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Zaguan House

Murphy Mears Architects, Wm. T. Cannady, FAIA

Shared By

Chelsea Blahut, Hanley Wood LLC

Project Name

Zaguan House

Project Status


Year Completed



3,000 sq. feet


Stephen and Elizabeth Bricker


  • General Contractor: Gabriel Homes
  • Structural Engineer: Matrix Structural Engineers

Project Description

Discovering Houston’s housing market dominated by large residences with little outdoor space, the family decided to plan their own home. The architectural program evolved into an efficient design solution that could be constructed affordably. The resulting L-shaped 3,000-square-foot house is wrapped around a courtyard connected to an open air portal, or zaguán, that allows the prevailing breeze to flow through and cool the terrace during hot humid summer months. By placing the home on the West side of the lot, the backyard is comfortably shaded in the afternoon. Carefully aligned windows throughout the home allow for passive cooling with cross ventilation.

To achieve a usable back yard, the garage is situated at the front of the buildable area, with the driveway and front walk merged into an arrival space that accommodates overflow parking. Living, dining and kitchen are joined into a shared family space, with views and access to the backyard through a wall of glass doors. In the kitchen, a paneled wall conceals refrigerator, storage, and pantry. The kitchen’s island and back counter conceal appliances and storage beneath their minimalist table-like forms.

The glass-walled master bedroom bridges the two building masses. The exterior open-joint rain-screen siding aligns with the interior wall of the master bedroom to provide a sense of separation from the main structure. Multi-use spaces and durable materials ensure the home will meet the needs of a growing family for years to come.
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