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Princeton Residence Texas : Residential Architecture USA
New American House – design by Morrison Seifert Murphy, Architects
12 Dec 2008
Design: Morrison Seifert Murphy
Architect: Lionel Morrison, FAIA
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
This house and the Beechwood house, designed previous to this one, share an almost identical program. In spite of that fact they exhibit few outward similarities. Their differences are the product of the inherent limitations and opportunities of their given sites.
Due to the narrow lot, I designed the house as a two-story structure and positioned it along the eastern property line. This strategy left the maximum amount of land available for the private outdoor space and swimming pool. Owners park and enter from the alley while guests park on and enter from the street.
The entry experience begins at the sidewalk where limestone steps that seem to immerge from a grassy slope lead to a straight path and the recessed porch. From there, an up-lit limestone wall leads one into the house as it penetrates the entry volume. Once inside this wall is punctured to reveal the main living spaces and courtyard beyond.
The walled courtyard which has the effect of dramatically expanding the interior space contains a lap pool, spa and outdoor fireplace. As you ascend the stairway to the second floor you encounter a controlled view from the landing down the long axis of the pool to the fireplace beyond. The stairway is illuminated by a combination of clear and translucent glass and sheltered by large overhangs on both ends.
Along the western edge of the courtyard stands a line of flowering Magnolias. When these trees are in full, white bloom the effect is magical.
While there was no conscious effort on my part the results could be seen as an abstract interpretation of a regional Texas architecture.
Princeton Residence Dallas photos / information from Morrison Seifert Murphy
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