AIA Houston Showcases Local Architects and Modern Homes in 2014 Annual Home Tour

Homes demonstrate design excellence is not limited by size or dollars

HOUSTON, TEXAS – September 11, 2014 The weekend of October 25-26, 2014, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston will hold its 2014 Annual Home Tour featuring seven area homes selected by a jury of industry experts to represent the finest in modern and contemporary residential architecture. The two-day, self-guided tour is open to the public and offers attendees a rare opportunity to walk through and view an impressive assortment of privately-owned residences designed by accomplished Houston architects.

“One of the goals of the Home Tour is to advocate for working with an architect on a residential scale and for smaller projects,” says Tour Chair Shawn Gottschalk. “It's a very intimate process working with clients to design a home for the way they live their lives--or the way they want to live their lives. The architect really gets to know them.”

"It’s one thing to pass by and admire these stunning homes from the outside, but an entirely heightened experience to step inside and be captivated by the remarkable thought and talent that went into each design,” added AIA Houston Executive Director Rusty Bienvenue.

Featured homes (with approximate square footages) and their architects include:

  • 502 Archer St., Houston, TX, 77009, 2,500 sf, Homeowners & Architects

View a Google map of all homes.

Underwood House
4055 Underwood St.
Houston, TX, 77025
studioMET Architects
5,500 sf

Taking advantage of a corner lot in Braes Heights, the Underwood House marries interior and exterior spaces featuring fire, water, and rock garden landscapes.

After entering the gate and stepping across a water feature, views of the double island kitchen, interior and exterior living spaces and landscaped yard with a lap pool are afforded through a wall of glass.

Designed for entertaining and family life, the 5,500 sf house includes a master suite with balcony, three bedrooms, a generous family room with a terrace, a garage workshop and a separate guest quarter.

The controlled material palette includes a gabion wall, standing seam metal panels, CMU block, vertical grain cypress, steel and glass.

Holly House
5222 Holly St.
Bellaire, TX, 77401
studioMET Architects
5,560 sf

Located on a quiet street in Bellaire, the Holly House shows a restrained façade that opens into a double height living space with clerestory windows, a music room and open kitchen/dining area. To complement the interior spaces, the covered terrace extends the living space outdoors to include a pool, basketball court, summer kitchen and bathroom.

The elevations express volumes of brick and stucco while cement board is coupled with ipe siding and soffits to finish off the shell of this house. The master suite is tucked into the back of the lot for solitude and privacy, while the upstairs includes 3 bedrooms, an art studio and a media room with a balcony overlooking the street.

The Frey House
2204 Decatur St.
Houston, TX 77007
Kinneymorrow Architecture
1,686 sf

The Frey House, built in 1894, is located in Houston’s Sixth Ward Historic District. The property spent the last several decades in a state of total dilapidation, listing at six degrees, until a young couple retained Kinneymorrow Architecture to reimagine the neglected but noble structure as their new home.

The design honors the original house by simply extruding its façade profile toward the back of the lot, adding about 700 square feet to the original 900. A change in floor level distinguishes the old and new parts of the structure. By adding to the house in this way the property retains its original scale and character from the street.

Most of the original materials of the old part of the house were preserved and those that were missing were recreated from or replaced by vintage reclaimed stock. While the exterior of the house maintains original detailing, the interior reflects the owners’ contemporary lifestyle. An open plan, natural light, and views to the outside transform what was once a warren of small dark spaces.

Programmatically the design reorganizes the house into three parallel spines from the front of the house to the back. The living areas occupy a single open volume on the right side of the house while the more private and supporting spaces are aligned to the left. The third spine, an outdoor living area, mirrors the interior living area, adding usable space to the small house.

1819 Southmore
1819 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX, 77004
Intexure Architects
4,600 sf

Set on a 5,500 sf lot in Houston’s Museum Park neighborhood, this home establishes its own identity and unique presence on the street. The home is based on the division of public and private space; the first floor opens outward with large expanses of storefront glass while the second floor private spaces focus inward.

The home utilizes innovative materials and expresses structural elements such as 12” thick cast-in-place concrete walls and structural steel supporting a zinc-clad cantilevered volume. The kitchen features custom-fabricated wood veneer, glass, and lacquer millwork with hidden features and electronic openers. Custom steel and glass stairs connect the levels within the home.

Currently undergoing LEED certification, the home is anticipated to receive LEED platinum status through a variety of sustainable features including spray-foam insulation, a high-performance AC system, high-performance windows, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Additionally, the home channels rainwater from the roof into a 2,400-gallon collection system, which features modular underground storage, an in-grade pond and bio-filtration feature designed to meet the site’s entire irrigation demand. The landscaping features unique design elements including a sloping steel wall, custom concrete planters, a variety of outdoor patios, drought-tolerant plants, and over 20 trees.

502 Archer
502 Archer St., Houston, TX 77009
Homeowners & Architects
2,500 sf

Architects Jeromy & Lori designed 502 Archer around their family and hobbies. The home provides perfect spaces for collaborative cooking, crafting and gardening. The couple rehabilitated an undesirable, weeded lot by leveling the earth with truckloads of dirt before constructing their home. A retaining wall on the lot's south side separates the home from a “little valley.” This unique green space creates a natural buffer between the home and its neighbors, additionally doubling as a mini dog-park and urban orchard.

