A Tale of Texas Contemporary™, the Style of LEVY DYKEMA

A Tale of Texas Contemporary™

LEVY DYKEMA, the firm behind Texas Contemporary™, discusses its trademarked style.

A photo of the Frio Residence by Levy Dykema

The LEVY DYKEMA Frio Residence | Photo provided by LEVY DYKEMA

The Lone Star State is ever-growing and evolving. With growth comes opportunity, as many areas of our beloved state provide an open canvas for architects and designers. In the dynamic world of architectural design, Corpus Christi- and Austin-based firm LEVY DYKEMA is dedicated to innovation, vision and a shared commitment to serving clients and the built environment.

 At the helm of LEVY DYKEMA are architects and visionaries Stephen V. Levy, Bibiana B. (Biby) Dykema and John R. Dykema, Jr. This trio, with a collective history of crafting distinct architectural designs across the country, leads an award-winning team of architects, interior designers and more. The creative minds at LEVY DYKEMA reshape businesses and communities while championing an architectural approach so distinct that they have trademarked it: As Levy said, “We looked back at our design approaches and distinctive solutions and called it Texas Contemporary™ architecture.” This style, unique to LEVY DYKEMA, responds to the regional and geographical ties of Texas, symbolized by the “Six Flags over Texas.” Biby Dykema clarified that the term “contemporary” is not a style, but an acknowledgment.

The word ‘contemporary’ is open; it does not mean modern. Rather, it means to be in the present and reflecting on the current state of technology and context,” she emphasized.

A photo of the Frio Residence by Levy Dykema
The LEVY DYKEMA Frio Residence, recipient of the People’s Choice Award , American Institute of Architects – Corpus Christi Design Awards Program | Photo provided by LEVY DYKEMA

The commitment to Texas Contemporary™ also helps guide the firm’s approach to the local context. Sourcing materials locally, designing site-specific elements and orienting projects based on natural elements contribute to the distinctiveness of each project. Sustainable practices, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and WELL building standards, smart HVAC, solar panels and water harvesting underscore the firm’s dedication to environmental consciousness. 

As Levy noted, “If you are a good architect, you are designing with the environment,” emphasizing the importance of proper project site design, which addresses topography, vegetation, breezes and sun orientation.

The Texas Contemporary™ approach begins with the site and then addresses context and vernacular opportunities. This approach requires attention to detail and sensitivity to both the needs of the client and implementing the skilled expertise best suited for a successful project. The team at LEVY DYKEMA takes pride in the hands-on approach of including client participation in the project, so every need and desire is met with the highest level of coordination. This level of collaboration also provides an opportunity to communicate why certain materials or decisions were made throughout the design and construction process. While fiscal stewardship is important, the longevity of sustainable material, resulting in less maintenance, repairs or replacements, is critical to the firm’s approach.

An example of the signature style can be found in a private weekend retreat nestled behind the dunes in Port Aransas. “The swimming pool is located between the main house and the pool house, and is an entertainment and gathering spot,” the LEVY DYKEMA team noted. “The building materials are resistant to the salty climate and complement the traditional coastal architecture.”

 The goal of achieving client satisfaction extends from planning to the finished product and beyond––not only from the date of completion but decades from now. Clients and the community have embraced the LEVY DYKEMA Texas Contemporary™ approach, as projects are celebrated for their architectural qualities and thoughtful integration with natural surroundings, creating a harmonious blend of design and environment.

A project named Frio Residence, which took home the 2022 American Institute of Architects – Corpus Christi Design Awards Program Peoples Choice Award, displays this approach. The award-winning structure seamlessly incorporates the Texas Contemporary™ style by taking into consideration the owner’s desire for comfort and taking advantage of the unique setting and topography. 

“The Frio Residence is designed to fit the lifestyle of its owners, who desired a Texas Hill Country home … a well-designed residence in a setting that was unique and different. The idea was to create a place where they could entertain friends and family while enjoying the spectacular views from the hilltop location,” according to the team. 

In the world of design, LEVY DYKEMA goes beyond the expected. As its branded Texas Contemporary™ approach continues to make its mark throughout the region and country, LEVY DYKEMA continues to build a proud legacy.