Designs Published

DOWNTOWNDALLAS and AIA Dallas Publish Designs for the Statler Temporary Installation Competition

On November 13, the City of Dallas PARD and DOWNTOWNDALLAS dedicated Main Street Garden, a full city block park in the Central Business District. This public park will transform the newly created public space between the Municipal Building, 1900 Elm Lofts and the UNT System headquarters, the historic Mercantile Bank block and the mid-century modern Statler Hilton Hotel.

As part of an effort to “spruce up” the surrounding park edge, DOWNTOWNDALLAS and AIA Dallas launched a design competition last summer. The Statler Hilton is located on the south edge of the new park and has been vacant since 2001. AIA Dallas in its 1999 ‘Guide to Dallas Architecture’ has called this building part of the “best block of 50’s architecture in the city”. A technical marvel at the time of its opening, the Statler’s artistic composition and features continue to be a source of inspiration to many architects. Designing a temporary installation for this beautiful piece of modern architecture was thought to be a significant challenge, and so the sponsors felt it appropriate to request a call for entries to provide concepts for a carefully considered temporary installation. It could include artwork, lighting, photography, banners, graphics, etc, with stipulations that the historic integrity of the building be maintained, as well as no permanent alterations to the facade be made. Entrants were also informed that upon design selection, the winning team might be asked to make one round of modifications based on feasibility and budget for actual execution.

On July 30th, a jury was convened comprised of Virginia McAlester, Author and Preservation Architecture Consultant; John Maruszczak, Associate Professor, UTA School of Architecture; and Willis Winters, FAIA, Assistant Director Parks and Recreation, City of Dallas. There were 45 registrants and 23 submissions.

Brian Kuper, AIA; Lance Braht, AIA; Nicholas McWhirter, AIA; and Andrew Adkisson of Good, Fulton & Farrell
Photography: Steve Clicque

The panelists preferred this co-winning entry’s use of monolithic pattern and color with non-literal imagery for the program area. This was allowed by treating this portion of the building with a relatively inexpensive translucent product. Jurors also appreciated another simple yet effective device: internal illumination. The lighting impacted and gave the building life while it waits for its next user. Addressing protection, the entry noted that the interior light source would silhouette adjacent pedestrians and thus help to discourage vandalism. It also responded to the program’s need for economy, as the thin plastic sheet material seemed to be in line with the budget. Jurors were especially pleased with the competency of the renderings.

The jury’s criticism involved the placement of the colored material on the exterior of the building. While jurors acknowledged that the version submitted might allow some visibility of the building’s unique sculptural elements, they felt that completely wrapping the exterior facade of the building significantly impaired the pedestrian experience and park-views of an extremely important building. Jurors were also concerned with the impact of this exterior wrap on the preservation of the facade materials of the building and with the vulnerability of this wrap to being cut.

The jury strongly preferred the translucent product be applied only internally along the significant front facade. Jurors felt this method of installation would remain conceptually strong, yet complementary to the existing landmark architecture. Jurors felt an appropriate place to leave a portion of externality in the wrap material might be on the west facade of the corner of the building, parts of which appear to be modified. This placement of external material would also relate well to the park design that is entered from its corners.

It was felt that while the monolithic color and interior illumination were an excellent solution to emphasize the building’s fine fenestration, a general cleaning of the lower front floors of the building, repainting of the small painted areas in the original color and replanting of the front landscape beds and balconies were of great importance.

Attached are the original and revised submissions by this team. Neither shows several of the elements used in the solution now in place on the building. The final installation reflects elements from Mr. Mullen's co-winning entry below. Both teams approved the combination of their designs.


The use of an exterior wrap material was rejected by the jury. Enhancing building fenestration with monolithic color and interior illumination was favored by the jurors.


Orange paint suggested for exterior use in this revision was rejected by the jury panel.

John Mullen, FAIA, Kris Warrenburg, Steve Clicque (photo)


The use of window graphics was rejected by jury. Cleaning and exposure of building facade and landscape additions were favored by jurors.


Indicates possible future facade spotlights

This co-winning entry was praised for being the most sensitive to the unique forms and modern vocabulary of the Statler. It recognized that the Statler, as built, gives an excellent pedestrian experience and that a minor amount of general cleaning and repainting of small areas would greatly enhance the pedestrian experience at a lower cost than many other solutions. It also highlighted the inexpensive planting possibilities afforded by existing landscape beds and those on its balconies — and used the simple device of raising flags on the existing flagpoles to enliven the building view from the park. The placement of the visual screen behind the front facade, rather than in front of it, allowed the building to be fully appreciated. The jurors noted that the building felt alive and that it could “breathe” in this submission.

