The 775,000 SF Firewheel Town Center creates an important focal point for development within the City of Garland, Texas and the northeast region of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro. Our planning and design of Firewheel Town Center represents a melding of contemporary requirements for tenants and patrons with an attitude toward place making and pedestrian accommodation that finds its precedence in nineteenth and early twentieth century town planning.
Flipping the Mall Inside-Out
Firewheel Town Center is an open environment reflective of an evolving attitude toward retail development that recognizes the importance of creating places that are pedestrian friendly and reinforce a greater sense of community. The enclosed mall looked to the traditional American Main Street, used it as an organizational precedent, and created a new building form. Main Street became the mall’s spine of shops, and the town square became the mall’s central court. Firewheel on the other hand looks to Main Street for its place making precedent, incorporating a hierarchy of streets and spaces, architectural variety between buildings and tenants, a rich and varied streetscape, and a mix of uses including offices above shops.
Firewheel Town Center as a New Main Street
The building facades of Firewheel Town Center evoke the feeling of a traditional American downtown shopping district. A number of distinctive architectural expressions create the building elevations within each block, many of which are reminiscent of commercial building architectural styles popularized at the turn of the 20th century. In particular, commercial adaptations of Victorian, Italianate, Neo-Classical, Mediterranean, Art Deco, and Modern styles are referenced. Several buildings take their design cues from existing commercial buildings in downtown Garland. Variations in both building width and height create rhythm and variety along the street. Generous use of awnings and canopies provides much needed shade as well as another layer of detail and color. Storefronts are also highly varied in their design and color, ranging from simple and modern, to designs with a higher level of detail that evoke a more traditional feel.