Philip Newburn

The interior of the new microbrewery and taproom for HopFusion Ale Works, just south of downtown Fort Worth, designed by architect Philip Newburn. All photos: Philip Newburn

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

After a decade of practicing architecture in Fort Worth for acclaimed local offices, architect Philip Newburn’s passion for modern, sustainable architecture led him to branch out and start his own firm. He’s making a big splash, being recognized as one of the great young architects in North Texas.

philip newburn

Philip Newburn, AIA

“I love architecture that makes you think and I think modern architecture has that effect on a lot of people—it is good to reevaluate your opinions from time to time,” he said. “I also think that there is an inherent optimism when people set out to push boundaries and create something new, which is admirable.”

His degree is from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and he practices at his firm, Philip Newburn Architecture. We sat down with him to talk modern architecture, sustainable design, and more. Would you say you have an overarching design philosophy?

Philip Newburn: It’s almost too obvious to state, but the point of architecture should be to create meaningful, authentic, and beautiful spaces for humans and the communities in which they live. It is unfortunate that so much of our built environment seems to consistently fail at something as basic as this. I consider myself fortunate that every day I get to work with great clients in an effort to improve their quality of life and their communities.



Stephen Arnn

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Stephen Arnn grew up surrounded by and appreciating great architecture. From an early age, he showed talent and interest in art, especially drawing. When his mother suggested he should be an architect when he grew up, the seven-year-old agreed, and from that point forward, Arnn had his career path in mind.

Stephen Arnn

Stephen Arnn

Today, he is a Dallas residential architectural designer, owner of Stephen Arnn Design, which he established in 1976. Arnn graduated from architecture school at Washington University in St. Louis and working at other boutique firms in Nebraska and Dallas.

“I became a different person [at Washington University] and I had a wonderful group of professors who challenged me,” he said. “It was easy in Oklahoma City to be known as talented—it wasn’t easy at Washington because there were a lot of talented people and I had to learn to use my talents and not just slough around.”

Arnn moved to Dallas after a stint in Nebraska at a large firm, joining Pierce Lacey Partnership and working six years with his mentor, Neal Lacey. Lacey taught him something valuable:

“He said, ‘You are in a profession where people tend to preen around each other and you should be in this profession to create beautiful buildings, buildings that work for the client…you’re not doing this to get published in Architectural Digest or Architectural Record—that is simply showing your work to your peers, your competition,” Arnn said. “I want to design a house that is exactly what the client wants, because it’s their money, not mine, and I want them to be embraced by the house and love it.”

We sat down with Arnn and talked shop.

CandysDirt: You’ve had a special gift since childhood that plays an important part in your career. Tell us about it. 

Stephen Arnn: A gift I was given, not one I developed out of education, is two fold: the ability to draw freehand, with a simple stroke, and the gift of seeing things in my head in three dimension. That makes the design process enormously easier. As well, the warmth of hand-drawn sketches or presentation drawings is much easier to sell than is a CAD drawing at this point in technological history. Hand drawings also allow me to be thinking about every stroke. It takes longer, at the inception, but it solves lots of problems later in the design development phase because it’s all been thought through.


Photo by Jeff Mitchell

Photo by Jeff Mitchell

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Adriana Meyer, AIA, was born in Guatemala City and attended architecture school at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, graduating in 1999.

Adriana Meyer, AIA

Adriana Meyer, AIA

She started working on residential projects while still a student, and began her career at HKS Architects in Dallas in 2000, specializing in healthcare and assisted living. Some of her projects included Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; St. Rose Hospital, Las Vegas; Lynn Cancer Center, Boca Raton, amongst others. She worked on many aspects of these projects, but specialized in planning and exterior design.

In 2007, she founded her own firm, APM Architecture. Meyer designed modern homes throughout Texas, working in Dallas neighborhoods like Kessler Woods, Highland Park, Forest Hills, and Bluffview, as well as Central Texas’ Hill Country and Oklahoma.

All have the common thread of being environmentally conscious with a modern aesthetic. In recent years she has designed a warehouse conversion to mixed use in the Dallas Design District. She is expanding into the commercial and assisted living markets.

CandysDirt: Your first professional work with HKS had you specializing in healthcare and assisted living. What drew you to that firm and that kind of architecture? 

Adriana Meyer: I was drawn to a large firm environment for my first job in Dallas, because I wanted experience working on major projects and learn as much as possible. Healthcare was a great learning experience. I worked on planning and design. I quickly learned that focusing on how complex spaces are used, creates the best solutions. How to collaborate with a team and how to listen to clients were two of the most important lessons I learned.

I am still interested in those projects, even if my practice today is more residential/small commercial. One of the goals of APM architecture is expanding my team to allow me to work on larger projects, perhaps including healthcare in the future.



M3 Container Hotel

This hotel designed by Beck Architecture is made up of 150 shipping containers.

Dallas architects are designing amazing, mold-breaking structures for sites here and abroad, but not every design becomes more than a concept. Still, good ideas are worth recognizing, so the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects set out to highlight some of the most amazing unbuilt structures designed by Dallas firms.

Design award recipients were selected by a jury of globally recognized architects and brands. Jurists included Jenny Wu (Oyler Wu Collaborative), Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA (Merge Architects), and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA (Architecture Research Office). Of the 34 entries received, five received awards based on its response to cultural, social, environmental, and contextual challenges.

Two of the winners were conceptual designs for the Dallas Holocaust Museum, one is a striking airport terminal in China, while another is a pavilion that responds to sound. Other entries include a re-design of the first floor of the Belo building at 400 Record Street, urban retail infill on Fort Worth Avenue, and a cool hotel constructed with 150 shipping containers. Residential projects include a modern residence in Preston Hollow on Belmead, as well as a prototype for efficient multi-family housing dubbed “Grotto.” We also love the beautiful, modern concept for a public library in Vickery Park.

Vickery Meadow Branch Library

Oglesby Greene designed a bright and open public library branch for Vickery Meadow.

The May 28 opening at Life in Deep Ellum launched the exhibition of these unique concepts, which will be on display until July 11. You can select your favorite design for one of the People’s Choice Awards, which will be announced at the exhibition’s closing.

“The 2015 Unbuilt Design Award submissions highlight the incredibly diverse work being done by Dallas architects in communities around the world,” said Heath May, AIA, of HKS, Inc. May is the AIA Dallas Design Award Committee Chair. “This year’s winning projects exemplify beautiful and inspiring design that are responsive to contemporary issues.”

Jump to see more of these innovative designs!