Tom Kundig

Studio Sitges, Spain, designed by architect Tom Kundig. Photo: Nikolas Koenig

The object we use every day were designed by someone, from forks to phones. The thought behind material object design is the subject of the next Dallas Architecture Forum Design Symposium.

Tom Kundig

Tom Kundig, FAIA

Taking place on Oct. 30 at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the afternoon will be focused on how outstanding design utilizes materials, from common to rare, as integral elements of the design process. Attendees will also learn how leading architects and artists incorporate functionality into their designs, ranging in scale from small sculptures to residences.

Leading the discussion and providing the keynote address will be architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, one of the leading residential architects in the world (read our piece about his last visit to Dallas). He’s a principal and owner of Olson-Kundig Architects, a Seattle-based firm, which aims to create buildings that serve as a bridge between nature, culture, and people.

Joining Kundig will be highly acclaimed Dallas sculptor Brad Oldham, who has earned recognition worldwide with his site-specific artworks. Oldham has been described as a sculptor, place maker, and fearless fabricator. In both his large-scale sculptures and smaller pieces created for individuals, Oldham’s meticulous craftsmanship, passion, focus on materials, creativity, and consistent quality of work are evident.



As Curbed points out, 2015 was a very good year for starchitect Renzo Piano, what with the opening of the Whitney Museum and his inclusion in the final round of firms submitting for the Obama Presidential Library.

Piano is, of course, the architect of our own Nasher Sculpture Center, which claims neighbor Museum Tower is threatening artworks in the galleries, burning the plants in the center’s garden and blinding visitors with its glare. For years both parties have been trying to find a solution, but that all stopped last August. Piano has said it would be “impossible” for the museum building to make adjustments to offset the glare.

But he is having a bit of karmatic trouble lately in London, “where his plan for a 72-story skyscraper there, nicknamed the Tube, has been withdrawn due to pressure from locals and protests against the larger development,” according to Curbed. Complaint: it’s too tall and may impose on neighboring developments. The renovation of Paddington Station in West London would have included 200,000 feet of office spaces, restaurants and shops. Developer Irvine Sellar is a huge Piano fan: he previously worked with Piano to develop The Shard, London’s tallest tower and the anchor of another ambitious development. Shard II The Tube was expected to cost up to £600 million ($927 million). But this is an ouch: The Architects’ Journal headline reads: “Piano’s Paddington Pole pulled from planning. (more…)

Dallas Architecture Forum

Keynote speaker Leo Marmol is an expert on the Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra in Palm Springs, considered one of the most important residences of the 20th century. Photo: David Glomb

If you swoon over Frank Sinatra’s style, and you marvel over Mad Men‘s Midcentury Modern, then you won’t want to miss the next Dallas Design Symposium, presented by the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Titled Modernism, the focus of the symposium is the best of Midcentury Modern architecture and design. It will be held Oct. 4 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Keynote speaker Leo Marmol, FAIA, is one of the world’s leading authorities in the restoration of iconic Midcentury Modern and International Style residences, including the 1946 Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra in Palm Springs, and restorations of works by Cliff May, Rudolph Schindler, John Lautner, Minoru Yamasaki, and E. Stewart Williams. Marmol will overview his firm’s landmark restoration projects, as well as discuss how the firm integrates Midcentury design elements into their new construction and pre-fab projects, producing award-winning residences.

Dallas Architecture Forum

An interior photo of the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs. Photo: David Glomb

Also speaking at the symposium is Sidney Williams, curator of the Palm Springs Art Museum.  Her father-in-law, E. Stewart Williams, designed Frank Sinatra’s famous Twin Palms residence in Palm Springs, his first residential commission. She will share inside stories about Twin Palms, the homes of other movie stars, and the design history of the area.




At the tip top of Museum Tower, 42 stories high in the air, is a 9,350 square foot space I was privileged to see about two years ago with a friend who was then considering a Dallas condo. The view is unlike any other in town, more special if you have lived most of your adult life in Dallas, as I have. On a clear day, it’s as if you can see forever — downtown Dallas and Love Field, of course, but also the SMU campus and places frequented over the years with family and friends, even Fort Worth! I recall thinking, at the moment I was up there — a very different time in my life — living here would be like living with a 360 degree road map of my life in Dallas surrounding me every single day.  From the hour I arrived in Dallas for the very first time via Love Field to find my first place to live, to the top-heavy car trip from Chicago through downtown en route to our apartment, to having two babies at Presbyterian Hospital. Then raising those babies, educating and watching them become adults and parents of their own. Celebrating the extreme joys and tragedies that are, I have come to understand, a steep price-tag of life.  It was like living with Vladmir Gorsky’s famous Tapestry of the Centuries, only customized to the eyes and life of the viewer.

