We’re seeing a lot of Texas Modern residential architecture today, and our Monday Morning Millionaire in University Park is an excellent example of this bold look.
Even with my love of historic properties, I fully embrace the Texas Modern style. I know it’s hard for some neighbors, especially in what have always been considered very traditional areas. But frankly, y’all are just going to have to get on board. This architectural style has been here longer than you might think, and it’s here to stay.
I can pinpoint my interest in Texas Modern to a specific year and place. San Antonio, 1988, in the offices of Architects Lake Flato, the week of my wedding!
My maid of honor and best friend from college was dreaming about building on a plot of family land outside of Austin. She’d done all the research and pinpointed this young firm as one that would understand her plan. I still cannot believe we were essentially two kids, interviewing David Lake and Ted Flato. But then David and Ted were also kids, having started their own architecture firm only four years earlier. The minute they explained their vision, I was entranced because it made sense. They wanted architecture to be not only modern but also artful, well crafted, and environmentally responsible. It was pretty jarring for someone raised in Europe and used to all the flourishes of Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts buildings. It was also incredibly exciting and logical.
I was hooked.
For generations, Texans have built in harmony with the land.
Long before the word sustainable was in our daily vocabulary, taking advantage of how light hits a building to reduce energy costs was common sense to any rancher. Roofs were built with overhangs for a logical reason, to keep direct sunlight out of the windows.
Texans are rooted in logic and common sense. We are an eminently practical and resourceful bunch. We’ve always had Texas Modern style, we just didn’t call it that for a long time. When architectural disrupters David Williams and O’Neil Ford came along in the 1920s, they put those age-old concepts into bold new residential designs that continue to inspire architects and builders today.
So, like I said, get on board. Even if you are not building a home on the range, you can see how taking advantage of those decades-old concepts makes sense.
I was not surprised to find out from Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s listing agent Pogir Pogir that this Texas Modern was designed by Tom Reisenbichler, who has long been associated with the architectural firm Perkins + Will.
He designed an incredible home for his family on Orchid Lane and another on Caruth that received LEED Gold designation. Tom does nothing by half measures, so of course, his business partner Matt Richter with NEST Homes built it.
The house was designed around that magnificent tree in the front yard.
“It’s like a piece of natural art,” Pogir said. “It sets the tone. You know you are in for something special when you walk through the front door.”
And indeed, you are. I have it on good authority that shoes have never been worn in the house. So, yes, it’s immaculate.
It’s also a bit different than you expect.
The open plan living and dining has been designed with thought given to how the kitchen is placed. We all want that open feeling, but there are still aspects of the kitchen we’d rather have tucked around a corner, and this design offers just that. It’s part of the scene while not being in your face.
You know anything designed in University Park is going to be perfect for a large family. With five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a powder bath, and an enormous game room over the garage, it hits the mark on every level. If you need even more space, the attic was finished out to easily add a media room.
Even the three-car garage of this three-story, 6,451-square-foot home is air-conditioned. So that’s another 600 square feet of room to roam.
When the owners moved into this home a few years ago, they enlisted the aid of Britton and Associates Landscaping, one of the most creative residential architecture firms in Dallas.
“The large tree in front of the house inspired the whole design,” owner Britton Johnson said. “It’s about simplicity. We used agave to accent the house’s left side, and to increase privacy, installed a Claudia Magnolia hedge along the fence line. You don’t see anyone,” Britton said. “You feel like you are in a private garden.”
And assuring privacy is always the perfect finishing touch to any home.
Pogir has this Texas Modern at 3405 Wentwood Drive listed for $3.15 million.