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Architecture & Design

A New Monograph From Droese Raney Celebrates Dallas Design

The architecture and interior design firm has changed the face of the city by creating modern landmarks, from Forty Five Ten to José.
| |Photography by Fredrik Broden
David Droese and Lance Raney
Over the last quarter century, David Droese (left) and Lance Raney have changed the face of Dallas with their designs. Fredrik Broden

Even if you haven’t realized it yet, you are likely familiar with Droese Raney’s work. If you’ve shopped at Forty Five Ten or Neighborhood Goods, dined at José on Lovers Lane or Mi Cocina in Klyde Warren Park, or taken in Cindy and Howard Rachofsky’s contemporary art collection at The Warehouse on Inwood Road, you’ve experienced the genius of David Droese and Lance Raney. The duo founded their namesake architecture and interior design studio in 1998 out of a bare-bones, one-room workspace in the Meadows Building. Now Droese Raney is a team of 12, with a portfolio of projects from across the country and a dedicated office building complete with perforated-steel portraits of the firm’s founders that gaze out into its West Dallas neighborhood. 

Across its more than 400 pages, the book is a celebration of collaboration.

To commemorate their quarter of a century in business, Droese and Raney have released their first monograph: Droese Raney x Design. Across more than 400 photo-packed pages, the book takes readers on a journey through 16 of the firm’s most noteworthy projects. The four-story, 37,000-square-foot behemoth that is Forty Five Ten’s flagship downtown store makes an appearance, as do some of Droese Raney’s other fashion-fueled concerns, including Alabama-based designer Billy Reid’s Southern-accented Manhattan location and local retail maestro Brian Bolke’s New York City outpost of The Conservatory, his casually cool paean to understated luxury. The book also features Droese Raney–designed restaurants, office spaces, urban redevelopment projects, and residences ranging from a sleek, art-filled One Arts Plaza condo to a modern steel-and-stone ranch getaway in rural Goree, north of Abilene. 

According to Droese, each of the book’s featured designs represents a turning point in the firm’s history or a project that allowed the partners to take their practice in a new direction. “Our practice goes way beyond architecture and interiors,” he says. “So the book was a way for us to talk about all the collaborative projects that we’ve had with fabricators, engineers, designers, artists.”

The whole book, in fact, is a celebration of collaboration, beginning with the cover image—a colorful geometric mural Droese Raney commissioned from Dallas artist Huy Nguyen for its 2800 Main project in Deep Ellum—and ending with a double-page group portrait of the firm’s team. The theme continues with first-person narratives by five of Droese Raney’s most cherished clients and collaborators. In addition to essays by Reid, Bolke, and Howard Rachofsky, the book features contributions from former Knoll creative director Dorothy Cosonas and Guadalajara-based tile manufacturer José Noé Suro. Suro’s fantastic tilework can be found in multiple Droese Raney projects, including the Bluffview Mexican restaurant that shares his name.

Raney says he and Droese think of the book as a love letter to the people who have trusted them with important—and often very expensive—projects over the past two-plus decades. “They could have worked with anybody on the planet that they wanted to, and they chose us,” he says. “They took a calculated risk and had faith in two guys in Dallas, Texas.” 

This story originally ran in the March issue of D Magazine with the headline, “Shelf Life” Write to [email protected].


Rhonda Reinhart

Rhonda Reinhart

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