Home > Our Philosophy > If These Walls Could Talk, 11/27/05
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If These Walls, Gables and Water Tables Could Talk

  In David Bagwell Company neighborhoods, design review is graphically summarized in sketches prepared by architect Robin McCaffrey.

This is another in a series on the underlying distinctions of residential developments of the David Bagwell Company.

On the weathered wall of an old McKinney Avenue building in Dallas, this axiom endures: "Don't discourage another man's plans unless you have better ones of your own." It is sound advice for architectural control committees that oversee design in new luxury home developments and is respected by Colleyville developer David Bagwell and his colleagues engaged in such work.

Lot buyers in David Bagwell Company neighborhoods follow building and landscape guidelines written to ensure design excellence. Bagwell explains, “Picturesque qualities are the leaven that give rise to the joie de vivre in timeless neighborhoods.”

Prior to construction, owners provide the architectural control committee with house plans designed according to one of the popular styles approved for Bagwell Company developments. The committee reviews and approves the plans for construction or requires changes, depending upon stylistic fidelity and qualitative achievement.

Committee member Robin McCaffrey, a widely respected architect and city planner, prepares a sketch of each plan that elucidates committee review comments and incorporates them in the design. For a house in Broughton, the following commentary accompanied his illustrative drawing, "This is a Chateauesque house. Your design is very interesting with the upper floor inset from the lower floor. Still, it needs more discipline and organizational continuity. Engage roof masses in an integrated composition, not isolated and independent forms."

McCaffrey's sketch of an Old Grove house reflected these committee comments, "This house fits within the Eclectic Tudor style, similar to the picturesque English country houses popularized by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Key elements include stacked gable shoulders, decorative chimneys, high-pitched roof, dominant and sub-dominant elements arranged to accentuate the location of the entry.

"Create a taller, bolder, more ornamented chimney. Raise the chimney to be visible from the street. Create an architectural form that visually explains windows and expresses the stair tower. Make the entry arch concentric with the front door and advance the front step. Craft beam details for the dormer window. Provide a more decorative barge board tail."

McCaffrey's sketch with committee review notes for a proposed Whittier Heights house read, "The stylistic reference for this house is English Arts and Crafts. Typical of this style are details and forms like simple roof massing (usually from a dominant gable), high pitched roof, crafted 'closure details' such as stacked gable shoulders and brackets, timber frame construction expressed within the architectural envelope, and articulation of window and door openings.

"The house has many of these elements and meets the Whittier Heights guidelines, except the massing is too complex and the round vents and window are more typical of the Georgian style. Additionally, details that should be heavy and structural are small and decorative. Make the jerkinhead gable larger and more in keeping with the style and massiveness of the arts and crafts gable form. Raise the chimney, make the cap more like a pot, and add decorative brickwork. To authenticate materials used in this style, replace cast stone quoins with stacked cut brick and create a gentle roll at the sweep of the roof instead of a broken eave."

Developer Bagwell adds, "Creative fires are lit by the fine architects and designers at work in Colleyville. Robin simply fans the flames. The warmth and architectural illumination of our neighborhoods are the result."

Luxury homebuyers are invited to see David Bagwell Company developments off McDonwell School Road and nearby Westcoat Drive and on Hall-Johnson Road and nearby Montclair Drive. For additional information, contact Susan Folkert (214/673-6754) or go to www.bagwellcompany.com

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