When you design a building, what’s the first thing you think about? Is it scale? Is it use? Is it presence? 

What about how the building and the way it is designed is part of a larger goal of engaging a community? All of these questions and more can be discussed at the next AIA Dallas summer happy hour panel, “Designing in Active Voice: Avenues for Professional Advocacy.”

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Photos: Andrea Cato

The Texas Society of Architects recognized the TreeHouse store in The Hill development at the northeast corner of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway in its recent design awards. The design was intended to be not only aesthetically appealing but also energy positive and environmentally friendly.

“We love the challenge as architects,” LRK architecture and design firm partner Craig Henry said. ““We’re proud to work with clients who share our values for placemaking and sustainable design.”

Initial planning for the building began in the fall of 2015.  It was a joint effort between TreeHouse, LRK, San Antonio-based deign architect Lake Flato, and Cypress Equities, the developer behind The Hill Shopping Center.

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Dallas Center for Architecture is Now AD EX with Newly Expanded Vision, Location | CandysDirt.com

The Dallas Center for Architecture has changed its name and expanded its vision, moving to a new location in downtown Dallas and setting its sights on being an integral part of the community. 

DCFA is now AD EX, shorthand for The Architecture and Design Exchange. They are taking new roost in the historic midcentury architectural icon Republic Center with the goal of being both a physical space and mechanism for spurring conversation about walkability, mobility, historic preservation, affordable housing, economic development, and other civic challenges related to architecture and urban design that impact the city. 

“Building on the momentum created over the past ten years, we look forward to AD EX becoming a critical force in an ever-growing conversation on the design and livability of our cities,” says Jan Blackmon, FAIA, executive director of The Architecture and Design Foundation and AIA Dallas. “We believe this storefront space in the middle of a new epicenter for downtown will give us opportunities to reach new audiences. Our hope is that AD EX will inspire our community to see its surroundings differently and imagine new possibilities for design as a solution.”

AD EX’s street-level location in the dense urban core of Dallas and adjacency to downtown’s next planned public park, Pacific Plaza, is intended to break down barriers and facilitate informal exchange of ideas about design and architecture. Its interior space, outside terrace, open floorplan, and floor-to-ceiling windows will showcase design-focused exhibitions, films, book and panel discussions, student workshops, policy symposia, and other programming. 

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Photo by Simon Luna photography

Corsicana invites you into their booming downtown and onto the porches of their historic Carriage District this weekend with their Inaugural Porchfest and Crafternoon. You may have heard of the Porchfest craze sweeping the nation musicians playing on grand porches of neighborhood homes for a family-friendly afternoon of socializing and entertainment. (more…)

Entry Healing Rift envisions a series of underground communal pools straddling the Korean DMZ

On May 17, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects will be holding their annual awards for projects that haven’t been built and/or have been designed by students.  It’s a great way to see projects that for one reason or another (like working on a school project) haven’t been built.

What’s also fun is that the public can vote on their favorite design via a specially setup website. The finalist group showcases 43 designs that come from across the globe (although being the Dallas AIA, 23 come from Texas). Each visit can only clock in one vote. When faced with good architecture, I generally follow the potato chip philosophy … I find it difficult to eat (or choose) just one.

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UNS’s vision for the Chicago Museum of Film and Cinematography

I usually let readers digest a “Why Can’t Dallas Have Nice Things” column before I post a fresh installment, but last night the Dallas Architecture Forum presented Christian Veddeler from Amsterdam-based United Network Studio (UNS). And Dallas really needs to see this firm’s work, if for no other reason than the questions that were asked at the session.

I won’t bore you with the questions, but the answers can be summed up as, “the reason Dallas has such boring architecture is because fantastic architecture requires developers with inspiration, a decent budget (though not always), and a local bench of talent (architects, engineers and craftspeople) capable of constructing such buildings.” Dallas, it seems, is starved of all three … well, unless a Dallasite needs an ego boost with a self-funded, self-named bridge, theater, museum or park. Which, don’t get me wrong, are great and every city needs them, but we also need great architecture in the profit-making world too. (Besides McKinney and Olive, the first in 40 years.)

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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.

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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. The firm continues Hadid’s successes having received 31 awards in 2017 and eight awards so far in 2018.

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