Designed by Maestri Studio, this stunning contemporary in Forest Hills offers bright and open entertaining. (Photos: Aaron Dougherty Photography)

When it comes to residential architecture, our city is just lousy with incredibly designed homes thanks to our stacked lineup of talented Dallas architects. And like any house porn addict, we here at CandysDirt.com look forward to the annual AIA Dallas Tour of Homes with excitement, as there’s no faster way to induce heavy breathing among us than with high design and risk-taking concepts come to life. 

This year, the sole architect-curated home tour doesn’t disappoint. With seven incredible houses ranging between 2,700 and more than 6,000 square feet, you can get a taste and feel for the modern and contemporary residential architecture of Big D, from Forest Hills to Preston Hollow and beyond. 

One of our hands-down favorites on this year’s tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29, is a beautiful, warm contemporary with a touch of the Texas Hill Country vernacular on a beautiful lot in Forest Hills from Maestri Studio. Unlike many more traditionally styled homes in the neighborhood, Santa Clara offers front yard living with huge glass walls that open the home’s interior to the neighborhood. 

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Before there ever was a pink mansion on Douglas Avenue, Mary Kay Ash and her husband, Mel Ash, conscripted modernist architect Frank L. Meier to design a home for them. The site — a private, picturesque lake in Preston Hollow — was the perfect place to craft reality from a dream.

That dream was for a welcoming, beautiful structure that was perfect for hosting all sorts of gatherings — a well-rounded home. Literally.

In fact, that’s what makes 7246 Lupton Circle — our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans — so very unique. Its design takes every advantage of the lake and lot, with a circular design that flows perfectly from one room to the next. Add in the delicious light from the glass-domed ceiling in the center of the home, and you have magic in the making.

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Jacotte house

All photos: Jeff Baker

Ten years ago, Catherine Horsey fell in love with a house.

Jacotte House

Catherine Horsey

Having spent seven years at the helm of Preservation Dallas, and recently returned to Dallas to work on the sustainable neighborhood Urban Reserve, Horsey saw an article on the house at 3216 Jacotte Cir. and was immediately smitten.

This home is significant in Dallas because it was Howard Meyer’s first modernist house, built in 1937. Meyer is one of Dallas’ first and most accomplished modern architects, known for designing Temple Emanu-El, one of the most distinguished works of contemporary architecture in Texas built during the 1950s; the Lipshy-Clark House at 5381 Nakoma Dr., one of the finest international modernist houses in Texas; and 3525 Turtle Creek Blvd., considered the most fully realized and successful modernist apartment building in Texas, perhaps in America.

Horsey saw this home’s rehabilitation as a great opportunity to showcase how historic preservation and green building practices could work hand-in-hand, and spent a year updating the entire house.

With the help of the original plans, photographs from a 1940 Architectural Record article, and conversations with Eugene K. Sanger, Sr., for whom the house was designed, Horsey restored its character-defining elements and adapted it for resource-efficient modern living.

“The longer I have lived in this house, the more I have loved it—that must be one of the definitions of good architecture,” Horsey said. “What I love about the house is the light—so many large windows that open out to the nearly 17,000-square-foot yard, and the very low utility costs. Howard Meyer really knew what he was doing when he designed this house for the Texas climate.”

This is a three bedroom, four bathroom house, with 2,034 square feet. Horsey is selling it herself for $739,000.

“It’s for sale by owner right now, because I’m going to do my best to keep it from falling into the wrong hands,” she said.

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Oak Lawn Townhome

If real estate is all about location, location, location, then the new Oak Lawn townhomes being built at 4607 Steel St. are a shining example of what’s on the market in a prime neighborhood for under $400K.

With contemporary stylings, open-concept floorplans with high ceilings, and views of downtown Dallas from the fourth-floor rooftop decks, it’s no wonder the first ten of the Hawthorne Street Townhouses sold before construction was complete.

To meet demand, developer Urban Innovations is building seven more, and two of those have pre-sold, says construction manager David Espedal.

Oak Lawn Townhome

Located near Maple and Hawthorne avenues, these townhomes are so new, they aren’t even in Google yet. If you want to find them, look up “2515 Hawthorne Ave., Dallas, TX 75219.”

This gated community will have 17 townhomes at build-out, each of them three bedroom/3.5 bathrooms on three stories with 2,119 square feet. A fourth-floor deck, second-story balcony, and first-floor private yard provide additional space for outdoor living.

Today’s Thursday Three Hundred townhomes are listed by Stephen Hemphill with Urban Lofts Townhomes for $399,900.

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8676 Langdale AHidden in East Lake Highlands near Northwest Highway and Plano Road is one of the largest collections of modern houses in Dallas, and some are still affordable, like the listing at 8676 Langdale Circle.

Designed by architect Jack R. Yardley and built in 1976, this looker is listed by Brandon Stewart with David Griffin & Company for $360,000.

Located on a corner lot in the secluded enclave of Mediterranean Gardens, this house is a 2-2 with 1,795 square feet, designed by Yardley for his then mother-in-law while he lived next door. (more…)

Another exquisite project recently completed by Bauhaus Custom Homes. (Photo credit: Bauhaus Custom Homes)

Another exquisite project recently completed by Bauhaus Custom Homes. (Photo: Bauhaus Custom Homes)

German native and President of Bauhaus Custom Homes, Marc Kleinmann, moved to the United States in 1996. His father was a real estate developer so the industry has been in his blood for quite a while.

Kleinmann took a hiatus from the housing/real estate industry, working in advertising for the first few years after immigrating to the US. He slowly returned by flipping a few houses at a time and eventually building spec houses. In 2007, during the economic downturn, he started Bauhaus Custom Homes.

“Downturns are good for any industry. It forces people to rethink and retool how they do things; they learn to do them more efficiently,” says Kleinmann. “Building a house is a team sport,” he continues. Bauhaus started out small but as the economy improved, it has taken on more projects and more staff to collaborate on home building projects from start to finish.

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10110 Daria Front

Midcentury modern connoisseurs will delight in this impeccably preserved Asian influenced specimen at 10110 Daria Drive in the gated Meaders James subdivision, which is just north of Walnut Hill and west of the Dallas North Tollway. It’s so close to Preston Hollow, and it’s in an area where you’ll find several distinctive properties like this one.

It’s one of those homes with such an exceptional floorplan and wonderful original details that is easily a high-caliber home, one worthy of being our High Caliber Home of the Week, sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans.

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9623 Athlone/Photos: Shoot2Sell

9623 Athlone/Photos: Shoot2Sell

I love the look and feel of this Lake Highlands home inside Lake Park Estates, a very popular area just a short jaunt from White Rock Lake. Owned by Todd Howard, founder of architecture firm th+a, 9623 Athlone is a 1950 ranch transformed into a modern retreat.

Open and airy inside, this home is sublimely modern with the perfect balance of angles and curves, cool and warm, glass and wood. It’s a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath beauty with 2,854 square feet, several living areas, gorgeous wood floors, tons of windows, and the most incredible kitchen (more on that later!). It’s marketed by Realtor extraordinaire David Bush for $650,000.

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