modciti.dallas - issue 01 // september 2019

Page 1

sep ‘19

bernbaum/magadini architects // photo: charles davis smith photography



1019 Dragon Street | Dallas | Design District | 214.350.0542 | www.sminkinc.com


LIVING LA PURA VIDA

by Kendall Morgan


// photo: charles davis smith photography

Architect Tricy Magadini and interior designer Robyn Menter deliver a client’s dream abode. Costa Ricans abide by the phrase “Pura Vida,” which, simply translated, means “simple life” or “pure life.” When a discerning client with a passion for South American surfing was looking to downsize, the quest for a little bit of that effortless living was an inspiration. Luckily, he was able to source a dream team to work together in tandem when the house was in its early planning stages. Says the owner, “We selected our team before we even made plans for the house. Tricy (Magadini of Bernbaum/ Magadini Architects) did some renovations on our old house, so we picked her, then we chose (interior designer Robyn Menter), and picked a landscape architect. Together, they gave us everything we wanted.”

Says Tricy Magadini, “If we can get the landscape architect and designer on board from the beginning, it makes for a much better project. When you build, all these little things come up as you’re designing.” In this case, those “little things” included the desire for an open floor plan that allowed for entertaining, and a second-floor devoted exclusively to the owners’ three children—twin girls and a boy. A porch with rolling screens allows an entire corner of the house to open up, giving it a breezy vibe found in tropical countries such as Costa Rica, where the owner has another home. The outdoor area can be heated and cooled to be used 365 days a year, and floor-to-ceiling windows make the house feel open and exposed even on a rainy day. Because the home’s Bluffview lot was oddly sized, landscape architect David Hocker helped optimize as much


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outdoor space as possible with side gardens balanced by a water feature. There’s a guest house with a living area and bathroom for relatives and friends. Magadini even implemented a doorway from the master bath directly to the yard so the client can step directly into the shower after a dip in the pool.

the modernist furnishings she was sourcing. “The client wanted a place they could watch TV comfortably. When we looked at the plans, we determined they needed another foot on the living room to layout the furnishings. That seems like nothing, but it makes a significant difference,” says Menter.

Other unique touches included a shareable closet for the owner’s clothes-swapping twin daughters, and a roomy utility room that does double duty as a catering kitchen.

Furniture in the client’s former house leaned towards the traditional, so Menter only kept a few key pieces, mixing in classics from the likes of Walter Knoll (the living room sectional), Vitra Repos (lounge chairs) and Cassina Hola (leather dining chairs).

As designer Robyn Menter was involved from the get-go, she was able to make small tweaks to create room for


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Walter Knoll Grand Suite Sectional in background Foreground: Vitra Repos reclining swivel lounge chair in natural leather End Table: Custom side tables designed by RMDA with integral dual plug outlets Rug: Custom RMDA/ Edward Fields

An extensive array of custom designs created specifically for the home helped round out the rooms, including a metal and glass dining table, entry console, living room rug, and master bedroom suite. Menter even curated a unique selection of art to brighten the mostly neutral palette, finding works everywhere from Holly Johnson Gallery to off-the-beaten-path Berlin art spaces. “They like a lot of color, so that was a real challenge for me,” she says of the mix. “I typically use a lot, but (in this case) I relied on the art and a colorful area rug (by Tai Ping) we had made for the living room to add that pop.”


With the project taking nearly three years from beginning to end, the designer, architect, and the client got to know each other well. The former still return to the latter’s home on occasion for parties and get-togethers. And for the owner, it’s that atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration—rain or shine—that has made his house a dream home.

“I always wanted to have a house (with this feeling). It’s fun building a house where every little piece of it is designed for you and what you love.”



