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Photograph © Wayne Lorentz

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Fountain Place

Formerly: Allied Bank
Built: 1986
Designed by: I.M. Pei
Type: Skyscraper
Maximum Height: 720 feet / 219 meters
Location: 1455 Ross, Dallas, United States
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Building Rating
90% of readers like the Fountain Place.
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L ooking like some giant crystal award for excellence in architecture, this building rises in its own corner of the Dallas urban core. That partial isolation enhances the building's distinctive shape and allows it to be admired from many different angles. Even though Fountain Place is symmetrical in shape, it never quite looks the same from one location to the next. To comprehend this odd shape, envision a block of Styrofoam with a rectangle marked diagonally across the top. From the point where two vertical corners of the cube converge with the penciled-in rectangle, carve in a slope downward. This may sound confusing, but it works. Alternatively, if you have the means, hire a helicopter and hover above the building until it makes sense to you. That's the best way to understand most large-scale architecture. Fountain Place is actually just one-third of a larger project that was never completed. The rest was to have included a hotel and a third building. However, the item that garners the most attention, aside from the building itself, was actually finished -- the fountains. Fountain place is home to a lovely water garden and fountains that transform this corner of the city from sun-scorched north Texas summer into a lush paradise where people can pause, reflect and catch their breath before passing on to their next destination. No matter how magnificent the green prism above it, the fountains are the feature that is always highlighted in the tour books.

  • November 14, 2008: An unmanned window washing scaffold smashed against this building, showering the sidewalk below with shards of glass. No one was hurt.

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paul wright
Tuesday, December 7th, 2004 @ 10:52pm
Rating: Five stars.
One of my favorite skyscrapers. A different look from every angle. One of the best of the post modern skyscrapers.

Mike Boydston
May 24th, 2002
Fountain Place, in Dallas, is indeed a striking building, but the design is bad from the standpoint of the person who has to work in it. I work there on the 10th floor. Here are the problems: (1) the massive footprint means relatively little window space; (2) many views through the windows are blocked by enormous slanting support beams encased in sheetrock (and thust, in a cubicle-filled office, the cubes have to sit six feet from the windows to avoid the beams, leaving a lot of wasted space); (3) the stairwells are an ugly, hard-to-use afterthought; (4) the trees chosen for the gardens frequently either die from too much shade or grow too big for the space.

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