location: Houston, TX
area: 2,000 SF
status: Complete

This modestly scaled 3 bedroom, 2 bath house for a family of 3 is located on a cul-de-sac of a west Houston subdivision dominated by mid-century ranch houses. The plan is organized around the playful intersections of three squares offset and rotated 10 degrees around a large live oak tree that forms the focal point of the living space. The geometry of the house embraces the tree and occupies the shaded space beneath its widespread canopy.
The square closest to the street is expressed in a low-slung volume clad in brick, sharing the predominant proportions and material and of the surrounding structures. It houses the private and secondary spaces of the house as well as a small walled garden adjacent to the otherwise unassuming entry. The second square’s volume contains the primary living space and master suite. It sits taller than the first and scoops in natural light through clerestory windows lining its north and east exposures. The living, dining, and master suite spaces are oriented around a large central garden with the oak tree at its center. The volume is topped with a standing seam shed roof that follows the geometry of the third square and slopes downward under the canopy of the oak tree. The third square geometry is further articulated by a wooden perimeter fence enclosing the central garden.