SUPER NATURE by Kendall Morgan


// all photos courtesy of cris worley fine arts

Texan artist Sherry Owens builds an engrossing universe from crepe myrtle and bronze. In the hands of Texan artist Sherry Owens, a seemingly banal material—crepe myrtle branches—is transformed from natural debris into parables of mythology, ecology, and storytelling. Currently showing Tied to this World (on view through October 12 at Cris Worley Fine Arts), Owens carves and composes her chosen material—sometimes dying it or coating it in wax, sometimes casting it in bronze, or adorning it with fairy-like webs.

Born in East Texas, Owens originally studied elementary education at Southern Methodist University before being drawn to arts education. She taught at an alternative high school post-graduation in Dallas in the early 1970s for a few years before embracing a full-time practice. Initially concentrating on tapestries and textiles, Owens spent over a decade working with wool and silk but felt an undeniable pull to use completely new material. “I was working in clay for a little while, but I took it upon myself to try these different avenues,” Owens



recalls. “I was working on a piece that had different kinds of material, and I had some crepe myrtle trees in my yard and they just kind of started to stick out. They have a very short grain, and when you carve them, they splinter. But crepe myrtle is so beautiful and sensual in the way it grows.“ Now 32 years in, her love affair with these knotty branches shows no sign of abating. Because pruning happens in January and February, Owens began each year driving around in her truck to source raw materials. Now that her reputation precedes her, architects and homeowners seek her out when it’s time to trim. The artist prides herself on using every part of the tree— shoots that come up in the springtime are repurposed as pegs to bind branches together, and even roots find their place in her sculptures. Owen’s studio is a magical world built of sticks, with stacks of branches filling the floors and suspended from the ceiling in maze-like groupings.


“It’s like walking into a big drawing,” Owens laughs. “There are lines everywhere, and you have to dance sideways in the studio to get through the path!“ Owens work has drawn her acclaim all across the state— including exhibits at San Antonio’s Blue Star Art Museum, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts and Austin’s UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and museum (with fellow artist Art Shirer). But seeing her work in a smaller space such as Worley’s gallery allows one to unpack its meaning more freely. What may at first resemble a tangle of twigs always has

a much greater story the careful viewer can discern. The Embrace of Heaven and Earth with its suspended clusters of bronze branches explores the artist’s belief in other unseen worlds. Owen’s “spiderweb” series cast in bronze were inspired by enchanting webs coated with hoarfrost she viewed when working at an artist’s residency in Germany. The nine-foot-tall Awakening the Spirit crafted of burned wood in a steel base refers to the evolution of a tree after a forest fire as it enriches the soil to grow again. Natural themes and concern for the planet reoccur throughout most of Owen’s work.


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“Some people ask me why I make art, and it’s a need to do something with my hands, but I think art relates to what’s happening in the world. Artists are messengers—we help alert people to what’s happening. If we find things are important and can help people stop and what’s really happening, it helps the community as a whole.” Although her themes may evolve over the years, Owens intends to stay faithful to her chosen material. “People keep saying, ‘Aren’t you ready to move on?’ But I’m not done. I’m exploring it in all kinds of different ways. I really love the way it grows, the way it twists into space and takes up volume. My favorite time to look up at the crepe myrtle tree is winter—the blossoms are beautiful, but I’m into the structure of the tree.”

“My work is about pulling those different lines together to transform a pile of debris by the side of the road into another meaning.”


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by J. Claiborne Bowdon

CANNED GOODS


// all photos by charles davis smith photography

Andy Warhol’s first collection of paintings debuted at the Ferus gallery in 1962, and the art world and the general public found themselves in rare agreement that the show was a joke. Each canvas depicted, of all things, Campbell’s soup cans. Why? Why depict something any person could see on a trip to the grocery store? Warhol had grown up, like so many post-war Americans, with Campbell’s as a lunchtime staple. Whether it was tomato, chicken noodle, or pepper pot it was a reliable and welcome source of nourishment – if not made by hand, at least served with love and concern. It’s hard to see virtue in the humble and familiar, but it only takes a little imagination. E.G. Hamilton understood that when he was designing NorthPark Center. He

