Urban Reserve Custom Design-Build by A. Gruppo is on The Market!

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Urban Reserve is a neighborhood filled with the most cutting-edge collection of architect-designed modern houses in America. Our Inwood Home of the Week is a custom design-build that takes cool to a new level.

Urban Reserve is a 14-acre neighborhood filled with modern homes, designed by the most innovative architects in America today. There is nothing else like it, and we love it. In fact, we’ve written about the neighborhood for years. And when an Urban Reserve custom design-build hits the market, we bust out the champagne and hope the new owner invites us over. So, today we are absolutely thrilled to let you know about 16 Vanguard Way, a custom design-build by A. Gruppo Architects.

Urban Reserve Custom Design-Build

Urban Reserve Custom Design-Build
You may wonder about what the term custom design-build means. Traditionally you have a hierarchy of building a home. The owner hires a contractor and a designer. Both the contractor and designer hire their subcontractors and, or consultants. This process can work very well, but you can imagine what goes down when an interior designer disagrees with a contractor or vice versa. Things can go south quickly. Disagreements between designers and builders are often the source of projects stalling, and expenses being driven sky high.

With a custom design-build project the owner hires the design-build entity, in this case, A. Gruppo Architects. That means the contractor and designer are working together as a team, or the architect may also act as the designer. You have one point of contact. It’s a collaborative, streamlined way to get what you want. And this Urban Reserve custom design-build is all credit to Thad Reeves, co-founder of A. Gruppo Architects. He took a major role in the project because the owner did not want anything lost in translation between architect and builder.

The 2,592-square-foot home is built on a lot that faces Vanguard Way, the main street in the neighborhood. The south façade looks over the main communal pond of Urban Reserve, so the owner logically wanted to take advantage of the pond views and minimize exposure to the street. A wow-factor façade is always a good thing, but there is also a need for intimacy to any home’s entry. Reeves wrote about the design solution on the company’s website:

“In many cases, there is very little wall surface to develop a facade to accommodate a strong sense of entry. As a strategy to develop more facade area, a garden wall was implemented, which continues the sense of containment started by the neighboring house at 14 Vanguard Way. The garden wall is also a device used to provide a modern take on a porch as well as to provide privacy to the essentially all glass lower level.”


One of the coolest things about this three-bedroom, two-bathroom, one-half-bath home is the architectural versatility that was created. For instance, the dining area chandelier spans an enormous space because the architect wanted to accommodate any table. There is a gantry crane that allows you to put any size and shape of dining table in place and the chandelier will be placed perfectly!

Urban Reserve Custom Design-Build

Another feature that is mind blowing is the office space upstairs. It’s open on two sides and overlooks the pond with views towards downtown. The owner wanted this room to double as a guest bedroom. Reeves designed two large rotating steel frame panels clad in Homasote to close off the west end of the room. A thin trapdoor of steel and polycarbonate closes off the east side of the room from below.

Those are only two of the many brilliant features in this Urban Reserve custom design-build home. Clay Stapp listing agent Matt Scobee can give you a personal tour and tell you a lot more. The house has only been on the market a little over a week. Considering the neighborhood, the architecture, the price (only $950,000!) and the prime location within Urban Reserve, you’d better get a move on if you want to snag this architectural gem!

Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager and writer for over 25 years. She teaches the popular Staging to Sell class at MetroTex and is the creator of the online course, The Beginners Guide to Buying Wholesale. She also believes in the power of white paint! Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com


Karen Eubank

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for over 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying for his masters at The New England Conservatory of Music. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap.

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