Cole Smith, FAIA, ASID, CSI – President and Principal Architect

Cole Smith's life and work have been inseparable. Dedicated to preserving and promoting craftsmanship, he has mastered many crafts and found patrons to underwrite the work of others. A lover of history, he has woven it into his architecture. Compelled to infuse design into everything he does, his philanthropies, hobbies, and pleasures involve creating unique and beautifully crafted structures and objects, or preserving existing ones.

His belief in the imperative of preserving architectural history has inspired an abundance of restorative work. One example is the restoration of the Lyles home; one of the oldest homes in Garland, Texas, which later became the centerpiece of the Garland Landmark Museum and earned Smith the appreciation of Mayor Ruth Nicholson and the Garland City Council.

Smith has designed hundreds of homes and other structures throughout the United States and abroad and is widely esteemed within the dual worlds of high art and high craft. He established Smith Ekblad & Associates in Dallas, Texas in 1959, with a commitment to the design of lasting structures of exceptional quality. While the firm does contemporary work, period residential and commercial structures are of the greatest interest. The signature of a Smith Ekblad building is in the elegance apparent from the foundation and structure through to the final finished details.

Smith and his work have been featured in many publications, including Southern Accents, W magazine, Interiors magazine, and Dallas Home Design. Most recently his contributions to the design of Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, have been noted by the Dallas Morning News and in the book Cowboys Stadium: Architecture, Art, and Entertainment in the Twenty-first Century (Rizzoli). Awards include several First Place ASID national and regional awards, a Craftsmanship Award, President's Certificate, and President's Gavel, all from the Dallas chapter of CSI, and a Citation of Honor from the Dallas chapter of AIA. Smith was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1993.

With over sixty years in his chosen field, Smith shows no signs of slowing down. He is a member and active participant in the Design Leadership Summit and Leaders of Design, both highly regarded and exclusive organizations aimed at continuing education for design firm principals. In addition, he is a patron of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Opera. His interests in classical and modern architecture, alternative energy sources (including experiments in solar and wind energy), and the environment continue to inspire him.