worked closely with Ray and Patsy Nasher on each aspect of the design, and though the budget was limited to brick and concrete Hamilton made the most of it by giving the building a series of unique spaces and levels rather than a streamlined corridor. The result is an intimate, serene space that doesn’t overwhelm and doesn’t repeat, as well as an elegant environment for the Nasher’s art collection, and an annual design competition. Canstruction brings together teams from A/E/C firms, that’s architectural, engineering, and construction, and challenges each to create a structure out of canned food. The designs typically dictate which kinds of canned food, the colors of the labels naturally being vitally important to creating the look, are used, but their ultimate purpose is the same.


Each structure, once a winner has been selected, is dismantled and donated to the North Texas Food Bank. Over one million cans have been donated since Canstruction began. One dollar donations are also taken to place a vote for which design takes home the best in show. Ask any team, it’s nice to win, but it’s also nice to know that no matter what the outcome of the votes that everything, from, in this year’s case, each Infinity Stone to Batman’s ears will go to someone in need. Every year gives us something different from Canstruction, this year superheroes are making a strong showing, and in the end every year makes a difference to people in need. This year’s entries were on display at NorthPark Center, along with a Warhol or two.

Total Food Cans donated to North Texas Food Bank for 2019 is 150,093. Find information about Canstruction on their Facebook page @canstructiondallas


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by J. Claiborne Bowdon

Hausmannization

// photo: charles davis smith photography


// kidd springs park pavilion: rwa architects

// photo: charles davis smith photography

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// westmoreland park pavilion: murray legge architecture // photo: leonid furmansky

Dallas is getting smaller; or rather there is more within Dallas than there was. 43,000 new apartment units are being built as of today. Uber is building a major campus in Deep Ellum. The Nazerian’s extension of Bishop Arts is already showing life and promises to be the engaging pedestrian conduit between Davis and Jefferson that many had hoped for. We have such an embarrassment of great restaurants and variety of foods available to us now that Bon Appetit has just named Dallas 2019’s Best Restaurant City of the Year. There’s big doings in this town and city that for a long time felt like a lot of negative space with a few

hotspots. This is a restructuring of our city, both physically and in the minds of its citizens and people around the country. Every moment and move is an important one in terms of , but the one we’re in right now is promising not just a new city with lots of things happening within it, but possibly a new way of life. Hausmannization, the vast restructuring of the center of Paris undertaken by Georges-Eugene Hausmann, Napoleon III’s Prefect of Seine, in the late 19th century gave Paris its vast and grand boulevards radiating out from the Arc de Triomphe. The effect of this is perhaps best appreciated in Gustave Caillebotte’s painting “Paris Street, Rainy Day 1877”.


The expanse of cobblestones and the deep angles of Paris’ newly formed pathways express the new experience of openness that the city now offered, but at the same time also gives a feeling of emptiness. The space is so vast and the couple in the foreground, indeed each person within the painting, feel disconnected from each other. Many artists of the period lamented the loss of the more cramped and haphazard medieval pathways that had formed over generations in the city. They saw the city as losing the magic of chance and surprise with the impersonal directness of Hausmann’s boulevards. The modern city is grappling with decades of emphasis on infrastructure devoted to being traversed by cars and trucks. Streets provide as efficient a means as you can hope for to maneuver over a great distance, but if you’re traveling by car it’s very much a point A to point B approach. Dallas had for some time been a city of destinations, not neighborhoods-one restaurant or maybe one block was the place to be. Perhaps an area built up around it, but maybe people found another place in another part of town and the other part was forgotten. The pendulum has swung on many parts of Dallas, but frequently it swung faster than an area could develop because there just wasn’t enough there to maintain the momentum. Downtown in particular has had a number of attempts at revitalization. Paradoxically the difference between time and distance experienced or understood within a car versus as a pedestrian, bus or bike-rider has made the moment that we are now experiencing possible. Mixed use developments, however synthetic and precious a cityscape they may be, gave Dallas a taste of many places people wanted to be within walking distance, and with places to live above them. These continue to be models of what people want around the city and the


