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Cinco Camp in Brewster County, TX, by Rhotenberry Wellen Architects. Mark Wellen will give the Fourth Annual Frank Welch Memorial Lecture for The Dallas Architecture Forum. Courtesy of the Architect.

The Dallas Architecture Forum

 Presents the Fourth Annual Frank Welch Memorial Lecture

By Mark Wellen

 Wednesday, 16 June 2021

At the Moody Performance Hall


The Dallas Architecture Forum is pleased to announce the fourth annual Frank Welch Memorial Lecture which is presented each season as a part of The Forum’s Lecture Series, as an ongoing tribute to honor the life and career of Architect Frank Welch, FAIA, the Dean of Texas Modernist Architecture. Mark Wellen, Co-Founder of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland, Texas, will deliver the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm in the Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201.

This is a Members Only Event.

To join The Dallas Architecture Forum, go to

All Seats Must Be Reserved in Advance.

Members Reserve Your Seats by Emailing

Requests Will be Processed in the Order Received. 

Confirmed Attendees will Receive an Email from The Forum.

If your firm is a Corporate Member or Sponsor of the Forum, please make your request through your firm's Corporate Contact - Thank you!

1 CES AIA Credit is Available - Register in the Moody Lobby.

Mark Wellen FAIA is co-founder and principal of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland, Texas. Wellen began his career in Frank Welch’s studio, and is an especially appropriate choice to present this season’s Frank Welch Memorial Lecture. Drawing inspiration from the vast, inimitable landscape and the traditions of Texas’ modernist regionalist architects of previous generations, he has become a champion of the highest standards of the built environment, through both design and leadership. His work is both intuitive and instinctive, drawing on the unrelenting characteristics of the region – its big sky, long horizon, intense light and climatic extremes to reveal moments of richness that elevate the human experience. Wellen’s body of work includes varied building types and project sizes from ranch shelters to residences, museums and downtown office towers. His work has received numerous national, regional and local design awards, including AIA National, Residential Architect, TSA and AIA West Texas. His award winning projects include Cinco Camp, Sombreada Hasta, the Burns Residence and Ranch Shelter.  

A long-time champion and advocate for design excellence, Wellen is the co-creator of the highly successful Texas Architects Design Conference.  Wellen has also served on numerous design juries, lectured and contributed to professional committees, including the Texas Architects Design Awards.  He is a founding member of the Texas Tech School of Architecture Visiting Critic’s Studio and the former chair and long-time member of the TSA’s Publications Committee, where he has influenced Texas Architect to bring the best design in the region to a national audience. Among his many honors are the Texas Tech College of Architecture Tau Sigma Delta Silver Medal and its Distinguished Alumnus award. 

Wellen will be joined by Max Levy, FAIA and Mark Gunderson, AIA in conversation about Frank Welch at the conclusion of his presentation.

See Additional Media Coverage:

New York Times

Texas Architect Magazine

“The Dallas Architecture Forum is pleased to continue the legacy of Frank Welch who created the highest levels of careful and thoughtful design in harmony with its site surroundings, by presenting Mark Wellen for this season’s Frank Welch Memorial Lecture,” stated Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly. “Mark started his career in Frank’s studio, so he is an especially appropriate speaker for this year’s lecture. Mark Wellen is deeply committed to creating designs that are harmonious with and enrich their environment and ‘uncover the inherent spirit of place and personality’ of the project site. Careful attention to detail and close collaboration with clients and everyone involved in a project has enabled Rhotenberry Wellen to create many unique, award-winning projects. Mark Wellen will inspire us with his presentation.”  

Season Sponsors for the Dallas Architecture Forum’s 2020-2021Season are Maharger Development | Reggie Graham, and SMINK, Inc. Series Sponsors are ALA, Bentley Tibbs Architect, Bodron/Fruit, DLR Group | Staffelbach, Eggersmann Kitchens, Faisal Halum Group, HKS, Kafka Properties LLC Moderndallas, O’Brien Architects, Perennials & Sutherland, and Scott+Cooner. Lecture Sponsors are Billingsley Company, Emily Summers Design Associates, Gioia-Goyer Group, Sebastian Construction, studioOutside, and Whiting-Turner.  Reception Sponsors Elegant Additions, New Era Companies, Thornton Tomasetti and WDG Architecture.





