July 15, 2013
by Mark Pataky

This week’s travels took me to the city of Cowboys and Culture, nearby Fort Worth. I visited downtown Fort Worth and Tarrant College: Trinity River Campus. This project pulls the user off street level, under the roadway, and along a water feature that spans the length of campus linking downtown to the trinity river. Fort Worth is home to the Kimbell Art Museum by Louis Kahn which houses an impressive collection within a museum built with simple and elegantly austere gestures. The Water Gardens, the urban park by Philip Johnson, is my favorite cooling oasis in all of Texas. I’ve nicknamed it Philip Johnson’s swimming pool and it’s my own architectural theory that he intended for it to be experienced barefoot. But word of warning, be careful as you step down into the mouth of the main attraction as it has some lethal suction, no matter how hot and how tempting, do not jump in!
One of HKS’s largest projects is Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas. Ryan Blaylock from sports was nice enough to provide a tour. What better way to learn about the stadium but from an architect who designed it and worked on it for years? This project is a marvel on the exterior and interior. I learned so much about stadium design on our two hour tour. We toured the field, stadium suites, lounges, back of house, and player and cheerleader locker rooms. Cool stadium facts: Did you know that the roof opening on Cowboys Stadium is the same size and shape as the one on Texas Stadium of 1971, paying tribute to the Cowboys’ franchise history? And talk about impressive figures, the massive and moveable screen in the new stadium cost $40 million where the old stadium in total cost $37 million. The stadium is a monumental testament to the incredible talent at HKS.