Modern House in Dallas: Update

Bob Borson —  October 18, 2011 — 19 Comments

Things are coming together faster on this project than the frequency of these posts would imply. My last significant update on this project (here) was 5 months ago and a lot has happened. I am going to commit to providing more timely updates in the future – now that the finishes are going in, that’s an easy promise to keep. In fact, it will be easier to isolate some of the really interesting and dynamic parts of the project and devote an entire post on them rather than create these large update posts.

So here we are, approximately 5 months away from the owners moving into the finished house, and site visits are becoming a bit more frequent – probably 1 a week at this point. I have to resist going by the site too often – it doesn’t do anybody any good if I go over too often – I just don’t like missing out on anything at this stage. One day no tile … next day … tile. And yes, we did generate lots of tile plans to show where we wanted each joint to fall. In a house where the spaces are large and you can see through one space into the next several, little details matter a lot.

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Front Entry Elevation

The front of the house. One day I will go by the site and there won’t be any vans or trucks parked out front.

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Front Entry looking up at zinc siding

This is the large window that is in the main stairwell at the entry. I’m not going to focus in on this area to much because there is a screen wall that is getting built that covers this entire window that will have its own post … but look for that probably sometime next week. The metal fabricators actually finished putting it together today but I haven’t seen it yet.

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Main Stairs at Landing

This picture is taken from the first landing of the main stairwell. The window on the left hand side is the large window we just looked at on the front elevation. These stairs will eventually received a concrete tread and some pretty nifty hand-railing. The concrete treads will sit inside those metal trays – you can see how the trays turn up on the sides but it will be all concrete on the front and rear.

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Top of Main Stairwell

This picture is taken at the top of the stairs, just before you walk out onto the rooftop terrace. The large window on the front elevation is the light source you see coming in from the right hand side. Eventually there will be large format art pieces on these walls.

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Roof Terrace

The roof top terrace. Large enough for group seating – there is a grill up here, an outdoor kitchen, bar seating and a fireplace. Half of the terrace has a roof over it but as you move out towards the edge, the roof stops and turns into a shade structure. Right now all you can see is the perimeter steel framing for the shade portion.

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Great Room towards Dining Room

This is the Great room looking back towards the dining area (where the site superintendent is currently standing). This is a large room with 14′ and 12′ high ceilings.

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Dining Room looking towards Great Room

In this picture, I am standing where the superintendent was standing in the previous picture (dining room looking towards the great room with the kitchen just over to the left hand side).

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Master Bedroom Patio towards Courtyard

Now I am standing on the outdoor terrace off the upper level master bedroom looking back at the terrace across the patio. Down at the bottom of the patio you can just make out the beginning of the small swimming pool. The large expanse of glass on the right is the bridge component that connects the front of the house with the rear of the house. It’s a 47′ free span complete with glass floor. Eventually the bridge will be wrapped in black zinc metal siding.

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Master Bedroom

This is the upper level master bedroom – on the left is the terrace from the last picture.

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Guest Bedroom 4

There are several guest bedrooms in this house, this being one of them. The reason I included this picture was to show the shade pocket detail above the window on the right. Due to the steel structure in the ceiling, we weren’t able to include a recessed shade pocket when it was added after construction had begun. Rather than just build it out over the window, we extended the pocket from wall to wall. In the end, this will be a clean way to detail this condition.

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Utility Room Cabinets

The first cabinets have just now started to show up on site. This happens to be one of the utility rooms and this is paint grade millwork – we have a combination of stain grade and paint grade on this project. Despite the obvious outward aesthetic difference between paint and stain grade millwork, we don’t detail how they are built any differently.

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Cabinet Corner detail

A close-up look at how the cabinetry is set at the wall. This detail allows the millwork contractor a precise way to control the size of the joints while insuring that the cabinet fits tight to the wall.

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Playroom towards Bar

This is the ground level playroom located in the back half of the building right off the pool.

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Courtyard under Bridge

Exiting the playroom out onto the patio, I am standing underneath the bridge component. The exposed structure that is visible under the bridge is the portion where the glass floor will be installed. At the far end of the bridge is an outdoor kitchen area. This area will change a lot from what you see here in this picture when everything gets built out. I’ll save those details for another day.

