West University

This West University modern home is a collaboration and house that speaks about good design. Set in an established Houston neighborhood, the home is mindful of the street presence with careful use of materials and scale, yet it brings a fresh perspective, rejecting the idea to emulate history or the notion to build as big as possible. Instead of maxing out the lot, the home preserves two courtyard spaces at the front and rear of the home.  At 2850sf, the home is nearly half the square footage of the average home in the area but maintains 3.5bedrooms and 3.5 baths with an efficient layout. It’s the quality of the materials and the light filled spaces that are important, not quantity. 


The ideas driving this home reflect a growing movement to do more with less, de-clutter, and simplify one’s life. A smaller home is also a greener home, utilizing less space, fewer materials and requiring less energy for heating, cooling, and lighting, as well as less cleaning.  Crafted like a jewel box, the Tangley street West University modern home celebrates the art and craft of design with small well-appointed spaces and attention to detail.  Highly detailed design elements such as the stair and custom made sliding doors stand out as sculptural objects in the home as well as unique custom made furniture pieces and a thoughtful collection of cultural artifacts.  Collaboration between the architecture team and client who is also an architect enriched the process and led to meaningful spaces.  Located in a traditional neighborhood where homes typically encompass the entire lot, in this home preserving openspace was integral to the concept of interlocking volumes with “L” shaped courtyards flanking both sides to serve as public and private courtyard spaces.  Sustainable design was a priority, combining passive building siting with geothermal ac systems, high efficiency insulation, and local materials.  


Framed views define individual spaces within the open plan and bring the garden into the home.  The North-East courtyard captures morning light and provides welcome afternoon shade from Houston’s hot sun.  At nearly half the square footage of the average home in this area, yet still a three bedroom home, this house maintains an efficient spatial layout to achieve more with less and demonstrate the importance of sustainable design, quality in materials and light filled spaces.