Harim Group Headquarters, Beck Architecture, Seoul South Korea

Last week, The Dallas branch of the American Institute of Architects awarded winners in their annual Built Design competition (versus June’s Unbuilt awards). There were 72 nominations, which consisted of eight private residences, 10 medical facilities, and nine educational projects – and one scrappy Tyler, Texas, bank who had three entries.

Above is my favorite (a high-rise, naturally). Harim Group is a Korean agriculture business whose headquarters is more than a pretty face. The S-curve is based on wind currents whose indention maximizes airflow. In fact, the building is meant to create airflow with operable windows (!) on one side and exhausts on the other (not a lot of buildings these days seem to care about airflow outside HVAC considerations). And while certainly a little glitzy, I’m liking the perforated, polished stainless steel lining of the S-curve backed with LED lights. I also enjoy the semi-transparent top that creates a more elegant form while masking a killer conference room surrounded by a rooftop garden (you can also see foliage poking out of the roofline of its neighbor to the right).

In all, there were eight winners in various categories. Here are a few.

(more…)

U.S. Department of Energy HQ Sun Wall (32,000 square feet of solar panels and water heating – Unbuilt)

In my quest to diversify Dallas’ architectural landscape, I’ve run across a firm that could be a great candidate for Dallas developers looking to make their mark. But first, a history lesson.

Back in 1931, Lou, Irving, and Sylvia Solomon opened shop in Chicago. At the time, it was more than an architecture firm, with Lou the designer, brother Irving the builder, and sister Sylvia the project manager. The trio bought up parcels along storied Lake Shore Drive and began building apartment buildings. In 1956, Englishman John Cordwell came aboard after resigning as Chicago’s Director of Planning.

In 1957, the pair won the commission to build an urban renewal project just west of the city’s tony Gold Coast area. The project, named Carl Sandburg Village, encompassed nearly four city blocks containing six high-rises and a mix of mid- and low-rise apartments encompassing 2,600 units. The apartments were converted to condos in 1979 and probably 10 years later, I explored purchasing my first high-rise home there.

(more…)

Critic’s Choice Award: Magnolia Service Station – Not Really “Unbuilt”

Back in May, the day I.M. Pei died, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) held their annual awards for unbuilt projects along with a separate student design award. As I walked around the entries with our founder and publisher, Candy Evans, I began to notice that the buildings I liked most were almost always outside Dallas and Texas as a whole. You see, the awards are for Dallas-based design firms’ work, not necessarily projects in the Metroplex.

So yes, I could go on a riff about bland Dallas architecture, but you’ve heard that before. The “Aha!” moment was that Dallas-based architectural firms were capable of producing interesting work – it’s their Dallas-area clients that are to blame for lacking in imagination and fortitude. This means that my series “Why Can’t Dallas Have Nice Things” is a larger indictment of local developers than it is of local architects.

(more…)

Bridge Hollow Residence (Photo: SHM Architects)

If you’ve been looking for an event where you can hold a cocktail in one hand, mini quiche in another, and listen to some of the best modern designers in Dallas talk about some of the best modern homes — first of all, that’s oddly specific and second of all, The Dallas Architecture Forum’s got you. It’s time for their 365 Modern Living Cocktail Series beginning Tuesday, May 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Three evenings, three houses, and three opportunities to discreetly wipe the drool from your lower lip.

This year’s theme is “I want that.”

JK. It’s Modern Living Every Day of the Year. And we should all live modernly all year long.

If you’re saying to yourself, “CandysDirt.com, should I attend these evenings?” The short answer is yes and the long answer is heck yes.

P.S. This majestic series sold out last year, so get on it if you love clean design, thoughtful architecture, own cocktail attire, are a bubbly conversationalist, or if you have ears. 

“Ears?”

Yes, ears.

Each evening there will be a short presentation from the actual designers of the homes. Which is even more exciting than you’re imagining right now. The creativity and attention to detail that goes into every inch of these homes will inspire you and open your mind to possibilities you never dreamed of. Maybe you’ll apply them to your own home or maybe you’ll just worship at the altar of what’s in front of you, either way, this year’s line-up is a can’t miss.

