The Last Word: Perkins&Will’s Ron Stelmarski on How His Firm’s Buildings Are Remaking Dallas

“There’s thousands, maybe tens of thousands, who will experience these buildings on the inside. But you’ve got millions who will experience them from the outside.”

Ron Stelmarski
Design Director
.…on his firm’s Epic I and Epic II buildings in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood, via the Dallas Morning News.

Stelmarksi has been the design director of Perkins&Will’s Dallas office since 2011. According to Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster, “nobody has done more to shape the city’s built environment this century.”

That impact includes Stelmarksi’s work on The Epic complex in Deep Ellum; the 18-story Richards Group building on North Central Expressway just north of downtown Dallas (recently renamed One West Village); The Galbraith mixed-income apartment high-rise along a downtown DART line; the Baylor Scott & White “groundscraper” administrative center in Deep Ellum; the UT Southwestern Medical Center building at RedBird, and more.

The former Richards Group headquarters building in Uptown Dallas has been renamed One West Village. [Photo courtesy of The Richards Group]

“There’s thousands, maybe tens of thousands, who will experience these buildings on the inside,” Stelmarksi told the DMN’s Lamster. “But you’ve got millions who will experience them from the outside, and it better be a damn good experience in terms of what they’re seeing and how they’re interacting with it.”


Stelmarksi’s creative stamp can be seen in the striking Fire Station No. 27 at Northwest Highway and Douglas in Dallas. [Photo © 2016 James Steinkamp Photography]

From a fire station on Northwest Highway (above) to buildings across Dallas, Stelmarksi’s creative stamp has made Dallas look more modern and striking for years. So how does he bring these projects to life?

“When people hire you, they put their trust in you,” Stelmarksi told the DMN. “That’s why they hire you. And you can take them on a journey that gets you to really cool places.”

Stelmarksi led the Perkins&Will team that turned a former Sears store at Red Bird Mall into the UT Southwestern Medical Center at RedBird. [Photo: UT Southwestern]

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.

R E A D   N E X T

  • From a black-tie kickoff on January 19 to a parade, a music festival, a storytelling summit, and more, the Deep Ellum neighborhood just east of downtown Dallas is gearing up for a 2023 to remember. Known as the "birthplace of the blues in Texas," the district buzzes with live music, street art, galleries, restaurants, clubs, and culturally creative retail. The sesquicentennial will bring something new: the opening of the Deep Ellum Community Cultural Center. It's just one way 2023 will "shape the neighborhood’s future as a continued mecca for creatives, entrepreneurs, and all comers," says a Deep Ellum Foundation leader.

  • THE LAST WORD on Dallas Innovates. Find "who said what" in our collection of quotes on Dallas-Fort Worth Innovation.

    Read “who said what” in our roundup of quotes about all things North Texas, including ENO8's Jeff Francis; MyndVR's Chris Brickler and Ted Werth; Axxess' John Olajide; the Urban Land Institute's Ron Pressman; Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson; the Mavs Foundation's Katie Edwards; UT Arlington's Yi Hong;'s Ben Caballero; ParkHub's George Baker Sr.; and more.

  • Like all the others, the Deep Ellum location offers interactive, digital games played by groups in "fun smart rooms." As you can see from the goggle-less players above, it's not about AR or virtual reality. Instead, the "gameboxes" feature a range of tech including projection mapping, touch screens using the company's patented Lidar, 3D motion tracking, and surround sound. 

  • You may have seen her mural on the wall of Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. But that's just for starters. Marshall has made her mark across Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond as an art curator and consultant for her firm Articulation Art. Tapping the talents of multiple artists, her company has curated art works on exterior and interior walls for the Virgin Hotel, the Design District Playground, the Renaissance Hotel, Cushman & Wakefield, the Case Building, Tom Thumb, 7-11, Deep Ellum Brewing Company, and many more businesses.

  • The eighth annual HackDFW, powered by Say Yes to Dallas and presented by Google, connected hundreds of aspiring technologists to several Fortune 100 companies. It was a unique 48-hour marathon that challenged more than 550 people from 80 universities. Tech teams created ways to innovatively tackle waste management, climate change, better understand decisions from the Supreme Court, and much more.