shipley architects, dallas If outdoor spaces are unappealing they go unused. So Dan Shipley, FAIA, made sure his renovations to this 1960s ranch house shaped its previously uninteresting, alley-facing backyard into a favorite hangout. The home's newly added master suite and detached carport with upper-level studio combine to create a quiet courtyard. Exterior hardscape seamlessly blends old and new, and a vocabulary of stucco and commercial storefront windows ensures additions read as such.

“The intent was for a complete departure that still forged a positive relationship with the main house,” Shipley explains. “We saved the trees and started from scratch.” Those trees add vertical movement and organic elements to Shipley's industrial design. And his subtle changes, such as offsetting the steel pergola, frame the homeowners' views of the trees.

Although the site's new structures consume some of the outdoor space, Shipley believes they visually enlarge it. “They make the whole yard seem bigger because you can feel the space moving around you, but you can't tell how big it is.” The judges agreed, confirming Shipley's assertion that a house makes the best use of its site when it's designed with outdoor spaces in mind.

project architect: Dan Shipley, FAIA, Shipley Architects
general contractor: Bob Sullivan, Sullivan Design and Construction, Dallas
landscape architect: Michael Kinlear, Rendata's, Arlington, Texas
project size: 2,800 square feet before, 3,800 square feet after (including exterior)
site size: 1 acre
construction cost: $175 per square foot
photography: Charles D. Smith