"Dallas is a very image-conscious place, and it has always been looking to headlines," says David Dillon, who writes on architecture for The Dallas Morning News. Lately, the headlines have been filled with the starry names of the architects for the Dallas Arts District—an opera house by Norman Foster, a theater by Rem Koolhaas, and a science museum by Thom Mayne will soon join the existing sculpture museum by Renzo Piano and symphony hall by I.M. Pei. "It's important to set the bar high, to have the chance to see good work built in your home city," Dillon says.
Other design news from Dallas this year was the opening of the 33-story W Dallas Victory Hotel & Residences, designed by HKS, in the 93-acre Victory Park development downtown. "The Victory tower is the best thing that has ever come out of that firm," he says. "It's a response to the growing sophistication of the market for urban architecture."