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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preservation issues for dallas

In 2015, the gorgeous Bud Oglesby-designed home at 10300 Strait Ln. was razed, one of many architecturally significant structures demolished in Dallas in recent years.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed the destruction of many Dallas historic buildings over the past several years. From the Bud Oglesby-designed home at 10300 Straight Ln. and the Trammell Crow Estate to the razing of an entire block of century-old buildings in downtown Dallas as part of the Joule’s expansion plans, it’s been brutal. And it’s nothing new — Dallas historic building have been biting the dust for decades in the name of new construction.

But perhaps the tides are changing. The last two decades have brought a huge shift in historic preservation across the country and in North Texas. People are more interest in the environment around them, both old and new, particularly in how buildings, landscapes, and places impact their lives.

Today, Dallas citizens are able to be increasingly involved in the decision-making processes that determines what their surroundings look like and how it will affect them. Preservation issues for Dallas are getting noticed by some leaders.

Though much progress has been made in the city, it’s got a long way to go. Updated and improved tools are needed to guide future development and preservation efforts.

A panel next week will examine how our city can make informed decisions to create a good foundation on which to build a better future.

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4438 Abbott Avenue

Northern Heights is one of those neighborhoods you probably never knew had a name. It’s in a pretty sweet spot — adjacent to Highland Park, minutes from Uptown, and within easy walking distance of the Katy Trail and the many shops and restaurants on Knox Street. It’s also rapidly becoming known for significant modern architectural design, and this sleek contemporary townhome at 4438 Abbott Avenue is a perfect example of urban style with some impressive credentials. (more…)

Dallas is experiencing phenomenal inner city growth. Neighborhoods like Oak Cliff, the Trinity River Corridor, Deep Ellum, Ross Avenue, and the Design District are seeing urban infill like never before, showing up in all scales and types.

inner city growth

Robert Meckfessel, FAIA

These changes are remaking the city and opening up new opportunities for residents and businesses alike. But when we look at housing, retail, restaurants, office, and streetscapes, what are the traits that make for good infill and connectivity for these areas?

These are the questions posed for the next Dallas Architecture Forum event, a panel presented in collaboration with Preservation Dallas called Remaking the City.

The event will be moderated by Robert McFessel, FAIA, President of DSGN Associates and past president of leading organizations involved with the quality of the built environment, including the Dallas Architecture Forum, Preservation Dallas, LaReunion TX, and AIA Dallas.

McFessel currently serves on the boards of LaReunion TX, The Trinity Trust, Trinity Commons Foundation, DoCoMoMo U.S., Greater Dallas Planning Council, and the Advisory Board of the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Panelists include:

  • Edwin Cabannis: Owner of the Kessler Theater
  • Katherine Seale: Chair of the City of Dallas Landmark Commission and Past Director of Preservation Dallas
  • Evan Sheets: Senior Urban Designer at Dallas City Design Studio
  • Dan Shipley, FAIA: Founder and Principal at Shipley Architects

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Chris-Craft-House

The Chris Craft House, designed by architect Vince Snyder, at 22 Vanguard Way in Urban Reserve, the brainchild of Dallas developer Diane Cheatham.

Dallas developer Diane Cheatham is a dedicated modernist and committed environmentalist.

As CEO of Urban Edge Developers, Ltd., Cheatham has brought those values to her work in multiple settings, from small infill condos and townhomes that won multiple design awards, to her masterpiece at Urban Reserve, a signature modern neighborhood that uses sustainable features creatively.

Diane Cheatham

Diane Cheatham

It’s a trend she’s happy to say is showing up more in North Texas.

“I see more developers and builders responding to consumer demand by building modern and green,” Cheatham said. “The style is much more accepted in Dallas now, and a growing segment of homebuyers are interested in green building and a more modern aesthetic. I’d like to see more developers thinking out of the box, providing more options at all price levels.”

Cheatham envisions and creates enclaves that are both eco-friendly and people-friendly. At Urban Reserve, for example, a reservoir that gets neighborhood run-off water is used to irrigate common spaces and individual lawns. Every house is required to have LEED-H certification. Her own house at 1 Vanguard Way, which she shares with her husband Chuck, has geothermal heating and cooling, energy-saving windows, and an 18,000-gallon cistern that collects rain runoff from the roof. Homeowners in the community are encouraged “not to do the standard Dallas fences,” and many of the homes feature indoor-outdoor living spaces that encourage interaction with neighbors and passers-by.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Urban Reserve has earned multiple recognition and awards, like the 2007 Dallas AIA Excellence in Sustainable Design, 2007 CLIDE Award (Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence), and a 2009 award from Eco-Structure Magazine, where Urban Reserve was distinguished as one of seven innovative projects.

All this took rule-breaking by Cheatham as she customized street widths to slow traffic, created rain gardens and retention ponds, and made the basic infrastructure and layout of the development conducive to her overall vision.

“It’s taken longer than expected, but there are only six lots of the 50 left and work is proceeding on six homes with eight more in various stages of design,” she said. “The realization of Urban Reserve has been the hardest [of all my projects], and as it nears completion, it is also the most satisfying. Being out there on the cutting edge proved to be more complicated than I anticipated.”

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43 Vanguard Front

I love Urban Reserve for many reasons, most of which coincide with my general adoration for modern architecture. Another reason to love Urban Reserve, a Matthews | Nichols development East of 75 and North of Royal Lane, is the focus on sustainability.

Of course, some people have bought lots in this fantastic subdivision to build groundbreaking dream homes with forward-thinking designs that you’d most often see in the pages of Architectural Digest, or any of the seemingly endless supply of Pinterest pages and Houzz idea books that celebrate modern architecture. But if you’re not the type of person who would wait four or five years between design and move-in, then perhaps 43 Vanguard Way is a better idea. You can quell your love for modern design and sustainability with this incredible LEED platinum home.

43 Vanguard Living

With 1,200 square feet and two bedrooms and two baths, this home is great for someone who wants to downsize but not sacrifice on design. In fact, that’s exactly the purpose behind the design by DSGN Associates, which was featured on the 2012 AIA Dallas Tour of Homes.

DSGN Associates was tasked with designing a budget-savvy but personalized “home base” for a pair of empty nesters. Vanguard Way is the result, a compact, two-bedroom home achieving high livability and high sustainability at an affordable cost. A collaborative effort between DSGN Associates, the client and the developer, this home takes advantage of a unique site to create an open, efficient plan with controlled views to a sunny garden. A generous roof deck provides a second outdoor living space and dynamic views to the adjacent DART line.

Generous windows on the south facade, balanced by small skylights, allow ample natural light during the winter months to all major rooms while a generous roof overhang shields the interior from harsh summer sun. Other sustainability features include advanced wood framing, Echoshel cedar shingle panels installed as a rain screen, photovoltaic solar array, geothermal heat pump HVAC, and energy recovery ventilation.

We love the interior features of this home, which includes polished concrete floors, sliding wall-hung doors, and beautiful windows from which you can admire your treehouse-type view.

43 Vanguard Dining

This gorgeous home is marketed by Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s agent Christy Berry for $415,000. For an award-winning structure such as this, it sounds like a fabulous bargain. What do you think?

43 Vanguard Kitchen 43 Vanguard Bedroom 43 Vanguard Bath 43 Vanguard Porch 43 Vanguard Porch 2 43 Vanguard Side