The convention center is a counter proposal to the culture of containment that has proliferated in the DFW Metroplex. Convention goers and meeting attendees will discover the antidote in the non-programmed space that constructs a set of outdoor experiences in the form of ramps, stairs and expansive roof terraces en plein-air. The stair-ramp-ways open a dialogue of free and independent movement that we associate with civic space. Cantilevers of steel and mesh produce vast areas of shade. The copper perforated panels subvert expectations of weight and mass and offer transparency and illusion. These un-programmed spaces invite the chance, spontaneous encounters where people are most likely to engage each other.
The stacked program was conceived as a multi-layered strategy to address poor soils requiring deep caissons among other criteria. The formal integration of the strategy oscillated between subtractions of environmental costs and additions of indoor/ outdoor spaces that would become comfortable, inviting places. Hybrid catenary trusses support the stacked/rotated floors above the clear-span 270’ x 190’ exhibit hall.
The project is LEED certified for its integration of sustainable principles and generative design. Expansion of DART, including new station stop 1200 feet from the building; Use of untreated water from Lake Carolyn for flushing toilets, irrigation and make-up water supply to cooling towers: Estimated consumption reduced by 19 million gallons/yr; 3,600 tons of recycled steel sourced from old vehicles by North Texas supplier; 150 tons of milled, perforated copper panels fabricated in the city of Irving; Use of copper: natural, light weight, low maintenance material.
Location: Dallas, TX, US
My Role: Architect