The living areas are one big, family-friendly and party-friendly space — the living room flows right into the spacious kitchen with its long farm table, which opens directly into the craft/computer room. A patio with a Big Ass Fan overlooks the ravine and greenhouse allowing extended seasonal use of the outdoor spaces. An interior courtyard conceals a small plunge pool and brings north light into the craft room. Tall windows in the living areas provide scenic views of the garden and are great for bird watching.

Approximately 2,500 sf wood frame with metal roof and siding, the house is energy efficient with features such as an insulated attic, instant hot water heaters and 2x6 exterior walls to allow additional thickness for the spray-foam insulation. Special attention was given to the exterior envelope to protect the structure from our hot, humid environment. Deep overhangs to the east and west provide additional shade and protection from rain, while the south-facing covered patio allows the winter sun to warm the concrete floors.

6429 Edloe
6429 Edloe St., Houston, TX, 77005
4,329 sf
Cusimano Architect

While many in this neighborhood build to the extents of their property in order to maximize their investment, the homeowner was interested in preserving green space to increase the indoor/outdoor experience. To accomplish this goal, the architects focused design efforts to organize efficient living spaces, sparing as much of the lot as possible to green space. Consequently, the traditional “builder’s box” solution was abandoned and an “L” shaped plan was adopted. The home is composed of three elements: mixed-use garage, the bar, and a steel and glass bridge.

The mixed-use garage is operable on both ends enabling cars to be parked, while also allowing the structure to serve as a party pavilion with access to the back yard. Additionally, the garage serves as a base to create a private island for the master suite giving it an experience of seclusion and a unique view of the backyard.

The bar has a “shotgun” style giving it a feeling of openness inside while also providing both the public as well as the private areas constant views of the backyard.

The steel and glass bridge is the entrance to the house, but also acts as a hub. Here the visual and functional aspects of the house intersect in a transparent core, enabling one to experience the entire house from a single point.

As a result, the house’s diagram affords a sensitive solution that maximizes the user's green space while maintaining aesthetic cohesion.

1134 Waverly
1134 Waverly St., Houston, TX 77008
Logan and Johnson Architecture
2,600 sf

Recent sustainability practices have given a new meaning to Mies van der Rohe’s famous dictum “less is more.” Mies intended the phrase as a reaction to over-detailed and overwrought architecture. However, with the rise of sustainability it has come to mean willful privation: to make do with less. The Perforated House flips Mies’s equation (and its unintended meaning) by asking the question can more ever be less? Can more of something actually create less consumption, less energy, less need?

The project takes as its archetype the vernacular Texas dogtrot house, organized around a central breezeway that draws air through the center of the structure. But in the Perforated House, the team at Logan and Johnson said, “If one is good, then four are better,” quadrupling the dogtrot’s singular breezeway. These breezeway-perforations create double-height spaces that organize the interior of the home, amplifying the project’s passive cooling strategy through a combination of cross-ventilation and stack-effect. In addition, the perforations increase the amount of natural indirect lighting throughout the house, reducing the need for artificial lighting. The double-height spaces create programmatic gaps at the second level that separate the private zones of the house.

The project is lifted on a pier foundation at varying heights to encourage additional air circulation under the home, bolstering the cooling performance in the warmer months. The shifts in the raised foundation and the multiple breezeways help to break up what would otherwise be a 100’ long x 20’ wide space. The architects break the continuity by considering the air circulation: weaving over and under the breezeways, connecting the shifted levels. This results in degrees of spatial autonomy within an open and connected live/work environment, and reduces HVAC and electrical loads. More is less: More openness is less air conditioning, more air is less artificial filtration, more daylight is less electricity.


$25 Tour Ticket

$20 Tour Ticket for Cyclists

$10  Single Home Ticket* (not available for pre-sale)

Tickets may be purchased in advance online, at any of the participating houses during tour hours or at the AIA Houston office, 315 Capitol Street, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77002.

*Single Home Tickets can be purchased at any of the participating houses during tour hours and are good both days of the tour.

AIA Houston wishes to recognize and thank the following tour sponsors for their generosity (as of 9/11/14): La Nova Tile, RAM Windows, Digital Delight, Roche Bobois, Internum, and American Construction Investigations and media sponsors CultureMap Houston, Houston House & Home, Houston magazine, HoustoniaModern Luxury Interiors Texas and Yelp. Sponsorship opportunities are available through October 18, 2014. For more information, contact Tina Zulu at Zulu Creative,


The American Institute of Architects Houston is the professional organization for more than 1,800 architects and other design professionals in the greater Houston area. Its mission includes service to members and to the public.

Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 3pm.


Open to the public, the AIA Houston Home Tour showcases the finest residential architecture in the Houston area, as designed by licensed architects. Houses are chosen to showcase a variety of design styles demonstrating that excellence in design is not limited by size or dollars.

The home tour is a nonprofit fundraiser and supports various AIA Houston initiatives throughout the year.

Watch a video overview of the AIA Home Tour.


Tina Zulu, Zulu Creative, 888.520.1789, ext. 1 or for AIA Houston.