From the start, developer Gabriel Barbier-Mueller has been guided by the principles he learned in his home country of Switzerland. “We are taught from birth about quality and service and lifestyle,” he says.
Those sensibilities are woven into the fabric of the Harwood District, his 18-block, mixed-use neighborhood in Uptown that’s known for its provocative architecture and richly landscaped green spaces.
Barbier-Mueller’s first building in Harwood was an American headquarters for Rolex. Now, 30 years later, a new U.S. base for the luxury watchmaker is in the works. It will be the first office building in Dallas designed by a Japanese architect; Tokyo-based Kengo Kuma & Associates is collaborating on the project with Harwood’s in-house group, HDF.
The 137,000-square-foot structure has a unique, rotated shape. Renowned landscape architect Sadafumi Uchiyama is creating tiered gardens with waterfalls that cascade over the side, and rampart stone walls will wrap around the base.
Kengo Kuma was recently selected to design the National Stadium in Tokyo, which will be the centerpiece for the 2020 Olympics. With the Rolex Building, he says, the goal is to fuse nature and architecture: “[It] will result in a beautiful urban-organic icon that will fundamentally change the Dallas cityscape.”