I realized that this could well be the most valuable dirt in Dallas, not just the highest. The value was in all the dirt you could see, as far as the eye could take you.

Now Museum Tower has announced its vision and yes, the pricing, for this unique Penthouse opportunity.

Museum Tower Penthouse 2



Update from Candy, Sunday evening: Spoke with City Councilman Lee Kleinman late Friday afternoon, and he told me that the film covering as a “solution” to Museum Tower’s glare problem was not yet a done deal, but he was pleased  about the collaborative spirit he is seeing between the Pension Fund and the Nasher family. He was pretty optimistic.

Director of the Nasher Jeremy Strick has also released a statement saying that the Fund has committed to potential changes of the Tower’s facade, including some that could be better and more effective than the film. The film only reduces the glare by 50%. However, there may be better products out there and the Fund wants to find them, test them, and then adopt them.

Original story:

Remember about a year ago when Candy chatted up Hines CEO C. Hastings “Hasty” Johnson about a new product they were looking into?

He mentioned that building materials of the future might include unique glass for highrise buildings, including a glass that gets darker as the light shines on it. An entire glass wall or building could in essence become a giant solar panel. This could lead to some legal issues down the road if your building, for example, blocked someone’s sunlight and view as you would also be blocking their source of energy.

Immediately we thought of Museum Tower in Dallas, and all the gleaming glass towers struggling with reflectivity issues from building with energy efficient glass. I tracked down Johnson briefly, who told me that Hines is working with Museum Tower to find a solution. His associate, George C. Lancaster, a Hines senior vice president, told me he was confident they would be able to find a solution to the glare issue.

Well, lo and behold, Robert Wilonsky reported today that Hines has come up with a solution for Museum Tower — a film that will reduce the reflectivity significantly.


Cliff Welch

Cliff Welch’s E. Lake Highlands Drive home featured in next weekend’s tenth annual White Rock Home Tour. Photos of house: Eric Homes

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 first one here and the second one here).

Cliff Welch

Photo: Cliff Welch

Cliff Welch, AIA, is a Dallas-based architect who champions modern architecture and designs with inspiration drawn from modern architecture of the last century.

His background includes working with the late Dallas modernist Bud Oglesby, later becoming a principal at Design International before starting his own firm, Welch Architecture, in January 2000.

One of his designs, located on East Lake Highlands Drive, is featured on the 10th annual White Rock Home Tour April 25-26. When the tour started in 2005, it showcased midcentury modern homes in the White Rock area; it has now expanded to include new construction, as well.

Welch earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. His work has received multiple Merit and Citation Awards from the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), as well as their coveted Young Architect of the Year award. He has also earned honors from Preservation Dallas, the Texas Society of Architects, D Home magazine, and the AIA.

Welch is the past president of the Dallas Architectural Foundation and taught graduate-level architecture classes at UT Arlington. He is a past executive board member of the Dallas Chapter AIA, also serving two years as their Commissioner of Design, and has chaired multiple chapter events, including various home tours. He also served as a design awards juror for other chapters around the state.

Welch’s White Rock Home Tour house’s elegant simplicity and open spaces incorporate modern design to create an exception environment.


Evan Beattie

Beattie’s most notable current project is the M-Line Tower mixed-use development at 3230 McKinney Avenue. Construction is slated to begin this summer on a design that includes two restaurant tenants of 12,000 square feet facing McKinney, and a residential entry lobby, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority trolley storage, a museum, and office space on Bowen. All photos: Good Fulton + Farrell

Today, we bring you the inaugural column in a new ongoing series, Interview with an Architect. The goal is to 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.

Evan Beattie

Evan Beattie

Evan BeattieAIA, LEED AP, is a Principal with Good Fulton & Farrell, Inc., an award-winning multi-disciplinary design firm based in Dallas. He’s been with them for 10 years, and was named one of Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2013, as well as one of the “Top 20 Under 40 in Architecture, Engineering and Construction” by ENR Texas & Louisiana in 2011.

He earned his Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Dallas in 2003. He currently lives in the Henderson Avenue area, where he organized fellow residents into the Henderson Neighborhood Association in 2009 to help them have a voice in the development of that fast-growing area. Beattie and his wife will move this summer to a new house he designed in the Urban Reserve neighborhood of sustainable modern homes just a few exits north on Central Expressway.

His work with Good Fulton & Farrell has included the Alta Henderson Apartments in Dallas; master planning for The Canyon in Oak Cliff in Dallas; and Fiori on Vitruvian Park in Addison. He is currently working on three projects adjacent to the Henderson Avenue area, two of which will be mixed-use developments in that neighborhood.

“It has been amazing to watch the pace of change in the urban core of our city these last 12 years, and the momentum just keeps growing for additional investment in urban revitalization and the creation of great public spaces and parks that make our city more livable,” Beattie said. Jump to read our interview!


