The team designed lively areas to congregate indoors: a business center equipped with PCs and Macs; a full fitness center; and a two-story club lounge with TVs, “pod-style” seating with banquettes, tables for Wi-Fi and games, a kitchen with a long bar (shown), and free Starbucks. Interior designer Claudine Begay of Faulkner Design Group in Dallas wanted the aesthetic to be “modern and forward-thinking.” She combined a palette of crisp whites; warm woods; lively greens and blues; and subdued, tone-on-tone textures.
Back to the City
In recent years, Dallas’ Design District had seen warehouses give way to cutting-edge design showrooms, artists’ studios, corporate offices, medical centers, and restaurants. With the condo market “deader than two door nails,” according to local parlance, Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Co. thought a rental building would hold greater appeal. So it bought a vacant site in 2010 and hired local architects JHP Architecture/Urban Design to design a luxury building with one- and two-bedroom units and a parking garage.
To pay homage to the area’s industrial roots, the architect designed the units with minimal walls and 9- to 10-foot-high ceilings, a take on the “soft” loft vernacular. To attract target residents, the team used condo-quality, overlay-panel cabinet doors; granite counters; wood-look vinyl floors; porcelain backsplashes; and walk-in closets. Almost 90 percent of the units have a balcony and views of the Trinity Strand river. Units range from 648 to 1,337 square feet; monthly rents, from $1,045 to $1,990.
With Dallas’ temperate climate, outdoor “rooms” were essential for Avant. The team built five courtyards with greenery and “sandscape” textured-concrete paving, each designed to function a bit differently. One includes a large, saltwater swimming-pool complex; another has a fountain; a third features a meandering concrete trail and dog playground; and so on. With the city constructing a hiking and biking trail along a bordering river, the developer designated a portion of the site to provide direct access.
To wow the target audience of young professionals and empty-nesters, Alliance development manager Karl Hirschey and JHP project manager Carl M. Malcolm knew Avant had to stand out. On the façade, they used materials similar to the area’s original brick and stucco warehouses but introduced a modern edginess with wood paneling, metal details, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The site’s long, narrow shape inspired Malcolm to construct the building as two four-story units with a pedestrian walk connecting them.