rpga design group, fort worth

Builder Village Homes asked architect Richard Garza to create a house that departed from the typical Texas production housing mentality. They wanted something different, something with historical significance, Garza explains. In response, he designed "basically just a box," he says, "but the materials and detailing give it sophistication."

Mediterranean-style flourishes in the iron balustrades, window trim, horizontal bullnose banding, and roof brackets embellish the home's simple shape. "Most people know they like something even when they don't know why they like it," says Garza. "It has a lot to do with proportion and window placement, so we were particular about the order of each facade." The judges appreciated his "simple forms and nice detail."

Also high on the judges' list was the floor plan's easy flow. Garza stuck with Mediterranean ideas to refine indoor-outdoor relationships. Time-tested elements like the low-pitched, overhanging roof and scaled-down arches keep interior spaces shaded. And an entry sequence that moves from open-air porch to covered portico to a foyer with teasing sight lines into other rooms builds drama. "It gives you a sense of discovery," says Garza. "You want to explore the rest of the house and you never dead-end because it's a continuous flow."

project architect: Richard P. Garza, RPGA Design Group
builder/land planner/developer: Rob Sell and Michael Dike, Village Homes, Fort Worth
interior designer: Ayca Stuckey, Ayca Designs, Fort Worth
project size: 3,800 square feet
subdivision site size: 25 acres
construction cost: $100 per square foot
units in project: 80 (3.2 per acre)
photographer: James Bland Photography