Top Design

This Russell Buchanan-designed house is among those available in the Urban Reserve. We can barely afford the model pictured above, much less the finished product.

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, at least the copies circulated in the DFW, there's an ad for Urban Reserve, the collection of "modernist residential architecture" going up just east of North Central Expressway, between Royal and Forest lanes along the White Rock Creek Trail. We've heard stories about this wonderland of forward-looking-backward-glancing homes with just the right amount of green (they're enviro-friendly, so we're told), but have seen little of the collection of homes till we saw the ad and visited the Web site. (Oddly enough, the day before we saw the ad, a good Friend of Unfair Park said he'd been through the hood and saw a few homes, like this one, already under construction.)

In short, all the houses built in the Urban Reserve will be constructed on a single street called, of course, Vanguard Way. And all will be designed by architects you get to choose from the list available on the site, among them: Bernbaum Magadini Architects, Bodron+Fruit and Robert L. Meckfessel at dsgn associates on Main Street. At the moment, there are a few houses available -- including the $700,000 Cube House and a $1.2 million Chris-Craft House -- but the idea is you'd snatch up a piece of property and get an architect to build a house for you, which, of course, ain't cheap.

Still, we're now obsessed with these houses -- well, these and the Case Study Homes about which I wrote a couple of weeks back. If Dallas isn't going to preserve its precious past in the city's center (see below), the least it can do is build a good-looking, eco-friendly future in the outlying areas. --Robert Wilonsky