Cedar Maple is in the heart of Uptown, a rapidly changing urban district. Granite Properties challenged GFF to create a unique new office environment made memorable by its architecture, public spaces and pedestrian connections to the surrounding district. The response: design a tall, elegant tower to reduce the building footprint then devote the rest of the site to publicly-accessible open space, activating uses and a walkable streetscape. Given the highly urban context, it was critical to place parking below grade in order to open the grade plane for street-activating uses and pedestrian-friendly open space.
This project required a zoning change and the request on this 2.6 acre site was simple and compelling: 1) additional height to allow a taller, thinner building to take up less of the site, 2) use the site for people and places instead of parking, by requiring virtually all below-grade parking, and 3) more density to make this financially viable. This was well received by the community, Oak Lawn Committee, Plan Commission and City Council – so much so that it was approval via the consent agenda by the latter two bodies. The final plan has about an acre of publicly-accessible open space (half of which would be in a central green), with multiple restaurant spaces at the ground level help activate the street and open space.
Granite envisions Cedar Maple as a legacy project and as a milestone for GFF with the buildings and public spaces enhancing our immediate neighborhood and the urban fabric of Dallas. The goal of offering varied leasing floorplates while creating a singular gesture is accomplished by allowing the building form to inflect at mid-level, producing an impression of slenderness at its base and upper stories. This slenderness is further emphasized by glass planes that extend past the floor slabs at each end, reducing the overall building mass and achieving a thin, elegant profile. The result is a striking presence on the skyline and wonderful spaces for people at street level.