BRW Architects joined a team of visionary members of the Dallas Housing Authority to create a Master Plan for the remaining open parcels of land, expansion of park and recreation opportunities and improvements of existing facilities. One of the areas of focus was the DHA owned and operated Lakewest Retail center, a strip shopping center developed and built over the last several decades. The last major improvements dated back to the mid-eighties. Vehicular and pedestrian separation was very blurred and the overall aesthetics of the center was not currently the most inviting image.
Through a series of studies and concepts the team developed a strategic approach to improving the overall image of the center. Goals of the project were to enhance the aesthetic value of the original main strip of retail, break up the severe horizontal expanse of the storefront to give vertical points of reference, scale and character, provide improved signage graphics and identity and to break down the large expanse of concrete parking lot.
The design included a series of wood clad vertical elements to give strong visual presence along the two major vehicular thoroughfares. Another positive change was to provide areas of pause in small park-like settings that allowed the local patrons to sit in shaded areas under steel trellis frames on natural stone benches within the surrounding of drought tolerant landscaping. The large expanses of horizontal concrete surfaces were broken down in scale, pattern and proportion and replaced in varied colors and sizes of paver systems. Better signage, lighting, parking control, and site amenities have had a positive impact on the redefined center in a neighborhood surrounded by continual change and improvement.