These Dallas Designers Were Just Lauded for Innovative Excellence

A jury of distinguished architects from across the country reduced an impressive list of 72 project typologies around the world – from hospitals, stadiums and museums to residential buildings, chapels and restaurants – to eight that transcend the boundaries of architecture and design. Local work has included innovative buildings such as 2000 Ross, 3-Edge Residence and The Pittman Hotel that took home the Critics Choice.

The jury consisted of Chris-Annmarie Spencer, Director at Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago, Gabriel Smith, Director at Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York City, and Wendell Burnette, founder of Wendell Burnette Architects in Phoenix.

AIA Dallas praises the program as the highest recognition of the work.

“We are very impressed with the number of entries that have shown high quality and thoughtfulness, despite our being in the middle of the pandemic this year,” said Kei Lee, chairman of the AIA Dallas Design Awards Committee, AIA. “We believe this proves that architects are nimble and ready to face difficult situations, eventually overcome them and make our world a lot better. We congratulate the winners and everyone who participated in our 2020 event. “

The eight projects are honored here.

The 2,264 square meter 3-edge residence was completed last November.

3-Edge Residence, Dallas

“The jury unanimously selected this project from the start,” says juror Gabriel Smith, FAIA. The 2264 square meter residence, which was built on a unique, triangular plot of land, required creativity in the design. The final strategy was to create an L-shaped house with one wing for the living space and the other for the bedrooms. “The project has a great feeling for a small house and has mastered and even used the challenges of its location,” says Smith.

Signazon, Plano

The 29,000 square meter facility with a tilting wall construction, dark color, modest windows and much more is remarkably present.

The judges say this 29,000-square-foot facility stands out from the crowd of warehouses that line East Plano Parkway. The minimal, sleek design matches the Signazon brand and made the project budget friendly. It costs $ 110 per square foot. “This project offers a rigorous rethinking of the ubiquitous tilting bearing within the extremely tight budget parameters of this predominant flat building type,” says juror Wendell Burnette, FAIA. “It is proof that good architecture is possible anywhere, for any program and for any budget.”

Pacific Plaza

Pacific Plaza

Previously, HKS was an above-ground parking lot and helped transform the space into a 4,600-square-foot pavilion at the main entrance that leads into Pacific Plaza Park

Pacific Plaza Pavilion, Dallas
HKS, Inc.

The Pacific Plaza Pavilion is located at the entrance to Pacific Plaza Park and welcomes visitors. The design offers plenty of shade and encourages city dwellers to go outside even in the hot summer months. The pavilion has unique patterns on the metal panels and provides a perfect backdrop for concerts and events. “It creates an iconic meeting place that is tied to the history of Pacific Avenue with Morse code patterns,” said juror Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA.

The 143,300 square meter facility houses the entire sports program of Tec de Monterrey, one of the best universities in Latin America.

Borregos Stadium, Monterrey, Mexico
Beck architecture

The Estadio Borregos is located on the campus of Tec de Monterrey, one of the best universities in Latin America. The university, with 15,000 students, has had a soccer team since 1945, and athletics is an important part of the university’s curriculum. The municipal stadium houses the entire sports department of the school and includes meeting rooms and weight training facilities. “The project opens the campus for future expansion with a stopover to the sunken stadium and at the same time preserves the road and game connection to the spectacular mountains above Monterrey,” says juror Wendell Burnette, FAIA.

In order to encourage collaboration between once isolated employees and to eliminate the corporate hierarchy, the 250,000 square meters of office space are arranged on two three-hectare floor slabs that span the entire site.

Baylor Scott & White Health Administration Center, Dallas
Perkins & Will

Unsurprisingly, when designing Baylor Scott & White’s administrative center, Perkins & Will prioritized an area that promotes the health and wellbeing of its employees. The more than 250,000 square meters of office space are deliberately distributed over two three-hectare floors that extend over the entire building. “This building is a schematically clear and architecturally strict reaction to the climate and location. It literally expands its program, creating communal space and a welcoming presence, ”says juror Gabriel Smith, FAIA.

The Knights of Pythias Temple was the first large commercial building in Dallas, designed, funded, and built by the Black Community in 1916. The building was converted into a hotel as part of the Epic Development in Deep Ellum.

Pittman Hotel, Dallas
Perkins & Will

To build the Pittman Hotel in Deep Ellum, Perkins & Will used the existing structure of the historic Knights of Pythias Temple, the first large commercial building designed, funded and built by the Black Community. The building remained a cultural center during the early 20th century, but has not been used productively since then. “It respects the history of the place through a careful restoration of the outside and a new building both in dialogue proportionally and spatially,” says juror Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA. “It enlivens the streetscape and urban fabric of Dallas in the way we hope all buildings in our cities work. ”

HKS took a parking garage and used it as a catalyst for a more robust, sustainable inner city.

2000 Ross, Dallas
HKS Inc.

This innovative parking garage across from the Trammell Crow Center was designed based on the architecture of the Dallas Arts District. “This project is an elegant reinvention of the parking garage in Sunbelt City for more than just another parking block island,” says juror Wendell Burnette, FAIA. The garage encompassed a street-level program area and was designed to accommodate the city’s growth.

In 2016, the city of Dallas completed a full exterior restoration before the building was turned over to UNT for interior renovation.

The Dallas Municipal Building, built in 1914, is best known as the location for the arrest, imprisonment, and murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.

University of North Texas Law School, Dallas

“An exquisitely preserved, restored, and adaptable reuse of the historic Dallas Municipal Building is the perfect location for a College of Law,” says Juror Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA. Known as the site of the imprisonment and murder of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, the old city building is a state historic landmark. In 2016, the City of Dallas handed the building over to UNT, who helped preserve the building’s historic features while breathing new life into it as a law school.


The Critics’ Choice Award, presented by Inga Saffron, architecture critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Belinda Tato, Bracket editorial board member, was presented to the Pittman Hotel.

Meanwhile, the Juror Citation Award was given for the 1970s modern interior renovation carried out by Marc McCollom Architect in Dallas. In this project, all of the interior fittings of the house had to be removed and some interior frames had to be revised, whereby the existing roof and floor structures and the brick exterior walls were retained.

Based on the referendum and award ceremony by Charles Davis Smith, FAIA, M Gooden Design’s Taula House received the People’s Choice Award. Taula House, a single-family home for a multi-generation family in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a wine cellar spread over three floors.

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