Columns Magazine: ...'Like' My House with Joshua Nimmo

We were excited to join the likes of Gary Cunningham and Ron Wommack among other Dallas architects in this month's Columns Magazine.


"...When creating something, making a statement is inevitable. What should be said? Should it be whispered or yelled?"

-Joshua Nimmo


Excerpt from article:

Joshua Nimmo, AIA

Nimmo Architecture

Center: “Here are some shots of a two-family dwelling we did in Dallas. This was an urban infill project. In particular, this project was successful in the way that it controlled views yet was still connected to the exterior in an urban environment”. // Right: “Here’s a photo of a mechanic’s shop I came across in Dallas. I love structures that have a story … those that are genuine, authentic to their purpose. While it isn’t a home, it’s similar in scale and definitely serve as inspiration.”

How much are design trends and fashions thrust upon the architect by the client, and how much are those factors guided by the architects themselves?

Usually, our clients are looking for something they will describe as timeless: something that is not heavily influenced by trends that will inevitably fall out of fashion. We do however recognize trends and fashion as part of our context—reflections of our time. We do not look at trends as inherently negative or positive, but rather ask why they have emerged.

How have cable television such as HGTV and websites such as Houzz about home renovation and design influenced the way a client communicates their needs and wants on their project?

These outlets have streamlined communication in my view. They can be used as a point of reference to discuss many aspects of design including details, budgets, etc. I believe it’s the architect’s job to set expectations while leading the direction of the design; communication in whatever form is critical to that process.

How does the notion of context apply to the way your firm practices the art of residential design?

“Context” is a BIG word. To us, it is much more than the physical setting (the site). The tangible conditions and surroundings of the site including topography, neighboring structures, local climate, etc. These all play lead roles in the story of a project. But there are many other forces that play a part in the narrative. Generally speaking, we call these “design forces” and recognize that a big part of our role is to understand, manage, and coordinate them. Sometimes these forces are not immediately obvious and need to be discovered. An important part of our process is discovering the context. This includes a lot of study and research, and asking a lot of questions. The clients’ needs, aspirations, and budget, as well as the contractor’s capabilities, should all have a voice in the final outcome. Still, there are other considerations: available materials, existing structures to be reused, and sustainable strategies/technologies.

So, there is the tangible context of a project, but do these more discernable forces complete the picture? What about those less palpable but no less important? How will the design be experienced through time? What emotions should be evoked through space, form, acoustics, etc.? When creating something, making a statement is inevitable. What should be said? Should it be whispered or yelled?

Are the answers to these questions part of the context? We often compare the design process to the traditional process of developing a photo in a dark room. In the early stages, we only have a faint image of what the project will become. As we move through the process, solutions reveal themselves.

NIMMO Honored to Receive 2017 AIA Dallas Design Award


The AIA Dallas Design Awards recognizes outstanding work by Dallas architects, both in the metropolitan area and across the country. The purpose of the awards program is to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to achieve design excellence.

Congratulations to all of this years award recipients


About the Hillen Residence:

This home is designed to connect the family to their natural surroundings by weaving into the landscape and graciously opening to expansive views of native Texas flora. The form of the plan was developed through an iterative process that examined circulation patterns, efficiencies, privacy layers, and targeted moments of directed views. The resulting layout will enhance the user experience by bringing in daylight, framing views to nature, creating privacy between living zones, and bringing the family together in an open and engaging living space. Site specific, the plan also integrates into the landscape and in doing so avoids disturbing all existing trees which will remain to enrich the beauty of the landscape. Through the very nature of its fingering structure, this house creates a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces with dynamic movement, form, and experience.


A variety of sustainable design strategies and technologies were incorporated into the project.  The building was configured to use the existing trees to help shade the home.  Besides the use of more common techniques such as highly porous crushed stone drives, high albedo roofing, deep overhangs, and highly drought tolerant grass and plantings, an abandoned drive located on the site was cut into modules and used for site pavers and retainage.  This material acted as a counter balance to the new forms and materials; grounding the structure into the history of the site.


Photo Shoot: Hillen Residence


... a few proofs from out latest photo shoot at the Hillen Residence.

Urban Commons: Low Impact...High Design


NIMMO has begun developing concepts for residences at Urban Commons....

From :

At some point, you choose. How you want to be. How you want to live. How you want each moment to unfold before it slips away.
What choices feed your bottom line? A commitment to live each possible moment out of doors? A desire to own a minimal, modern home that exists in harmony with our environment? A determination to spend time enjoying experiences and people instead of things?
We know. Welcome to Urban Commons.


Excerpt from Dallas News article NEW NORTHEAST DALLAS NEIGHBORHOOD:

And so it begins. Already people are embracing the affordable architect-designed homes with houses facing one of 10 pocket parks. It’s the dream of developer Diane Cheatham, to bring the essence of Urban Reserve to people who desire low investment property.

