Urban ReVision Dallas – Casa Verde aka “Seeds of Integration”
Winner, AIA Houston 2010 Design Award
Honorable Mention, 2009 Urban Re:Vision International Competition
In 2009 a Morris Architects design team took on a challenge unprecedented in the world of architecture – transform a vacant inner-city block into a carbon-neutral community integrated within the larger context of a major urban economy. The competition brief invited entrants to design a mixed-use, mixed-income, totally sustainable development with residential, retail, and commercial space, to be built on a 2.5-acre site across from Dallas City Hall. The scheme needed to offer a new “urban framework” and address issues such as energy, waste, transportation, sustainable construction, and the health of local economies.
The self-sustaining inner-city block will run “off the grid” using advanced technologies to capture wind, solar, water, and geothermal resources. Meant to contribute to an array of revitalization programs in Dallas, the block will generate resources, and support and empower the community, all while acting as a working model of sustainability for cities around the world.
Over 170 entries were received by Urban Re:Vision, from top architecture firms and city planners in 26 countries. Three finalists and three honorable mentions were selected, including the Morris Architects design Casa Verde, nicknamed by the jury “Seeds of Integration”.
The Morris design team led by Dallas Felder included Marsha Bowden, Christine Braunger, Doug Childers, Paul Kweton, Jonathan LaRocca, Shawn Lutz, Tim Murray, Douglas Oliver, Lysle Oliveros, Christof Spieler, and Hidekazu Takahashi.
Jury comments on the Morris entry:
“The core of this inquiry holds a belief that the future well-being of cities requires an understanding of the links between the built environment – housing, buildings, transportation, infrastructure, streets, and public spaces – and food production, distribution, and consumption.”
Urban Re:Vision Jury:
Eric Corey Freed, principal of organicARCHITECT
Aidan Hughes, principal at ARUP, leading North American planning practice
Nathanial Corum, Architecture For Humanity
Pliny Fisk, director/co-founder of Maximum Potential Building Systems
Sergio Palleroni, director/co-founder of the BaSiC Initiative at University of Texas at Austin
In early 2010, the Morris team again received high honors for this design concept, winning one of only 13 design awards conferred by the Houston AIA, from a total of 132 entries from 53 firms.
The Houston AIA jury included:
Amanda Kolson Hurley, Ph.D, executive editor of Architect magazine
Brian Johnsen, of Jonsen Schmaling Architects
Juan Miró, of Miró Rivera Architects