Little Forest Hills Residence 8 PHOTOS

This project is a compact residence for two art collectors. The design is essentially a long thin bar that creates long interior vistas to make a small footprint feel spacious. Along both sides of the bar are narrow garden areas that create a layer of private outdoor space between the house and its neighbors.

Little Forest Hills Residence

This is a view of the entry and south porch from the entry garden.

The long north side of the residence is lined with high clerestory windows to let in northern skylight but little direct sunlight and no heat gain. This leaves a tall uninterrupted interior art wall on the north side of the great room. The south side of the this space has floor to ceiling windows and doors that visually connect the interior to a covered porch and a narrow garden. To shield glazing at the entry, the south porch wraps around the western facade making an "L" of shade where it is most needed. The living/dining/kitchen and covered porch are roofed by a sloping plane that, due to clerestory on the north, west and south, visually floats above the interior and exterior spaces it covers. To reinforce the idea of the continuous ceiling plane, its underside is finished with cedar planks on the interior and exterior. At twilight the cedar ceiling is gently lit with reflected light.

photo: Craig Blackmon

Little Forest Hills Residence

The long this bar plan suits the site, a 50' x 150' suburban lot on which a driveway was inserted from the street to a carport at a back of the property, leaving the front yard open for a pedestrian entry sequence and creating a long thin buildable area. The bar is split and offset at the juncture of the public and private zones, The public zone at the front is clad in cementitious panels. The private bedroom zone at the back is clad in galvanized corrugated sheet metal.

photo: Craig Blackmon

Little Forest Hills Residence

The two bedrooms in the private zone have doors onto the private north garden. The high clerestory windows continue across the entire north side to let daylight into every space without heat gain.

photo: Craig Blackmon

Little Forest Hills Residence

View from the living area across the dining area to the kitchen. The continuous high clerestory windows leave an unbroken wall plane for the clients' art collection. Custom designed art lighting provides flexibility for changing shows.

photo: Craig Blackmon

Little Forest Hills Residence

View from the kitchen to the living/dining area and the south porch.

Photo: Craig Blackmon

Little Forest Hills Residence

View through living area toward the entry. The TV cabinet, like all the windows and doors are steel, custom designed for this project and fabricated by a local craftsman. The low window below the TV cabinet was designed for two small dogs who must view everything that goes on in the street.

photo: Craig Blackmon

Little Forest Residence

Detail of jamb at custom steel doors. photo by Susan Appleton

Book featuring the Little Forest Hills Residence

Contemporary Texas Architecture by Ashley Rooney, Schiffer Publishing, 2017, features the Little Forest Hills project.