16 June 2021

Wednesday, 7:00 pm

Members Only Event with Confirmed Reservation
Moody Performance Hall

Rhotenberry Wellen Architects (RWA) was founded in 1988 when James R. Rhotenberry, Jr., AIA, and Mark T. Wellen, AIA, merged their practices. The principals have a combined total of over 50 years of experience designing and managing a broad range of institutional, commercial and residential projects ranging in cost from less than $100,000 to over $20,000,000. Projects have been built in Texas, New Mexico, California, Colorado, and Maine.

RWA maintains a strong commitment to a highly personalized form of practice which allows the principals to remain directly involved with projects from inception to completion. Consequently, the firm has remained small, allowing its principals to provide a hands-on style of project management which consistently results in quality projects and satisfied clients. RWA’s commitment to a philosophy of high quality design has garnered them numerous design awards and extensive coverage in local, state and national publications.

The Forum is honored to have Mark Wellen distinguished architect and academic thought leader, present this year's Frank Welch Memorial Lecture.

About the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture

The Dallas Architecture Forum has established the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture to honor the legacy of Frank Welch, both as the Dean of Texas Modernist architects, and as the wonderful friend that Frank was to The Forum. Frank Welch was a long-time friend and member of The Dallas Architecture Forum, and we were fortunate to have events at many of the residences that he designed. The highlight of each event was when Frank would give brief remarks about the project to the attendees. He was always gracious, insightful, and humble, and his presence made the event memorable for all who were there.

Frank Welch’s legacy will continue through his work, including his revered project, The Birthday, which inspired the design aesthetic of a new generation of Texas design professionals. The architects that Frank Welch mentored and the lives he touched are lasting tributes to his vision and humanity. 

Frank Welch’s family has designated The Dallas Architecture Forum as one of the non-profit organizations to which memorial donations in his honor can be made. Your tax-deductible donations will be used to continue to fund the annual Frank Welch Memorial Lecture. For more information and to donate to the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture fund, click Here


The Dallas Architecture Forum educates, enriches and connects our community by presenting programs and events, creating experiences, and engaging global and local thought-leaders from the design fields to enhance how we live.

As a not-for-profit organization for design enthusiasts founded over two decades ago, The Forum explores ideas related to how and why design matters in our daily lives through dynamic programming centered on current topics and trends in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, urban planning, engineering, construction, and other related fields of art and design.  Our collaborative programming and community outreach are enriched by the active involvement and leadership of businesses, arts and cultural organizations, government and academic institutions at regional, national and international levels.


The Forum Lecture Series features emerging voices as well as established leaders from the allied fields of architecture and design.  Pritzker Prize, Pulitzer Prize, AIA and ASLA Gold Medal winners as well as internationally acclaimed designs, authors and critics are among the over 210 speakers from over 20 countries who have presented at The Forum over the last two decades. Some of those Lecture Speakers include Diller / Scofidio / Renfro, Kazuyo Sejima, Tsien / Williams, Deborah Berke, Annabelle Selldorf, Lake / Flato, Craig Dykers / Snohetta, Jeanne Gang, Marlon Blackwell, Kai-Uwe Bergmann / BIG, Rick Joy, Juhani Pallasmaa, Tom Phifer, Leo Marmol, Lee Mindel, Laurie Olin, Tsao/McKown, Thomas Woltz, Brad Cloepfil, Gordon Gill, Alex Krieger, Tom Kundig, Enrique Norten, Daniel Libeskind, Eric Owen Moss, Michael Van Valkenburgh, James Burnett, Brian Mackay-Lyons, Jamie Carpenter, Wang Shu, James Corner, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Rafael Vinoly, Reed/Hilderbrand, Segiru Ban, Peter Bohlin, Thom Mayne, Michael Graves, Jorge Silvetti, and Peter Eisenman.  

In 2018, The Forum established the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture to honor Frank Welch, the Dean of Texas Modernist architects and great friend of The Forum.  Past presenters include Ted Flato, Co-Founder of Lake | Flato Architects and Rick Joy, Founder and Principal, Studio Rick Joy. 


