Zulu Creative

AIA Houston 2016 Home Tour Represents the Finest in New Residential Architecture


Contact: Tina Zulu, Zulu Creative
888.520.1789, ext. 1

HOUSTON, TEXAS – September 21, 2016 The weekend of October 29-30, 2016, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston will hold its 2016 Annual Home Tour featuring nine area homes selected by a jury of industry experts to represent the finest in new 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. Open to the general public, the tour attracts approximately 3,000 people each year and operates with generous permission from homeowners, community cooperation, 200 volunteers, and architects eager to share each home's design.

“Houston has an amazing talent base of architects engaged in residential design, from established Fellows in the AIA to emerging architects beginning their practice, says Home Tour Chairman Camilo Parra, AIA of Parra Design Group, Ltd. Great, new architects appear on the scene each year; this Tour showcases exciting houses from those new architects as well as established professionals whose work continually inspires me. You will see innovative designs, different styles, and exquisite details—I hope, like me, you will be amazed.”

All of the homes on the tour are located within the Houston metropolitan area, designed by an AIA architect, and completed within the last 5 years. The selection committee is Elizabeth Alford, Principal of POLLEN (Austin), Brantley Hightower, Founding Partner of HIWorks (San Antonio), and Brian Carlson, Partner McKinney York Architects (Austin). The criteria used to select homes for the tour include design excellence, quality and craftsmanship, innovative design solutions and use of materials, and sustainability of design. The selection committee reviewed all submittals and made a recommendation to the AIA Houston Executive Committee, which made the final selection of homes to include on the tour. 

"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,” adds AIA Houston Executive Director Rusty Bienvenue.

See a map of all featured houses. Watch a video overview of the AIA Home Tour.


studioMET: Pavilion Haus

Pavilion Haus Meets Family’s Living and Budget Needs as Children Grow Older

1914 Ebony, Houston, TX 77018 - 2,500 square feet, studioMET

In an age of architecture and construction where real estate development often drives residential design, the Pavilion Haus is a calculated and thoughtful response to the economic and architectural questions about how a young family lives.

Shawn Gottschalk, a partner at studioMET with German roots, and his wife, Rachel Gottschalk, a marketing director, envisioned their personal family home to answer their needs for efficiency, transparency, privacy, affordability, safety and flexibility. The pavilion-for-living concept allows for change over time while the family’s needs evolve as the kids get older.  

The 2,500 square-foot single-story design/build project layers brick walls and sliding glass doors with polished concrete floors for privacy from the street. It unfolds into a courtyard open to the sky, complemented by an open plan uniting the exterior and interior spaces for living, entertaining, exercise and playing. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a flex room, mudroom and storage round out the ancillary spaces.

Exhibiting a strong connection to the outdoors, the Pavilion Haus features a floor-to-ceiling glass, with a backyard that opens up to a large covered deck and pool. The family enjoys being outside, a preference attributed to the husband’s humble upbringing on a small farm in a small town where quality time meant spending time with their parents and each other. The Pavilion Haus’ young family maintains this connection.

Design, permitting, construction and move-in were achieved in 12 months and was punctuated by the expected arrival of the newest family member.

Adhering to less is more, the Pavilion Haus exemplifies connections to nature and answers the challenges of designing and building on a budget, on time and to the needs of an active family.

The Pavilion Haus, the personal home of studioMET partner Shawn Gottschalk, won a Design Award for Residential Architecture for 2016 from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston Chapter. studioMET Architects was also awarded AIA Houston’s Firm of the Year Award for 2016.

McIntyre+Robinowitz Architects: Marmo-Vaikhman House

Heights Home Salvages Materials to Create Identity while Blending with Area Bungalows

705 Merrill, Houston, TX 77009 - 5,700 square feet, McIntyre+Robinowitz Architects

Located in the historic Houston Heights, this house creates its own identity while taking cues from the existing bungalow architecture of the neighborhood.

Lap siding, exposed rafter tails and single-story elements at the main façade are used to harmonize with the existing streetscape. A central element of the design is a majestic live oak that anchors a meditative courtyard that commands a view from many of the interior spaces.

Programmatically, the house is divided into three distinct areas. The public spaces on the first level divide the site between the tree court and pool area. The private master suite is located to the rear with a spectacular master shower. The children’s play and bedroom areas are on the second level.

To reduce energy consumption, open-cell spray-foam insulation was installed at the exterior walls and rafters, allowing for all mechanical equipment to be within the conditioned envelope of the structure. The generous overhangs and reflective roof reduce the impact of solar heat gain.

Antique heart pine flooring, salvaged from the original structure on the site, was reused in various ways including flooring, desktops, benches and wall paneling. Recycled brick and reclaimed oak barn wood rounds out a rich palette of finish materials.

Dillon Kyle Architects: West Eleventh Place Residence

Peaceful yet Whimsical Award-Winner in City’s Smallest Historic District Serves as Urban Retreat

5 W. 11th Place, Houston, TX 77005 - 4,504 square feet, Dillon Kyle Architects

Situated in Houston’s smallest historic district of West Eleventh Place, this architect’s award-winning house defines a welcoming exterior space containing the lawn, gardens and pool. In spite of its central location, the quiet, peaceful retreat is unassuming, yet whimsical. 

