IF BUILDINGS are the dominant threads in a city’s cultural fabric, Dallas’ textile reads edgy, contemporary, and progressive. A passing glance at the skyline filled with works by the century’s most famed architects hints of an exciting, energetic city teeming with world-class cuisine, design, art, and fashion. (Dallas’ horizon was even voted the best in the world, topping Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco in a USA Today 2014 Readers’ Choice poll, in which an expert noted that the city has “continued to stay flashy.”)
“Every building that stands out is one of a kind and has interest,” says Greg Brown, program director of the Dallas Center for Architecture. With significant works by Pritzker Architecture Prize winners I.M. Pei, Rem Koolhaas, Renzo Piano, and Philip Johnson, along with exceptionally talented local architects, Dallas is a city even the worst critics can’t deny as a destination for architecture aficionados.
For a city not yet 200 years old, Dallas has a collection of prized buildings that put it on an exciting development path—one that upends the exhausted stereotypes that have beleaguered it for years. Through a quiet movement over the last century, Dallas’ contemporary portfolio has grown, transforming the landscape with groundbreaking buildings that are both artful and art filled. It’s a metamorphosis that includes both the trailblazing philosophy and design of Highland Park Village and the 1936 completion of Fair Park, “where the art is integral to the buildings—the friezes, the murals, the statues, and medallions,” says Nate Eudaly, executive director of the Dallas Architecture Forum.
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