Amangiri Resort & Spa, Kane County, Utah. (Photo Courtesy of the Architect)

Rick Joy

Rick Joy, founder of Rick Joy Architects (Studio Rick Joy), will speak at the Dallas Architecture Forum‘s Second Annual Frank Welch Memorial Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art. Joy’s renowned Tucson, Arizona, firm is recognized for sensitive, thoughtful approaches to site, observation, process, landscape, and building, with projects ranging from trend-setting single-family homes to large-scale resort projects throughout the globe. 

Joy’s designs offer a striking parallel to Frank Welch‘s body of work. Welch, who died in 2017, worked under the tutelage of the legendary O’Neil Ford and was considered one of the most recognizable and prolific among Texas Modernist architects. Dallas is home to a significant number of Frank Welch designs, which painstakingly incorporate the natural surrounding elements to create a harmony between site and structure. Many of these homes have hosted Dallas Architecture Forum events. 

“All of our studio’s work is rooted in developing an understanding of a ‘place’ and how the house design will be integrated in harmony to its surroundings,” Joy told CandysDirt.com. “We investigate the ‘culture’ of other well-designed buildings in the area, and use that as a basis to develop a design appropriate to the natural environment of that site.”

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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. 

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The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture — launched its new digs at Republic Center to go with its new name Dec. 8. (Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA)

There’s a new spot for your architecture and design fix in downtown Dallas from a source you’ll recognize. The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture and short for The Architecture and Design Exchange — had its official launch on Saturday, Dec. 8. The organization held the celebration with Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Better Block Foundation in its new digs located at Republic Center, which is near Thanks-Giving Square. Even with the new name and location, the Ad Ex will have the same great programming, including diverse exhibits, weekly free Lunch Learning Sessions, and guided architecture tours.

If you’re already intrigued, you can stop by between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with late and weekend hours of 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA

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Proposed Oakland A’s stadium. Source: Bjarke Ingels Group

I was in Silicon Valley last week while plans for the new Oakland A’s ballpark were revealed. Between the numbers and images flying around, I got to thinking about Rangers’ stadium taking shape in Arlington.

I’ll stop right here and say that the last baseball game I attended was a Chicago Cubs’ game (against lord knows who) in the late 1980s (I was a plus-one good friend). I’ve never cared for sports or the foam-fingered, face-painted, booze-sopped civic pride they engender.  So please don’t take this column as some sort of shot at baseball – this is about creating useful architecture.

First, it’s interesting that the in-person audience for professional baseball appears to be shrinking. Ranger’s Stadium is slimming from 48,114 seats to an estimated ~42,000. The Oakland A’s are also proposing a smaller, 34,000-seat stadium – their current digs seat 63,000 and were shared with the departing Oakland Raiders.

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From Staff Reports

On Thursday, Nov. 15, members of the Dallas Pacesetters – a select group of 30 Dallas-area Realtors from various brokerages – gathered over boxed lunches at 3504 Marquette Street in University Park to listen to nationally acclaimed local architect, Richard Drummond Davis. Davis, who trained at Princeton University under renowned post-modernist Michael Graves, spoke on “Trends and Residential Design.” Though he has a reputation for authentic period architecture, his early career focused on eclectic designs, blending classical forms with contemporary use of space.

Richard Drummond Davis

One such example of an eclectic Davis project was, not coincidentally, the meeting site on Marquette, which is also a current listing of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate agents and Pacesetters, Paige and Curt Elliott. Davis explained the thought process behind the 1984 home’s 5,184-square-foot “meandering” floor plan. Conversations can be had across multiple rooms, including from the lofted game room down to the main living/dining space.

“We consciously tried to make it flow from room to room,” said Davis. “The open plan was intended to be that way. Back then, everyone in Dallas was still doing discrete rooms in houses and pretty much doing only American Colonial architecture, classical Georgian and Greek Revival architecture.”

In that respect, the four-bedroom, five-bath home somewhat defied the norms of the time.

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FAB Studio

Fairmont Manakoba Resort Mexico

I give Dallas grief for building a lot (A LOT) of bad, boring architecture. For those following my train of thought, there’s the semi-regular series Why Can’t Dallas Have Nice Things where I feature international architects who do great work but who have never worked in Dallas. Well, last week I met with the Frank Butler, the president of Dallas’ FAB Studio. Never heard of them? Not surprising as they’ve not worked in Dallas! Ha!

The bread and butter of this firm is swanky resorts where you may have lain your head. Looking at their portfolio, I realized that I had (for the record, Four Seasons Troon North in Scottsdale). Why am I talking about them?  Because they are about to do some high-profile work in Dallas and you should see the caliber of their work. And no, it’s not a bunch of high-rises.

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It’s not mere hyperbole — the worlds of architecture, urban planning, and construction are lacking in representation of people of color.

In fact, the American Institute of Architect’s 2016 “Diversity in the Profession of Architecture” found that the one thing most architects — regardless of race — could agree on was that people of color are underrepresented in that field. Similar studies have found the same is true in urban planning and construction.

(graph courtesy AIA)

Interestingly, just about every discussion in all three industries regarding diversity involves strengthening the industry’s presence among students through outreach programs with high schools, etc.

Michael Ford, a Detroit-based architect, brought the whole issue of diversity to the forefront with a 20 minute TED Talk last year. In his talk, he uses lyrics in hip-hop songs to show how they can serve as a very effective way to evaluate the good and bad of modern urban architecture. (more…)

Back in 2000, Urban Realm, a Scottish architecture magazine, launched an annual award for the worst new architecture in Scotland. Called the Carbuncle Award, it inspired UK magazine Building Design to craft the Carbuncle Cup beginning in 2006 for “the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months.” 

I’m sure had there been a Carbuncle prize in China, the above “donut” office building would have certainly made the short list in 2015 from an overflowing number of examples of bad architecture. The donut is 33 stories tall and resembled old Chinese coins with holes in the middle. It also forms an “8” when reflected in the river – a very lucky number for the Chinese.

Given Dallas’ overwhelming pace of (often) cheap, bad architecture, I think a Carbuncle or two is in order. Keeping the “carbuncle” theme, I’m christening the Dallas award the Carbuncle Crown. In this first attempt/year, I’m going to ask for entries in two categories …

Ugliest Building in Dallas (regardless of year built – to catch us up)

Ugliest Building in Dallas 2018 (built in the past 12 months)

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