This house was built on an infill lot near the Menil Museum in Houston. The exterior is clad in metal and stucco and the interior features hardwood and tile floors.
Christopher Hight, our client, an Associate Professor at Rice University School of Architecture who designed the house, says “Since our first meeting about the house I have been struck by the warm atmosphere of your office — which clearly starts at the top. Every interaction that we have had with you, Tim, Carlos, etc., has been so positive, a combination of “calm in the storm” and generosity of spirit. I admire the office you have created both in terms of work and what seems to be a wonderful culture in which to work which is perhaps even harder to achieve.”
Parra Design Group acted as the architect of record on this project.
Parra Design Group designed this house to have the same scale and footprint as the neighboring houses in deference to the historic district.
A shed roof opens the house towards the north, embracing the northern light. The street side is the public entry to the house, welcoming neighbors to the porch and garden. The design intent followed the modest program and budget, and allowed for a simple — yet dramatic — one story house. The owners lived on the site for over thirty years and wanted to build a new house. In keeping with the notion of “aging in place,” the owners will live in the same place where they have lived for most of their lives.
Sited on a city infill lot of an older Houston neighborhood, the house is designed around a pool courtyard that allows natural light to enter.
The exterior is cement board with custom RAM steel frame windows. The living spaces have a direct relationship with the pool and open onto the pool deck. Wooden screen doors slide out of the wall so that the courtyard is always open to the house. The doors and floors, and some of the furniture is made out of Brazilian cherry wood that gives the house a consistent warmth.
The extreme rectangular shape is derived from the massing of the project. The front of the house participates in the urban theater of narrow streets and sidewalks, while the rear integrates into the layout of the city block with a smaller courtyard.
The long side of the house faces a large park. The first floor is one large space with exposed beams that support the second floor. The rhythm of the structural beams above reflect the different spatial functions below. The front of the house faces west with an open expanse to a large park. Sun control for the western wall is achieved with hot-dipped galvanized perforated metal panels. The panels are lantern-like when lit at night.
This vacation home, built in 2002, is set on the edge of the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge near the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Set on top of a hill with partial views of the sea, the house is constructed amidst the trees to preserve the jungle that surrounds it. During the day, the house captures sea breezes from the north; at night it is cooled by the mountain breezes from the south.
The house is built almost entirely of indigenous wood, with the construction based on the use of heavy native timbers. Using native materials and techniques was decided upon because of the natural beauty of the woods and, more importantly, these materials better endure the severe environmental conditions. Featured in Architectural Digest in August 2002.