Single-Family Residence | Houston, TX | 2015
The joining of two lots in one of Houston’s most historic neighborhoods presents an opportunity to rethink open space. Rather than locating front and back yards on opposite sides of the house, which places much of the North yard in shadow, first and second floor rooms are instead arranged around the perimeter of the property to clear a large central sunlit space for pool, terrace and landscaping. More than offering vistas to trees, greater open space provides flexibility, and more daylight. The extra width at the street allows for more distance between guests arriving at the front door and the owners’ gated entrance to the three-car garage. Including the gravel drive in the open space makes it possible to consider it part of the garden, able to be screened to maximize the impact of separating the drive from the house. The house is linked to the garage and quarters by a covered Family Room porch that overlooks the pool.
The path to the front door leads through an elevated garden. Setting the front of the house back from the street behind the garden creates a sense of procession while also facilitating a direct connection to the pool. The room closest to the Entry, the one story Study with a vaulted beamed ceiling has daylight entering from a pool facing window, windows looking to the street and French doors that lead to the gravel Terrace.
The exterior walls are stucco over steel-reinforced load-bearing aerated concrete block (AAC). First floor steel doors are Hope’s. Second floor windows are metal-clad wood. The roof is slate. Interior light fixtures include custom made pendants designed by the owner and interior designer, fabricated from blades taken from a farmer’s plow in Fredericksburg. We anticipate that as trees and garden around the pool mature, the light will become increasingly filtered and the environment even more inviting.