(more…)

Begun in 1979 by the Hyatt Hotels’ founding Pritzker family, the Pritzker Prize in architecture is considered to be the Nobel Prize for architects – in fact, if you Google “Nobel Prize architecture,” the Pritzker Prize is the first result.  The prize is awarded annually for a body of work versus a single building. The first winner was Crescent Court architect Philip Johnson.

The 2019 winner is 87-year-old Japanese architect Arata Isozaki who was quoted as being “overjoyed,” adding with an impish grin, “it’s like a crown on a tombstone.”  Isozaki grew up in post-war Japan where much of its buildings had been lost to war. His early career rode a second wave of rebuilding.

(more…)

Dallas designer, Lee Lormand, is a master at creating clean and timeless interiors like the one pictured here, and will be featured in the second Dallas Architecture Forum spring panel discussion on Mar. 5.

Staff Reports

Gear up for the spring season with inspiration from Dallas’ leading architects, designers, and landscape architects at the 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, continues its Spring 2019 Panel Discussion Series on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 with “Design Inspirations Part Two,” moderated by Meg Fitzpatrick, President of MMF Strategies.

“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 as a public outreach of The Forum. The discussion begins at 6:30 pm, with complimentary beverages available beginning at 6:15 pm. No reservations are needed to attend. As a bonus, one CEU AIA credit is available.

(more…)

Thomas Woltz and his firm, NBW, is designing the urban green space in New York City’s Hudson Yards project.

When Dallas thinks about public green space, the first thought that bubbles up is our scarcity of it. Sure, we’ve tried to bring more public spaces to our urban core with great, though expensive, outcomes. With a city whose built environment weighs heavily on the side of car culture, how do you add green space that adds value to pedestrian and commuter, alike? It’s a problem that renowned landscape architect Thomas Woltz has puzzled through, again and again. CandysDirt.com was afforded the unique opportunity to get Woltz’s perspective ahead of his 7 p.m. lecture with the Dallas Architecture Forum at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Auditorium.

Tickets for this lecture are $20 for general admission, $15 for DMA members, and $5 for students (with ID). Tickets can be purchased at the door before the lecture. No reservations are needed to attend Forum lectures. Dallas Architecture Forum members receive free admission to all regular Forum lectures as a benefit of membership, and AIA members can earn one hour of CE credit for each lecture. For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, visit www.dallasarchitectureforum.org or call 214-764-2406.

Thomas Woltz

As principal of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW), a 45-person firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia and New York City, Woltz has infused narratives of the land into the places where people live, work and play, deepening the public’s enjoyment of the natural world and inspiring environmental stewardship. NBW projects create models of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture within areas of damaged ecological infrastructure and working farmland, yielding hundreds of acres of reconstructed wetlands, reforested land, native meadows and flourishing wildlife habitat.

Presently, Thomas and NBW are entrusted with the design of major public parks across the United States, Canada and New Zealand. These projects include Memorial Park in Houston, Hudson Yards in New York City, NoMA Green in Washington DC, Cornwall Park in Auckland, the Aga Khan Garden in Alberta, Canada, and three parks in Nashville, including Centennial Park.

Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee

“Thomas Woltz has the unusual distinction of a being a landscape architect who has designed residential, corporate and public projects. He brings a unique approach to landscape design by pursuing thorough research to understand the ecology and history of an area as the basis for the design,” stated Forum executive director Nate Eudaly. “Because his goal is to move beyond just decorating the environment to improving the underlying eco-system and bringing forth the history of an area to create an identity that draws people from various backgrounds, he has been called a visionary and has attracted wide acclaim for his work.”

Woltz will speak today, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m., with check-in and a complimentary reception beginning at 6:15 p.m., at the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Keep reading for our exclusive Q&A with the visionary landscape architect:

(more…)

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.”

(more…)