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Looking up in side yard at zinc metal siding

I took this picture as I was leaving the property. Despite the obvious difference between our house and the adjacent house (located 10′ away), the scale of these two homes is fairly similar. Both are three stories in height and sit on their respected sites with the same side yard setbacks. Since these are both infill lots, the sites are somewhat narrow and deep and as a result, interior courtyards are common.

I am excited to show everyone this project and look forward to the next update! Cheers

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  • Bamgbopa Folarin

    pls bob i need ur help, been following you for a while, i need tutoring on my details and i wont mind if i can access u personally , i’m a fresh graduate from Nigeria, please let me know how i can reach you. bamgbopafolarin@gmail.com just in case

  • Stephen Xavier Lin

    Wow Bob, armchair architects like myself just eat this stuff up. Great work!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks for taking the time to leave comment Stephen – it’s been a while since I’ve heard from you.

      Cheers

  • http://lookingatglass.wordpress.com/ Patricia

    I love all of the glass!  Looking forward to watching the project to completion.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks! There are a lot of posts coming on this project – the finish items are going to start coming together really quickly and there is lots to see and share!

  • http://twitter.com/TALV58 Todd Vendituoli

    Bob it is always a pleasure to see projects as they progress and this looks to soon be a wonderful home. Sharing the progress of a project through photos really is the best along with an added description. 

  • Mikheil

    Everything looks great, well done! Only comment I have is upper cabinets in the kitchen, there is a gap between ceiling and the cabinet, kind of dust collector, not big enough to get with hand. I would detail it with continuous recessed scribe. 

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Mikheil,

      Thanks for really looking at the pictures but you are just a little bit off on the part of the upper cabinets you mention. The carcass of the cabinet is tight to the ceiling with a continuous scribe – the gap you see is a 3/4″ offset between the cabinet door/ frame and the scribe piece. It is a typical detail for us in that we pull the cabinet door down 2″ from the ceiling so that it will always clear any possible items (like smoke detectors) that are attached to the ceiling.

  • Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Elegant.  Thoughtful.  Livable.  Exciting.  Are you eligible for the Old Architect of the Year award yet?  When do the mosaics arrive?

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Hopefully I’m not eligible for the “Old Architect of the Year” award for a little while just yet!

      The mosaics actually showed up this last Friday and just to keep them safe (since they arrived in panels), the contractor put them up on the walls yesterday. Hopefully I will find the time to swing by the job site some time today. You can be sure that some photos will show up shortly afterwards.

      Cheers

      • Nancie

        Grazie.  Just returned from the 2-week Mosaic Masterpieces Tour with Julie Richey in Italy and still haven’t had my fill.  

        • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

          That sounds fantastic! As soon as the mosaics are ready for their coming out party, I will make sure they are presented with an appropriate amount of fanfare

          Cheers 

  • Elise

    Bob, this place looks AMAZING! I am going to put it out there that this is pretty close to a dream home for me. The outdoor space is incredible and highlights the shape of the house beautifully. Great job and can’t wait to see the finished results. 

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks Elise,

      All the really exciting bits are starting to emerge from the construction dust and debris. This is the first project that has been so heavily documented from a photography standpoint so I’m quite sure there will be some interesting before/ during/ and after shots.

      Thanks for leaving a comment – I appreciate it.

  • http://www.henriquebgomes.com Henrique Barros-Gomes

    Looks great Bob! Would you consider to include some plans in a future post? Regards

  • http://www.henriquebgomes.com Henrique Barros-Gomes

    Looks great Bob. Would you consider to include some plans in future posts? Regards.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks Henrique –

      The idea of posting plans has been a struggle for me. It is one thing to post construction photos but quite another to post a floor plan. We’ll just have to see and I would want to get specific permission from the owners first.

      Cheers

      • http://www.henriquebgomes.com Henrique Barros-Gomes

        I absolutely understand what you mean. I would never disclose plans without the permission of the owners. But plans (and sections and technical drawings in general) allow us to understand much better the spaces and the relations between them. It’s like those magazines in which we see great photos that we enthuse, but when we seek to understand the spaces, there are no blueprints. I must confess that I always feel disappointed when this happens.

        Anyway, the house really looks great.

        Cheers

        • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

          I couldn’t agree with you more. That having been said, a large part of the people who come to this sight aren’t architects and have limited to no experience reading plans and sections.

          I still try and work bits and pieces of them in when I don’t think I’m exposing too much but including an entire floor plan would be something else. Besides, the plans for this house are long (approx. 42′ x 215′) and there are three floors. You would be scrolling for days!