Charles Davis Smith

This house is right at home on the prairie

Sunset  –  January 23, 2006

“A simple and powerful presence on the land – remarkable in a spec-built house.”
– jury comment

HONOR AWARD, Max Levy, Architect, Dallas
This little house on the Texas prairie – built on spec to illustrate architectural guidelines for a new residential community – garnered recognition for its powerful but suitable presence in what is essentially an agricultural landscape.

Designed to emulate the barns and granaries found in the area, the 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath house is built on a stained concrete slab and has siding of wood and corrugated metal. It consists of three freestanding structures, each with an upper room with windows on all sides. A long porch and an enclosed gallery connect the structures.

“The idea was to leave the floor plan as open-ended as possible,” says architect Max Levy. The lower floors function as dining, living, and kitchen areas, the upper ones as individual retreats, bedrooms, or home offices. Sliding screens mounted on stock barn-door tracks roll along the west side of the porch for sun control. French doors and awning windows open the house to breezes during summer. An outdoor room with a freestanding fireplace – and screens for protection against insects – can be used nine months of the year.

It’s a bit bigger and more modern than the homestead in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, but it’s equally suited to the prairie.

ARCHITECT: (214) 368-2023