The Davis Building

    Dallas, Texas, USA

    Photo Credits: Justin L. Terveen Urban Fabric

    Historic Dallas tower is preserved and reborn

    The Davis Building is one of the most historic and architecturally distinguished buildings in downtown Dallas, Texas, USA. At 20 stories, the building was the second tallest building in Dallas when it was built in 1926, and its eastern cupola-crowned section served as the headquarters for the Republic National Bank for nearly 30 years. In 2003, the building was reborn as a luxury mixed-use apartment community featuring 183 loft-style apartment units and more than 4,831 m² (52,000 sq ft) of premier retail space housing numerous restaurants, cleaners, and a full-service day spa. With original terrazzo flooring, plaster and brick walls, and 4 to 6 m (12 to 20 ft) tall concrete ceilings with exposed ductwork, the building offers residents an eclectic blend of vintage 1920's architecture and modern luxury living.

    In an effort to honor the Davis Building's rich history, in 2011 the building owners launched an initiative to renovate the building's outdated exterior lighting with a dynamic, energy-efficient LED lighting solution from Color Kinetics. This modern upgrade coincides with the city's recent urban revitalization plan, which includes the renovation of a number of major skyscrapers and office buildings in the downtown area.

    According to the proposal submitted to the Dallas Landmark Commission by product supplier and project manager Mark Reed-Walkup of WieDaMark, LLC, the design objective of the retrofit was simple: to give the building a unique visual identity, highlighting its original architecture while supporting the overall renewal of downtown Dallas. "The aim is to produce a vibrant, head-turning display that will act as a visual magnet, draw traffic to the building, entertain apartment owners and visitors, and generally generate a real 'buzz' in the city," Reed-Walkup wrote.

    To achieve this effect, client Jason Hanna, Senior Vice President of Operations at The Bascom Group, reached out to Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup of WieDaMark, as well as Daryl Vaughan of Light Partners. Vaughan, the project's lighting designer, is familiar with the Color Kinetics LED family of products; having successfully employed them on several other large-scale architectural applications. On this occasion — and for the same reasons as before — he specified Color Kinetics LED luminaires for their control flexibility, brightness, dynamic capabilities, and reliability.

    A focal point of Vaughan's lighting design is the building's roof, which includes a rooftop pool, garden cabana, and elegantly sculpted antique stone rotunda. The project's installation crew installed 335 m (1,100 ft) of iColor Flex LMX (now specified with Flex Compact gen3, RGB) strands of large, high-output LED nodes — on the roof ledge, outlining the roof with rich, dynamic color. This effect is mirrored on the peak of the domed cupola crowning the rotunda, which is lit with an additional 15 m (50 ft) of Flex. 10 ColorBlast Powercore wash lights and 10 eW Burst Powercore spot and accent lights illuminate the columns supporting the cupola with dynamic color and high-quality white light.

    Lower on the building, the carved stone columns on the 19th and 17th floor ledges are uplit by eight eW Burst Powercore luminaires and 10 ColorBlast Powercore wash lights, respectively. Six ColorReach Compact Powercore long-throw floodlights (now specified with ReachElite) mounted on the fifth floor ledge wash a 12-story section of the building's façade with beams of colored light, providing a visual centerpiece to the lighting design.

    Nearer to street level, the 4th floor ledge is lit by 122 m (400 ft) of Flex, while the four-story columns flanking the building's entrance are illuminated by ColorBlast Powercore wash lights. The entire installation is controlled by two iPlayer 3 controllers, allowing for a variety of preset and custom light shows in addition to solid color or white displays.

    On November 16, 2012, the building's new lighting system debuted as part of Dallas's annual City Lights holiday festival, displaying a variety of festive lighting programs in a half-hour loop. Since then, the building owners have further experimented with applications for the system. For instance, during the week of March 25, 2013, the building façade was lit with rainbow colors in support of two legal cases being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court that week concerning same-sex marriage.

    Hanna commented on the installation's success. "The goal was to preserve the authenticity of the building's structure while highlighting its unique design and original masonry," said Hanna. "We were delighted to partner with Light Partners and WieDaMark, both of whom provided extraordinary vision and dedication on this monumental project."

    "This is a particularly elegant building with a delicate façade, the integrity of which we were determined to preserve and enhance. I believe we have achieved this goal using a wide range of Color Kinetics equipment, most notably the amazing new ColorReach Compact fixtures which allows people to see its wonderful visage in an entirely different light," said Vaughan.

    Reed-Walkup also said that "the lighting of key architectural features brought exciting new life to the building at night in the heart of Main Street in downtown Dallas. The positive response and enthusiastic approval from residents, locals, and visitors has been overwhelming."
    Project credits

    Client / Building Owner:

    Jason Hanna, Senior Vice President of Operations, The Bascom Group, LLC

    Lighting Designer, Specifier, and Programmer:

    Daryl Vaughan, Light Partners LLC

    Product Supply and Project Management:

    Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup, WieDaMark, LLC

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