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Vision 2030: West Dallas Gateway Recognized with a 2009 Great Places Award, co-sponsored by the Environmental Design Research Association and Metropolis magazine, the West Dallas Gateway suggests redevelopment strategies for a blighted, post-industrial area of the city. The study culminates several years of research by UT Austin School of Architecture professor Dean Almy and his students. Joining them in the initiative are the City of Dallas’ development staff, design professionals, and investors. Through a program of designbased research, the plan attempts to illustrate how careful integration of programmatic density, landscape infrastructure, and transit, along with public amenities, such as new schools, could bring life back to the abandoned tracts of land separated from downtown by the Trinity River. The project harnesses the potential of the area, while developing protective strategies intended to sustain the cultural importance of the historic neighborhoods in the area. Jurors praised the project for its goal of radically redefining the future of a city that has previously looked only outward.
The Tolerance Bridge The Tolerance Bridge is among several public projects planned by the City of Houston to enhance the green space surrounding Buffalo Bayou. The German arts collaborative Elmgreen & Dragset, selected for the project through an international competition, will work in partnership with Houston-based architects SWA Group. Sited just east of Montrose Boulevard, the 850-foot-long pedestrian bridge is designed to connect the bayou’s north and south banks, as well as existing hike-and-bike trails. The $7 million project’s signature element is the “twisted arc.” When seen from a distance, the curved form makes the span appear impossible to traverse, yet this is actually a crafted illusion. Pedestrians cross the bridge by passing through apertures at either end of the arc’s swirling wave. As stated by Peter Marzio, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and a member of the artist selection panel: “The committee enthusiastically selected Elmgreen & Dragset’s proposal because of its playful yet eloquent use of space as a metaphor for the Houston tradition of tolerance.”
Dallas Convention Center Hotel In March, demolition and soil remediation began on the future site of the Dallas Convention Center Hotel, designed by Dallas architectural firm 5Gstudio_collaborative with BOKA Powell as the architect of record. The design work began in September under an integrated project delivery format closely involving the City of Dallas, Matthews Southwest, Omni Hotels, and Balfour Beatty Construction. The $500 million hotel and convention facility, with 1,000 guestrooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space, will have four podium levels containing ballrooms, meeting rooms, restaurants, a spa, and parking garage levels. The guestrooms will be vertically distributed into 19 boomerang-shaped floor plates with a glazed curtain wall on the north and east facades, allowing unobstructed downtown views. Precast concrete panels with ribbon windows on the south and west facades will minimize solar heat gain and offer views of the Trinity River Corridor. An outdoor pool deck will highlight views of downtown. Construction is scheduled for completion in late 2011.
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