The design of Specht’s Preston Hollow house was driven by the desire to blur the lines between inside and outside, while providing a sense of privacy and seclusion from the street and surrounding neighbourhood, at the homeowners request. Its design is influenced by strategies common to classic Dallas modern homes of the 1950’s and ‘60’s.
Designed by Specht Architects with interiors by Magni Kalman, heavy cast-concrete walls extend from the interior of the house out into the landscape, breaking the “modern box” and creating courtyards that allow for a bright, nature-filled view from every room. This effect is complemented by the huge glass walls that define each space. A large, floating, pavilion roof hovers over both the interior and exterior rooms, defining a special “living precinct” in the site and further fragmenting the boundary between interior and exterior.
The roof shape and large cantilevered overhangs were carefully configured to provide complete shading from the harsh Dallas sun at all times of day. An opening in the center of the roof is modeled on those found in traditional Roman houses and allows rainwater and light to reach the garden below. Flowing water plays a large part in the design. Beginning at the entry, a narrow channel courses through the site and to the pool beyond. The stream is punctuated by a series of cascading terraces and a gentle waterfall near the main entry.