Searching for a new home for their congregation, my client sent me the address of a building in Richardson. Built in 1976, the building hasn't been touched in over 40 years, which can be good and bad. Built as a martial arts studio, the layout is simple and functional while the woodwork throughout is impressive, the kind rarely seen in similar-type buildings today.
Here's a peek at one of the design ideas we are working on for the exterior. It's a balancing act to present practical solutions that meet the client's goals: sanctuary space that can grow with their congregation, updated building systems, and an updated, modern exterior. And did I mention creating a welcoming and inspiring space to worship? I'm to excited to see how this develops!
This is a project that has been on the boards for a while. It is to be a pool house that gives my client's expanding family the space they need to spread out. It is designed to have two bedrooms, a living space for TV and gaming as well as a small kitchenette. I've situated the 3-piece bath to be accessible from both inside and out. Plus there is an outdoor shower & storage rooms for all your blow-up-unicorn floaty. Unfortunately, the project has languished as the pool is worked out. Oh, to have that problem! As the temperatures in Dallas begin to reach into the 90s, I wish I had my own pool to cool down.
The Casita is just over 700 square feet which is fairly large for a backyard guest house. The size and function has raised some flags as we sort through the City of Dallas' requirements & restriction for accessory dwelling units (ADU). In 2018, the City of Dallas created two paths by which a homeowner can legally rent out small apartments, or granny flats. Since then, there remains some confusion of what is allowed. The explosion of short term rentals in North Texas & the strife they have stirred up has not made the water any clearer. But lets take a look at what the ordinance actually says. Here is a good article that explains it all. Basically, the new ordinance enables a homeowner to seek approval to rent a secondary dwelling. It doesn't enable construction per se.
A quick summary of those items directly related to the form and construction limits of the ADU:
I love these tiny homes & would like to design more! I'd like to do one that has a more open living space with less need for a private/separate bedrooms. Maybe with a more sleek, modern look. We still have our shipping container in the back yard. We have been rethinking the design purpose for a while; a small little apartment would be cool. What do you think?
Construction is wrapping up on our small, little medical office building. Looks good, right? I'm excited to get some professional photos done once all the punch items have been corrected. I believe the developer has already found a tenant so I'm excited to see this building come to life soon!
This was a fun exercise I did at the end of last year. You may recognize the building. This is the addition we designed a few years back. The two buildings were built to infill the giant hole left when the anchor tenant grocery store backed out while the rest of the center was built in the 80s. Completed at the end of 2021, Fresenius Kidney Care moved into the medical space right away. The retail space remains empty.
This exercise was obviously done to entice a tenant. The first illustration shows how we can add two drive-up ATMs at the front of the shopping center next to the soon-to-be-improved pole sign. The other two renderings illustrate the location & size of possible building signage. It also shows how we can modify the storefront to accommodate the walk-up ATM.
In my line of work, I get to work with a variety of people in all different fields. While I tend to concentrate on commercial work, I do take on the occasional residential project. This particular project is something of a rare hybrid: a residential additional to accommodate a fine art conservation studio. The client is wrapping up construction with their chosen contractor & sent me these photos which I wanted to share.
The project entailed adding both a two-car garage + an art studio. This was not just any back yard studio either. To serve the client's future business endeavor, the space needed to hit several conditions: appropriate lighting, large open space to accommodate large pieces of artwork, a secure vault for storage, a photography room, office space and storage to properly store supplies & precious artwork. Quite the laundry list of items to squeeze into the back yard. Luckily I was able to work with a true professional that knew exactly how they needed to operate to be successful. We worked hand-in-hand to arrange a space that would meet their high standards. And I think the contractor did a great job executing the project.
Construction completed this spring on our South Dallas project, Cliffview Crossing. This 1980's shopping center located at S. Polk Street & W. Ledbetter in Dallas, Texas has long been a stretch of sleepy buildings hugging an over-sized parking lot. Since the time of its opening, the heart of the center was left empty due to a grocery store anchor-tenant that never materialized. Though many would argue (including myself) a grocery store would have been the best fit for this location in South Dallas' food desert, that wasn't to be.
The two new buildings infill the space left bare the last four decades. The larger of the two has been custom built for Fresenius Kidney Care which moved to this new location from just around the corner of the same shopping center. Right next door is 6,200 square feet of retail/office shell space ready to be demised into up to four tenant spaces.
The rest of the 60,000 square foot shopping center received much needed attention as well. The green fabric awnings were replaced with new metal awnings while both decorative & security lighting was added to the building. All tenants received new signage & the center's monuments signs were redesigned. Finally, the parking lot & surrounding grounds got some much needed landscaping.
We work with developers and property managers which are often looking for ways to improve their properties in order to gain interest & relevancy in the rental market. Sometimes that means taking a look at the curb appeal. Here are some before & proposed photos for a building in Duncanville, Texas. We are proposing new storefronts which provide needed daylight in the spaces + giving the shops more visibility from the street. There is also a new tower element we hope will assign the building an identity as well as organize the facade in a more symmetrical manner.
This is a peak at a new project which will soon be kicking into high gear. This is a ground-up small medical office building in North Texas. I can't wait to share more as the project progresses. Design should be complete by the holidays with construction to be completed around this time next year.
I'm excited to show off another project nearing completion. Located in Midlothian, Texas' growing Midtowne development, these two new buildings offer in-town living amongst a thriving commercial center. The project entails over 1,800 square feet of office/retail space along George Hopper Road plus over 5,500 square foot studio and single bedroom apartments.
This week I got to tour the completed work of one of six medical clinics we designed this past year. Yes, SIX. It's been a busy year! This is certainly one of my favorites and it made me think about the unique issues we deal with when designing for the healthcare space.
The typical medical office space we design is around 3,000 square feet & neatly sits within a typical neighborhood retail center. Ideally the space allows for what we call a 'racetrack' design. This allows us to arrange exam rooms & their support spaces around a circular corridor, typically with a health practitioner's office at the center. This promotes visual control and one-way circulation when needed (like this past year when dealing with Covid).
While every healthcare provider is different, we find a general rule of thumb is to have three exam rooms + one consult room per practitioner. In addition to these spaces, you have the lab, med storage, offices and staff areas to accommodate. Finally, the practice specialty will dictate the size and number of other spaces. For instance, physical/occupational therapy clinics will require larger shared spaces to house therapy equipment. For our asthma/allergy center we designed this year, space for pulmonary testing took precedence.