Office & warehouse for a Houston-based plumbing service company
(Under construction, 2018)
Bunker Hill Residence (In progress)
Set on a wide pie-shaped parcel, this 6000 square foot home was designed to maximize usable outdoor spaces, to emphasize the connection to those spaces, and to highlight the two amazing Live Oaks on the property. In short, this building’s raison d’être is to facilitate outdoor living. The building’s footprint was derived from the curving front setback line and from the client’s brief to create as large of a rear yard as possible. (The kink at the garage and the curved wall at the right side of the building are the direct result of the setback line.) The side facing front door opens on to an overly generous entry hall that serves as overflow gathering space during large events. The rear of the house has continuous covered porches on both the first and second floors that most spaces open on to.
Photos by Jack Thompson & Christopher Robertson (Interior images withheld at owner’s request.)
A fairly simple house, the 2 Courtyard House has two distinctive features. One is the 35′ cantilever of the 2nd floor. The other is the atypical site plan with its dual courtyards in place of the traditional suburban backyard. Both of these features are a direct result of 3 fairly prosaic goals: the client’s desire for privacy, an efficient use of the pie-shaped lot, and a facade that isn’t dominated by a garage door. Layered over these was our inclination to create a highly choreographed and beautiful entry experience. The building itself consists of 2 rectangular volumes that are connected by a glazed hallway. The public spaces are all contained in in the single story eastern volume, while the 2 story western volume houses the private portions of the program. The controlled and somewhat somber palette of white, gray, and black tones was very carefully managed and lends the project a calm and quiet demeanor. (It is worth noting that it was developed from the colors of their cat!) To enter the house one goes through the gate that is under the large expanse of the cantilevered 2nd floor and then passes through the first courtyard that is just behind the front concrete wall. The actual entry door is in the hallway that connects the volumes and divides the courtyards. Once inside, one passes along the second courtyard before stepping into the large volume of the living space.
Photos by J.R. Woody Photography & Jack Thompson
_Designed in partnership with Mary Jones.
Our proposal is a layered approach, beginning with a simple red drum-shaped hall. This hall has an uninterrupted circular plan and will easily accommodate a multitude of activities, from weddings, to classes, to board meetings. We have placed the auxiliary storage, restroom, and prep functions outside of this pure volume, so as to not interfere with the form’s simple beauty. A large skylight will bring in ample daylight and exposed wood structure will add a tactile quality. A large glass wall will seamlessly connect the interior space with the Commons of the Homestead Garden and allow views to the Boxwood House beyond. The feeling will be at once both expansive and warm.
A generous stair winds around the drum, connecting the inner drum to an outer skin. This exterior stair would have a large landing at the halfway point with an operable glass wall that would give the users a view of activities within the drum. From there the stair would ascend to the Lookout where one would be greeted with a panoramic view of the lake, the garden, and downtown.
The conditioned drum is wrapped in an exterior planted skin, becoming an experimental vertical garden. Its structure would be a steel and mesh framework on which vines would be encouraged to grow. It would have a level of transparency, created by natural vine growth and deliberate architectural punctures, that would allow glimpses of the red drum within. Different types of flowering vines would be allowed to take over its surface thus providing an ever- changing facade.
The Planted Barn completely accommodates the programmatic goals of the building and takes full advantage of the site on which it is “planted”.