Home > Our Philosophy > Frost Helps Keep Frozen Music on Key, 9/24/06
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Frost Helps Keep Frozen Music on Key in Colleyville

  This Ensemble home is a collaboration of 3rd Dimension Design and Westgate Properties in Bagwell’s Broughton neighborhood in Colleyville.

German philosopher Johann Goethe described architecture as frozen music. Because music may be either harmonious or discordant, it behooves a community to ensure that the architectural legacy frozen into its future is on key rather than out of tune.

Local government little concerns itself with aesthetic quality in homebuilding, so it falls to residential land developers to provide comprehensive guidance toward that end. Whereas most refuse the responsibility, or only pay it lip service, the David Bagwell Company has taken the road less traveled and, like poet Robert Frost, found that it makes all the difference.

Rather than merely selling lots carte blanche, Bagwell has employed a select group of architects and designers to create a portfolio of fine homes called “Ensemble Selections”. He charged these fellow aesthetic devotees with considering the streetscape as a whole in establishing the architectural style of each house on the block, its floor plan, exterior materials, fixtures and landscaping. From among these engaging designs, buyers chose what to build simultaneous with choosing where to build. Since plans are pre-approved, there is no rancor in the design review process or delay in the start of construction.

Ensemble designers adhere to lofty aesthetic standards, which are primary to the developer’s creation of neighborhoods with timeless character and enduring appeal. Exteriors of houses are required to demonstrate the identifying elements of venerated historic house styles described in “A Field Guide to American Houses” by Virginia and Lee McAlester. Among them are Colonial Revival, Neoclassical, Tudor, Prairie, Craftsman, Italian Renaissance, Spanish Eclectic, Postmedieval English, Georgian, Adam, Greek Revival, and French Eclectic. Essential to this objective are “massing, scale, proportion, and character derived from the nature of the building materials, details, and spatial flow”, according to John Milnes Baker, A.I.A. in “American House Styles, A Concise Guide”.

Conversely, home designs must reject elements that are inconsistent with the style depicted and avoid exaggerated, confusing, and insufficient stylistic gestures. Virginia architect Russell Versaci calls these architectural faux pas the “Seven Deadly Sins of Home Building” in an article in the winter, 2006 edition of New Old House Journal.

The first homes in the Ensemble Selections portfolio are now being drawn. Designers collaborating with builders and those interested in becoming homeowners in David Bagwell Company developments are Needham-McCaffrey of Dallas, 3rd Dimension Residences of Bedford, Lambdin & Associates of Hurst, and architectural historicist David H. Ellison, A.I.A. of Cleveland, Ohio.

Those with lofty aesthetic aspirations are invited to inquire further. Additional information on Ensemble Selections is available at 817/540-5500.

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