Single-Family Residence | Houston, TX | 2012
LEED Gold Certified | Houston AIA Design Award 2013
Apart from its simplicity, strict street-front symmetry, and grove of trees filling the space typically occupied by front yards, this compact 3,000-square-foot house might go unnoticed in its affluent Houston neighborhood where historic styles prevail. The tripartite arrangement of glass doors and windows finds a counterpoint in the entrance, essentially a glass pavilion, placed to one side, approached via a path of re-purposed marble slabs positioned to save two large pine trees.
The homeowners decided to build when nearing their retirement, and therefore wanted a wheelchair-accessible, efficient and flexible house that could adapt to their needs over time. The kitchen works as a family meeting place, providing direct access to outdoor sitting areas and a garden. Two separate studies function as fourth and fifth bedrooms for visiting grandchildren.
The existing house on site was carefully dismantled. Oak flooring was salvaged and reinstalled in the new house. Remaining building material was donated to Habitat for Humanity.
First floor living spaces, both interior and exterior, pivot around the kitchen, with circulation and views crossing through this centrally located room. Within the house, doors and windows are placed on opposite sides of rooms to extend vistas. The large transom window above the front door is aligned with an identical one behind it, allowing for views through the entry to trees and sky beyond.
Generous use of natural light, a feeling of openness, and attention to detail were noted when the house was recognized with an American Institute of Architects Design Award in 2013. The house received a LEED Gold Rating for its environmentally sustainable approach to design and construction.