Referencing regional typologies of the Texas Gulf Coast, the building’s materials strike a balance between modern sophistication and unassuming detailing. Wide overhanging eaves are painted the same subtle blue as the master suite interior. Roofs are clad in cedar shakes and copper panels. Lapped siding transitions into board-and-batten at the second story sill line and bricks knit together the whole project through pathways, fireplaces, bases of buildings, and the pool detailing.

Large, operable double-hung windows provide ventilation, generous natural light, and views to the yard while reinforcing the project’s historic roots and the constraints of its historic district location. Independent of the exterior envelope, color-saturated interiors create warm and personal spaces. The uninterrupted ceiling ties together the entire first floor and transforms into canopied vaults over the living room and library. Atop the curved stair, an airy vault enhances the sense of removal for the private second floor master suite, suggestive of bygone sleeping porches. The richly-hued paneled walls offer a distinct background for an extensive contemporary art collection, a reminder that the Houston Museum District is only steps away from this urban retreat.

The outdoor space is a direct extension of the owners’ love of gardening. Raised beds in the back (visible from the dining room) are for herbs and vegetables, while lush beds of ferns flourish near the entry, and a collection of potted succulents bask in the sun at the serpentine garden wall.

MaRs: The Wroxton

Warm, Modern Design and Inspiring Functionality Grace Inner Loop Residence

2332 Wroxton Rd., Houston, TX 77005 - 4,950 square feet, MaRs

A modern urban home in Houston’s desirable Inner Loop, The Wroxton delivers strong design, transparency and openness, both inside the home and out. A 53-foot floor-to-ceiling glass wall extends the courtyard’s feel into the home. Visitors are welcomed with a warm sense of arrival with an exterior of Ipe wood-plank, unlike the coldness transmitted in some modern homes. A progressive entry sequence, highlighted by non-traditional front yard steps, leads to The Wroxton’s front courtyard. 

A sleek kitchen, with 11-foot ceiling, is an outstanding rendition of modern design and inspiring functionality. A flexible downstairs space can be used for an office or held on-reserve as a senior’s suite. Upstairs, balconies embrace the outdoors and overlook the pool situated in the courtyard shaded by olive trees. The Wroxton successfully blurs the barriers between indoor and outdoor living while speaking volumes about modern design in urban settings.

The kitchen offers chef-quality appliances selected from domestic and European sources and three suspended tube lights, manufactured in-house by Allegro Modern. The powder room’s wall of white hexagonal tile and spectacular modern fixtures pops in the home. With a sculptural oval tub, the master bath, lined with strips of horizontal limestone, provides a delightful retreat. The Wroxton is modern urban living perfected.

m + a: Hammer Residence

New Home in Redeveloping Neighborhood Suits Couple, Children & Extended Family

2304 Goldsmith Street, Houston, TX 77030 - 3,475 square feet, m + a architecture studio

A new home for a young professional couple with small children and an extended family, this is an inner-city house on a prominent corner, in a middle-class neighborhood undergoing redevelopment. The house is a study in contrasts and a study in light.

A low scale, visually heavier mass element anchors the composition to the north, while the house becomes materially lighter through a two-story curtain wall, paralleling the circulation spine. The second-story mass of the master bedroom is elevated on a pair of columns, creating a covered patio space at the south corner of the building, fully integrating the public spaces with the landscape.

Public spaces and a guest suite occupy the ground floor, each with discrete views into the landscape beyond. Three bedrooms and a home office connect to a wide hall on the second floor, top lit by a double-sided clerestory above.

The material palette is the decorative scheme of the building. Exterior steel is galvanized and interior steel is etched and sealed. The natural concrete of the first floor is sealed and polished, while the natural finish of the stucco at the garage extends into the interior of the entry. The wood stair and second floor extend to the elevated section of the ceiling in the living room below and outward as a soffit material over the covered patio space.

studioMET: Merrick House

3615 Merrick, Houston, TX 77025 - 4,037 square feet, studioMET

To save and preserve a beautiful oak tree on the lot, the Merrick project respects nature by designing for views of the tree from the first floor living-dining-kitchen and to experience the canopy above with a panoramic view from the second floor master bedroom. The clients wanted the house to have space for their growing family while also reflecting a connection to the original house on the lot where they started their family. Wood from the former house was deconstructed and salvaged through a program with Habitat for Humanity and restored in the new house as accents in the entry art niche and master bedroom wall. Curated pieces include art from Mexico that reflects the family's heritage and travels. Integrating a light brick with wood, steel and glass, this house in Braes Heights also answers to the site near the bayou with an elevated foundation coupled with flood vents.

Note: studioMET Architects was awarded the Firm of the Year Award for 2016 from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston Chapter.