// klyde warren park

metroplex, and now we’ve come to the moment where more has been done to build on all of this because the model of urban living has proven itself. We’re very much in the moment of synergy where things come together- the opportunity is not just there, but people are ready for it and want it. A city, however, is not merely retail or restaurants, a city is a place; the one celebrated by Charles Baudelaire through the character of the “flaneur” in the midst of Hausmannization- “To be away from home, and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home.” It’s a landscape, whether it’s concrete or grass, and where there is grass there should be

welcoming spaces and shelters to engage with. This is exemplified in the park pavilion program initiated by Willis Winters. We wrote some years ago about the program that was begun in 2002, which included a provision for 23 new or replacement pavilions- the design of which would be given to architects of note with a directive to have it be of a piece with the surrounding community. There were too many to list then, and the years since that article have delivered several more remarkable and unique structures. Of particular note are the pavilions from Mark Wellen of Rhotenberry Wellen in Kidd Springs Park and Murray Legge Architecture’s in Westmoreland Park. Wellen’s pavilion in Oak Cliff’s Kidd Springs is a study in angular


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Kim YAO Co-Founder and Principal Architecture Research Office

23 October 2019 Wednesday, 7 pm Horchow Auditorium, DMA

Michel ROJKIND Founder and Principal Rojkind Arquitectos

3 December 2019 Tuesday, 7 pm Horchow Auditorium, DMA

Kevin ALTER Founder and Partner alterstudio The Frank Welch Memorial Lecture

29 January 2020 Wednesday, 7 pm Horchow Auditorium, DMA

Mary Margaret JONES President and Senior Principal Hargreaves Associates

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// future klyde warren park


grace, recalling the T-beam pavilions that had dominated Dallas’ park space as an economical bit of sun protection, but Wellen’s is much lighter and inviting in feel- still letting the sun and air pass through and mingle in the sheltered space it creates. Murray Legge’s pavilion, also in Oak Cliff, has a similar levelor construction, but with undulating curves along its bottom like the sweeping underside of a vast cumulonimbus cloud. It’s a playful but sophisticated shape. Both of these provide desperately needed shade, but both also employ light once the sun goes down to fully round out the invitation to anyone to come and enjoy the space they create. The pavilions highlight Dallas’ greatest challenge in knitting together the fabric of itself; the sun and the heat we

experience here are a reality that many other cities can take for granted. Biking or walking is out of the question for many during the heat of summer, but with a mix of transportation options this becomes less of an issue. These options are available right now, perhaps you’ve seen the bike racks on the fronts of DART buses and in the light rail cars, but investing on that expansion will require more than what is currently available has to offer. It’s one of the reasons that the plan for shifting the D2 DART rail lines at Elm, San Jacinto and Main was such a victory. Not only do they offer a means of car-free travel away from the heat of the sun, but they take advantage of a network of travel that doesn’t impede the street-level traffic overhead. It can double the capacity of transport and sidestep sun exposure.



However, another synthetic urban destination has shown that Dallas is not afraid of the sun. Klyde Warren Park has been a remarkable success in reclaiming urban space, but especially in both giving all the citizens of Dallas a great open space for everyone to come together and be outdoors. This, like the mixed-use developments, has spurred Dallas to invest in the conversion of the Continental Avenue bridge, now the Ronald Kirk pedestrian bridge, and another deck park that will cover part of I-35E from 8th Street to the Dallas Zoo. The Southern Gateway Deck Park at 5.8 acres, will be just a little larger than Klyde Warren’s 5 acres, and much of what it will offer will be familiar to everyone that has enjoyed Klyde Warren’s open greenspace, fountain, and play areas for children. It has also brought Dallas to a reckoning with one of our most under-utilized public spaces. In October of 2018 the city of Dallas officially handed management of Fair Park and its facilities over to the non-profit entity Fair Park First, and engaged Spectra, a company that manages both parks and venues around the world, for a twenty year period. Little is known at this point what changes will be made in terms of what will be open and when, for both the facilities and the space itself, but this is the biggest advance in Fair Park being a real part of Dallas since the DART rail began running out to it, and that investment will certainly be a big part in how Dallas will engage with its newly reclaimed park.

