“What if one block in Texas became the sustainable model for the world? What if everything we knew and believed about design needed to change? What if we need to change along with it?” David Baker + Partners and Fletcher Studio answered these questions with their XERO Project, an incredible plan to connect the city of Dallas with greenways while bringing local agriculture, public orchards, community gardens, private planter boxes, and food stalls into the city. The project recently took first place in the Re:Vision Dallas design competition, and is focused around an energy efficient building that will include a rainwater collection system, solar panels and planted screens that will produce onsite energy and food.
XERO is much more than just a plan for a city block; it’s a plan to revamp and revise the city of Dallas. Designed as a collaborative effort between David Baker + Partners and Fletcher Studio, the Zero-Energy building has four main components:
+ A ground level courtyard for agriculture and public open space
+ A tower with open air terraces and a solar panel/planted screen to produce onsite energy and food
+ Townhouses on a spiraling podium base
+ Micro-retail facing the greenway
The design team took time to address issues such as extreme climate and weather conditions, historical sites and other public amenities in their plans for the XERO Project. Plans also included creating a vibrant walking and bicycle friendly environment throughout the city of Dallas.
What’s the most exciting part of the competition? Re:Vision Dallas is real. The competition is the result of a partnership between Urban Re:Vision and the City of Dallas to create an innovative and sustainable redesign of a single city block. “The competition created a chance to propel design beyond the typical, beyond the norm, and to lay the foundation for a future of sustainable development.” With the support of the city, the land has been purchased, and this block will soon become a reality.
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