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Architects selected to reimagine 106 W Commerce

WEISS/MANFREDI selected as design architect and will partner with local Dallas firm Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects.

DALLAS – Trinity Park Conservancy (Conservancy) announced today the selection of nationally-renowned WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism (W/M) as design architect to bring new life to the former Jesse R. Dawson State Jail at 106 W Commerce Street. Dallas-based Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects (MMDA) will serve as the local architect. The project team will work with the Conservancy to integrate the building and its surrounding neighborhoods into Harold Simmons Park (Park), the planned 200+ acre park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) along the Trinity River, connecting downtown Dallas to West and South Dallas.

The Conservancy launched a public search process for the 106 W Commerce project in July that resulted in 45 submissions from a diverse array of local, regional, national and international architecture firms. A search committee comprised of eight Conservancy representatives reviewed the proposals, scoring them on the following criteria: firm experience and ethos with a focus on adaptive reuse, civic spaces, development feasibility, sustainability, local understanding, and community partnership (40%); team experience (30%); business inclusion plan (20%); and an inspiration board for the project (10%). The committee selected WEISS/MANFREDI following interviews with a shortlist of seven teams.

Founded by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, W/M is at the forefront of architectural design practices that are redefining the relationships between landscape, architecture, infrastructure and art. W/M is known for acclaimed adaptive reuse, and for civic park projects around the country, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center (Brooklyn, New York); Olympic Sculpture Park (Seattle, Washington); the Diana Center at Barnard College (New York, New York) and Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park (Queens, New York). Since 1992, MMDA has specialized in the design of commercial projects including retail and commercial interiors and corporate marketing centers. W/M worked with Michael Malone of MMDA on the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center at the Greenhill School in Dallas.

“We are inspired by the potential of 106 W Commerce to create a dynamic community destination and gateway to Harold Simmons Park, and are thrilled to begin work with the Trinity Park Conservancy, the Dallas community, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates to create an open and inviting civic hub for the Park and its surrounding communities,” said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi.

The idea of a collaborative process was a central part of the team’s proposal. As the project moves forward, the Conservancy and design team will seek input from the communities that surround the building and the Park. Making sure that these communities have a voice is something the Conservancy, W/M, and MMDA value and strive to do throughout the entirety of the project.

“The Conservancy is so pleased to choose WEISS/MANFREDI and MMDA to reimagine this building to be a magnet for drawing people from all over the city into the Park, connecting them to nature and each other,” says Deedie Rose, Chair of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors. “It will provide an essential part of the public health infrastructure in our city that will create jobs, stimulate economic development and provide critical green space.”

As part of the process to reimagine the jail, the Conservancy is hosting the first of many listening sessions with community stakeholders and the design team on Friday, August 21. The team will hear about the history of the building and the wants and needs for the future of the building from community members who have worked in, been incarcerated in, or live and work near the building. As the project moves along the Conservancy will hold similar listening sessions to gather more community input. Anyone interested in attending a future sessions can email info@trinityparkconservancy.org to receive updates on the project and information on how to participate.


WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism is at the forefront of architectural design practices that are redefining the relationships between landscape, architecture, infrastructure, and art. A certified woman-owned business that was named one of North America’s “Emerging Voices” by New York’s Architectural League, WEISS/MANFREDI won the 2018 Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award as well as the New York AIA Gold Medal, and the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Most recently, WEISS/MANFREDI was honored with the 2020 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture. The firm’s cross-disciplinary projects include the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, recognized as one of Time Magazine’s Ten Best Architectural Marvels, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, Barnard College’s Diana Center, the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center at the Greenhill School in Dallas, the Women’s Memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery, the Tata Center for Innovation, and the recently opened Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park in Queens. They are currently working on the US Embassy in New Delhi, India, and the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum in Los Angeles.

About Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects

Founded in 1992, Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects is a full-service architectural firm based in Dallas, Texas with a national practice specializing in commercial, retail, institutional, and residential design. The award-winning firm has a collaborative design approach that provides clients with exceptional service and creates thoughtful environments in which to shop, work, and live. The practice utilizes traditional methods of presentation in their working method: sketches, models, and hand drawings. MMD Architects maintains a strong commitment to community and professional service. Michael Malone, FAIA and Paul Dennehy, AIA are both past presidents of the Texas Society of Architects and Audrey Maxwell, AIA will be the society’s president in 2021. A partial list of clients includes: Shell Oil Company, EDS, Lockheed Martin, Greenhill School, Lamplighter School, Cornerstone Healthcare, NexBank, State Bank of Texas, and Houlihan Lokey. The firm’s work is regularly published in professional and design journals and the principals are frequent speakers at design conferences and conventions. In 2013 Malone Maxwell Dennehy Architects was the AIA Dallas Firm of the year.

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