In the late 1960s Dallas businessman Ben H. Carpenter began to transform his private ranch into the self-contained residential and business “city within a city” called Las Colinas. Wanting to reflect the untamed spirit of the state, Carpenter commissioned wildlife artist Robert Glen in 1976 to create a focal point for his urban plaza, Williams Square. Glen spent seven years perfecting the Mustangs of Las Colinas, a herd of bronze horses depicted as if running through an arroyo on a vast plain. The nine mustangs, at one and half times life-size, are among the largest equine sculptures in the world.
In close collaboration with his client and architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, James Reeves of SWA Group designed the 90,000-square-foot plaza. It is enclosed on three sides by high rise office buildings while capitalizing on discreet views of Lake Carolyn. The plaza is an abstraction of the region’s natural open range, employing a flat, level plane of pink granite devoid of site furnishings and trees except for live oaks on its perimeter. To animate the sculpture Reeves designed waterworks to spray and splash around the hooves of the horses, reminiscent of baroque aquatic sculpture. There is variation in the water flow and edge treatment along the stream’s 400-foot-long course, which is accessible via wide steps and crossed by trapezoidal granite slabs. The project is Postmodern in both its style and its strong collaboration between the landscape architect, architect and artist; it is an iconic focal point at Las Colinas.