Single-Family Residence | Houston, TX | 2012
Houston AIA Design Award 2014
A new home for a young couple starting a family, the Zaguán House has been designed to provide a comfortable indoor-outdoor relationship. The 3,000-square-foot home is configured around a large back yard space, to which the interior spaces enjoy direct connections and views.
The open-air covered entry passageway, or zaguán, allows the prevailing breeze to flow through and keep the outdoor space cool in the hot and humid Houston climate. By orienting the building on the West side of the lot, the back yard stays shaded from the afternoon sun.
The main interior family space, an open living-dining-kitchen, flows out onto a raised terrace overlooking the outdoor space. The back wall of the kitchen area, visible from the dining and living spaces, is constructed as a custom grid of wall panels that conceal the refrigerator, storage and pantry. To keep the shared space balanced, the kitchen island and back counter, with a flat induction cooktop and downdraft hood, are designed to appear as pieces of furniture placed in the room rather than traditional kitchen cabinets.
Carefully aligned windows allow for passive cooling through cross-ventilation. Lighting, shading and air-conditioning systems are integrated into a whole-house control system, configured for easy operation by homeowners and guests.
On the second floor, the glass-walled master bedroom serves as a bridge between the two building masses. In the bedroom, concealed built-in pockets contain automated sheer and blackout shades that lower for privacy. The study can convert into a bedroom and bathroom when needed – ultimately creating five bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Exterior materials are long-life and low-maintenance. A continuous airspace has been provided behind the fiber-cement siding and wall panels that passively ventilates heat and moisture away from the building. In addition to the creation of a comfortable outdoor environment, durability and adaptability are essential considerations for the life and use of the home.
• Architecture: Murphy Mears Architects + Wm. T. Cannady, FAIA
• Landscape Design: Carlisle Becker