When I spotted this Organic Modernist home at 2215 Kessler Woods Court, I did a little happy dance. It immediately brought to mind Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater, and Mountainside House created by architect James Fox. The influences of these midcentury masters are evident in the inspired design of this home.
Of course, I raced to my copy of Virginia McAlester’s “A Field Guide to American Houses” to confirm my suspicion that the house I’d selected for our Inwood Home of the Week was indeed an Organic Modernist design. I was spot on, as this entry can attest:
Organic architecture is based on the coalescence of the built environment with nature, allowing the design to respond to the natural environment rather than impose on it. While other modern movements more often championed straight lines and orthogonal designs, Organic modernism favored natural shapes and interesting geometrics. Designs—conceived as reactive both to the environment and to the building material—were developed “organically” into one harmonious unit. Organic architects utilized new technologies and building materials but rejected them as sources of stylistic inspiration, believing they imposed a design from outside sources. An Organic architect would instead carefully study the exact site for a house and then create a design that grew from within, a careful relationship between all of the parts of a house. This might begin with a geometric shape used for the floor plan and then extend into the design of all parts of the house—fixtures, furnishings, and even window shapes.
According to Frank Lloyd Wright, Americas premier Organic architect, form no longer followed function; it was one and the same.
I think Wright himself would have been proud to have designed this beauty. But it was the very talented Leonardo Gonzales-Sangri that designed this Organic Modernist. Collaborating with builder Frank Posada, it was completed in 2018.
“The project took a bit over two years due to the terrain,” Hewitt and Habgood listing agent Steve Habgood said. “They wanted to take full advantage of the setting. A lot of concrete was involved in creating the site, the pool, and the garage. Frank Posada is a man of precision. He wanted everything done exactly right.”
Calling on Gonzales-Sangri was a genius move, as he thrives on challenge and this was an extremely challenging site with significant topography.
“Truly what drives my work is a deep desire to uncover the hidden solutions that projects and sites inherently have,” Gonzales-Sangri said. “When the right partners come together, the end result is a project that feels as though it was always there, effortless occupying its place.”
That’s exactly what you think when you see this 4,328-square-foot Organic Modernist. It occupies the space beautifully and as if it was always meant to be there.
“This was in the first phase of the neighborhood, and it has a higher elevation,” Gonzales-Sangri said. “We are so used to flattening out a site, and we just could not do that here. We had to take advantage of the topography despite it being difficult. More than anything we wanted to create a home that afforded a great living environment.”
“I always take great care as to what people will feel like when they are in the space,” he continued. “I was careful to find ways to maximize the views and the connectivity between indoors and outdoors, and that’s hard to do with zero lot line properties. It can also be hard to design a spec home because you have no client so the vision must come from the developer.”
“Fortunately, Frank had a clear vision. We had great conversations about what he wanted, and he gave me a lot of freedom.”
The home has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and one powder bath. A 400-bottle wine cellar is next to the ground level garage, and the roof was designed and built to accommodate the weight of a rooftop terrace. The showstopper, however, is the disappearing sliding glass wall in the main living area. It opens onto a terrace with a zero-edge concrete pool and spa. These vanishing walls are also in the master and guest rooms.
“Each home has to be approved by the HOA’s architectural review committee,” Habgood said. “Every home is designed to take advantage of the views but also to not interfere with the views of your neighbor’s. Window facings, for instance, are strategically placed.”
Although you might think this Organic Modernist is a swinging pad for a trendy young professional couple — and it is — Habgood held an open house last weekend and said multiple families with kids came through. They all loved it. Rosemont Elementary School is close by and the Bishop Arts District is just a short drive down the street.
We can see a young family being happy here for many years. It’s on offer for $1.995 million. That’s a pretty sweet deal for year-round views and effortless living!
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. Karen teaches the popular Staging to Sell class and is the creator of the online course, The Beginners Guide to Buying Wholesale. Her love of dogs, international travel, history, white paint, champagne, artificial turf, and Tudor and Midcentury Modern homes knows no bounds. Her father was a spy, so she keeps secrets very well! Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com.