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|'Joshua Nimmo, Tapping into the American Spirit'
by Christina Gaona
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.”
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.
Current project on the boards:
Concept is connecting two wings of the house (west wing is master suite and
east wing is family area) with a transparent link that houses the formal spaces of
the residence (formal living and dining). This link visually connects the front yard
to the back.