Of 40 submissions from 14 Dallas firms, the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected four designs to receive its 2016 AIA Dallas Unbuilt Design Awards. This year’s recipients were selected by a jury composed of world-renowned architects, including Jacob Brillhart, founder of Brillhart Architecture; Mary-Ann Ray, a principal of Studio Works Architects and cofounder and co-director of the experimental laboratory for urban and rural research and design at BASE Beijing; and Adam Marcus, AIA, director for Variable Projects and partner in Futures North.
Perkins + Will
The Garden Education Center at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens acts as a gateway for visitors—an experience that is equal parts display, science, and education outreach. Inspired by the concept of “cycles” the arboretum is a figure-eight loop form. The design burrows into the ground and then curves up into the air with the loop offering 360 degree views of the garden. The jurors praised the way the project creates an experiential procession into the park.
Set within densely populated Chongqing, China, the project creates a city within a city, rendering the tower as a contributing part of the urban fabric both in plan and volume. Articulation of form and spatial experience speaks to the characteristic mist that envelops Chongqing down to the flow of the pedestrian life at street level. Spaces cascade throughout the project to form volumetric interaction and connect to the city at every level. The jurors commended the project’s ability to weave public space into a building experience that is generally only reserved for a few.
The Hillen Residence connects the homeowners to their surroundings by weaving into the landscape and then graciously opening toward expansive views of native Texan flora. A site-specific project, the form, both in plan and volume, is driven by natural connections stitched together with facets of the family’s daily life. The jurors appreciated the project’s ability to manifest a complex plan and idea into a simple gesture that allows the homeowner to experience the architecture and local environment from every vantage point.
Oak Cliff Brewing Company
Munn Harris Architects
With a reclaimed industrial warehouse and minimal budget—a result of high equipment cost—the proposal for Oak Cliff Brewing Company aims to create a welcoming place for the public through minimal design costs. Using a large pecan tree on-site as inspiration, reclaimed wood elements act as a unifying palette and define the character of both indoor and outdoor spaces. The jurors were impressed by the modest proposal and its ability to do a lot with a little.
Fed Scraper – Juror Citation
The FED Scraper proposes a physical constraint to the U.S. Government’s ever-expanding spatial capacity. The proposal sinks the federal government building into a sub-grade metropolis where the terrain creates a physical limitation on growth. In turn, the ground place is activated for public programming, thus giving back large swaths of D.C. to the people. The jurors praised the project’s utopian ambition and visionary scale, as well as the use of humor and irony as a means of pushing the outcome outside of the comfort zone.