With Houston architects Joe and Gail Adams of Adams Architects, Inc. spiritually aligned with their willing, former clients from Houston’s Montrose District, this seasoned team of architects embarked upon yet another project together, this one in Houston’s alter-ego city, Dallas, Texas. Adams Architects responded to their client’s moving cities with a sheering, long, thin, elegant design point-of-departure for that client’s new “skinny” Dallas property bordering the Katy Trail, Cross-Dallas railroad right-of-way now converted into an urban pedestrian hikers’ and bicyclists’ linear public park, all site and surroundings of course situated in the Shee Shee , Turtle Creek, Uptown district of Dallas. How to engage that adjoining Katy Trail amenity as the real value-added asset it truly is for this new residence, was the question?
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Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2022
Turtle Creek Residence
Housing Single Family Built
Adams Architects, Inc.
Joe Adams and Gail Adams
3502 edgewater street, Dallas, TX, 75205
The “Primacy of the Gardens” over the residence itself as a stated client goal encouraged the architects to attack the problem holistically, addressing “garden” as certainly something other than just “left-over real estate.” Dynamism reigns in this modestly-sized scheme as it is the sheering effect of the formal, diagonal disposition of the residence proper along its long, narrow axis that gets things moving and rotating. Triangularly-shaped side gardens in lieu of front- and back- “yards” emerge and yield one long side garden with due eastern-exposure as so-called “rear” garden; and one long side garden with due western-exposure as so-called,” front” garden. Both “front” and “rear” triangular gardens intentionally benefit from the perceptually elongating visual phenomena of “forced-perspective”, as they appear to be deeper, longer, and more extensive than they actually are.
The gardens and the residence open to the Eastern benign Texas light, and close to the Western harsh Texas light. In short, this something-of-a-sow’s-ear site (albeit in “Uptown Dallas”) is turned into a silk-purse of meaning in the heart of one of Dallas’ premier “silk-stocking” residential districts, allowing all rooms to be flooded with defuse, benign, east-facing, North Texas natural light. In fact, the house is all about Light! With the Houston architects’ bravado to experiment a little more and more with each and every new project, together with the clients’ willing spirit, the amalgam adds up to a certain “Hybrid Vigor” emerging from this bold, Houston-to-Dallas exercise in creative, cultural cross-fertilization.
Finally, although not in the Dallas neighborhood of “Deep Ellum” proper, the attitude of invoking that spunky, slightly edgy neighborhood character, imported into this heavily treed (Elms) “micro-climate”, behind the cultural lines so-to-speak, bordering the Katy Trail in upscale Dallas has to be confessed by its creators as a subliminal motivation for design. Steel and Stone and Spunk ……and of course Light indeed are the primary ingredients of this really very simple but culturally progressive and provocative total work of residential architecture.