Mockingbird Station, Dallas UC Urban a r c h i t e c t RTKL Associates a r c h i t e c t o f r e c o r d Selzer Associates c o n t r a c t o r CD Henderson c o n s u l t a n t s Taub Associates (MEP); Turner Engineering (structural & MEP), Stenstrom Schneider (structural; Veselka Mycoskie Associates (landscape); Lighting Design Alliance (lighting); Brockette, Davis Drake (civil) p h o t o g r a p h e r s Craig Blackmon; Randall H. Shortridge; John Shipes project client
Seldom has a project been confronted by the challenges that faced Dallas developer Ken Hughes following his acquisition in 1997 of a 10-acre site for the city’s first mixed-use development adjacent to a DART station. And seldom have expectations for success been higher, given the project’s prominent location on Mockingbird Lane across Central Expressway from Southern Methodist University and the Park Cities. These expectations – financial as well as architectural – have not only been fulfilled, but exceeded, with the opening in May of the city’s most exciting new urban development—Mockingbird Station. It is easy to understand Hughes’ initial uncertainties about the site, as he surveyed it four years ago with Bart Chambers, a principal in the Los Angeles office of RTKL Associates. Facing the developer and design architect was a motley collection of existing structures, including a 10-story bank office building with an attached parking garage and a three-story brick telephone-company warehouse dating to the 1940s. The trapezoidal site was also sandwiched between two transportation “canyons”—Central Expressway (still under construction in 1997) on the west and on the east the recently completed DART line (and namesake station) where it emerged from its three-mile-long tunnel to downtown. Proximity to the light-rail station was obviously the main attraction and driving force behind the $105 million Mockingbird Station project, presenting Hughes and his team (including Selzer Associates as architect of record) with the opportunity to fulfill the promise of transitoriented development in Dallas. With the exception of DART’s The Cedars station south of downtown, (opposite page) A new office pavilion with ground-floor restaurant space is located on the site’s most prominent corner. The materials and fenestration echo those of the nearby residential loft building; photo by Craig Blackmon. (left) Cinema patrons descend to street level from the raised plaza overlooking the northeast corner of the site. Beyond this plaza is the connecting bridge to DART’s Mockingbird light-rail station; photo by Randall H. Shortridge.
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