2019 Houston Modern Home Tour
September 21, 2019
You know “that house” you pass by every day?
The Houston Modern Home Tour is your chance to GET INSIDE and meet the architects, builders and designers that made it happen – and maybe even ask a question or two about your own project playing around in the back of your mind!
It’s as easy as:
2) About 24 hours before Tour day begins, check your email for our printable map and any last minute instructions
3) Starting at 11AM on Tour day, visit the homes in any order you wish and at your open pace. Meet the architects and designers, and find inspiration for your own modern lifestyle!
Located on a bustling street in the heart of the city, University Residence displays strong horizontal clean lines with bold massing of limestone walls. Designed for a family with young children it was important to keep privacy in mind while balancing the importance to respond to the urban streetscape. The front entry courtyard wraps the facade to create a defined play area and maximize privacy from the busy street while still allowing for an abundant amount of natural light to enter the home through the floor to ceiling windows. The interior is designed as an open concept where formal living, dining, family room, kitchen and mud room interconnect, setting the stage for the chaotic day to day hustle that comes with all young families.
The Walji-Raissian Residence is a 3,800 square foot, four-story modern home in Houston, Texas.
Designing this house was a challenge. We had to find space for the rooms and square footage the owners desired, while designing around the three large existing trees, all on a small lot. These needs and restraints all helped us to craft a truly unique and pleasant structure. We needed to push and pull on the floor plans and exterior elevations in order to fit is all inside. The staircase and elevator were also organizing elements to the design, as with multiple levels comes the complexity of circulation. The house’s four levels are as follows:
Working with the homeowners, we selected paints that would be the neutral background to the various stained woods that are seen on the fence, porch ceilings and floors, and the white feature wall that faces the street. One of the best features of the house, is that no matter what level you are on, when you look out a window, it feels like you are inside of a tree house. A wonderful space for sure.
A corner lot in the Galleria area of Houston was the location for this private residence. The unique request by this client for their home was to create a U-Shaped footprint that allowed for the center courtyard to be completely screened.
This requirement was the main driver for the entire design of the house. Each wing of the house needed to match each other so that we could span between them simply with the screened roof. Situated on a tight lot brought the building to the limits of the setbacks so that we could maximize the courtyard footprint. A drawback of the site was the lack of privacy in the courtyard from the rear neighbors. Although they have an 8’ privacy fence, there was still a significant view from the neighbor’s second story windows. To compensate for that, I designed a roofed connection between the rear ends of the wings and a louvered upper wall to add additional layer of privacy to the rear of the courtyard.
The client also wanted a volume entertaining space and its size compliments the volume of the screened in courtyard. The bridge connecting the two wings on the second-floor overlook both of these spaces. A dramatic three-story fireplace anchors the entertaining space, and an open staircase pauses at a small orchestra balcony over the front door before continuing up to the second floor.
Although it is large by some standards (3300 s.f.), it does not feel imposing; a nod to the spirit of the neighborhood’s disappearing ranch houses.
The home’s clustered program creates multiple scale-appropriate zones of activity for the empty-nester clients: open common spaces, smaller private spaces, master suite or “cottage”, rear yard for entertaining, side yard to catch morning light, and lastly a motor court for extended entertaining + functional hard space. All of these combine to create a home with layered views, multidirectional natural lighting, and a complete inclusion of all outdoor spaces into the daily experience of the homeowners.
Repeating design elements across the home reinforce the casual-while-structured aesthetic. For example, the breezeway between the main house + workshop gives verticality and a “sense of place” to the rear yard. The stacked stone, exposed steel structure + wood elements of the breezeway repeat to its companion “bridge” connector from the main house to the cottage. Pulling the cottage away from the main house creates an outdoor living area between the two. Similar elements appear yet again in the main living space as we also define the dining program space with steel, wood, + a plaster cylindrical column. These materials add texture, both visual + tactile, to the space.
As a new addition to the Garden Oaks neighborhood, this home exemplifies how an architect can create a casual lifestyle within the context of contemporary design, site appropriateness, and livable scale.
