An arboreous lot at the end of a street in The Woodlands, Texas provides an opportunity for a home to open up to its natural surroundings. Perimeter foliage provides an increasingly dense privacy screen as the property widens towards the back. The home spans across the site to maximize connections to this outdoor landscape.
Aside from the study and powder room, all first floor rooms are open to one another. Spatial definition and circulation are controlled by placement of three key elements: an entry/living fireplace wall, and two kitchen storage/appliance walls. Exterior openings align across the home, providing extended views to the site, and balanced natural lighting within. A two-story wing on the east projects into the backyard, providing long distance views through the landscape from the master bedroom and family room. A central sitting room on the second floor separates master, children’s, and guest bedroom suites.
Large windows on the front of the house require no additional shading due to their north orientation. Windows along the back on the first floor are protected by a long trellis and a wide master terrace to modulate direct sunlight from the south and west. Second floor rooms are protected by deep roof overhangs and integrated shades hidden within ceiling pockets.
Durable materials are used inside and out. The cement-based stucco finish is applied over precast aerated concrete plank sheathing instead of typical plywood, allowing for a control-joint free exterior surface and providing an additional continuous insulation barrier. The standing seam metal roof, with its south orientation, is wired for solar panels. Windows and doors are oriented to capture prevailing breezes for cross-ventilation. Generous natural light helps minimize energy needs for artificial lighting. Large roof overhangs and shade devices limit interior heat loads, and increase the lifespan of the exterior envelope.
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