Fountain Place (formerly Allied Bank Tower)
1445 Ross Avenue
Texas 75202

Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (Henry Cobb, lead designer) 1986

The crystalline form of this glass-clad office tower was designed to meet the developer's requirement for a distinctive presence on the Dallas skyline. Henry Cobb as described it as "what's left after carving into a square prism." Large but subtle slices have been carved from the top, so the tower that emerges is a parallelogram in section, but does not look it from many vantage points. Smaller slices have been carved below to make the ground floor also a parallelogram, creating shady, fountain-filled gardens beneath.

The crystalline geometry lies somewhere between Cobb's earlier John Hancock Building in Boston - a modified parallelogram prism - and I.M. Pei's later Bank of China Building in Hong Kong, which takes up the more three-dimensional carving introduced here. Both the earlier and later buildings have a brilliant elegance and coherence to their form that Fountain Place does not achieve to the same degree.

The original plan was for a second, identical, tower to be added at right-angles to the first, which (together with other planned buildings) was never built.

Simon Glynn 2004


How to visit

Fountain Place is towards the north of the downtown district, on Ross Avenue at Field St. The ground floor has restaurants and the fountain gardens open to the public.

While in the area you may be interested to visit I.M. Pei's Dallas City Hall, about 10 minutes' walk south down Akard Street (from Ross Avenue one block east of Fountain Place).

Books and other web sites

Further information and pictures for this building are available at the website of Pei Cobb Freed and Partners.

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