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.

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One of the most highly anticipated home tours in Dallas, the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes boasts a curated collection of modern homes selected by architects, and it’s back for year lucky 13. This time, though, the two-day tour will highlight both newly built and renovated homes and includes a VIP ticket option that gets you into the Premier Party home during select hours, a gorgeous modern from M. Gooden Design, as well as the Nov. 2-3 tour. 

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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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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.

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A playground in the middle of a pedestrian street in Historic Downtown Boulder, Colorado, is only this desolate at 8 a.m. on a Sunday. Photo by Staff

The recent D Magazine special edition on Walkable New Urbanism has us all thinking about how Dallas could, or will game this trend. As real estate and design professionals, we all have an opinion, and likely some education we paid good money on for this topic. It’s not, however, easy to see where our skills translate to “making a difference.”

Cue the American Institute for Architecture and their “Architecture On Tap” series. Last month’s event focused on how we can go about impacting our communities, with a panel of experts to discuss: Zaida Basora, VP of Huitt Zollar and former Assistant Director of Public Works at the City of Dallas; John Hetzel, real estate broker with Madison Partners and Deep Ellum Foundation Board Member; and Evan Sheets, Senior Planner with the City of Dallas Design Studio.

From this diverse group of professionals we heard one rallying call: Show up.

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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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The AIA Dallas Tour of Homes will feature a custom design by Maestri Studio.

It’s the only architect-curated home tour in Dallas, and if you are eager for inspiration, these eye-catching, trend-making, and heart-stopping designs on the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes this weekend will do the trick. Personally, we can’t wait to see the gorgeous Texas Hill Country contemporary in Forest Hills designed by Maestri Studio. Of course, there are six more beautiful, ground-breaking designs and renovations that show off the diversity of architectural design in our city. We’re certain that you’ll fall in love at least twice. 

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for this weekend’s tour, AIA Dallas has graciously given us two pairs of tickets to give away to our readers. Your chance to win is after the jump!

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Designed by Maestri Studio, this stunning contemporary in Forest Hills offers bright and open entertaining. (Photos: Aaron Dougherty Photography)

When it comes to residential architecture, our city is just lousy with incredibly designed homes thanks to our stacked lineup of talented Dallas architects. And like any house porn addict, we here at CandysDirt.com look forward to the annual AIA Dallas Tour of Homes with excitement, as there’s no faster way to induce heavy breathing among us than with high design and risk-taking concepts come to life. 

This year, the sole architect-curated home tour doesn’t disappoint. With seven incredible houses ranging between 2,700 and more than 6,000 square feet, you can get a taste and feel for the modern and contemporary residential architecture of Big D, from Forest Hills to Preston Hollow and beyond. 

One of our hands-down favorites on this year’s tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29, is a beautiful, warm contemporary with a touch of the Texas Hill Country vernacular on a beautiful lot in Forest Hills from Maestri Studio. Unlike many more traditionally styled homes in the neighborhood, Santa Clara offers front yard living with huge glass walls that open the home’s interior to the neighborhood. 

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