29.12.2022

Kalita Humphreys Campus Masterplan

The Kalita Humphreys Theater is a mid-century architectural masterpiece in need of a thoughtful update after several generations of cultural, technological, and urban change.

Its location at the heart of a public green is both an opportunity and a challenge: while it is appreciated for its synthesis with nature, by the same token, it has never been truly celebrated as a standalone Frank Lloyd Wright building. The proposed makeover addresses this paradox.
Although the Kalita Humphreys Theater shares many features with Wright’s most famous works, including the Guggenheim Museum and Falling Water, it is often overlooked in Wright’s oeuvre. Indeed, over the years, a combination of neglect and additions have compromised the building’s integrity. Restoring Kalita Humphreys to its original state requires a multifaceted approach that involves surgical extraction, selective reconstruction, careful preservation, and faithful reinterpretation of Wight’s design intent. At the same time, extending the building’s lifespan calls for forward-looking strategies that engage diverse new audiences and accommodate cutting-edge productions. In looking to the past and the future simultaneously, the masterplan proposal aims to achieve four primary goals: restore and celebrate the historic Kalita Humphreys Theater; transform the surrounding public green spaces into a bona fide park; stitch the park to Turtle Creek and the Katy Trail, one of the most visited destinations in Dallas; and activate the park every day and year-round, both as an expanded cultural landscape for performance and education and as a standalone natural resource with amenities that draw in new visitors, with our without a ticket.

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