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top photo by craig blackmon, faia; bottom photo courtesy omniplan

NorthPark Center Honored with TSA’s 25-Year Award “It was the most amazing opening and we were all just delighted,” a beaming Raymond D. Nasher told a reporter after more than 150,000 people attended the grand opening of the developer’s latest project, NorthPark Center, on Aug. 19, 1965. Sheathed in white brick and with its exterior remarkable free of clutter, NorthPark set a new standard for shopping malls across the nation. Inside, water fountains soothed and delighted shoppers who were equally captivated by the monumental works of modern sculpture (from Nasher’s personal collection) installed along the wide corridors. Forty-two years later, the innovative design by the Dallas firm of Harrell and Hamilton Architects (now Omniplan) continues to attract accolades from architects and the general public. The mall has been expanded several times since it first opened its doors, each time with the same intent to remain true to Nasher’s original vision. In recognition for retaining that sublime restraint, NorthPark Center is being honored with the Texas Society of Architects’ 25-Year Award for 2007. The three-level shopping mall, configured in an L-shape over 25 acres of a 94-acre site on the city’s north side, radiated refinement from its creamy, compact profile and instantly became a prime destination for anyone seeking the latest fashion or to merely sit and watch the passing parade. Anchor tenants Neiman-Marcus and Titche-Goettinger added further luxury and prestige to the environs, with Nasher’s artwork animating one’s shopping experience—literally, in the case of Jonathan Borofsky’s colossal Hammering Man sculptures, each equipped with an articulated, motorized arm. But despite the crowds and the nonstop activity, the serenity of the surrounding architecture triumphed. “In NorthPark,” observed E.G. Hamilton, FAIA, of Harrell & Hamilton, soon after the grand opening, “we have attempted to answer the problems of diverse, assertive occupancy, and gigantic scale by recognizing that we are dealing with one building. Our solution has attempted to create a sense of unity by the use of a single, simple palette of material (white brick, cast stone, and concrete), and to manage the scale by variations in the form—establishing visual areas to which one can respond pleasantly at any point.” Hamilton was the firm’s partner in charge of the project. Key Kolb, FAIA, was project man-

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ager and Marvin Beck, AIA, was project architect. In addition to the overall project, Harrell & Hamilton designed the TitcheGoettinger store. Eero Saarinen & Associates designed NeimanMarcus’ building. Omniplan expanded NorthPark in 1972 for the Nasher Company with the design of a two-story addition connecting a fourth department store, Lord & Taylor, to the center. In 2004, a second generation of architects at Omniplan began working with a second generation of the Nasher family (Nancy Nasher, daughter of Raymond Nasher, and her husband and partner David Haemisseger, now the principal owners of NorthPark) to desig n an expansion that doubled its size. That completed addition, recognized with a 2007 TSA Design Award, is featured on page 60. S t e p h e n

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Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  
Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...