The program given by the client was a simple one: a structure that honors the design efforts of California Case Study Houses and “mid-century” style and offers an open, inviting space for entertaining while maintaining areas of privacy.
The design approach was to create a compact structure that took maximum advantage of the elevated site and captured the expansive views to downtown and beyond while honoring the principles of modern design. This residence is a result of combining a design that is both influenced by its’ urban infill context, the Oklahoma climate, and the client’s appreciation for the Case Study Houses.
The site for this project is located in a once blighted neighborhood near downtown Oklahoma City. The unique feature of the area is that it is elevated from the downtown area and possesses the best views of the skyline. The lot was vacant due to the 1980’s demolition by the city of dilapidated housing in the area, which includes the two adjacent frame structures. The area’s decline had continued until recently, when the neighborhood had become a much sought after area for custom residential urban infill projects.
Incorporating a simple material palette of concrete, glass, stucco and steel on the exterior and utilizing eco-friendly interior finishes the design sought to strike a balance between the raw nature of the finished surfaces and a clean-lined elegance in the simple forms. While modestly sized at 1,740 sq ft. of conditioned living space the house takes full advantage of its elevated site. The use of open floor planning, large glazed areas, open terraces and elevated patios incorporated as outdoor extensions of the open floor plan, help blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Simple landscaping elements accent the bold geometric forms of the structure’s massing.
Innovative construction techniques, such as insulated, poured-in-place concrete walls combined with structural steel framework provide the bones of the house and become the highlights of an understated but dramatic interior. Exposed concrete, recycled maple and rubber provide the palette for the flooring while above painted drywall ceilings float between the exposed steel structure and concrete wall surfaces. Geo-thermal heating and cooling work in unison with the insulated concrete walls and sun controlled glazed areas to maintain a year round comfort level that is extremely energy efficient.
Simplicity, utility, truth, vision, and an empty lot with a view: the sum of which is the Oklahoma Case Study House.