Dunlap Codding Analysis

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Generally speaking, law offices are not really known for their hospitable atmosphere. Even from the offices I have visited, the workplace of lawyers always struck me as sterile and isolated from the world. Luckily, in downtown Oklahoma City, there is an exception to this stereotype in the form of Dunlap Codding. At Dunlap Codding, they have careful created a kind of community atmosphere that would generally be missing from law offices—and the community that they are promoting is not just between the lawyers and other workers themselves, but also between the law office and the rest of the art district. Through the design of this office—including the orientation of the offices and its use of open space—Dunlap Codding breaks free of the stereotypical…show more content…
Rather, the structure is on the level with the sidewalk. James Howard Kunstler discusses this briefly in his TED talk about the tragedy of the suburbs, stating that stairs eliminate the relationship between the business and the sidewalk (10:30 – 10:40). Rather than elevating itself above the pedestrians, Dunlap Codding remains approachable by keeping itself on their level. This creates what Kunstler states is an “active and permeable membrane,” which is increasingly important whenever they have events at the office (5:20 – 5:35). During their community events—such as Film Row’s past collaborative series, “Premiere on Film Row”—the shops and other buildings on the row tended to keep their doors open and, in a sense, blurred their boundaries with one another. The food trucks on the street, the open doors, and the lack of any barrier between the building and the sidewalk created a kind of community atmosphere. This was particularly applicable to Dunlap Codding’s patio, which can be opened to the sidewalk, as well as their dining area, which has a repurposed garage door that can be raised to give people on the patio (and by extension for these events, the street) access to their dining…show more content…
Through its architectural decisions and use of décor, it does not separate or attempt to distance itself from its surroundings as many law offices might. Instead, it flourishes and thrives by integrating itself with the community, first in terms of physical integration with the structure, but more importantly, emotional integration through the structure—using it as a tool or medium for its community events. It shows this through its block parties. It shows this through its after-school programs. It shows this through its engagement with helping the homeless. At its core, Dunlap Codding is a building that promotes engagement and encourages community. And judging from how often the building is used by those even outside of the firm, it is safe to say that they have created an environment that people truly want to be a part

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