Groves of trees, ornamental plantings, water features, and moveable seating: the Office of James Burnett (OJB), award-winning landscape architecture firm, is adding green intimate spots for reelection and socializing to one of the most prestigious commercial developments in Uptown Dallas, Texas. The Crescent is a great example of how an unused area can be transformed into a green oasis in the middle of the city, an integral part of Uptown’s growing pedestrian-friendly vitality.
Designed by John Burgee and Philip Johnson in 1986, The Crescent opened as a mixed-use project with full-service amenities for workers and guests. As Uptown Dallas evolved as an energetic, urban hotspot in recent years, with condos and apartments, retail and top restaurants, a flourishing Dallas Arts District and the popular Klyde Warren Park nearby, auto and pedestrian traffic in Uptown has risen dramatically. Recognizing that positive progression, The Crescent will focus on creating greater street presence to attract Uptown’s ever-growing crowds to its dining and retail outlets.
“The Crescent is Dallas’ most prestigious address in the region’s most vibrant market” said John Zogg, managing director for Crescent Real Estate Equities, LLC. “We have three of the best designed office towers with adjacent upscale shopping and premier hotels and restaurants on 11 acres in the heart of Uptown. We are opening our arms to the neighbourhood, embracing our great neighbours and welcoming them to work, shop and dine with us”.
The Crescent Property Services LLC has recruited OJB to create a new landscape design, as part of its $30 million renovation. This major upgrade, the first since 1986, will be able to create a vibrant gathering space for the community and a destination for the visitors.
The interior Motor Court, for instance, which serves as the front door to the office and the hotel, will be reconfigured to limit the amount of the parking surface and provide outdoor spaces to restaurants and retail stores of the complex. Thanks to the new water efficient drip irrigation, that will substitute the previous 30-year-old system, the design will also eliminate the existing lawn and change all planting to drought-tolerant plantings. Pavers and stained concrete will be installed; high rise live oak and river birch trees will be planted to create a piazza-like, tree-lined drive and pedestrian walkway; and new signage will be installed throughout the entire project.
At the corner of Pearl Street, an old bank drive-through will be removed, and visitors will find new landscaping, benches, moveable furniture, an event deck and even an activity lawn with game equipment to play bocce ball.
The design includes elegant, ground-level lighting of the iconic buildings. The lobbies in the office towers are also getting a makeover with new furniture and rugs, art and a wall of TVs. The lobbies will become user-friendly hubs where workers can hold a quick meeting or catch up on work.
The completion is projected for mid-2016.
Text by Gabriele Masi