The Forum organizes and presents an annual series of interactive, educational, and informal panel discussions about topics and issues of local and regional interest.  The panels are moderated by community leaders and design professionals, and feature panelists recognized as experts in their fields.  In addition, The Forum highlights regional design talent focusing on both their design inspirations and award-winning projects.  Panels are presented as a service to the community at no charge. 


The Dallas Design Symposium brings thought leaders from architecture, art and design together to explore the intersection of these fields for thoughtful and critical conversation.  Past participants have included:  environmental artist Christo, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, Aaron Betsky, Leo Marmol, Tom Kundig, Brad Oldham, Johnston Marklee, Terrence Riley, Karim Rashid, artists Walead Beshty and Jorge Pardo, and the Directors of the Chinati Foundation and MASS MoCA.


The Design Society is a satellite established to enhance and expand The Forum’s relationships with a broader audience and new constituencies. This group is led by visionary and emerging leaders in the design professions and offers additional programs, outreach and engagement primarily designed for a younger audience. Activities include: casual gatherings after Forum events, Pecha Kuchas, design-related community projects, informal design tours and Happy Hours.  Design Society events are detailed on their Facebook page.


“365 Modern Living” is a series of receptions hosted by The Forum focused around living with great design every day of the year. “365 Modern Living” features some of Dallas’ most architecturally significant modern and contemporary residences and explore the ideas surrounding design, inspiration, and innovation.  Attendees have the opportunity to converse with the homes’ design teams of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects as well as owners. Experiencing architecture and design first-hand is vital to fulfilling the Forum’s mission. The Forum hosts its Annual Members’ Meeting and other special events at significant buildings in Dallas. Study Tours have been conducted to Spain, Switzerland, Finland, and Mexico City. Forum Study Groups have visited mid-century modern residences in Palm Springs in association with the University of Texas at Austin, and toured art and architecture in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Nasher Sculpture Center.


Dallas Modern is a monograph published by The Forum featuring twenty of the most architecturally outstanding modern and contemporary residences in Dallas.  With over 200 pages and 250 color photographs as well as insightful essays written by Maxwell Anderson, Mark Gundersen and Jeremy Strick, the book advances The Forum’s mission to explore how design matters in daily life. The Forum also produced a limited-edition folio featuring important Dallas-Fort Worth cultural buildings designed by some of the most influential architects from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. The Forum commissioned esteemed photographer Laura Wilson to take original images for this folio celebrating these civic treasures in North Texas. The Forum plans to produce future publications about the significant architecture of the North Texas region.


Since its founding, The Forum has fostered vibrant partnerships with over fifty regional, national and international educational, civic and cultural organizations. These collaborations produce meaningful discussions that connect the community to the importance of design in modern life.  Among our collaborators is the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Recent collaborations between CAPPA and The Forum explored issues and topics related to architecture and urban planning, including Texas Regional Architecture and Affordable Housing in cooperation with bcWorkshop (Building Community Workshop).

The Forum also works closely with Preservation Dallas, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects and its affiliated Architecture and Design Exchange. Other cultural, education and civic partners include:  Dallas City Design Studio, DoCoMoMo North Texas, Meadows School and Museum at SMU, The MAC, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Contemporary, and the Kimbell Art Museum. The Forum also collaborates with other national organizations focused on stimulating discourse on architecture, design and urbanism.  Among the groups with whom The Forum has cooperated are:  Aga Kahn Foundation, Auburn University’s Rural Studio, Architectural League of New York City, Harvard Graduate School of Design, National Building Museum, Rice Design Alliance, Texas Tech University andthe University of Texas at Austin.

The Forum’s successful collaborative initiatives and leadership have been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including an AIA Dallas Community Honor Award, a Citation of Honor from the Texas Society of Architects, and a Collaborative Achievement Award from the national offices of the American Institute of Architects. The Forum is a founding member of the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO), an international organization dedicated to enhancing public dialogue about architecture and design. The Forum’s Executive Director serves on the Board of Directors of the AAO.

For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, visit For questions about The Forum, call 214-864-3295.

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