Read the article written by Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor for the Dallas News here


Blankenship Residence: Treading Lightly

Woven into a dense cluster of Live Oaks; NIMMO pulled this house off the ground to reduce the impact on the existing root system.  Connection to the outdoors was the highest priority for the home owners.  Privacy was maintained with an enclosed front courtyard.

Hocker Design Group worked closely with NIMMO to integrate the landscape and architecture

A sophisticated interior palette was created by William Nash Blankenship.  

Locally renowned general contractor Steve McCombs has begun construction... stay tuned.

Selecting A General Contractor?

by Kristin Walsh


As architects, we are often asked by clients to refer a contractor for their project. While we are happy to recommend contractors that we have had great experiences working with, it’s important for clients to engage in the process by taking the following actions:


ASK TO SEE THEIR WORK IN PERSON This does two things: it gives you a chance to view the quality of their work and just as important, it indicates that the contractor is on good terms with (at least) one of their clients. 


COMPARE PROPOSALS When comparing proposals and contracts, make sure you’re able to do so apples to apples. Compare the scope of work included in the base fee; some contractors prefer to offer a higher, all-inclusive fee while others offer a lower base fee with additional expenses. These are both legitimate business models for a typical contractor but it can make for a challenging comparison between the fee proposals. To help streamline the process, ask your contractors to use industry standard contracts such as those published by the American Institute of Architects and carefully review what is included in each part of the bid.


While it may seem like a great deal, always be wary of a low bid. Value and price comparison is important, but if one contractor comes in with a bid substantially below the others it often means that they are either cutting corners with quality or that they don’t fully understand the scope of the work and will come back later to ask for additional money. Have a detailed conversation with a low-bid contractor to fully understand how and where they plan to save money.


Diligence in reviewing the bids and contracts is important for the owner but working with a reputable, trustworthy contractor who takes the time to discuss the scope of work and your expectations for quality and timeline is far more important. Your contractor should be available to review their bid with you and clarify any questions you may have.


GET REFERENCES ...and actually make those calls to the prospective contractors' clients; don't just cross your fingers!  You are going to be spending a lot of time with your contractor. You don’t just want a great value, you also need to consider factors like their personality, their other project work load and commitments, and their communication skills.  When contacting references, ask questions like:  Was the contractor able to maintain your schedule?  Were they good stewards of your money? Were there any unexpected costs? How did you primarily communicate with your contractor; email, phone, text, meetings? Would you hire them to do your next project?



Building a home is an investment of time and money that can be stressful as well as rewarding. Putting together a team of professionals that work together to understand and achieve your goals is the first step to completing a project you are proud to call home. As your architects, we take your interests seriously and want to ensure you have the best home building experience possible. Take your time, ask questions, and let us know how we can best support you throughout the process.  

Rock Cliff Addition: A Quiet Approach

Given the challenge of adding to this significant home originally designed by Harwood K. Smith, founder of HKS, Inc., NIMMO choose to quietly tap into the corner of the existing structure with a light and airy extension.  While creating a subtle identity for the new, details such as the tapered rafters were inspired by the original.

Exposing the continuation of the roof rafters to the interior helped strengthen the outdoor connection to the interiors.

NIMMO Recieves 2016 AIA Honor for Design

The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects honors NIMMO with 2016 Unbuilt Design Award for Hillen Residence (scheduled to break ground June of 2016).

The Hillen Residence connects the family to their natural surroundings by weaving into the landscape and graciously opening toward expansive views of native Texan flora. A site specific project the form, both in plan and volume, is driven by natural connections stitching together with the facets of the family’s daily life. The jurors commended the project’s ability to manifest a complex plan and idea into a simple gesture that allows the homeowner to experience the architecture and natural surrounding from every vantage point.

More at...


Contributed By Michael Frieble From AIA Dallas

Dialogue. Ideas. Opportunities.

“As public discourse in Dallas becomes increasingly vital to understanding where we are as a city, and where we want to be, AIA Dallas seeks to enable continuing dialogue on important issues between the profession and the community. As part of our charge, the evolution of the Unbuilt Design Awards into an interactive event for the community continues the AIA Dallas mission to provoke new ideas by featuring the future from the architect’s perspective.”

One year ago we posted the statement above marking a transition in the Unbuilt Design Awards program. The outcome was exciting, to say the least, with a participation that was able to reach not only the chapter, but organizations and the community at large. This year we intend to further that dialogue through an evening of discussion and celebration of the ideas that continue to provoke design further throughout Dallas and beyond.

This year’s program will be held on April 28th at 816 Montgomery in the Cedars neighborhood located in south Dallas. Projects will be featured once again in a gallery format with a presentation by the jurors as well as the announcement of the winning entries. Press and People’s Choice will also be awarded at the end of the night.