I was in Dallas a few weeks ago and learned about a couple of inspiring projects.
Utopian re-conquest of TX
I met a woman named Sarah Jane Semrad, who, along with a crew of activists, is turning a 35-acre site into an Arts Residency with the main building going up around an abandoned train trestle. The project is called La Reunion after a utopian artists' colony that settled in Dallas in the 1850s and who brought the first piano, brewery, and cultural sensibilities to North Texas.
More La Reunion photos.
They also have a blog where you can sign up for email updates, and more on the project and its history is after the jump.
Proved Wrong Again
A year ago I saw Joshua Price Ramos (now with REX) give a presentation about a design for a theater in Dallas he had designed while working with Rem Koolhaas at OMA. It blew me away, but I put it in the category of "even more unlikely that the High Line" and thought it was the kind of thing that would never get built-- especially not in my home state. I love being proved wrong!
This is a shot of the diagonal supports rising out of the ground as part of the beginning of construction of the Wyly Theater.
Unlike a typical theatre setting, this unique design for the Wyly Theatre places these spaces either above or below the auditorium, enabling maximum interaction and flexibility of performance space and seating. The facility's advanced mechanized "superfly" system can pull up both scenery and seating.
Watch the design animation
Live webcam shot of the construction
The theater is part of the larger Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, a new multi-venue Center for music, opera, theater and dance that will open in 2009. Norman Foster and Spencer de Grey designed the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House that is under construction a stone's throw from the theater. Total funding total funding for the project exceeds $277 million to date with more than 100 Dallas families and corporations contributing $1 million or more.