We have a reverse Hausmannization problem: we have to figure out how to fill in the space between the places we are and the places we’d like to be. The city has doubled down even further on its commitment to how it will invest in transport in the city with the Connect Dallas survey, which represents a real chance to determine the North star of this city, and chances are that your voice can matter far more than you realize. This last mayoral election there was less than ten percent voter turnout on both election day and for the runoff election, both held on Saturdays. Very few of Dallas’ citizens voiced their opinion on the future of the city and the impact it could have or will have on them. Even though this survey can easily be completed anywhere a smartphone can function it’s likely not nearly as many people will participate as they could. You’ve probably got an opinion about traffic, road quality, and travel options in Dallas, and it will be all the louder because you actually voiced it. I had contacted an architect about a pavilion and asked. When I responded back to clarify I remarked that it’s amazing how you look at something, and despite it being what it is it registers as something that is familiar to you. Seeing what is right in front of you is much less straightforward than we’d like to believe, because often we’re really seeing something in our mind’s eye, our fixed notion rather than the reality of it, which makes seeing the possibility of something that much more difficult because typically it remains what it’s always been to us.


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calendar your modern

Modern events and activities make for fall fun around the Metroplex. Elmgreen & Dragset: Sculptures Through January 05, 2020 // Nasher Sculpture Center

Autumn at the Arboretum Fall Festival Through October 31, 2019 // Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Paul Lewis - Lewis Tsurmaki Lewis Architects (LTL) October 15, 2019 // Dallas Architecture Forum

Dior: From Paris to the World Through October 27, 2019 // The Dallas Museum of Art

Hands and Earth: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics Through October 27, 2019 // Crow Museum of Asian Art

Second Wave of Modernism IV: Making Space within Place Conference October 03 to October 05, 2019 // The Cultural Landscape Foundation

PDYP Happy Hour + Local History: Gensler Tuesday, October 08 at 5.30-7pm // Preservation Dallas

AD EX Film Series: Julius Shulman September 26, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. // ADEX Dallas

Architecture Walking Tours - Main Street District Walking Tour September 28, 2019 at 10am – 12pm // ADEX Dallas

Art for Advocacy 2019 November 09 at 6pm - 11pm // 7pm // Art for Advocacy at General Datatech


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art galleries

Modern art, exhibits, around the Metroplex. Mary Vernon Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden // through October 26

Juan Cruz + Fed Villanueva Mary Tomas Gallery // through October 26

Lucia Hierro Sean Horton // through October 19

Structured SITE 131 // through December 14

Sculpture Art On Henderson // through September 30

Ray-Mel Cornelius + TJ Griffin RO2ART // through Ooctober 19

Cosmic To Corporeal THE MAC / / through November 09

Michael Miller + Kristen Cochran Barry Whistler Gallery // through October 12

Kim Cadmus Owens Holly Johnson Gallery // through November 16

Jeffrey Silverthorne + Vadim Vadim Gushchin PDNB Gallery // through October 12


Lost

Found

by David Preziosiw

&


What do Doris Day, Raquel Welch, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hoffa, and a jail all have in common? Well, that would be the former Cabana Motor Hotel in Dallas on North Stemmons Freeway in the Design District. The modern and lavishly appointed hotel opened in 1963 and has a history just as fascinating as its avant-garde design. Developer Jay Sarno cut his teeth on two hotel projects before the Cabana in Dallas. In 1958, he opened the first Cabana Hotel in Atlanta, GA, followed by one in Palo Alto, CA. In 1960, he announced plans to expand to Dallas with his largest and most luxurious hotel yet, also to be called Cabana Hotel.