This “Cape Cod Modern” inspired residence is 6,000 sqft and is situated on ¼ acre of land in central Houston. As I talked with the developer about his vision and program, it became apparent to us that the design should be conceived for a mature, active family that enjoys close proximity to Memorial Park and the city’s other cultural activities.
The layout and design wraps around the centrally place pool/spa and that has access to outdoor living and dining spaces that directly connect to the home’s interiors.
Upon entering the home, the double volume stair foyer and impressive window wall immediately capture your attention and provide views to the pool. Downstairs is primarily for entertaining with an open and spacious set of interconnected spaces that are filled with natural light. Additionally, there is a generously sized study that can also double as a guest suite.
The upstairs spaces offer the family’s bedrooms as well as a family den or game room that is adjacent to the light filled stair foyer. The master suite includes a lounge area with view below to the pool, two sizable closets, and a resort-styled bathroom.
This 3,100 sf home is located, one block from historic Emancipation Park, and is part of a revitalization wave, in the 3rd Ward/EaDO districts. It is a quiet, tight knit neighborhood, and the residents have already introduced themselves to the new homeowners.
The home has been designed to incorporate an open floor plan, while providing a sense of privacy. This was a challenge due to the townhomes bordering the rear of the property. In turn the size of the lot was not conducive to private exterior spaces.
These initial programmatic requirements led to a very unique set of design opportunities. The home had to incorporate these design requirements, while assuming budget, appraisal and site restrictions.
In the end, the design was able to adapt to the challenges. The “c” shaped structure has allowed for all the interior spaces to open towards an ample exterior space. This exterior space is even large enough for a pool! The orientation of the home allows for sun exposure in the pool area. This was a major concern to one of the homeowners. Thus, another design problem solved and averted.
When the original house was flooded by Harvey, homeowners re-built an elevated contemporary home featuring an inner courtyard.
The design of the home was thought of for all members of the family, especially the feline members with shelves for the cats, as well as their own dedicated room.
It is laid out in a split-level with the Garage at street level, the open concept living space, and guest room/study on the main level. In the middle of the stairway is a window seat which the feline members of the family share with their human counterparts.
On the second level, are an additional guest bedroom, the master bedroom, and 2 smaller bedrooms sharing a bathroom, which may very soon be filled with more members to this growing family.
A few steps lead back down towards the study located over the street-level garage, with ample light which spills into the space from the clerestory above, while a good size balcony serves to greet visitors directly below.
Set on an urban lot, the unique design of this modern home is based on a courtyard layout enclosing two outdoor areas, creating a sense of openness and connection to nature. The home was designed for a family lifestyle with thoughtful details for children and durability. Throughout the home vistas are designed to incorporate views of these outdoor areas and blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. A detached guest pavilion and outdoor deck extends the living space and bridges garden and pool areas. The design enhances the feeling of light open spaces and combines a sense of elegance and simplicity. The finishes in the home are restrained to a unified neutral palette, while the furnishings and art add pops of color. The materials were carefully selected to provide timeless appeal. Sustainability is achieved through a variety of features including incorporating local materials, low flow plumbing fixtures, energy star appliances, high efficiency AC system, superior insulation, and drought tolerant landscaping. Long term durability, ease of maintenance, and appropriate use of materials enhance true sustainability in this warm and livable modern home.
It’s easy! Just buy your tickets, then about 48 hours before the Tour you’ll receive an email with links to your Tour map. Then, on Tour day, start at any house and proceed in any order at your own pace to the homes that interest you the most – or to all of them!
Unfortunately due to repeated issues, we must request that no children under 12 attend the Tour. This is a new restriction for 2019, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. However, we do realize that some of our best guests are aspiring architects and designers and we therefore invite kids 12 and up to learn about the exciting world of architecture and design!
Giving back to the communities and homeowners that so generously welcome us every year is one of the most important things we do. That’s why we partner with a housing or education organization in every Tour city, and why we are working to establish a scholarship fund for aspiring architects and designers.