location: Houston, TX
area: 3,500 SF
status: Completed 2017
On a small lot in a desirable Houston neighborhood, the owners wished to maximize the use of their land with a rich variety of indoor and outdoor spaces. Using the concept of a Japanese bento box, the designer divided the property into four sections through a series of eight-foot tall brick walls each containing different courtyards of the house. The first quadrant houses the automobiles. The second quadrant inserts a courtyard between the living room and dinning/kitchen space. The third quadrant connects the kitchen pantry/utility room with the herbs garden and the service court. The fourth quadrant places the master suite between a courtyard and a pool flanking each side of the bed.
The house is constructed with dark grey burnished Concrete Masonry Units. The CMU box is overlaid on top of the brick wall bento box allowing the interior spaces to look out into the exterior courtyards and natural light to reflect into the interior. At the center, a series of saw-tooth clearstories filter the light down onto the concrete staircase that connects the second floor bedrooms to the living spaces down below.