The unique façade design of The Stack Deep Ellum – a new 16-story 215,000 square-foot mixed-use office, retail and parking development – reflects the dynamic nature of the historic Dallas neighborhood, which transitions from daytime office, art gallery and café spaces to nighttime entertainment, happy-hour and evening-only dining venues.
Constructed in two stacked “pods”, The Stack’s façade changes from street-level traditional brick masonry and matching pre-cast brick veneer chosen to reflect the neighborhood’s historic architecture to the upper-level modern, dynamically shifting look of glistening ALUCOBOND® PLUS aluminum composite material (ACM) in the sophisticated custom Brushed Manhattan finish by 3A Composites USA pointing to the neighborhood’s future as a growing work, live and play destination.
The building’s nine-level public parking podium features a tumbled-brick look primarily on street-facing elevations while a total of 68,000 square feet of 4mm ALUCOBOND PLUS in the custom Brushed Manhattan finish clads the seven-level office tower above. The building is split horizontally by an amenity level with a large wrap-around balcony that overlooks the Dallas skyline and separates the podium from the tower.
The unique double massing of The Stack was designed by Dallas-headquartered 5G Studio Collaborative LLC.
“The lower building volume blends with Deep Ellum’s historic neighborhood and shows respect for the neighborhood’s history of brick and mortar architecture, while the upper building volume aesthetically expresses the goal of creating an innovative office model for the future with its modern aesthetic and visual prioritization of outdoor amenity spaces for the building’s occupants,” said Christine Robbins-Elrod, AIA, LEED AP BD+C | ND | Homes, WELL AP, GACP, and principal at 5G Studio Collaborative.
The ALUCOBOND PLUS metal panels “visually express a modern aesthetic for the building’s upper volume while also tying to the industrial history of Deep Ellum,” according to Robbins-Elrod.
The Stack opened in May 2021 featuring 15,000 square feet of street-front retail space and nearly 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office space. This approximately $60-million multi-use project was developed as a joint venture between Houston-headquartered Hines, Dallas-headquartered Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management and Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., of Montreal.
The Stack design team spent approximately 18 months reviewing materials before final selections were made, according to David Freisner, construction manager, Hines, who said weathered steel cladding originally was reviewed for the upper massing to fit the overall design aesthetic of Deep.
“When 5G Studio brought in the Brushed ALUCOBOND PLUS material, we got excited,” said Freisner. “There were still many color choices; but we were immediately intrigued by the sophistication of the ALUCOBOND PLUS brushed finish and more importantly by the dynamic properties it possessed. We reviewed the ALUCOBOND PLUS samples in all lighting situations from all angles; the product appearance changed each time. As we continued the process, it became clear that the façade would reflect the district and most importantly our project.”
Once the decision was made to clad the tower in ALUCOBOND PLUS in a brushed finish, Freisner said the team spent approximately three months reviewing “hundreds of color samples” provided by 3A Composites USA before selecting custom Brushed Manhattan.
“We reviewed every color of ALUCOBOND PLUS with a brushed finish before selecting Manhattan; it was just the perfect complement to our overall design thesis,” said Freisner.
Construction of The Stack began in early 2020 with Baltimore-headquartered The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. serving as general contractor.
BakerTriangle Prefab, of Richardson, Texas, was contracted to manage the metal scope of the project, including engineering and installation of the ACM panels in “prefab” construction units. BakerTriangle Prefab partnered with KSC, Inc., of Dallas, to fabricate approximately 2,000 panels in multiple sizes for the prefab units as well as a unitized rainscreen installation system.
“This project required a lot of pre-planning; we spent a lot of hours in design,” said Preston Pressley, president, BakerTriangle Prefab, whose company engineers utilized Revit BIM engineering and Autodesk design software to create shop drawings and detailing for The Stack. “We had to create an overlay between architectural drawings and shop drawings, aligning five different trades to correctly coordinate the details.”
“This was a very well-organized job with all of the trades on the building,” said Vince Neault, business development manager, KSC, Inc., who said the company utilized three large CNC tables to cut the ALUCOBOND PLUS.
Installation of the ACM panels on The Stack in prefab units created major project efficiencies, according to Pressley, who said these units eliminated the need for field measurement and field cuts of panels during the process. The units arrived on site ready to be “shaken out” and installed by elevation, he said.
Established in 1873 as one of Dallas' first commercial districts and residential neighborhoods for African-Americans and European immigrants, Deep Ellum is one of the most historically and culturally significant neighborhoods in the city, according to the Deep Ellum, Texas, website.
The Stack is pursuing LEED Gold Certification and is one of the first new construction projects in Dallas to receive WELL Certification.
© Photos courtesy of ALUCOBOND® by 3A Composites USA.