A new facility dedicated to architecture opens in downtown Dallas with a goal to get us in the door and get us thinking about architecture.
It's called the AD EX, which is shorthand for The Architecture and Design Exchange — a new name for what used to be called Dallas Center for Architecture — and it'll open at 325 N. St. Paul St., #150, at Republic Center near Thanks-Giving Square.
The AD EX will hold a free grand opening event on December 8 from 10 am-3 pm, in collaboration with Better Block Foundation and Downtown Dallas, Inc. Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys appropriate for children up to 14 years old (bonus points awarded for toys related to building and design).
The move to a new and friendlier building in downtown Dallas aims to spur conversation about walkability, mobility, historic preservation, affordable housing, economic development, and other civic challenges related to architecture and urban design that impact the city.
It'll have a street-level presence next door to the new Pacific Plaza park, in an effort to break down barriers and facilitate informal exchange of ideas about design and architecture.
The space boasts an open floor plan, floor-to-ceiling windows, and outside terrace, showcasing design-focused exhibitions, films, book and panel discussions, student workshops, policy symposia, and other programming.
It'll be open to the public Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, except for Thursdays when it will stay open until 8 pm. It'll even keep Saturday hours, from 10 am-3 pm.
In addition to diverse exhibits, they'll offer free weekly Lunch Learning Sessions and guided architecture tours.
There'll be two opening exhibits. One will be the return of the seasonal exhibit "Building Toys and Toy Buildings: Architecture Through A Child’s Eyes," which presents a timeline of vintage and modern toys used to build fantasy buildings, towns, and towers. The exhibit itself is hands-off, but there'll be a "construction zone" where visitors can design and build their own structure with blocks, TinkerToys, and LEGOs.
The second exhibition of "A Window into the Architect’s Mind: 44th Annual AIA Dallas Ken Roberts (KRob) Memorial Delineation Competition." KRob is a Dallas classic that honors hand and digital delineations (architectural drawings) by professionals and students throughout the world. It is the longest-running exhibition of its kind currently in operation.
The AD EX will also be home to the Dallas Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA Dallas), and will provide office space for administrative staff as well as a place where AD EX programming and AIA Dallas member events occur, along with architecture and design events by other collaborating organizations.
AIA Dallas has a membership base of more than 2,400 architect and industry members and 300 architectural firms. Member efforts support professional development, education, advocacy, thought-provoking programming, and seven signature events.