Redesigning Downtown Dallas: The City’s Pocket of Urban Cool Sees Major Changes, Including a Top New RestaurantBY Rebecca Sherman // 02.05.16
Hall Arts’ KPMG Plaza lobby features Richard Long’s epic mud-circle commission "Dallas Rag," 2015 (Photo courtesy Hall Arts)
William Cannings’ "Cubed" in steel and paint, 2015 (Photo courtesy Hall Arts)
Steinunn Thorarinsdottir’s cast-aluminum "Paths," 2014 (Photo courtesy Hall Arts)
O’Donnell Digital Institute Library at the DMA (Photo by James F. Wilson)
The ever-transformative Dallas Arts District constantly gives us something to chirp about.
Here’s what’s new in our beloved pocket downtown. Under the radar — but so worth a trip: The new Hall Texas Sculpture Walk from art collector and entrepreneur Craig Hall opened quietly in late October. Tucked along his recently opened Hall Arts building, the outdoor space includes 18 large-scale sculptures by important regional artists Deborah Ballard, George Tobolowsky and Mac Whitney, as well as international Texans James Surls, Joseph Havel and the late Jesús Moroles. Hall’s new tower, filled with megawatt art, promises to become a destination in itself.
Chef Stephan Pyles’ new Wilson Associates–designed restaurant, Flora Street Cafe, is slated to open on the high-rise office building’s first floor later this year. Design obsessives, take note: Pyles commissioned Amsterdam’s edgy Studio Drift to create a massive overhead, robotic LED lighting fixture in silk, aluminum and polished stainless steel that mimics the opening and closing of flowers.
Just down the street, the Dallas Museum of Art has begun a $4.3 million renovation to its north entrance — soon to be renamed the Eagle Family Plaza. The newly landscaped, pedestrian-friendly area (created by Hocker Design Group and Studio Outside) will lead directly from Klyde Warren Park into the museum. Plans also include an outdoor exhibition space with rotating works of art, starting with a commissioned piece by British artist Rebecca Warren. The renovation will fully open the DMA cafe to the outside with an outdoor food pavilion, expansive lawn for outdoor programming and renovations to the atrium and bookstore.
This comes on the heels of the museum’s newest addition, the O’Donnell Institute Digital Library, designed by Buchanan Architecture. The 2,000-square-foot space, which has no books but direct access to a vast digital network created for scholarly research, includes such design details as a polished stainless-steel ceiling.