Natalye Appel + Associates Architects: Oberlin

Notable Architect Designs West University Residence for Parents’ Golden Years

4153 Oberlin, Houston, TX 77005 - 3,400 square feet, Natalye Appel + Associates Architects

On a 6,000-square-foot corner lot facing an active pedestrian thoroughfare in a West University Place neighborhood where they have lived for their more-than-50-year marriage, a couple in their late 70s decided to put down new roots in a home designed for their golden years. Light, health, durability and sustainability goals commingled with the desire to create a place for extended family and community connectivity. In addition, the house needed to accommodate the client’s extensive collection of American antiques and decorative objects.

Integrating indoor living spaces with the outdoors and the community through liberal use of windows, sliding doors and porches, the design is based on a spare essential geometry as a foil for the decorative collections. Most of the couple’s everyday life is on the ground floor, where the open living, deck, dining, kitchen and master suite are designed for ease of future wheelchair access. Upstairs, a study and bedrooms for visiting family come together in a balcony overlooking the living space.

Allowing the couple the peace of mind of a healthy home with low maintenance and energy requirements, numerous features contributed to LEED Gold certification. Additionally, the home features technology advancements such as solar panels with individual sensors, battery backup, and remote monitoring capability.

Upon entering, visitors will notice the light-filled, double-height main living space, covered in whitewashed shiplap siding with a red stair wall. Additional attractions include a double-sided fireplace linking the living area to the kitchen/dining area, and multi-slide pocket doors which completely open the house to the backyard.

JT ARC STUDIO: Winslow House | Perched

Residence with Varying Frontages Embraces Urban and Suburban Scales

517 Winslow Lane, Bellaire, TX 77401 - 3,200 square feet, JT ARC STUDIO

The subject lot is bound by a confluence of urban and suburban scales that the residence attempts to embrace. The perching of the second floor volume enables the family to occupy an elevated platform that engages the urban datum of the 610 freeway and baseball venues of a neighboring high school.

The program distribution strategy was initiated through a staggered vertical stacking of the family’s varying communal spaces. Primary gathering spaces of the living room and kitchen anchor the ground floor. Lofted sitting and study zones extend up and outward to two additional split levels of roof-top platforms that react to the varying frontages of the site. The circulation core takes on multiple responsibilities. The sectional condition within the core provides visual connectivity of all communal spaces, enables stack-effect ventilation, and facilitates natural daylight infiltration.  

The residence is slated for LEED certification. The first floor utilizes insulated CMU blocks (Omni block) for all exterior loadbearing walls. The elevated volume is separated from below with a band of clerestory glazing. An open-joint rain screen consisting of a UV stable water-resistive vapor membrane and clad with DIY charred cedar (Shou-Sugi-Ban) is implemented on the upper level massing. The open-joint rain screen works to promote drainage and ventilation within the panel cavity and the charring of the cedar helps to preserve the wood.

MASA Studio Architects: Soothing Santa Barbara

Home Reflects Family Vacations along California Coast, Influenced by Single On-site Tree

4810 Braesvalley, Houston, TX 77096 - 8,000 square feet, MASA Studio Architects

The home is located in Meyerland, a flood prone area in the city of Houston. The elevated design of the home takes into account these seasonal disturbances. The residence was designed in the soothing Santa Barbara style, as envisioned by the client and their love of family vacations along the California coast. Immersed with casual living and spartan ornamentation, it demonstrates a sense of sophistication with carefully executed details, elegant finishes and refined materials.

A notable material feature is the use of American Clay plaster throughout the home due to the

family’s sensitivity to allergies. This age-old material is an environmentally conscious product, a

non-toxic alternative for interior wall coverings that provide quality, health, beauty and value.

The design and organization of the home on the property was influenced by a single tree, adjacent to the courtyard entrance. Tour participants note the presence of a large oak tree that shades the courtyard, hides the mass of the home and greets visitors upon arrival. Once inside, a groin vault gallery focuses the viewer’s eye to the 500-gallon saltwater reef tank prominently located in the great room.

The great room provides an open vantage from which to enjoy the property. Deep verandas flanking the great room help buffer the interior space from the weather, while visually merging with the courtyard and pool area. The open-air cabana anchors the outdoor activities at one end of the pool.


$25 Full-Tour Ticket

$20 Full-Tour Ticket for Bike Riders

$10 Single House Ticket (Single house tickets will not be available for pre-sale)

The Full-Tour and Single House Tickets can be purchased at any of the participating houses during tour hours and are good both days of the tour.

Full-Tour tickets may be purchased in advance online at or at the AIA Houston office, 315 Capitol Street, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77002.

AIA Houston wishes to recognize and thank the following tour sponsors (as of September 15th) for their generosity: 

Diamond Sponsors

  • Architectural Design Resource
  • Big Ass Fans
  • IKEA
  • La Nova Tile
  • Mason’s Mill & Lumber Co.
  • RAM Industries

Party Sponsors

  • Big Ass Fans
  • BMC 

Media Sponsors

  • CKW Luxe
  • CultureMap
  • Houston House and Home
  • Houston magazine
  • Houstonia Magazine
  • Modern Interiors Texas
  • Yelp


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 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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.

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