Tuesday, January 22, 2008
American Institute of Architects to house Dallas Center for Architecture
The center will be part of a move the AIA is making to double its office space to almost 9,000 square feet.
The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today that AIA Dallas has completed a lease to double its office space to almost 9,000 square feet at 1909 Woodall Rodgers. The space also will accommodate the new Dallas Center for Architecture, a major new initiative of AIA Dallas and other architectural groups.
“When we move this fall, it will be significant not just for the AIA Dallas, but for the neighbors in nearby Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District,” Tip Housewright, a principal with Omniplan, said. “If you want to read into this move that the AIA Dallas wants to be in the middle of everything, you would be correct.”
Mr. Housewright is the AIA Dallas board member responsible for the Dallas Center for Architecture, which is undergoing a juried design competition to be held February 2. Dallas is one of the first cities to have a Center for Architecture, in keeping with New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Houston.
“There couldn’t be a better location in Dallas for the Center. Visitors to the city, students, anyone who appreciates architecture will be able to visit the Dallas Center for Architecture, and we will be within walking distance of some great buildings, including the Center for the Performing Arts, the new Hunt building, One Arts Plaza and even the 1942 Mercantile Tower,” Mr. Housewright said. “The AIA will be providing resources, exhibits and gallery space which will help explain the growth of Dallas, the history of some of these buildings, the role of architects and much more."
Speaking on behalf of Takeharu Miyama, who purchased 1909 Woodall Rodgers last year, Sawako Miyama, Mr. Miyama’s daughter said, "The Dallas AIA and Center for Architecture are exactly the kind of tenants that we had hoped for in the ground-floor space at 1909 Woodall Rodgers. We know that our building is in such a unique location and we think our position directly facing the future Woodall Rodgers Park and the Dallas Museum of Art will make a beautiful home for the AIA.
“We know that AIA is a very forward-thinking group and their relocation to our building proves the central core of Dallas (Downtown and Uptown) is becoming more attractive to all types of businesses and organizations,” she added.
According to Mr. Housewright, “When the AIA Dallas Facilities Committee responsible for the move sat down with Eliza Solender, a broker from the commercial real estate company Solender/Hall, Inc., Eliza asked us what would be our ‘dream’ location. And of course we said the ‘Arts District,’ never believing that we would find any space that would work for us there.”
Ms. Solender, who represented AIA Dallas in the transaction with Tom Solender and Raquel Barrientos also of Solender/Hall, said that Manny Ybarra, Matt Wieser and Nick Clark at Pillar Commercial, who lease 1909 Woodall Rodgers, were a great team. “Non-profit groups often have unique needs, and Pillar was very supportive at every step in the process,” she said.
Paula Clements, executive director for AIA Dallas, said that the addition of the Woodall Rodgers Park makes the entire package complete. “When the Park is finished it will be an amazing triumph right outside our front window,” she said. “We believe our members and guests will even enjoy having a front row seat during the construction phase.”
Bill Lively, president and CEO of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, said he very much welcomes the AIA to the area and thinks they will be a great addition.
Mr. Lively said, “It is fitting for AIA to move its office to a Dallas neighborhood where innovative architecture is a defining characteristic. With the opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts in 2009, Dallas will have the distinction of being the only city in the world with four buildings designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects located in one contiguous block, including two of the Center’s venues— the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House designed by Norman Foster and the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by Joshua Prince-Ramus and Pritzker Prize-winner Rem Koolhaas—as well as the Nasher Sculpture Center designed by Renzo Piano and The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center designed by I.M. Pei.”
Mr. Housewright said that the recent announcement by the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science designed by 2005 Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne which will begin construction in Victory Park two blocks away, “is further evidence of the strategic selection by AIA Dallas of its new home.”
Jody Grant, chair of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation and chair and CEO of Texas Capital Bancshares, said “We are thrilled that the AIA believes in the vision of Woodall Rodgers Park, and their choice of location is confirmation that this Park is going to draw new energy to the area. We look forward to the day when visitors can stop by the AIA’s Galleries and Center for Architecture for an introduction to the District, and then stroll through the Park on their way to tour the beautiful museums and performance halls.”
Ms. Clements said the AIA Dallas staff is excited and pleased about the new offices. She added that “Launching the Dallas Center for Architecture gives us the opportunity to expand programming for the membership and public. We anticipate working closely with like-minded architectural centers around the country to bring quality exhibits and innovative programs to Dallas.”
Source: American Institute of Architects -- Dallas Chapter