Morrison Seifert Murphy - Berkshire Residence in Dallas, Texas Print
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 02:29

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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.

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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.
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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.Berkshire _005.jpg
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Berkshire _012.jpgProject Facts:

Project:  Berkshire Residence
Architecture Firm:  Morrison Seifert Murphy
Architect:  Lionel Morrison, FAIA
Location:  Dallas, Texas
Floor Area:  5500 sq. ft.

Architects Web site:

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 03:12