photography: paul hester

bellaire, tx

winslow | perched

04  /   2016

3,200 sf single family residence

The conversation of the house began with establishing varying circumstances of communal engagement.  (Places to play, chat, draw, climb, plant, observe, gather, and feast)    


The subject lot is bound by a confluence of urban and suburban scales that the house attempts to embrace.  The perching of the 2nd floor volume enables the family to occupy an elevated platform that engages the urban datum of the 610 freeway and baseball venues of a neighboring high school.


The program distribution strategy was initiated through the vertical lofting of shared spaces around a central circulation and light core.  The circulation core takes on multiple responsibilities.  The resultant sectional condition within the core enables visual connectivity to all communal spaces, stack effect ventilation, and natural day light infiltration to the ground floor.  Primary gathering spaces of the living room and kitchen anchor the first floor.  Lofted sitting and study zones extend up and outwards to two additional split levels of roof top platforms that react to the varying frontages of the site. 


The base volume of the house utilizes a single wythe insulated CMU block assembly for all exterior loadbearing walls.  The elevated volume is separated from below with a band of clerestory glazing.   An open joint rain screen consisting of an UV stable water resistive vapor membrane clad with DIY on-site charred cedar (Shou-Sugi-Ban) is implemented on the upper level massing.  The open joint rain screen works to promote drainage and ventilation within the panel cavity and the charring of the cedar helps to naturally preserve the longevity of the wood.