Nasher roofGreg Greene, one of the developers of Museum Tower, has told Candace Carlisle at the Dallas Business Journal that “ownership wants to financially step up to fix the tower’s glare inside the galleries at the Nasher Sculpture Center.” But then he added, agreeing on a solution could take more time. And it looks as though that solution is the $5 million we told you last week that MT has offered to completely change out the Nasher’s roof. And also, note that Greene used the term “air space”:

“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, but those oculi are pointed right at our air space,” Greg Greene, a development partner at Dallas-based Turtle Creek Holdings Inc. told the Dallas Business Journal Tuesday during an exclusive tour of the property. “They were here first, but they don’t have the right to take someone’s air space,” Greene told me (Candace Carlisle). “Why isn’t theDallas Museum of Art complaining or anyone else complaining? Because they have a solid roof and they don’t have oculi pointed at our air space. That’s the problem and that’s what needs to be fixed.”

Recall Museum Tower officials presented a solution to foot the bill to reconfigure the oculi on the Nasher roof to point away from the new high-rise, which would essentially return the lighting in the Nasher to pre-Museum Tower conditions.Nasher rooftop

I caught up with Dallas agent Scott Deakins, who has sold a lot of Arts District condos, for his take on Museum Tower’s generous proposal, a proposal Greene told the DBJ would reduce profitability of the project somewhat.

CD: So Scott, you’ve been out of town, and you come back in and hear the news about Museum Tower’s offer to re-do essentially the Nasher’s roof. Were you surprised?

SD: It’s good to be back.  Paris says hi, btw!  No, I’m not surprised, this situation gets dumb and dumber. All you can do is roll your eyes.  Last year they asked the Nasher to grow taller trees ( to offset the glare) and now they want to replace the roof, which in itself is a significant architectural detail.  Give me a break.

CD: I’m particularly interested in your views since you have sold so many homes in the Arts District, and you live there (right?) This doesn’t seem reasonable to you? Why not?

SD: Yes, I live in the Arts District and no, it is not reasonable for a variety of reasons; why punish the victim in all of this?  The Nasher didn’t ask for this.

Also, this is not just hurting the museum part of the Nasher-what about the loss of the landscape in the sculpture garden?  What about the loss of the James Turrell Skyspace installation (see below).  This problem also affects Klyde Warren Park, drivers on Woodall Freeway. I have calls all the time from clients at One Arts complaining about the glare from the building from the morning (eastern) sun.  This is a 360 degree problem.

CD: You told me that a recent article in the New York Times by Wil Hylton almost mourned for Skyspace – and that everyone who wants to understand the function of light should read this: “One of my favorite Turrell pieces is the Skyspace “Tending (Blue),” which is inside a small stone building behind the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. To reach the piece, you pass through a Renzo Piano-designed building filled with northern light, then you cross the clean, clear lines of a landscape by Peter Walker. By the time you enter the Skyspace, the city of Dallas is long forgotten. I once lost the better part of a day inside, staring up as clouds lofted and flattened against the ceiling. But last year, a mirrored skyscraper went up nearby, reflecting glare into the building, killing plants in the garden and looming into view of the Skyspace. The museum had to close it.

SD: Yes! I wanted your followers, real estate developers and consumers, to see the New York Times piece because of the significant loss of the much loved James Turrell Skyspace thanks to the intrusion of Museum Tower.  The loss is permanent! Also, what are readers of the Times all over the world going to take away from this article about Dallas – that selling condos is more important than our culture and love of the arts? My point is MT is hurting ALL aspects of the Nasher, not just the building.

CD: But the building is there, and it was approved by the City, and those homes need to be sold.

SD: You’re right, the condos do need to be sold for the good of the Arts District and the city.  It has been my experience that people choose to live in the Arts District because of their love of surroundings.  Right now Museum Tower does not love its surroundings.  Five sales in three years is hardly something to beat your chest about.  Museum Tower is a fine building and there is a huge market for the condos, from  local as well as international buyers.  Sales are not going to increase until MT does something pro-actively about this. The problem has always been the skin of the building.

When Graham Greene sold the land to the original MT developers it was with the understanding that any structure built on the site would have height restrictions and would not use reflective glass.  Graham is an architect and as such thinks about things like light and the surroundings.  I can’t imagine the powers that be at MT didn’t know this was going to be a problem

CD: So what is a solution ?

SD: The solutions are expensive for sure.  But as it stands this 200+ million dollar building is completed and sitting mostly empty.  For a moment Museum Tower need to not think about commerce and commissions but instead think about what is good for the city it occupies. It is something that we try and teach our children at a very young age-do the right thing! Throwing in the golden rule wouldn’t hurt either.