This 4,300 square foot house is located within Houston’s Garden Oaks Subdivision, a centrally located neighborhood just north of the Loop 610 and east of Shepherd Drive. The neighborhood’s original housing stock consisted of small simple homes dating back to the 1940’s, which are rapidly being replaced with two-story spec homes of varying styles (Neo-Georgian, Spanish Colonial, Bad Modern), such that there is no longer a distinct flavor to the neighborhood.
In response to these changing conditions, we designed a contemporary home that references mid-century designs found in surrounding neighborhoods.
The 80’ x 240’ lot is unusually deep, responding to an outward curve in the street, jutting forward of both adjacent lots. The two-story massing is stepped back from the front of the house to align with other two-story homes on the block-face.
Acoustics played a major role in the building’s form. The U-shaped plan is designed to block noise within the pool courtyard from Shepherd Drive, a heavily trafficked street one block to the west, and the freeway two blocks to the south. The courtyard is on the north side of the house, providing views of the neighbor’s large oak trees, while using the two-story bedroom wing to shade the pool.
Introducing “moments of richness”, as evidenced by the entry trellis, dining room ceiling, interior brick core, and screened porch, enhance the home’s design within an overall modest construction budget.
Sustainable design is achieved by minimizing west fenestration, maximizing north windows, sealed construction, and high-efficiency air conditioning equipment.