journal

M Dallas Article | 2010.07.21

'Joshua Nimmo, Tapping into the American Spirit'

by Christina Gaona

http://www.moderndallas.net/joshuanimmo.html

The name of Joshua Nimmo’s studio, Nimmo American Studio for Progressive Architecture, provides valuable insight into the Dallas architect’s respect for the American spirit and its undeniable influence on his design work. Nimmo’s distinctly American creative process, one fueled by past notions of carpe diem and manifest destiny, values the process of problem solving, innovation, and the freedom to explore and progress. He consistently seeks to represent his work through “the positive values of what it means to be an American” – values that one can easily lose sight of.

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The name of Joshua Nimmo’s studio, Nimmo American Studio for Progressive Architecture, provides valuable insight into the Dallas architect’s respect for the American spirit and its undeniable influence on his design work. Nimmo’s distinctly American creative process, one fueled by past notions of carpe diem and manifest destiny, values the process of problem solving, innovation, and the freedom to explore and progress. He consistently seeks to represent his work through “the positive values of what it means to be an American” – values that one can easily lose sight of.

Nimmo’s co-founding role in the design syndicate Bloc and his role in Workhaus emphasize the value of social interaction, cultural creativity, and the coming together of similarly-minded people. Whether pursuing a common purpose or without specific agenda, the philosophies behind both Bloc and Workhaus greatly influenced Nimmo’s desire to distinguish himself as a modern architect. For Nimmo, the birth of Nimmo American was a means of representing his entire value system. “The way I practice parallels my personal values,” says Nimmo about his lifelong quest to find himself through architecture. His minimalist approach to design is a product of profound philosophical deliberation and reflects a sincere appreciation for raw, basic materials and architectural honesty.

For Nimmo, modern architecture is about, “authenticity and trying to develop something that is more than just an object to be viewed. It’s about creating something that happens over time and something that you experience over time. It’s about spaces and about a dynamic system that is constantly interacting with the people that are in a building.” Recognizing the impact of design forces like sustainability, function, and space are key to the sense of balance that each of Nimmo’s designs carries. To experience a design, Nimmo emphasizes the importance of interaction between people and a space. This is what completes the dynamic system.

“My favorite client wants a modern design for similar reasons for me wanting to be a modern architect. It is not because they want to portray themselves a certain way – it is a client who is really interested in discovering deeper layers of meaning in modern architecture. Clients that are searching for something new, progressive, something that solves a problem in a better way; those are my favorite clients.”

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“My favorite client wants a modern design for similar reasons for me wanting to be a modern architect. It is not because they want to portray themselves a certain way – it is a client who is really interested in discovering deeper layers of meaning in modern architecture. Clients that are searching for something new, progressive, something that solves a problem in a better way; those are my favorite clients.”

Nimmo’s most recently completed project, the Rusk Residences, was commissioned for and developed as one of Alan Kagan’s Dwellings series of modern homes in Dallas. Nimmo and Kagan’s collaboration on this project was inspired by a growing popular interest in modern architecture and a need for an affordable modern home market. The two men believed that, “if anything was going to sell, it would be something that was affordable and had value.” The two Rusk residences feature open areas and clean, simple lines and are listed at just under 300K. Nimmo’s ambitions for the Rusk residences reflect the flexible nature of modern design.

“Modern architecture is different from other types of architecture because throughout time you can define different types of architecture through style. Modern architecture is almost an anti-style. It tries not to have rules because rules inhibit its final potential – it needs to shed those parameters to open up possibilities for the final solution.”

Joshua Nimmo began practicing architecture professionally in 1997. Before the birth of Nimmo American Studio for Progressive Architecture, he worked directly with architect Lionel Morrison at morrisonseifertmurphy (MSM) and contributed to several important projects in Dallas including, the W Dallas Residences and the One Arts Plaza Residences. Nimmo is a LEED accredited professional and has gained popularity for his continuing efforts to push architectural boundaries. He is currently working on three projects – two remote studio/residences and one single-family residence. Construction on these projects will begin later this year.

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