Hunt Oil

Dallas, Texas, US

Square Feet: 400,000

The cities of Texas are not unlike medieval cities with a surrounding “moat” of a ring freeway from which the downtown rises like a fortress.  In this site in Dallas, the Hunt Companies sought to establish both a headquarters office building as well as to create a significant building for the city.  Its site across from the 19th century Cumberland school and along one of the most important vehicular entries into the CBD allowed us to create two building schemes based on the same urban design strategy.  By defining the space between the school and our site as a square of a perfectly flat plaza of landscape and water,it provided for the ground plane to be traversed by the roadway as if it was actually passing through an entry room of the city.  Both schemes sought to complete the forms of this room; one by the full L-shaped building topped by a matching cantilevered roof, and the other by a more traditionally planned building and a lesser wing to contain the space.  In each case the scale elements of the school were incorporated rather than directly lifted elements of architecture, which would detract from the architectural heritage and integrity of the school.  Similarly the building would act as the southern terminus for the Arts District and provide a pedestrian link from the new plaza through to the entry to the DFMA to the north.