3525 Turtle Creek Apartments

Turtle Creek Apartments (Dallas, Texas): lobby perspective drawing

3525 Turtle Creek provided Meyer the opportunity to create a large-scale housing complex to relay the forward thinking nature that was emerging as Dallas was defining itself as a city of class and style.


Open Concept Plans

Manipulation of Free-Flowing Interiors

Emanating the ideals of luxury and finesse, the perspective interiors of 3525 Turtle Creek are poignant in respect to the perspective resident. Being the first truly modernist building in Dallas, 3525 Turtle Creek became a symbol of an emerging lifestyle in Dallas. Appreciative of the arts and progressive building motifs lent from European predecessors, the residents of 3525 Turtle Creek paved the way for the acceptability of the international-style in the context of a multi-story, multi-family environment.

Open concept-plans within the individual units of 3525 Turtle Creek allowed for an unconstructed sensibility in respect to entertaining. Similar to the concepts employed in the highly recognized Barcelona Pavilion and Tugenhaut House by Mies van der Rohe, floating partition serve as “walls” within the space. While the public interior space remain unrestrained within their unit and private spaces remain bound for privacy, Meyer clearly maintains his allegiance to the modernist principles of interior spatial programming.

Preservation Dallas, & The Dallas Architecture Forum. (1997, November). Howard Meyer: Temple Emanu-El and Other Works. Dallas: Preservation Dallas.


An International-Style High-Rise in Dallas

Mixing Modern Sensibilities with Texan Vernacular

Combining the wonderfully soft Mexican brick with the vertically attenuated concrete pillar-like form, Howard Meyer’s large-scale housing project creates versatility in the architect’s oeuvre. Previous to the completion of 3525 Turtle Creek, Meyer had been highly associated with unique clients looking for single-family residences in the progressive European-based aesthetic that had taken the architecture community by storm during the later 1920s into the 1930s. 3525 Turtle Creek provided Meyer the opportunity to create a large-scale housing complex to relay the forward thinking nature that was emerging as Dallas was defining itself as a city of class and style.

Through the combination of the nativism elements, materials and the tree-like mimicry through the implementation of the Corbusian influenced brise soleils, Meyer attains a level of comfort and familiarity to help ease in the elements of the international-style mode. Meyer’s ability of transferring aesthetic from different scales becomes apparent as the integrity to materialism, response to humanity, and functional spaces remains in tact and unyielding to c hanging building typologies.

However, 3525 Turtle Creek nonetheless relates a clear dedication to the international stylings of Meyer’s predecessors, such as Le Corbusier, Mies van de Rohe, and Adolf Loos. 3525 Turtle Creek serves as a pinnacle of the building style of the 1950s in respect to reflecting “modern living” through its derivation from notable realized and unrealized projects of the renowned masters of modernism, handling of site, interior spatial programming, and convictions held in respect to materialism.

Preservation Dallas, & The Dallas Architecture Forum. (1997, November). Howard Meyer: Temple Emanu-El and Other Works. Dallas: Preservation Dallas. Martínez, N., & Cook, V. (n.d.). Archives. In 3525 Turtle Creek [News Articles]. Retrieved from http://3525turtlecreek.org/HTML/ archives.htm


Reflection Through a Water Feature

Cascading Forms in a Curvilinear Context

Similar to Howard Meyer’s Nakoma Residence, the architect’s implementation of a water feature provides the respective space with a moment of reflection and focus. 3525 Turtle Creek implements this cascading water sculpture through the arrangement of curved forms that give an organic quality to the manmade element. Although the curvature of the waterfall rimmed pool deck and receptive pool may seem strikingly against the rich vegetative background, the encompassing nature of the line seems to be decisive element of Meyer’s part to create connectivity between the exterior spaces.

Preservation Dallas, & The Dallas Architecture Forum. (1997, November). Howard Meyer: Temple Emanu-El and Other Works. Dallas: Preservation Dallas.


The Le Corbusier Influence

Brise Soleil, The Radiant City, & Plan Vision From Le Corbusier

In 1957, Howard Meyer completed the luxury high-rise apartment building, 3525 Turtle Creek. Built in the principles of the modernist aesthetic, 3525 Turtle provided Dallas area residence the nearness to the convinces of the downtown Dallas core while providing estate living without the problems accompanied normally with that lifestyle. Perhaps the most prevailing influence lent to the 21-storied apartment building is from revered modernist, Le Corbusier.

Notably, all four facades of 3525 Turtle Creek employ the solar screening technique of brise soleil. Lent from the notable government buildings of the Palace of Justice, the Secretariat Building, and the Governor’s Palace, of Chandigarh, India, Meyer employs this tangible climatic response in his large-scale residential project. Cladding all four faces of the apartment building, geometric gridding formed from concrete seem to emulate Le Corbusier’s shading devices that only obscures the lower window portion to allow for clear views of the surrounding downtown area. Not only does the brise soleil serve as a mimicry device of the natural shading of the surrounding mature, but serve as geometric patterning device that serves as a mathematic basis for the large-scale residential unit.

Additionally, the earlier, unrealized projects by Le Corbusier, such as The Radiant City and Plan Viosin, become apparent in Meyer’s design of 3525 Turtle Creek in respect to form and site. The four jutting out rectangular forms arranged in a pinwheel around the centralized elevator shaft with sufficient organic surrounding becomes highly reminiscent of the vertically attenuated forms set within the context of sufficient natural relief of The Radiant City and Plan Viosin. The rich vegetation of the lawn with large oak trees creates a setting for the apartment high-rise that reflects that of the influential modernist, Le Corbusier, as well as an adaption by Meyer to be reflective of the Texas environment.

Preservation Dallas, & The Dallas Architecture Forum. (1997, November). Howard Meyer: Temple Emanu-El and Other Works. Dallas: Preservation Dallas.


Modern Materialism

Creating Ambiance Through Materialism

Although 3525 Turtle Creek provides large-scale housing amenities with 102 units, Howard Meyer’s commitment to providing intimate and humanistic spaces persists. Lofty ceilinged lobby is given warmth and a charm that is uniquely Meyer’s in signature. The use of veritable illumination with the brise soleil covered windows and teak wood clad wall allows for a more relatable scale similar to Meyer’s residential projects. The patterning formulated by the brise soleil seems to be an effort by Meyer to once again tie nature into his aesthetic as the shade and lighting patterning mimic that of the dappling effect of the sun hitting the surrounding mature oaks.

The open concept layout would become a prominent theme throughout Meyer’s design of the residential units as it allowed for a new style of entertaining to emerge as there was more fluidity between spaces.