Tuesday, September 27, 2022 Sep 27, 2022
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Architecture & Design

These Dallas Designers Were Just Lauded for Innovative Excellence

Sit back and enjoy some boundary pushing design.
By Ellie Beeck |
A jury of esteemed architects from across the country has pared down an impressive list of 72 project typologies across the globe—from hospitals, stadiums, and museums to residences, chapels, and restaurants—to eight that push the boundaries of architecture and design. Local work included innovative builds such as 2000 Ross, 3-Edge Residence, and The Pittman Hotel, which took home the Critics Choice.

The jury included Chris-Annmarie Spencer, principal at Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago, Gabriel Smith, director at Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York City, and Wendell Burnette, founder of Wendell Burnette Architects in Phoenix.

AIA Dallas lauds the program as its highest recognition of work.

“We are greatly impressed by the number of entries that displayed high quality and thoughtfulness, even though we are in the middle of the pandemic situation this year,” said AIA Dallas Design Awards Committee Chair Kei Lee, AIA. “We believe it proves that architects are nimble and prepared to face difficult situations, eventually overcoming them and making our world much better. We congratulate the award recipients and all who participated in our 2020 event.”

Here are the eight projects honored.

3-Edge Residence
The 2,264-square-foot 3-Edge Residence was completed last November.

3-Edge Residence, Dallas

“The jury was unanimous in selecting this project from the start,” says juror Gabriel Smith, FAIA. The 2,264 square-foot residence, built on a unique, triangular lot, required creativity to design. The final strategy involved creating an L-shaped house with one wing for the living space and the other for the bedroom spaces. “The project has a big feel for a small house, and it overcame and even capitalized on the challenges of its site,” Smith says.

Signazon, Plano

Using tilt-wall construction, dark paint, modest fenestration, and more, the 29,000-square-foot facility has a notable presence.

Judges say this 29,000 square-feet facility stands out among the mass of warehouses that line East Plano Parkway. The minimal, sleek design fits with the Signazon brand and made the project budget-friendly, coming in at $110 a square foot. “This project offers a rigorous rethink of the ubiquitous tilt-up warehouse within the super-tight budget parameters of this prevalent Plano building type,” says juror Wendell Burnette, FAIA. “It offers proof that good architecture can happen anywhere, for any program, and for any budget.”

Pacific Plaza
Pacific Plaza

Previously a surface parking lot, HKS helped transform the space into a 4,600-square-foot pavilion sits at the main entrance leading into Pacific Plaza Park

Pacific Plaza Pavilion, Dallas
HKS, Inc.

The Pacific plaza Pavilion sits at the entrance to Pacific Plaza Park, welcoming visitors. The design allows for plenty of shade, encouraging city residents to get outdoors, even during hot summer months. The pavilion has unique patterns on the metal panels, creating a perfect backdrop for concerts and events. “It creates an iconic gathering space tied to the history of Pacific Avenue with morse code patterning,” said juror Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA.

The 143,300-square-foot facility is home to the entire athletic program at Tec de Monterrey, one of the top universities in Latin America.

Estadio Borregos, Monterrey, Mexico
Beck Architecture

Estadio Borregos sits within the campus of Tec de Monterrey, one of the top universities in Latin America. The 15,000-student university has had a soccer (or football) team since 1945, and athletics are a key component of the university’s curriculum. The urban stadium is home to the school’s entire athletic department and contains meeting rooms and weight training facilities. “The project opens up the campus for future expansion with intermediate terminus into the sunken stadium while preserving street and game connection to the spectacular mountains above Monterrey,” says juror Wendell Burnette, FAIA.

To foster collaboration between once siloed staff and eliminate corporate hierarchy, the 250,000-square-feet of office space is organized on two three-acre floor plates that extend across the entire site.

Baylor Scott & White Health Administrative Center, Dallas
Perkins and Will

It is no surprise that when designing the Baylor Scott & White Administrative Center, Perkins and Will prioritized a space that would promote the health and wellbeing of staff. The over 250,000 square feet of office space is deliberately organized on two three-acre floors, extending across the entire building. “A diagrammatically clear and architecturally rigorous response to climate, and site, this building literally elevates its program, creating community space and a welcoming presence,” says juror Gabriel Smith, FAIA.

The Knights of Pythias Temple was Dallas’ first major commercial building designed, financed, and built by the Black community in 1916. The building was redeveloped into a hotel as part of the Epic Development in Deep Ellum.

Pittman Hotel, Dallas
Perkins and Will

To build the Pittman Hotel in Deep Ellum, Perkins and Will reused the existing structure of the historic Knights of Pythias Temple, the first major commercial building that was designed, financed, and built by the Black community. The building remained a cultural hub throughout the early 1900s but has not been used productively since. “It respects the history of place through a careful exterior restoration and a new building both in dialogue proportionally and spatial,” says juror Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA. “It re-invigorates the streetscape and urban fabric of Dallas in the way we hope all buildings will in our cities. ”

HKS took a parking garage and used it as a catalyst for a more robust, sustainable downtown.

2000 Ross, Dallas
HKS Inc.

This innovative parking garage across the street from the Trammell Crow Center was designed based on inspiration from the architecture of the Dallas Arts District. “This project is an elegant reinvention of the sunbelt-city parking garage into something more than just another city block parking island,” says juror Wendell Burnette, FAIA. The garage included a street-level program space and was designed to accommodate the city’s growth.

In 2016, the City of Dallas completed a full exterior restoration before turning the building over to UNT for interior rehabilitation.

The Dallas Municipal Building, constructed in 1914, is best known as the location for the arrest, jailing, and assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald.

University of North Texas College of Law, Dallas

“An exquisitely preserved, restored, and adaptive reuse of the historic Dallas Municipal Building, it is the perfect setting for a college of law,” says juror Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA. The old Municipal Building, best known as the site of the jailing and assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, is a State Historic Landmark. In 2016, the City of Dallas turned the building over to UNT, who have helped preserve the building’s historic elements while also giving it new life as their law school.


The Critics’ Choice Award, given by Inga Saffron, architecture critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Belinda Tato, who is on the editorial board for Bracket, was awarded to the Pittman Hotel.

Meanwhile, the Juror Citation award was given to the 70’s Modern Interior Renovation, done by Marc McCollom Architect in Dallas. This project required the stripping of all the interior finishes of the house and the reworking of some interior framing, all while keeping the existing roof and floor structures, as well as the brick exterior walls.

Finally, based on popular vote and presented by Charles Davis Smith, FAIA, The People’s Choice Award was given to the Taula House, done by M Gooden Design. Taula House, a single-family residence designed for a multi-generational family in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a wine cellar, spread across three stories.

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