An outstanding collection of vintage graphic images was placed along the ground floor facade, reflecting various aspects of the history of the Statler’s “glory years”. This aspect of the design generated significant conversations amongst the jurors with specific concerns raised about the use of literal images without interpretation, the potential cost of acquiring rights to the iconic images, and the difficulty and cost of final graphic design and assembly. Some jurors noted that the use of so many graphic images seemed to detract from the form of the building itself. Nevertheless, this submission was viewed as the most respectful entry for one of the “11 Most Endangered Places” in the nation according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Much of this entry’s thoughtful building insights were incorporated into the solution now in place on the Statler


Ultimately, the jurors desired for the final application to include: (1) An interior window application of a monolithic colored material appropriate to the building, (2) interior illumination as shown in design 102, (3) cleaning of a portion of the lower facade, (4) landscaping and (5) unobstructed view of the building facade as shown in design 129. These elements were combined in accordance with AIA Competition Guidelines.

The jury thus has named two winners for this competition. It had to gain permission from the competition’s sponsors to do this. Initial press announcements show 102 as the winner and 129 as first listed Honorable Mention. A rapidly achievable, very affordable, and preservation-minded solution was needed and since this was derived from two submissions, recognizing this by having Co-Winners was the appropriate outcome.

Britin Bostick; Jeffrey Floyd, AIA of
Harrison, Walker & Harper

The jurors considered this the best free-standing architectural solution.

Jurors noted this as the best architectural solution, due to its programmatic additions created by the freestanding structure. Jurors enjoyed the alternating module, although the material of the module was not determined. The designer spanned the module with apparently a plywood diaphragm that helped form a bus stop shelter at one end of the block. This diaphragm skimmed each module at various planes as the modules marched along the facade. This skin then enveloped the module and formed another sidewalk enclosure at the west end.

James M. Simon LEED AP, AIA; Robert Coker of JMS & Associates. Sheryl Burek CLP of Colorful Impressions

The jurors favored the simple design and lighting effects

The jurors were seduced by the strategy of lighting and praised the entrants its ability to have a significant impact with a simple design. However, jurors found the translucent panels between the flagpoles problematic, especially in relation to the unique elements of the Statler façade. Primarily, however, the jurors felt that the strength and simplicity of the lighting strategy overcame its obstacles.



Entry 103 - Russell Buchanan, AIA, LEED AP, Gary Orsinger, AIA
Troy Carlson, LEED AP, James Ferrara, Jesse Rodriguez, Rebecca Browning, and Jason Franzen of Buchanan Architecture

Entry 105 - Doug Haynes, Jason Haynes of
Haynes Architects

Entry 106 - Jon Geib, AIA; Vincent Snyder, Architect

Entry 107 - Vandana Gupta, Vicki Richardson, AIA of
Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects

Entry 111 - Hector Pérez, Assoc. AIA; Julien Meyrat; Diego Renovales of

Entry 123 - Daniela Braganholo, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA

Entry 125 - Amy Wynne, AIA; Mark Leveno

Entry 127 - Ernesto Liebrecht, AIA

Entry 128 - Preston Kissman, Ishita Sharma of
Corgan Associates

Entry 131 - Bill Arnquist, AIA

Entry 132 - RORY R. VILLANUEVA, AIA, Honorio Reyes Villanueva Architects, BRETT W. DAVIS, Leo A. Daly, ALBERTO BRISENO ZAMORA, Jacobs

Entry 133 - A. Suzanne Simpson, AIA, LEED AP of Gensler

Entry 135 - Dan Noble, AIA; Brian Ahmes, Isaac Mensah, Chad Porter of

Entry 136 - Kevin Parma, AIA, Robert H. Holley, Sheryl A. Sauter of

Entry 137 - Kristin Winters, AIA of
Oglesby Greene

Entry 138 - Keooura Sanavong, AIA; Reynaldo Herreros, Alma Aldana, Jarrad Lenoir of
Rey Keo Architecture
Ben Ortiz of DLB Media

Entry 139 - Patrick Owens, Justin Frith, Tung Huynh,
Matthew Stubbs, Edgardo de Lara, AIA of
HNTB and
Robert Beverly of Intaglio Composites Inc

Entry 141 - Richard Luis Salvador, Assoc. AIA; and Patrick Cobb of Laguarda.Low Architects

Entry 160 - Sam Lin, Aaron Au, Otto Wong

Entry 161 - Jonathan Wood of Good, Fulton & Farrell

DOWNTOWNDALLAS AND AIADallas wish to thank: Dallas Grand Building Management, Nedderman & Associates, Compass Electrical, and photographer Steve Clicque for their significant contributions.

The Statler Hilton, one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Places in the nation awaits restoration and reuse.