Dallas’s modernist masterpieces are celebrated in a new book

Despite the romantic appeal of the hackneyed Dallas cartoon – 10-gallon hats, big hair, oil rigs making money on the lawns of neoclassical mansions – there is another side of life in the fabled city of Texas that is just as alluring. Dallas Modern (US $ 68), a new book from the Dallas Architecture Forum, documents the city’s love affair with modernist architecture and design based on 20 extraordinary houses from 1951 to 2013.

Many of the architects that appear in the compendium are lights of design of the 20th and 21st centuries. Philip Johnson is represented by Beck House (1963), a dazzling tour de force of colonnade craziness that has been brought back to life after an eight year renovation by design firm Bodron + Fruit. Oak Court, a house designed by Edward Durell Stone at the time the architect was working on the US Embassy in Delhi (1956-58), features original TH Robsjohn Gibbings furniture against a backdrop of glass walls and imaginative Brises-Soleil. Of course, Richard Meier’s famous Rachofsky House (1996) – a machine for living art as well as living it – made the cut.

Perhaps even more fascinating are exemplary homes created by successive generations of modern Texan architects such as Gary Cunningham, Lionel Morrison and Enslie (Bud) Oglesby. And because no great home can be truly great without spectacular interiors, Dallas Modern also highlights the work of David Cadwallader, Emily Summers, and other designers who helped preserve and enrich these architectural treasures.

See the stunning modern architecture of Dallas.

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