2171 University Boulevard — Intexure Architects
Conceived with the idea of a treehouse in mind, this casual, relaxed home provides a welcome retreat for the family, aptly named the Birds. The forms of the house step back from the street and nestle into the mature live oak canopy, capturing views of nearby Rice Stadium, the Medical Center and shared greenscape.
The entry to the home provides a transition point with a sense of quiet respite. Upon entering, visitors first notice the dramatic stair tower and wood-wrapped volume extending upward. This central staircase, custom-fabricated of steel, forms the center of the home, with an opportunity to experience the trees at different vantage points.
From the second floor, at the level of greenery, horizontal limbs reach toward the bedrooms. A guest suite separated by a breezeway enhances the treehouse effect. Connecting to an adjacent terrace, the third-floor office acts as a perch above the city, offering views of the stadium and urban area beyond. A sparkling swimming pool embellishes views that further connect the house with its landscape.
The home is a great example of extended family living with features designed for multiple generations. A separate mother-in-law suite provides privacy, while maintaining family connectivity. A sense of play is present in the house, with areas for children connected to the main spaces both indoors and out. Open spaces and visual connections allow parents to keep an eye on all three children.
Durable materials and low-maintenance solutions add practicality to the home’s design. Sustainably features include low-e insulated windows, spray-foam insulation, highly efficient AC, and low-flow plumbing and solar-ready connections. Eco-friendly techniques and materials include permeable landscaping and gravel areas for guest parking.