This site is in a traditional single-family neighborhood with large mature trees in front and a busy thoroughfare in the rear. These opportunities and limitations became the genesis of the design of the house.
The plan of the house is a U-shape that turns its back toward the noisy thoroughfare and opens to a courtyard that is shaded by the existing canopy of trees. The mass of the house shields and protects the courtyard from traffic noise beyond. The courtyard is the soul of the house with most of the rooms on the ground level opening directly onto it.
The act of discovery is deliberately orchestrated beginning with a broken pathway leading past a tall, sentinel-like stucco wall to the front gate of teak set into translucent glass sidelights.
Beyond the gate one traverses a covered walkway enjoying views of the courtyard and the spaces that surround it en-route to the front door. Upon entering, a gallery is revealed that opens to a display of outdoor sculpture and thus punctuates the entry sequence. Finally from the main living space adjacent to the entry gallery an axial perspective of the courtyard is revealed and the entire concept becomes apparent.
By virtue of the large sliding doors from the living room and sliding pocket doors from the master suite and cabana, the indoor and outdoor spaces become one. The flexibility of this arrangement makes the home perfectly suited to daily living as well as large scale entertaining by the owners.
This is the only modern home in this neighborhood and probably the largest. I chose the dark, gray-green color in order to make the house blend into the existing canopy and to visually diminish its size. This house, in my more typical white rendition, would have overpowered the neighborhood. As completed, the house is a good neighbor, blending as planned with the trees and looking wonderful against the bright blue Texas sky.
Project: Berkshire Residence
Architecture Firm: Morrison Seifert Murphy
Architect: Lionel Morrison, FAIA
Location: Dallas, Texas
Floor Area: 5500 sq. ft.
Architects Web site: http://www.msmgroup.com/
Featured Projects from Morrison Seifert Murphy:
Vanguard Way in Dallas
This was the first house completed in new Dallas neighborhood
devoted entirely to Modernism. As our clients were the first they were
able to select a premier albeit irregularly-shaped site that overlooks
a public park and waterway.
PIQUE- High Desert Pavilion, Central Oregon
Designed by the talented architecture firm PIQUE, this single family
residence rests on a prairie site in the high desert of Central Oregon
and takes its design cues from the distant landscapes, the
colors/textures/layers of the adjacent fields and the client’s demand
to feel as though they live outdoors.
DLFstudio - Jackson House in Culver City, California
The project is located within walking distance of downtown Culver
City, a small municipality on the west side of Los Angeles, California.
The 2-storey house is situated on a sub-standard, trapezoid-shaped
2,900 square foot (269 m2) lot and replaced an existing dilapidated
Fougeron Architecture - 1532 HOUSE, San Francisco
This new house, infilled on an existing 25-foot wide lot in San
Francisco, includes two distinct volumes separated by an interior
courtyard. The front structure has a garage at street grade and a painting studio
above; the back volume is the main house, with the bedrooms on the
lower level, living spaces in the middle, and a master bedroom on the