Buchanan Architecture

Buchanan Architecture

Dallas, TX



Envelope takes its name from the tightly restricted building envelope generated by the local zoning laws.  The form of the building represents the maximum buildable volume (length x width x height + balcony) and stands as a physical manifestation of local zoning regulations.


The project is guided by three key components.  First, the project is located within a complex zoning ordinance overlay called PD 193.  Second, the program called for a building requiring little or no maintenance.  Third, the program also offered a limited construction budget.


The plan of the building divides the buildable space into three equal units.  Each unit is further divided into a sequence of openings and planes organized by a rigorous geometric ordering system based on the panel width of the exterior standing seam metal cladding.


The final form of the building is derived by creating a simple, heavy masonry base to comply with off-street parking requirements.  Atop the base rests a cantilevered, lighter mass animated by a series of window openings of varying size and configuration.  The final composition of the building features an ultra-lightweight, translucent balcony form punctuating the sky like a beacon of light.  All three elements combine to form a simple and elegant massing with an alert posture and a powerful presence.


The materials and construction type allow the building to express itself honestly while requiring minimal long-term maintenance.  Repetition of building systems and a limited number of construction trades allowed the costs of the project to be kept low without sacrificing craftsmanship.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Dallas, TX, US
Additional Credits: Developer - Fairfax Develops