Architecture Spotlight: Winspear Opera House

Winspear Opera House

Here at Garcia + Hubach Real Estate, we truly appreciate the beauty of architecture and love sharing some amazing creations from around Dallas and the state of Texas. 

Dallas is filled to the brim with innovation. Architecture isn’t simply about constructing buildings, it is also an art form that can lead to some stunning creations! 

The Winspear Opera House

The Winspear Opera House was designed by Foster + Partners under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster and Deputy Chairman Spencer de Grey. Renowned for its outstanding acoustics, intimate 2200-seat performance hall and iconic architecture, it is one of the nation’s premier performing art venues.” –

What makes it special?

“A sun canopy that surrounds the Winspear Opera House extends the building’s footprint into Sammons Park, designed by landscape architect Michel Desvigne. Winspear’s shading grid of metal louvers also gives linear geometric form to the off-center, elliptical auditorium area within the irregular hexagon structure — very high-tech modernism.

Winspear Opera and the nearby Wyly Theater are the major venues of the AT&T Performing Arts Center that opened in 2009. Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff thought that the Winspear design didn’t “match the innovation of the Wyly,” but he appreciated the thoughtful design. “Conceived as a classic horseshoe design packed inside a faceted glass case, it is an old-fashioned statement about architecture as public art, in the spirit of 19th-century Paris.”

Margot and Bill Winspear donated $42 million for the City of Dallas to hire Sir Norman Foster and Spencer de Grey to design the venue. The Margaret McDermott Performance Hall and the much smaller Nancy B. Hamon Recital Hall come off the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby, showing that it takes a village of donors to make art and architecture in Dallas.” – Jackie Craven for

More About Norman Foster

Norman Foster (born 1935 in England) is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect who is famous for futuristic design ideas that incorporate social ideas and technological shapes. You may have heard of one… Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California! He has also been knighted and granted the rank of baron by the Queen, but he has come a long way since he first enrolled in college at 21 to study bookkeeping and commercial law.

After winning several scholarships at Manchester University, he was offered an opportunity to attend Yale University in the US, where he eventually earned a Master’s Degree. It wasn’t until he completed schooling that he co-founded the would-be-successful “Team 4” architectural firm in 1963, and eventually his own firm in 1967 called Foster Associates. This would be where he became known for his high tech, modern design style.

More About the Winspear Opera House, from

“Quite justifiably, it has come to be recognized as America’s finest opera house,” wrote critic John Allison of Opera (U.K.) magazine.

The entrance features the Annette and Harold Simmons Signature Glass Facade, which ascends 60 feet creating a seamless visual appearance between the vibrant interior red glass panels and the surrounding Sammons Park. Radiating from all sides, the slatted Sky Canopy provides shade to the Prothro Lobby over three acres of Sammons Park, defining outdoor spaces for visitors to gather.

The principal performance space, Margaret McDermott Performance Hall, features gold leaf-covered balconies, retractable screens, a spacious fly-tower, a three-square stage with generous side and rear stage areas allowing for opera to be more easily performed in repertoire. The modern Moody Foundation Chandelier showcases more than 300 LED rods that retract into the ceiling prior to performances. This ascension is accompanied by music specially commissioned by composer Philip Glass.

Also inside the Winspear Opera House is Nancy B. Hamon Hall, an intimate 200-seat performance space that beautifully hosts a variety of programming; and the PNC Members Lounge, exclusively for patrons at specific membership levels.

The opera house is named for the late Margot and Bill Winspear, who in their lifetimes were devoted supporters of the opera art form and The Dallas Opera. Their generous gift helped enable the construction of the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

📸: Winspear Opera House, 2009, Architect Norman Foster. The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division


At Garcia Hubach, we love to explore the Dallas area with you. Please contact us for all your Dallas Real Estate needs. 

Compare listings