Home > Our Philosophy > Ensemble Reprises Virtuoso Performances, 08/06/06
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Ensemble Reprises Virtuoso Performances of the Past

  Neighborhood identifying features, like those that grace David Bagwell Company communities, help create places of the heart.

An Ensemble of accomplished architects, designers and homebuilders is collaborating with developer David Bagwell to create timeless neighborhoods in Colleyville. Their performance is inspired by the ovation from a diverse audience of everyday people, planners, architects, urban scholars, and philosophers for historic residential areas around the country.

Some find that tree-lined streets, open space, and traditional architecture create a timeless aspect and sense of place that resonates in their hearts. As one resident of a historic neighborhood said, “You feel at home even though you’re a block or more away from where you live.”

Others, recalling “a time when people were the heart of a neighborhood”, say front porches provide special appeal. “Porches offer the perfect spot to savor the neighborhood,” one allows. “Kids zip past on scooters, joggers wave, and new parents push strollers through a community that feels both timeless and alive with the vitality of today. In my last neighborhood, I met three neighbors in nine years. Here I must know 25 of my neighbors really well. You come for the architecture and stay for the people. I told my husband, ‘Just bury me here.’”

Professional planners identify characteristics that give these areas unique appeal: designs emphasize craftsmanship, detail, and domestic elements like porches and dormers; natural materials predominate; lots enjoy a low ratio of building mass to land area; and there’s architectural variety but design simplicity and informal settings.

Ernest Dimnet, author of The Art of Thinking, observed, “Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.”

Emily Post, who wrote extensively about etiquette and good taste, was the daughter of well-known architect Bruce Price. In The Personality of a House, she wrote about “the quality of ancestry”, faulting the modern home as often “flaunt(ing) the fact that it has none”.

Architects say a timeless house speaks in the historical design language of residential construction, while meeting the requirements of the modern family. Such a fusion of old and new has been described as “contemporary design tempered by sympathy for tradition.”

An Ivy League academic explains that the principles of design create interest, harmony, and unity in the evocative architecture of timeless neighborhoods. These principles include: Center of Interest, an area that first attracts attention in a composition; Balance, a feeling of visual equality in shape, form, value, color, etc.; Harmony, which brings together a composition with similar units; Contrast, which shows the difference between shapes and is sometimes used to bring objects forward in a design and create an area of emphasis; and Rhythm, the recurrence of elements akin to the beat of music.

By creating a portfolio of unique house and landscape designs and resolving appropriate materials and fixtures for each one, the David Bagwell Company’s Ensemble initiative seeks the timeless qualities of venerated residential areas, while streamlining the design and building process needed to realize them. For further information, click here or call the David Bagwell Company at at 817/540-5500, extension 1.

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