On The Boards/Merit
Architects Gail Peter Borden, RA, AIA, and Brian Delford Andrews, RA, covered all the bases—affordability, sustainability, and energy efficiency—in this prototype Houston house. Designed to withstand the trials of Houston humidity, the fiber-cement-clad structure mixes the regional typologies of the shotgun and Charleston floor plans. The long layout captures cross-breezes, which chase the heat upward to 11-foot ceilings and out clerestory windows. Screened porches extend the living space outdoors while offering protection from mosquitoes.
The building was designed for stock materials—no cutting, no waste—and the inverted roof collects rain into a cistern, the source for landscape irrigation. Inside, each room has its own air-conditioning unit, plus space-efficient beds and desks that slide into the wall. “It’s about being able to tailor space to the function you’re currently doing as opposed to compartmentalizing,” Borden explains.
Innovative and environmentally savvy, “the strictly layered concept mediates inside and outside and sends the right messages,” said one judge.