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architecture
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ARC house
construction photo


ARC house
southwest elevation


ARC house
southeast elevation


ARC house
south elevation


ARC house
east elevation


ARC house
northeast elevation


ARC house
east carport elevation


ARC house
vestibule north interior elevation


ARC house
vestibule west interior elevation


ARC house
vestibule stairs


ARC house
vestibule south interior elevation


ARC house
kitchen north interior elevation


ARC house
living south interior elevation


ARC house
kitchen east interior elevation


ARC house
livingroom east interior elevation


ARC house
master bedroom north interior elevation


ARC house
master bedroom south interior elevation


ARC house
master bedroom deck looking south


ARC house
master bedroom deck looking southeast


ARC house
west|north elevations


ARC house
east|south elevations


ARC house
site plan


ARC house
site plan

location: Houston, Texas
lot: 3750 sf
SFR: 1750 sf
plan: 2 bed/2 bath
start: March, 2018
finish: March, 2019


The design of ARC house is inspired by the growing challenges of flooding due to climate change as experienced in Houston, Texas—in particular, from the catastrophic hurricane Harvey in 2017. The unique location of the lot in the historic arts district in the First Ward, located just minutes from downtown Houston, presented the opportunity to raise the structure maximizing the skyline view while utilizing a "flood friendly" ground level vestibule. The result is a unique SFR that creates a strong dialectic between terres-trial concerns and elevated harmony.

The structure is supported on steel W-flange columns covering a Blackstar gravel carport. The ground level vestibule is composed of split-face CUM with a clerestory of glass block, serving as an artisan’s workspace. The structural steel and exposed conduit are expressed to further the industrial texture of the space. A cedar plank ceiling traces utilities in their service routes.

Twelve-feet above begins the live space. This unique geometry is defined by two large saw-tooth window elements flooding northern light into the great space. Thin vertical windows coupled with high clerestories further illuminate the tall volume while providing ample art wall surface area as well as mitigate the harsh Texas sun. A large central window of the great space draws the inhabitants towards the south canopy of foliage in the near ground. The kitchen surfaces, as well as all of the counter tops, utilize a locally quar-ried Azul Limestone. The White Oak floors are finished with a dark stain and matte-finish.

The third level contains the master suite with an ample deck that opens to a spectacular framed view of downtown Houston. The modest amount of square footage both fits the narrow lot and enables a more focused design on communal space.

In all, the design concept was driven by the need to mitigate future flood events. The ground level is fixed with flood vents set in the CMU with virtually no other water-susceptible materials present. The car-port is composed of Blackstar gravel to increase permeability of the entire lot. The relatively porous limestone used on all countertops intends to further enforce the focus on water through traces of use throughout the years. The standing seam metal roof reverberates the sound of rainfall. Overall, the ARC concept is to bridge the real concerns of global climate reality, specific to a coastal port with a residen-tial space that floats above in a carefully crafted oasis. For inquiries please email:

garlandfielder@gmail.com