Deep Rooted Ellum
Unmesh Kelkar, Assoc. AIA
Dallas’ Deep Ellum faces significant challenges, including the encroachment of high-rise corporate development and concerns over pedestrian safety and crime. This proposal leverages the neighborhood’s deep-rooted culture to address these issues through a comprehensive intervention on a 22.8-acre site that currently comprises a series of sprawling, one-story buildings and surface parking. The masterplan weaves the fabric of the city into the community and employs a Barcelona-style super block concept to restrict vehicles to the periphery and establish a walkable zone within. A 24-hour neighborhood is imagined by creating a flexible space with robust year-round programming of events, and a communal level dedicated to urban farming initiatives establishes a cyclical revenue generation model, with local produce sales used to subsidize rents and foster shared equity housing.
“I really appreciate the depth of research in terms of how different people — very different user groups — use space throughout the year and throughout the day. The project shows a richness in how it programs open space at number of different scales that are allowing for very different scales of occupation.”
“The conception of the urban block by weaving vehicular and pedestrian circulation and the use of the diagonal as a way of manipulating the relationship between the two makes this a very interesting project.”