The client's program called for two items: renovating the entry façade of a modest 50's era home and adding a screened porch for the backyard. However, the client had a strict construction budget. In response, the role of the porch was doubled to serve both as a dynamic façade for the front elevation and as a casual outdoor gathering space.
The screened porch, with a south orientation, captures the prevailing breezes to enhance cross-ventilation throughout the house, while the concrete structural floor deck serves as a thermal mass for passive solar heat gain during the winter. The rain water catchment system, with decorative rain chains and concrete ong jars, provides drip irrigation for the new zero-scaped garden in the front yard. The elements work to define the front entry with a classic flanking composition.
Exposed to the harsh Texas sun, the porch was constructed from Western Red Cedar to ensure durability while being able to express the elegant structure. The material's natural color and fine grain enhanced the beauty of the design, resulting in a warm and distinctive entry that work to bring the outdoors into the home.
The humble porch helps direct the neighborhood's evolving culture with a friendly outdoor presence that is both inviting and inspiring. The lantern-like, warm glow inspires neighbors reconsider their vehicle-laden circular drives for more refined and attractive street-facing elements.
Sustainable design elements include:
- Rain water collection and storage system for irrigation use
- Passive, gravity fed irrigation & zero scape front yard gardens
- Passive, solar thermal heating during winter
286 sq.ft. Terrell Hills January 2010 Principal: John J. Grable, FAIA Project Team: Matt Martinez, Luis Vargas