Anchoring the Southern border of a Single-Family Cottage District, the original 50'-0" wide lot neighborhood - devoid of any alley access – renders a pattern of small, segregated parcels of front and rear outdoor living spaces. Seeking harmony with the adjacent nature trail, this program demanded a shift in paradigm through space saving innovations and tight cohesive design solutions to merge a better flowing solution with the indoor / outdoor spaces.
The corner lot allowed us to convert the traditional 12'-0" wide driveway into a courtyard providing a connection with the indoor / outdoor - doubling the size of the public living spaces. Gracious glass window / door openings and the cottage vernacular bay window act to merge the interior spaces with the pool courtyard defined by the perimeter stone wall. Exterior steel arbors serve as protection from the sun - casting ever changing shadows on the white stucco walls. Respectful to the proportions of the original neighborhood cottages, we utilized a modern "one room wide" open plan - consistent with historical precedence. The south facing front yard porch reaches out as an inviting gesture - consistent with the character of the neighborhood. Hanging in the traditional bay window stair well, the open, folded, blackened finish steel plate stair subtly emphasizes the materiality while melding with the black painted steel structure throughout - delivering unobstructed courtyard views.
This home and its design solutions exploit the constrictive boundaries of a small 50' site – creating a lush inner sanctum courtyard in contrast with the established neighborhood relationship of indoor to outdoor spaces.
Sustainable design elements include:
Principal: John J. Grable FAIA
Project Team: Matthew Martinez
Photographer: Dror Baldinger FAIA
Location: San Antonio, TX
Building Area: 3,000 Sq.Ft.