A Dallas Architect Designs Statement Buildings With a Purpose

The Dallas Morning News’ architecture critic profiles one of the city’s most important current architects.

2 minute read

March 26, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Writing in The Dallas Morning News, Mark Lamster highlights the career of architect Ron Stelmarski, who has played an instrumental in the reshaping of Dallas’ architecture.

As Lamster explains, “You know his buildings even if you don’t know his name, because you will find them in virtually every neighborhood of this city and its suburbs — Downtown, West Village, Deep Ellum, Oak Cliff — stretching from Red Bird Mall to the Frisco Star.” Stelmarski’s projects are varied: “There are skyscrapers, residential projects, works of adaptive reuse, medical centers and civic buildings, not to mention master planning for Fair Park.”

While his designs, like the ominous Richard Group building that looms over its West Village neighbors, are not always popular with the public, Lamster writes, “The precision and sculptural clarity of his work has earned his projects a seemingly endless string of professional accolades.”

Lamster describes Stelmarski’s Dallas-area projects, which “exhibit a consistent and distinctive rigor.” For Lamster, the most important of these is the 15-story Galbraith, a mixed-income building designed to make a statement. “That statement: Affordable housing matters, and so does architectural quality.” As Lamster explains, “It is the kind of building the city needs more of in terms of both aesthetics and function; the rare work of multi-family housing (affordable or otherwise) that eschews the generic and ubiquitous cheaply made greige block for genuine, thoughtful architecture.” While the building still includes over 300 parking spots, Lamster blames the city’s outdated zoning code for perpetuating onerous parking requirements.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 in The Dallas Morning News

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