Concrete Box by Robertson Design located in Texas, USA | The Hardt
Concrete Box by Robertson Design located in Texas, USA. Christopher Robertson, principal at Robertson Design created the 2,900 ft² (270 m²) ‘concrete box residence’ located in Texas, USA. The design of The Concrete Box house was begun with three fairly simple concepts as goals: a carefully choreographed entry sequence, material clarity, and a sculptural presence. The building is composed of three elements- a concrete box, a wooden box, and the low concrete wall that encloses the entry courtyard. Fenestration on the front is limited, which adds to the sculptural nature of the building. To enter the building one slips between the two overlapping concrete walls in the front and then passes through the sanctuary-like entry courtyard before arriving at the front door.
The door opens into an entry hall that has a low ceiling and is a touch dark. From here one passes through an opening in the concrete box to enter the brightly lit, the tall volume of the main space. While passing through the opening, one experiences the thickness and solidity of the concrete walls. The abundant natural light and expansive views into the front courtyard and rear garden surprise as they are initially difficult to reconcile with the blank façade. The first floor is basically a single space where slight level changes delineate function between dining, kitchen, and living. There is an office hidden behind sliding walls that allow the owners to work in this space during the day and then literally close the office at times when work is to be forgotten. The simple and bright white rooms of the second floor stand in marked contrast to the downstairs with its wood and concrete walls.
© Jack Thompsen
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South 5th Residence by Alterstudio Architecture located in Austin, Texas | The Hardt
A steeply sloped Austin, Texas, infill site—complete with an existing 25-foot-tall rare Oak tree—is not the easiest place to build a single-family home, but easy has never been a prerequisite for local firm Alterstudio Architecture. For the 2,990-square-foot South 5th Residence, the team created a sculptural blind façade, tucked behind a delicate 4-inch-wide gabion wall at the street, that gives way to a glazed, light-filled three-story interior that prioritizes views.
To preserve the Oak tree’s root system, regular foundations were not an option, so the designers created a scheme where the living area is perched on two piers that tread lightly on the site. The overall ensemble caught the interest of the jury, especially Katherine Chia, who noted that “the use of materials is really beautiful, and I think that the house is shaped by really clear composition. I thought it was really successful in section as well.” In addition to the suspended living room, the main level contains a kitchen and dining area, as well as a media room and guest bedroom, with an additional two bedrooms upstairs (including a master suite with panoramic views to Lake Austin), and a family room, gym, and deck on the basement level. Large site-glazed window walls—framed in rift-sawn oak—and ventilator doors throughout draw daylight and breezes through the house, and contrast with concrete and mill-finished steel surfaces. “I think this is a beautifully detailed and composed project, and it has a very well thought through proportional strategy as well,” R. Michael Graham said.
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Austin Street House by Michael Morrow of Kinneymorrow Architecture located in Marfa, Texas | The Hardt
Austin Street House by Michael Morrow of Kinneymorrow Architecture located in Marfa, Texas. Lovely mixture of extreme minimalism and Texas heritage with the hide rugs and barn exterior. Marfa has really come into its own and it’s nice to see Michael Morrow being a part of the expansion of modern minimalism into Texas. “Marfa is one of those places where the light has a special quality about it,” says Morrow. “It seems to imbue the place with a unique nature, and it’s one of the things that draws people here.”“It’s very calming to the mind to visit the desert,” says Morrow. “After you’ve been here a bit, you feel like you’ve reset.”Couldn’t agree with that more. I’ve always held a special place for the arid landscape and the mystic vibes of the desert close to my Hardt.
Photography by Casey Dunn
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Casa di Luce (2015) by Morrison Dilworth + Walls located in Dallas, Texas, USA | The Hardt
Casa di Luce (2015) by Morrison Dilworth + Walls located in Dallas, Texas, USA. Casa di Luce, as christened by its owners is a single-family house located in Dallas and comprising 3,226 ft² (300 m²) air-conditioned on two levels. The house is constructed on an irregularly-shaped 8,075 ft² (750 m²) site with significant variations in topography. The size and odd shape of the site, as well as the presence of a grand oak tree, presented challenges that greatly influenced the design of the house.
The owners’ program called for the ability to work from home, entertain friends and associates, and host overnight guests. They also had a preference for courtyard homes due to the inherent indoor-outdoor relationships and the potential expansion of the living and entertaining spaces. These desires were accommodated by creating a home that focuses on and expands into an intimate urban courtyard. The indoor-outdoor relationship is heightened by the use of very large sliding glass doors that fully retract. With these doors open, the living space and courtyard truly become one.
The principal interior materials consist of concrete floors, painted drywall walls and ceilings and statuary white marble countertops. The exterior is rendered in hard-troweled stucco and a rain screen of Roman travertine.
© Charles Davis Smith – AIA
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