If you build it, they will come. And sometimes if it hasn’t been built, they will still be wowed—and honor your design at an awards ceremony.
Both things happened Thursday night at AD EX—the Architecture and Design Exchange—in downtown Dallas. That’s where the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced the 14 winners of its 2023 Built, Unbuilt, and Student Design Awards.
Each year, the awards program honors architects, clients, and consultants who work together to achieve design excellence, both in the Dallas metropolitan area and around the globe. The awards also aim to elevate the value of architectural practice in the local community.
“We’re so excited to combine the AIA Dallas Built, Unbuilt, and Student Design Awards programs for the first time in many years,” Britney Wollmeringer, 2023 chair of the AIA Dallas Design Awards committee, said in a statement. “The submitted projects and ideas showcase the amazing talent of architects working here in Dallas and students from across Texas and Oklahoma.”
“I’d encourage everyone to stop by the AD EX while the entries are on display to get inspired by the incredible work located in our city, all over the country, and around the world,” Wollmeringer added.
The awards juries for the three competitions include leading architects and university professors from across North America. (More about them later in this story.)
First, here are the winners of things that actually got built…and are already transforming their cities and communities.
2023 Built Design Honor Awards Winners
The Hill by LRK, in collaboration with Farrell Architects. For this adaptive reuse/historic preservation project, a shopping center at Walnut Hill Lane and U.S. Highway 75 in Dallas has been transformed into a bustling local attraction. Old brick facades became the canvas for a variety of art styles, with each building gaining its own identity. The new community hub has become a destination for the surrounding neighborhoods.
Tec de Monterrey CCM – Aulas by Beck Architecture. In 2017, an earthquake nearly destroyed the technological de Monterey campus in Mexico City. This project rebuilt the campus, significantly improving its resiliency, sustainability, and urban connectivity. Reconceiving it as an open campus, the design team supported the university’s embrace of flexible and collaborative learning spaces.
Architecture and Design Exchange (AD EX) by OMNIPLAN. Yes, an award was given Thursday night honoring the design of the very space that housed the awards ceremony. Designed for three key uses as a lecture hall, event center, and gallery, AD EX features retractable walls and partitions that transform, combine, and open up rooms, creating multiple scenarios. Exhibit panels suspended from an overhead track system allow the gallery to be used as one big open event or lecture space, in addition to being a gallery with unlimited exhibition and display configurations.
Miramar Residence by Oglesby Greene Architecture. Modern design meets livable warmth in this residence, where walls of glass break down the barriers between home and nature, creating a flow of energy and openness. Meanwhile, an extensive use of brick walls creates its own flow through the home’s exterior and interior, offering a sense of warmth and stability to balance all the open views of trees and sky.
Able Pump Station No. 3 by GSR Andrade Architects (see design at the top of this article). Located on the south side of Riverfront Boulevard between Dallas’ Houston and Jefferson Street viaducts, the pump station is designed to provide 100-year flood protection to around 3 square miles, including 171 acres of highly desirable land. With the completion of the project, new amenities can begin to be implemented. The project also creates opportunities to expand private development along the Trinity River.
Shady Brook Office Building by Cunningham Architects. This office building is part of a larger 5.5-acre development aimed at revitalizing a neighborhood of North Central Dallas along Northwest Highway. The four-story building is an exposed cast-in-place concrete structure with nine-foot cantilevered slabs at the upper levels. These deep recesses allow for exterior covered walkways around the entire building. To protect against the hot Texas sun, the building is wrapped in a series of Accoya wood fins with various densities based on solar orientation.
2023 Unbuilt Design Honor Awards
REVITALIZING Historic Coleman – Hotel DeSoto by Abeyta Tibbs Architecture (Unbuilt Design Honor Award). Hotel De Soto aims to encompass a block of historic structures in downtown Coleman, Texas, a town founded in central West Texas in 1876. A former DeSoto automobile dealership from the 1950s will act as a hub for both a nod to the past and an eye to the future. 100-year-old bow trussed wood ceilings and hand-forged steel ties and collars spanning columns will be retained from the past as part of the canvas for the future of Hotel DeSoto.
Sonata: The Sansusi Festival Food Court by FAR + DANG (Unbuilt Design Honor Award). The Sansusi festival is held each year in Latvia, merging classical chamber music with the excitement of a rock festival. This proposed food court for the festival uses the circle as its instrument, creating unique, yet related, movements throughout. The project is organized into three sections: the catering market, the design porch, and the picnic garden—offering a holistic approach where the architecture is an instrument, playing off the existing context of the forest to “complete” the composition.
Theater Pavilion by TRIM (Unbuilt Design Honor Award). The ruins of an ancient renaissance pavilion outside the small Italian town of Genazzano sit empty. This project imagines a modern redevelopment of the site that uses the historical artifacts as a kind of superstructure to create a new place, a new use, a new social artifact.
Deep Ellum SKELETOWER by Agent Architecture (Juror Citation). The highly walkable historic neighborhood of Deep Ellum, just east of downtown Dallas, has very little public space beyond its sidewalks. The design of SKELETOWER provides a generous plaza and public space, activated by a coffee shop, art gallery, and cultural center. Above the lively ground level, residential levels are interspersed throughout the tower, each with their own common green space. Mixed use levels are designed to contain everything from art galleries to offices, barbershops, and retail stores.
2023 Student Design Honor Awards
TSBVI Community Outreach Center by Anisha Kamat & Lillian Giraud at the University of Texas at Austin (Student Honor Award). Located in Northwest Austin, for Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired acts as a statewide resource. This design separates a community center, a maker space, and a residential complex into distinct buildings to create a mini campus-like environment.
Texas Poetry Foundation by Scott Bajanowski at the University of Texas at Arlington (Jury Citation). This is a proposed civic and cultural building design for the Poetry Center of Texas as a new headquarters based in the city of the organization’s longest-existing chapter, Fort Worth.
Exoskeleton by Hila Moyal at the University of Texas at Arlington (Jury Citation). The building’s name derives from the architectural expression of its structure. The structure waves through the staggered levels, fluctuating from interior to exterior spaces, and is visible on the façade of the building.
A Bosnian Folktale by Michelle Ashley Ovanessians & Bruno Belo Xavier at the University of Houston (Jury Citation).
Jurors for the 2023 AIA Dallas Awards
This year’s Built Design Awards jury included architects Christopher Sharples, AIA, founding principal of SHoP; Brigitte Shim, Hon. FAIA, founding partner at Shim-Sutcliffe Architects and professor at John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto; and Rachel Villalta, Assoc. AIA, design director at Kohn Pedersen Fox.
The Unbuilt Design Awards jury incluced Neeraj Bhatia, AIA, Founder of THE OPEN WORKSHOP, and associate professor at the California College of the Arts; Julia Gamolina, founder and editor-in-chief at Madame Architect; and Edgar Rodriguez, co-founder of operadora, and assistant professor at Syracuse University School of Architecture.
The Student Design Awards jury included local architects and designers Unmesh Kelkar, Assoc. AIA, project designer at Corgan; Brian Nicodemus, AIA, senior associate at Gensler; and Levi Swinney, AIA, senior project architect at Glenn | Partners.
You can go online to view all the Built/Unbuilt and Student Design finalists and winning entries at aiadallasdesignawards.com.
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