Not that I contribute to this blog enough to have had any impact yesterday, but I did shut it down in a show of solidarity with the other thousand or so websites protesting CISPA with a blackout of the internet. It wasn’t a huge impact, but I felt it was important.
Firewheel is an urban Town Center multifamily project located in Garland Texas. The Firewheel Town Center opened in 2005 and is located at the intersection of Bush Turnpike and State Highway 78. While it’s a bit dripping in historicism for my taste, it has pretty rigidly followed recent trends of ‘traditional’ urban town center place making. One could easily argue that, in many ways, it is just a traditional mall, sans roof, with a ring of parking around the perimeter and no viable connections to the surrounding neighborhoods. And I’d agree with them. However, there is a modest amount of small scale office space, and coupled with the incorporation of residential product, the plan provides a nice start at economic diversity and mixed uses. Read the rest of this entry →
The Gallery on Turtle Creek is a midrise residential project in the heart of one of the most popular areas of Dallas. At seven stories and approximately 230 units, I’m hoping this offering is going to provide a new option for high end contemporary urban living. With a vertically integrated stack of amenities at the main corner, including a two story fitness and and outdoor rooftop terrace, as well as a Read the rest of this entry →
You might ask, “Why do you have a picture of a crusty old basketball official on your architecture blog?”. It’s a fair question. To explain, we need to go back a few years.
Last night the Rowlett City Council approved the Form Based code we’d spent the last year or so putting together. While it was a fight, in the end, I think Rowlett will definitely be better for the code. That optimism still hinges on a lot of factors, including the quality of city staff involved (which right now is excellent, but as with everything, you can’t predict the future). I’ll elaborate on this more in an upcoming post where I’ll talk more to whole experience of the process, but suffice it to say, in my eyes, the citizens won this day.
If you’d like to view the FBC you can link to it here.
Nestled in along Henderson Avenue in Dallas, a site that is vibrant with new urban activity, the Alta Henderson development makes for a quiet and sophisticated neighbor amidst a lot of architectural clatter. I frankly must admit that I am personally rather jealous concerning this development. Our firm had been asked to produce a conceptual design for this exact site and for an almost identical program, and the design we’d envisioned was a rather revolutionary one for the industry. As a result, I was really sad to see the client sell the land in the pursuit of other ventures. In any event, while the project we designed didn’t get built, the ideas we forged there lead do some intriguing R&D that has since resulted in other work, so it isn’t a total loss. Read the rest of this entry →
Monday night we met in City Hall to review the progress the consultants had made in engineering the second phase of the Rowlett 2020 planning initiative. Altogether, I think those who are looking to participate in the process are going to be impressed with the content they will have access to to help them make informed decisions to help shape the future of Rowlett.
To learn more about the second phase of this process, you can visit the City’s website here.
This last weekend I headed out to the Water’s Edge property to get a little exercise and give my stir crazy dog a chance to run and run to his heart’s content. If you’d like to read my earlier post from this summer where I did a similar walk of the property, you can do so here. I decided to return this winter because it would be a much less daunting jungle of poison ivy than it had been last July, and I wanted to document some areas along the waterfront that I hadn’t before. Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve been asked to participate as a member of the Rowlett 2020 Phase II Advisory Committee and last night we met to kick off phase 2 of the the Rowlett 2020 development initiative. The goal of the committee is to vet the information that the consultant is composing to engage the citizenry in phase 2 of the process. This will include public meetings and engagement sessions designed to illicit feedback from anyone in Rowlett who would like to help affect the future development of Rowlett. You can review my posts on phase 1 of the process here.
I feel that one of the most imposing challenges that we face as contemporary designers and architects is the significance of regionalism in the design aesthetic. While we might all agree that a Bourbon Street simulacrum of an urban typology is not relevant when transplanted to Illinois, nor is an Adirondack lodge become office building appropriate in Texas, there can also be a
very fair argument that asks “why does your clean, unadorned minimalist Dutch modern design belong in my historic Georgia downtown?” The reality of regional styles is firmly imprinted in everyone’s minds, whether they realize it or not and new architecture is always compared and contrasted against the local vernacular.
Lake | Flato, a firm based in San Antonio, TX, has evolved an incredible architectural vocabulary that is both new and contemporary, while also utilizing relevant regional forms and materials in such a way that seems to address both sides of the debate. Their work is clearly “of” Texas, and their use of limestone, exposed metal and wood evoke very clear regional sentimentality while manifesting very contemporary design. While this may sound easy and logical, very few contemporary designers are doing this, and and even fewer as achieving the success and broad acceptance that Lake | Flato has. Read the rest of this entry →