Ever since I moved to Dallas thirty years ago, I have yearned for the city to have a center, a heart, a place where people gathered. The city planners and developers, such as they are, want that too – but there are the challenges of weather, history, and the city’s car-based culture to do battle.
Now, with the emergence of the city’s Arts District with it’s line of award-winning buildings there is some hope that the vision might be completed. I have been going down there a lot lately (sometimes to simply watch ice melt) and it is a place of varied and interesting attractions.
The heart of the district may be the plaza outside of the Winspear Opera House. The huge elevated grid of aluminum louvers is surprisingly effective at suppressing the roasting summer sun while still allowing a breeze and light to penetrate.
This HDR tonemapped image shows the opera house plaza with a couple of the melting blocks from the transcendence art project.
It is depressing though – most of the times I go down there, in the midst of billions of dollars worth of buildings and artwork, carefully planned, constructed, arranged and maintained – I have the place to myself. It can be a gorgeous, lonely world.