Black + Vernooy | Smith Residence - Black + Vernooy

Smith Residence

Inspired by the owners’ travels in the Mediterranean region yet rooted firmly in Texas soil, this single-family residence was designed to provide a secluded, comfortable environment for observing nature, relaxing, entertaining, living, and working.

The oddly shaped site determined a house that is removed from the street, resulting in a long drive through a wooded area that leads to the gently sloping house site.

The house is designed around a large, central public living area. The basic H-shaped plan reaches out to define the entry court as well as the rear yard area. The building can only be seen in small vignettes as one moves around and through it; it is finally understood from inside the main room.

The public space is central to the plan, in which rooms overlay and flow through and into one another. Private rooms are tucked away in more remote parts of the site. The guest bedrooms are located at a slightly lower level, and a remote study, reached by a ship’s ladder, overlooks the main living area and enjoys its own roof terrace.

The central part of the house is designed as a solid, strong, “original” building to which other wings are added, as if built over time. The client desired that the house appear to be of no discernible style or period and seem older rather than newer.