In our continuing series leading up to D CEO’s inaugural Commercial Real Estate Awards event on March 20, we’re profiling the program’s 41 finalists, tackling one category each day. There are four contenders for the Excellence in Architecture/Design award: Corgan, Gensler, Hinojosa Architecture & Interiors, and Staffelbach. Be sure to check out the photo portfolios of the firms’ spectacular 2012 work at the end of this post. (Click here for Best Land Sale, here for Best Commercial Property Sale.)
UPDATE: Scroll down to see the winner.
Corgan has played a significant role in the planning and growth of Dallas for more than 75 years. Its 2012 projects are a testimony to the breadth and depth of its influence. They include the Dallas City Performance Hall, the new Parkland Hospital, Love Field Airport’s terminal modernization, and renovations at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The firm also completed office projects for Maxim IP and Encana.
Corgan is working with Traxxas on a new 29-acre campus in McKinney, and designed both Two Arts Plaza in the Arts District and the Fairfield Residences in the West End. Known as the top data-center architecture firm in the country, the firm also designed high-profile projects for CyrusOne, Stream, and T5. When asked about Corgan’s guiding philosophies, President and CEO Bob Morris said the firm’s mission statement says it all: “We come to work each day to create places where our clients thrive, honor our promises and obligations, and build relationships that make us stronger.”
The Dallas office of Gensler had one of its busiest years ever in 2012. Along with a major headquarters project for Devon Energy Center in Oklahoma City, the firm designed new space for TM Advertising in Victory Park and Deloitte University at Circle T Ranch in Westake. It also completed new “shop in shop” designs for Liz Claiborne, Arizona Jeans, and Haggar for J.C. Penney, and is developing new concept rollouts for clients like Neiman Marcus Last Call, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Corner Bakery, and Radio Shack, as well as automotive dealerships for Toyota and GM.
Regional Managing Principal Judy Pesek said the firm focuses on the people who use the space—how they can be happier, healthier, and more productive through design. “We also apply this philosophy to our own team,” she said. “We work collaboratively and celebrate individual and group achievement.” Gensler approaches each new project with a blank sheet and focuses on what’s best for the client, Pesek says: “Self-referential sculpture rarely results in great design.”
Hinojosa Architecture & Interiors
The firm has only been around since 2009, but Hinojosa Architecture & Interiors has quickly made a name for itself. Standout projects in 2012 include the stunning redesign of SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, office space for Nexbank, and Last Call Studio by Neiman Marcus. Founder and managing principal Gus Hinojosa said he believes that function and aesthetics are inseparable. “We listen to our clients and provide a design that is uniquely theirs,” he said. “Our attention to client financials, as well as exquisite detailing, is paramount, yielding a memorable design that is both practical and beautiful.”
Hinojosa, who has been an architect since 1982, said the talent of his team has helped the firm succeed, despite being launched during the economic recession. “Dallas is built on a bedrock of good design and is emerging as a powerhouse of great design,” he said. “We are thrilled and honored to be part of the evolution.”
Staffelbach has programmed and planned more than 68 million square feet of interior space in its 46-year history. You can’t argue with that track record. Led by the husband-and-wife team of Jo and Andre Staffelbach, the firm is known for a timeless style that transcends trends, and designs that can sustain both advances in technology and fluctuating employee counts. Its guiding philosophies: Space matters, process matters, and details are everything.
Staffelbach’s projects for 2012 showcase its range. They include a Dallas regional office for Red Bull—a “creative loft” that features custom furniture and artwork and seating zones to encourage collaboration. For Carlson Capital, Staffelbach transformed a mostly closed office environment to a more open design, complete with a new staircase that links two floors. According to Jo Staffelbach: “Our mission is to create environments that exceptional people are excited by and proud of, and therefore committed to and productive within.”
WINNER: This year’s Excellence in Architecture award goes to Corgan, led by Bob Morris.
WINNER: This year’s Excellence in Interior Design goes to Staffelbach, led by Jo and Andre Staffelbach.