Once in a while, an architect gets a call for the dream job. Several years ago, Graham Greene, a principal with Oglesby-Greene Architects, got that call. The client wanted a timeless home built on a beautiful lot that would capture its natural setting Green went above and beyond, creating an architectural icon at 40 Braewood Place in Glen Abbey. Every iconic home needs a name, so we’re christening this estate the Glen Abbey Glass House.
Oglesby-Greene has a reputation for modernist architecture and creating buildings that are timeless yet timely. Certainly, Green drew inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in rural Pennsylvania. The principles of organic architecture are decidedly at play here with a symbiotic relationship between the land and the house. The home is built into the slope of the site, opening out and merging into the landscape. A rolling stream begins at the front door, disappears under a bridge of the house, and continues on the other side, falling into a koi pond and flowing down the natural rock formations to White Rock Creek below. Greene has created a perfect homage to Wright’s vision:
“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.”
Built by Joe Kain Homes and completed in 2007, the interiors were designed by Robyn Menter Design Associates. The home has been featured on NBC Universal TV’s “Open House” and won the 2010 AIA Dallas Design Award for Interior Architecture.
Floor-to-ceiling commercial, double-pane, energy-efficient window walls overlook a 10-acre nature preserve across the creek.
In keeping with Wright’s timeless architecture principles, the ornamentation in the home comes from nature and the use of organic and natural elements such as Douglas Fir, Lueders limestone, white oak, and cypress.
Greene designed an astonishing freestanding, four-story, cantilevered, spiral, central staircase as the spine of the 11,090-square-foot home. It was constructed by a ship builder in Wisconsin, and each section lowered into place by a 30-foot crane.
There are four large bedrooms but the recreation room was designed with the flexibility to create two more bedrooms. There are eight bathrooms, six fireplaces, and a state-of-the-art safe room —brilliantly located next to the wine room.
Five waterfalls grace the property with five separate outdoor living areas. An infinity edge swimming pool overlooks the nature preserve, and paths lead around the grounds and down to the creek where you can fish or dock a small boat. It’s easier to believe you’re in the Texas Hill Country rather than minutes from a major urban center.
“It is one of the most amazing homes I have ever seen,” Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s listing agent Vicki White said. “Every room feels like you are outdoors and the views go forever. You have to see it to believe it.”
Glen Abbey is the former estate of Clint Murchison Sr. For our transplants to Texas, Murchison was a famous oil man and the father Clint Murchison Jr., the founder of the Dallas Cowboys football team. If you’re looking for beauty, privacy, and security, it does not get better than this exclusive gated community. It’s an intimate neighborhood of about 200 luxury homes, and yes Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lives here which, considering the neighborhood’s provenance, is only fitting.
It would take a book to detail all of the aspects of this $7.9995 million estate but suffice it to say, no expense was spared, and no detail overlooked.
We’ll leave you with another quote from Wright that could not be more fitting:
“If you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”
White and our founder and publisher, Candy Evans, who is running for Dallas City Council District 11, are hosting a reception at the Glen Abbey Glass House on April 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. Learn more about this gorgeous home and also about the future of the city, DART, and Candy’s views on the Cotton Belt Rail Line. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years. She’s been a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com