PaperCity Magazine

January 2012 - Dallas

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Page 16 of 23

ammie Kleinmann and Henry David Thoreau would've been the best of friends. "I went to the woods," wrote the transcendentalist, in his seminal 1854 book, Walden: A Life in the Woods, "because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life." Kleinmann can relate. She's a wife, a mother and the co-founder of a full-service production company that represents directors of films and commercials. In other words, this is one high-energy, hard-working character. There's something else you should know about Kleinmann, right up front: She is utterly, positively addicted to houses. She has renovated and sold about 15 of them in nigh on 20 years — a do-the-math computation that makes the head spin. But that's where Thoreau comes in: He sought self-discovery and selfreliance — and some say, self-help — by spiriting into a cabin in the forest, to live among the whippoorwills, owls and cockerels; to grow beans; to slow down. Kleinmann? The same thing may be happening to her, sans the beans and the whippoorwills. As a shelter from it all, a girl could do worse. Her current house — shared with husband Brian Nadurak (an art director at The Richards Group), their teen daughter, teen son, four dogs, a bird and a fish — is a long, low composition by the late Texas architect O'Neil Ford, he of important buildings for Texas Instruments in Dallas and worldwide; the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville; many light-handed, region-sensitive residences; and, the building that put him on the international modernist map, the Little Chapel in the Woods on the Denton campus of the Texas Woman's University. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke at its dedication in 1939. But by 1958, Ford had penned another masterpiece back in Dallas, on a leafy acre near Forest Lane and Hillcrest Road. The Kleinmann-Nadurak house follows one of the most progressive tenets that sprang from modernist thinking: Present a solid, almost featureless façade to passersby, but gift the occupants with thrilling transparency out back. This house does that in spades. Duck through one of the plain front doors and a whole wooded world is served up, in CinemaScope. Ten-foot ceilings throughout, few interior walls and gobs of glass bring the lot's towering trees rushing in. Dappled light shimmers wherever you look. Scrutinize the vista closer and you notice a creek coursing by. It's idyllic, to be sure — architecture and Mother Nature becoming fast friends. (At this, O'Neil Ford excelled.) The house lies lightly on the land, and its materials are quiet, too: brown brick outside and in, wood mullions, terrazzo floors and slatted-wood ceilings, those stained a soft, pale gray. It's a restrained palette, befitting the restrained architecture. But how does a 2012 family adapt to such a delicate mid-century shelter in the woods? That was designer Alice Cottrell's charge. Kleinmann called on the one person she trusted "I 'KNOW' O'NEIL FORD, BECAUSE I LIVE IN ONE OF HIS HOUSES." — TAMMIE KLEINMANN Continued on page 19 JANUARY | PAGE 17 | 2012

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