The sculpture is thankful for such a beautiful home to look at all day.

Join the Dallas Architecture Forum at the Magnolia Theater on Wednesday, April 25, to hear Christian Veddeler, director of Amsterdam-based UNStudio, talk about the elements and systemic thinking required of good architecture.  If you aren’t familiar with UNStudio, the private residence pictured above is tiny taste of their design chops. The firm, celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, has a portfolio stuffed with award-winning museums, municipal buildings, private residences, and my favorite, high-rises.


38-story, 200-room Lusail Hotel and 120 Residence: Lusail City, Qatar (complete 2020)

The Pritzker Architecture Prize, begun in 1979 by Hyatt Hotel heir Jay Pritzker, honored Zaha Hadid in 2004, becoming the first woman and Muslim to be recognized.  It was hardly Hadid’s first or last award for her work. Her designs are radically angled, “There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” That style earned Hadid the moniker “Queen of the Curve”.

Hadid, who died in 2016 at age 65, was born in Iraq and spent most of her life in the UK. Originally studying mathematics, she transferred to architecture in 1972 where she studied with Rem Koolhaus at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. While she hung out her architect’s shingle in 1980, she was always a teacher, having inspired students at Harvard, Cambridge, University of Chicago and Columbia University. That’s not to say she wasn’t prolific. She and her 400 staff have designed over 950 projects in 44 countries and continues her successes having received 31 awards in 2017 and eight awards so far in 2018.


Dallas Architecture Forum Lecturer Finds Alternative, Creative Uses for Materials |

The exterior of Harvard University’s Tozzer Anthropology Building in Cambridge, Mass., designed by Sheila Kennedy. Photo: Horn Horner

How can architects more creatively use design materials to achieve greater flexibility of use while decreasing environmental impact? 

That has been a guiding question in the career of Sheila Kennedy, the principal and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture in Boston in 1990. This prolific and innovative leader in the field will be speaking tomorrow evening at the Dallas Architecture Forum‘s Rose Family Lecture to explore these and other topics. 

“Sheila Kennedy is on the cutting edge in the research and development of sustainable materials that can be adapted by local communities, especially in the developing world,” said Dallas Architecture Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly. “In focusing her work on the intersection of electronics, architecture, design and material science, she has created innovative projects and materials that meet the needs of developing people groups around the world.”


I’ve heard the Olympics are over.  One thing fans didn’t see in Seoul, South Korea, were the as yet unbuilt, Cross # Towers designed by Denmark-based BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group).  BIG employs over 450 staff in offices in Copenhagen, London, and New York City. Founding Partner Bjarke Ingels graduated architectural school in the 1990s and founded BIG in 2005 after founding his original firm PLOT in 2001.  Awards? He has a wall full.  Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Rice? He’s taught at them all. In 2016, Ingels was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time Magazine. Oh, all this and he’s 43.

BIG is the second architecture firm I’m begging to come to Dallas (Studio Gang was first).


Sumitomo Forestry’s 70-story W350 project

What would you say if I told you that there is a 70-story, 1,148-foot high-rise on the drawing board made from 90 percent wood? How about an 80-story 800-footer? Maybe 18 stories is more believable? I know, it’s hard to imagine in a city where our wood buildings top out at a mere five stories loaded on top of a concrete podium.

But these new buildings aren’t your grandma’s two-by-fours. Enter Glulam, which stands for glue laminated and cross-laminated timbers (CLT). Think of plywood but different.


What Can a Redeveloping Detroit Teach Us About Dallas? |

The 20th-century tale of Detroit is often one of woe. Auto industry job loss, economic decline, and rapid suburbanization decimated the city and left it floundering, with a population loss of 60 percent. The blight of urban decay is just one of the problems facing the area and Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013, becoming the largest American city to ever do so. 

maurice cox

Maurice Cox

But not all is lost in Motor City as committed citizens and employees work to revitalize neighborhoods, engage residents, and redevelop the urban core, all while making sense of the new landscape. 

Nationally acclaimed community designer and leader of the public interest design movement Maurice Cox knows a lot about developing bold – yet achievable – plans that become tools for civic discourse and empowerment, embraced by diverse sectors of the community. He is the director of planning and development for the city of Detroit, speaking at the Dallas Architecture Forum lecture Feb. 21

“Maurice Cox has achieved a nationally acclaimed reputation as a community designer who incorporates active citizen participation into the urban design and planning process,” said Dallas Architecture Forum executive director Nate Eudaly.


Frank Welch Honored with Inagural Memorial Lecture by Architect Ted Flato |

Hillside House living room by Ted Flato in Austin, TX. Flato will give the inagural Frank Welch memorial lecture on Jan. 30. Photo: Aaron Leitz

Known as the dean of Texas architecture, Frank Welch was a prolific and imminently talented architect who spent a half century designing schools, churches, commercial buildings, and homes in Dallas, Midland, and Odessa. 

Ted Flato, FAIA

Welch died last June at the age of 90 and the Dallas Architecture Forum has established the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture to be presented each season as a part of its lecture series. The inaugural lecture will be given Jan. 30 by Ted Flato, FAIA, Co-Founder of Lake Flato Architects, one of the most honored and respected architecture firms in the country.

“The architectural philosophy and outstanding award-winning work of Ted Flato make him the perfect choice to present the [lecture],” said Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly. “Like Frank Welch, Ted Flato designs projects that are shaped by the opportunities and challenges presented by their environments, and he seeks to create a seamless connection between interior spaces and the surrounding outdoors.”


Pelli Clarke Pelli designed Smart District

In high-rise architectural terms, Dallas is an eight crayon town in a 96 crayon world. After over 30 years of building nothing special, we got McKinney and Olive by award-winning architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli. Then in March 2017, Hillwood announced (skyline-changing) Perot Tower designed by noted British architect Sir Norman Foster that won’t apparently be built until there’s a tenant (and that looks similar to a failed Renzo Piano London project).  Finally in October, Hogue Capital and KDC unveiled plans for a 20-acre downtown Smart District also to be designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli.

And be honest, am I the only one who hopes these are just boring mock-ups and not the actual Smart District structures? Trailblazing, they’ ain’t.