Melvin Grossman, AIA of Miami, FL, designed the 10-story hotel in a striking modern design not seen in Dallas. Construction began in 1961 with investors Doris Day and the Teamsters under the direction of Jimmy Hoffa. Sarno later went on to develop his most well-known projects: Caesar’s Palace and Circus Circus in Las Vegas. The Dallas hotel cost $6 million and had 300 rooms—57 of them suites—and numerous amenities for guests including an outdoor pool, health clubs, restaurants, night clubs, a ballroom, and more. The exterior featured a brise-soleil, which covered the entire upper façade in a latticework pattern of delicate concrete X-shape blocks. In contrast, the lobby was designed with two-story glass


walls connected to a porte cochère with an arched roof under which neon glowed. The interior décor was lavish and colorful with a Roman bent. The spacious lobby featured aqua tones with gold and white accents throughout, a grand sweeping staircase, and a check-in desk with marble panels. A sunken circular conversation area was fully carpeted in aqua with a crystal chandelier. Striking lobby artwork included replicas of Michelangelo’s David and Bacchus along with replicas of Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. The theme was carried through the other hotel spaces, including the Bon Vivant Club, Nero’s Nook cocktail lounge, and Hava-Java Coffee Shop. They featured columns, painted Roman scenes, and even Roman-style

figures woven into the carpet. Waitresses in the club and lounge were referred to as “goddesses” and were required to wear short, lacy togas with gold accents. The most famous goddess was a young Raquel Welch who, while working there, was offered a contract to become a Hollywood actress by a man who pledged to make her a movie star. The hotel rooms were above average in size and each featured a completely mirrored wall. Color palettes included either tones of plum and turquoise, red and cardinal red, or olive and putty. All had custom “Italian Provincial” furniture in distressed off-white with gold accents. Famous guests who stayed at the hotel included Jimmy Hoffa, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.


Despite its lavish décor and A-List guests, the hotel struggled by the end of the 1960s and fell into debt. It was sold in 1969 to Hyatt House for $4.35 million and was renamed the Hyatt House Hotel. In 1976, Hyatt sold the property to Holders Capital Corporation which renamed it DuPont Plaza. Dallas County purchased the building in 1984 for $9.2 million and converted it into a minimum security jail, which remained in operation until 2013. A year later the county listed the property for $7 million. Lincoln Property Company won the bid and announced plans to demolish the structure for a new data center. They backed out of the deal, however, and the building went back on the market. Circa Capital Corporation won the bid for the property in 2016. They were interested in the unique design—not found anywhere else in Dallas—and the opportunity it presented to convert it to a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel. The purchase is set to close in the spring with construction to begin at the end of 2017 or early 2018. In the process of its conversion to a jail, interior finishes were removed down to the concrete floors and walls. The two-story lobby and the ballroom were both converted into two separate floors of offices. Security bars were installed on the windows and jail doors were installed in the corridors. The pool was filled in, although the original deck coping remains, and the courtyard was sealed off. There are few bits of the original building left: the green terrazzo floor under vinyl tile in the lobby; gray-tiled bathrooms with aqua sinks, tubs, and toilets in the rooms; and a women’s restroom off of the lobby with intricate tiled walls and marble sinks.

Jay Sarno took a gamble when he opened the Cabana in Dallas with its unusual exterior design and swanky interior. The fact that it had had famous guests, a tumultuous history, was converted into a jail, and was almost demolished only added to the mystique of this unique property. Now this architectural and cultural icon of Dallas will embark on a new era and get reborn as it is brought back to life with its cool 1960s’ charm. Author David Preziosi is the executive director of Preservation Dallas. All photos by Michael Cagle. Originally published in Columns, a publication of AIA Dallas.


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