The Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded student designs at their recent event that also showcased unbuilt projects. All three student winners are from the UT Austin School of Architecture.

The image above is from Krishnan Mistry and Alison Walvoord and titled “A Home is Not a House.” Instead of being a bland suburban tract development full of homes called Normandy, Mayfair, and Shenandoah, Mistry and Walvoord went back in time to centuries-old Italian villages (at least in my mind). Picture those old villages clinging to hilltops or craggy peaks with homes clustered together to form a community. That’s what this project reminds me of. While the geography surrounding Austin isn’t as romantic or jagged, this team took a smallish tract of sloping land and used it to recreate this ancient type of community.

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church

Finegold Alexander Architects turned this 18th-century church into a 30-unit condo development that marries the modern and the historic (photo courtesy Finegold Alexander Architects).

It all started in a Facebook group: Someone asked about the status of the now-dormant Oak Cliff United Methodist Church in a group devoted to Dallas history.

“Anybody know what’s going on with this place?” the group member asked. “I’ve been driving by it daily on the way to my school and just watching it deteriorate daily. So sad. They can’t tear it down, thankfully.”

Several people commented on deterioration, including one person who shared photos of broken windows and an interior that is exposed to the elements. Another noted that it appeared as if the building was in the process of being boarded up. (more…)

They got a few real estate numbers wrong, but what does it matter? It’s the New York Times, right, and they got the design story spot on. Check out this splendidly glowing write up on Emily and Steve Summer’s house (with a well-deserved plug for her forthcoming book, “Distinctly Modern Interiors,” ) in the “affluent Dallas suburb of Highland Park” which their daughter, real estate dynamo Caroline Summers, found for them about 20 years ago:

Twenty years ago, when her daughter, Caroline, a real estate agent, saw a listing for a low-slung 1962 house designed by the architect Robert Johnson Perry in the affluent Dallas suburb of Highland Park, Ms. Summers and her husband, Steve Summers, who worked in finance before retiring, decided they should have a look.

“Originally they said the house cost $1.3 to buy and $1.5 was the total remodeling project,” says Caroline, who works with Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s. “They must have been talking to my dad!”

The actual sales price was $1.5 and the remodeling tab shot northward of $2.5. No biggie. (more…)