to ask our esteemed panelists more about their work.” 

Panels are free for both Forum members and the general public. The first discussion, which will be located at the Dallas Black Dance Theater at 2700 Ann Williams Way in the Dallas Arts District, begins at 6:30 p.m., with complimentary beverages available beginning at 6:15 p.m. No reservations are needed to attend, and one CEU AIA credit is available.