Monday, September 8, 2008

‘Live large. Think big’

I am in the president’s home state, in the city of Dallas, whose new slogan is “Live large. Think big.” It’s my first time in this city, and true to its slogan, I noticed the “large” and the “big” in various shapes and forms as soon as I landed: big hair, big cowboy hats, and dare I say, big chutzpah! As I was calling the hotel from the airport for a shuttle, a guy—in a cowboy hat—appeared from nowhere and without any introduction said, “Hey, you wanna’ go watch football with me and grab a few wings?”

Uh, excuse me!

The Glass Association of North America is hosting its fall conference in this ninth largest city in the U.S. with an area of 343 square miles and a population of 1,213,825. Per my Web research, Dallas’ skyline features quite a few gleaming towers, several of which are more than 700 feet tall. Here are a few head-turners:

The Renaissance Tower on Elm Street is a 56-story office tower, 886 feet high. Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum designed it in 1974, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill renovated it in 1986.

The Fountain Place on Ross Avenue is a 60-story green glass tower, 720 feet high. The I.M. Pei & Partners designed the building and its construction was completed in 1986. Resembling a large multifaceted prism, the building’s various slanted sides give it a different profile from all directions.

JPJ Architects designed the formerly Maxus Energy Tower, recently renamed KPMG Centre. The glass walls of the rectangular 34-story tower create an illusion and make it look like its toppling over. The illusion is in the glass walls that seem to be sloping inward from top to bottom but in reality are straight. KPMG Centre is linked by a skywalk network to the parking lot.

I.M. Pei & Partners designed the 49-story Energy Plaza skyscraper on Bryan Street. Sheathed in glass the building is based on a design using three triangles. The communications tower at the top of the building is modeled after Paris' Eiffel Tower.

The soaring Reunion Tower, part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel complex on Reunion Boulevard, is a column topped by a geodesic and glass dome complete with an observation tower, restaurant and lounge.

Plenty more such shiny stunners are in Dallas, including the all-glass high-end condo, Azure, which I won’t be able to admire in person given GANA’s packed agenda. I’m still tickled pink to be in Gee Dubya country, right in the middle of those folks who were chanting "Drill baby, drill" at the Republican convention last week, while an ex-mayor made fun of community organizers.

"Community organizer. Wha?" Live large, think big! Yeehaaw.

By Sahely Mukerji, news editor/managing editor, Glass Magazine

Read a report from Day One of the GANA Fall Conference.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog!