AIA Houston Home Tour

Sneak a peek at AIA home tour featuring the best new residential architecture in Houston


AIA Home tour 2017, 4210 Whitman
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 4210 Whitman
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 4210 Whitman
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 1501 Laird
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 1501 Laird
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 1700 Haver
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 1700 Haver
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 1427 Waverly
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 1427 Waverly
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 2411 Swift
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 2411 Swift
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 2411 Swift
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 420 Oak Lane
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 420 Oak Lane
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 420 Oak Lane
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 721 Redan
AIA Home tour 2017, 721 Redan
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, Stuart residence
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, Stuart residence
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 5280 Caroline
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 5280 Caroline
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 5007 S. Braeswood
Benjamin Hill Photography
AIA Home tour 2017, 5007 S. Braeswood
Benjamin Hill Photography

Ten distinctive Houston-area homes selected by a jury of industry experts to represent the finest in new residential architecture are on display this weekend as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston presents its 2017 Annual Home Tour.

All of the homes on the self-guided tour are located within the Houston metropolitan area, designed by an AIA architect, and completed within the last five years.

"Every year, I am pleased to see the diversity of homes on display. There is a mixture of style, size, budget and complexity that speaks to the diversity of people in our city," says Home Tour chair Kiza Forgie, AIA of m+a architecture studio.

"My favorite part is pretending I'm a tourist when I visit the houses. I love listening to the stories behind each individual design and how it came to fruition. This year, the home tour is more important than ever because we have a selection of homes that did not flood, at a time when flooding is on everyone's mind."

Full-tour ($35 on weekend; $5 discount for bicyclers) and single house tickets ($10) can be purchased at any of the participating houses during tour hours (noon-6 pm) and are good both days of the tour (Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22). (Advance tickets can be purchased online for $25; $5 discount for bicyclers.)

Read on to see photographs and read about the homes, as described by AIA experts.

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4210 Whitman
Architect: 2scale architects

Home description: Embracing the owners’ desire to "live on the whole property," the design of this home is inspired by the empty-nesters’ previous life Down Under, taking cues from contemporary Australian architecture with its strong horizontal lines, use of simple materials, efficient organization and powerful indoor-outdoor connectivity.

The home’s public spaces and a strongly geometric, central courtyard unite via retractable panels in the dining and living rooms that create a grand and completely seamless transition from inside to outside. Design continuity through all the spaces makes the house feel whole, livable and connected.

4210 Whitman
Architect: 2scale architects

Home description: Upon entering, visitors will be intrigued by the contrast of large and small spaces provided by a tall slender passageway, complete with a bridge, atrium-like second-story clerestory windows and resulting magical light. Connectivity is continued in the spa-like master suite, where the northern wall opens completely to the courtyard, with a covered cooking and dining patio, built-in grill and pizza oven.

 

 

4210 Whitman
Architect: 2scale architects

Home description: Extraordinary features include the open steel stair wrapped in walnut with LED lights and frameless glass guardrails, illuminated powder sink, massive sliding walls of glass, and the frameless glass wine "cube" in the dining room—both art and functional. A sunken kiva with fire pit and a striking glass see-through pool adorn the outdoors.

1501 Laird
Architect: Brett Zamore Design

Home description: This structure serves as a model for Brett Zamore Design’s zFab housing concept: a new way of thinking about the construction and delivery of prefabricated homes for the design and environment-conscious owner. The simplicity of the plan allows for flexibility. The house could be used as a primary home, office, vacation retreat, a flat in back of an existing property, etc. Staged as a residence for marketing purposes, the building was recently converted into the firm’s new architecture studio. 

1501 Laird
Architect: Brett Zamore Design

Home description: Upon entry, the home feels roomy, open, efficient and filled with natural light. The shotgun-inspired plan incorporates an economy of construction in which levels of light, air and circulation can be regulated according to changing demands. French doors at opposite ends allow for an open flow between interior and exterior. A central core accommodates the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and storage while separating the bedroom from the living space.


 

1700 Haver
Architect: Collaborative Designworks

Home Description: Located in the deed-restricted Cherryhurst subdivision for a downsizing couple, this house developed out of negotiation and compromise with both the city and homeowners’ association.

The site and design is organized around a mature oak tree located in the city right-of-way. In order to preserve the tree and still have room for the house on the lot, a trade-off was proposed: The setback line was reduced along a portion of the lot and increased in the vicinity of the tree. HOA requirements, as well as the desire to focus primary living spaces on the old oak tree, controlled much of the form of the house.

At under $300 per square foot, this house complements the owners’ lifestyle with smaller, more specific living areas for child-free living.

1700 Haver
Architect: Collaborative Designworks

Home Description: The open and light-filled entry features a highly reflective white terrazzo floor that helps extend natural light into the first floor space and offsets a floating stair.

1427 Waverly
Architect: CONTENT Architecture

Home description: A calm, considered composition located in the Houston Heights, the Waverly residence is a modern home on an established street of bungalows. The site strategy orients the mass of the home along the length of the property line, contextualizing the scale of the home along the street and creating a large southern side yard dedicated primarily to play, brisket and small dogs. A composed, serene yet playful ambiance is evident.

Upon entering, visitors will notice a prominent focal point: the covered walk fronting the side yard, with the pool and outdoor kitchen, forming an island dividing open play from vehicular access. 

The ground floor is clad in metal panel and a wood rainscreen that peels away from the structure to become both a fence and an entry threshold. Beyond the entry gate, a long covered procession runs the length of the living spaces with cascading steps providing impartial access to the entire yard frontage.

The second-floor containing the bedrooms seemingly floats above, while Fiber-cement siding of varied widths nods to the neighborhood vernacular. 

 

1427 Waverly
Architect: CONTENT Architecture

Home description: The first-floor dining, kitchen and living flow together in orientation to the side yard with millwork providing organization between spaces. Custom millwork in the utility room was specifically designed  to accommodate a small dog and its bed. A quiet courtyard is carved into the first floor, pulling the dining room outside on nice days. 

2411 Swift
Architect: Cusimano Architect

Home description: The Swift house is located on a narrow lot in a traditional neighborhood lined with grand oaks. A 1940s house that suffered decades of rambling additions initially occupied the lot. The owners outgrew this house and were excited to develop a new residence that would enable their lifestyle.

The new house is L-shaped with a garage and public living spaces on the first floor. The second floor contains four bedrooms, with a master bedroom perched above the garage. Large window walls facing east encourage the natural morning light and promote the use of the outdoors.

 

2411 Swift
Architect:
Cusimano Architect

Home description: The Swift house blends modern materials with traditional form. The exterior is comprised of painted brick, steel and wood. Exposed stained rafters add a simple cadence while expressing the house’s structure. Polished concrete, shiplap and plaster are used for flooring and wall material to provide texture. The meticulous assembly of these materials exemplifies the craftsmanship of the house while enhancing the family’s quality of living.

Upon entering, visitors will notice the exterior materials carry into the foyer, presenting the feel of exterior space taken in as interior. The home feels warm yet streamlined through natural materials coupled with sparse trim detailing. There is a fresh, energetic ambiance to the home, accomplished through the variety of finished materials and abundant natural light.

2411 Swift
Architect:
Cusimano Architect

Home description: A large green space was developed with a steel trellis, patio and summer kitchen. Acting as a portal for neighborhood friends, the garage doubles as a game room for kids with front and rear doors that allow it to open up as a pavilion under the watchful eyes of parents.

420 Oak Lane
Architect:
 Dillon Kyle Architects

Home description: Located on a secluded private lane overhung by leafy oaks, this new residence for a young family presents a modest, unassuming façade to its quiet residential setting. Inspired by Art Deco and mid-century modernism, the international-style house features a restrained palette that takes its cues from the owners’ connection with shipbuilding. 

420 Oak Lane
Architect: Dillon Kyle Architects

Home description: Upon entry, the home is surprisingly open, filled with natural light, and much larger than anticipated. The scale of the front elevation is intentionally modest and intimate to respect the scale of the existing streetscape.

Organized in a splayed U-shape, the floor plan frames a generous backyard and pool that becomes an outdoor room in itself. Public spaces for large gatherings are linked by a sunny circulation zone along the window walls. An cozy courtyard off the den is scaled for a small group, while a covered porch with exterior fireplace and grilling area supports the backyard. Family spaces are much more intimate.

 

420 Oak Lane
Architect: Dillon Kyle Architects

Home description: Materials such as polished concrete floors, steel windows and doors, and exposed interior brick are honest, functional and durable. Walnut paneling, mirror-finish plaster and accents of apple green capture the playful spirit of its occupants, while adding warmth and sophistication.

721 Redan
Architect: m+a architecture studio

Home description: A new transitional modern home in the historic Woodland Heights area, this house seeks to blend into the existing lower streetscape of 1920s bungalows while simultaneously creating interior spaces organized around a series of courtyards that differ in character. 

In many respects, this is a “stealth” project in that it breaks nearly all prototypical site-use tendencies while blending into the existing scale of the neighborhood. The house rethinks how to use a standard size lot. There is no front yard, house, backyard-type arrangement, creating a wide range of interesting indoor-outdoor effects. The space around the house is just as much part of the overall building design as the building itself.

Encompassing many green building features, the home extensively uses metal siding, an exposed steel structure, and bold deep blue Hardie siding panels. The interior also features elements made from reclaimed wood, salvaged from the original 1920s house that was demolished on the site.

721 Redan
Architect: m+a architecture studio

Home description: Inside, dramatic combinations of light and shade pervade and activate the spaces, making them feel warm, calm and lively at the same time. The expanding scale of space and quality of natural light establishes a relaxed ambiance of comfortable refinement.

702 East 13th Street
Architect: McIntyre + Robinowitz Architects

Home description: Sensitively designed to be compatible with a 1920s historic neighborhood featuring primarily one-story bungalows, this house presents a modest face to the street. A series of four exterior courtyards define the house: the front court, pool court, screened porch court, and a rear private court, each of which fronts different interior zones. The arrangement of these spaces takes advantage of an unusually deep urban lot.

 

702 East 13th Street
Architect: McIntyre Robinowitz Architects

Home description: Visitors pass through the front court and into the pool court before entering the home. They will notice a big "wow" when the entering the spacious living area with its exposed structural framing. The house is intentionally quiet from the street, and expands upon entering the interior spaces.

The main first floor living area features an open plan with vaulted ceilings and crisscrossing collar rafters. The home is calm and spacious, with abundant natural light. The space is welcoming and uncluttered, drawing attention to views of the outdoor spaces and the owner’s installation of art throughout home.

5280 Caroline
Architect: Munoz + Albin Architecture & Planning

Home description: The Southmore is a 24-story luxury high-rise residential tower in the Museum District, consisting of retail space, lobby, leasing offices, structured parking, amenity deck and 233 units. Its units range from 850 square feet to penthouse apartments at 3,000 square feet. The project is seeking Gold LEED Certification.

Special attention was given to the visitor experience. Whether arriving through the motor court or the main street address, visitors experience a sense of warmth and elegance upon entering the lobby. An inviting, elegant, hotel-like experience was created in the Southmore’s public spaces. The dwelling unit design was also approached with clarity and elegance. Clean lines define the unit interiors while large expanses of glass capture the best views.

 

5280 Caroline
Architect: Munoz + Albin Architecture & Planning

Home description: The Southmore’s superb luxury apartment amenities are complete with concierge, valet and a seventh-floor skyline pool deck with plush seating and breathtaking views of Downtown Houston. Residents can grab coffee and a bite on-site or take a picnic to the peaceful 10,000-square-foot private park. Additional amenities include a private tasting room with a fully equipped catering kitchen; a Sports Lounge with 60” flat screen TV, shuffleboard and poker table; electric vehicle charging stations and pet-friendly features including a pet wash, separate elevator access and a dog run.

5007 S. Braeswood
Architect: studioMET

Home description: This project has an interesting location with its proximity to Brays Bayou. After their pre-existing Mid-century house was flooded, the homeowners wished to construct a new, modern house that would mitigate the potential flood hazard, but still blend with the existing context. (The house did not flood during Hurricane Harvey.)

The house is designed to complement the Mid-century/prairie style architecture of their previous home that was flooded, like many of the homes in the Meyerland area. Many design moves were made to maintain appropriate human/neighborhood scale and still comply with the flood plain elevation requirements.

The home’s layout is wisely placed to provide the major space with views overlooking both the bayou and the spacious backyard. The programs cascade to the ground to create transitional space between indoor/outdoor, and soften the fact that the house is five feet off the ground. Instead of downplaying its effect, this house embraces the quality of the bayou.

 

5007 S. Braeswood
Architect: studioMET

Home description: Upon entering, visitors will immediately notice the home’s connection to the landscape. The interior feels light and bright, and reuses many items such as plumbing fixtures, lighting, hardware and tile that were salvaged from the homeowners’ previous home.

The home is two-story, but designed so that the owners can live primarily on the first floor. With a soothing connection to the landscape, despite the home’s elevation, multiple rooms have views of both the backyard and the green space along the bayou.

Additional features include an outdoor kitchen as well as a dog yard and dog stair on the west side of the house, visible from the kitchen window.

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