Saint Emanuel House

by Ronnie Self
Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self

The Saint Emanuel House captures Houston: a city made of skyscrapers, freeways, single family homes and lawns and gardens.
The Saint Emanuel House is located in Houston’s Third Ward. In one direction, it looks over 16 lanes of depressed freeway (hypnotizing in itself – especially at night), toward a spectacular and unobstructed view of the downtown skyline. In the other direction, there is a traditional neighborhood of small wood-framed houses and dense vegetation. The house mediates between the two.
The site is robust. The house is likewise strong in its geometry and overall gesture. It parallels the freeway and is pushed toward it in order to preserve a large garden oriented to the neighborhood. It is lifted into the air on concrete walls and columns to take better advantage of the views. The tapered, cantilevered concrete slab that supports the building responds to the nearby elevated freeway ramps and bridges without mimicking them.

A roof deck floats over the house and functions like a giant parasol providing shade and a ventilated cavity above the waterproofing. The roof deck allows other, more distant views to the Medical Center and the Galleria areas of Houston, both several miles away. It also provides a wide open panorama of the ever changing Texas sky.
The house is modest in size with 1,600 square feet of conditioned space. The building plan is generally rectangular with one side splayed to follow an angled property line. Inside, public spaces are extraverted and flow around the stairwell that pierces the concrete slab at its center and threads together the ground, the home and the sky. Transparencies and reflections open and connect the living / dining, galley kitchen and study to each other and to the outside world. Private spaces are more intimate. The two bedrooms, conceived as sleeping chambers, are oriented toward the garden only. The bathroom, in the middle of the house, has no view out but is dramatically lit by horizontal clerestory windows that pop through the roof deck.
A circulation axis runs parallel to the freeway the entire length of the house and links all spaces. Full height windows at both extremities give a sense of endless space. In this small building, a wide variety of spatial qualities, views and vistas makes it more generous than its actual size.

Photos by: Paul Hester

Source: ArchDaily

  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self
  • Saint Emanuel House Ronnie Self

Sponsor

Sponsor

  • A.B. House

    A.B. House

    The house is built in a residential area in the north of Timisoara, Romania. Nearby, there is another Andreescu & Gaivoronschi house designed 13 years ago, which developed the same...

  • Diamond Beach House

    Diamond Beach House

    This site, just behind the sand dunes of Diamond Beach on the mid north coast of NSW, is very flat and has a modest view over wetlands. The proximity of the ocean would enable a be...

  • Apartment With A Retractable Interior Wall

    Apartment With A Retracta..

    Fertility Design, a Chinese firm,  recently created this understated, contemporary apartment. The space includes a movable wall that separates the home office and library from the...

  • Blossoming Bloom Table Lamp

    Blossoming Bloom Table La..

    The award winning Bloom Table Lamp from the French designer Patrick Jouin for MGX is a beautiful contemporary and innovative object. The shade of this singular lamp is 3D printed a...

  • Scandinavian Design: Vedbaek House

    Scandinavian Design: Vedb..

    The first thing we did was to tear down all the walls, only leaving the chimney, making the downstairs one big room. This gave space to the beautiful old stairs leading to the firs...

  • Vaucluse House

    Vaucluse House

    The concept for this dwelling was to reflect the topography and landform of the Sydney Habour basin. The house is expressed as a series of horizontal layers – the sandstone clad ...

  • Yorkville Penthouse

    Yorkville Penthouse

    This 4300 s.f. contemporary penthouse by Cecconi Simone occupies an entire level in a new, hi-rise condominium in Yorkville, Downtown Toronto. In line with current social trends, t...

  • Doria

    Doria

    Doria is a private resience located in Turin, Italy. Designed by Fabio Fantolino, it is sleek and elegant, with a high degree of sophistication. Photos courtesy of...

  • Home Hangers

    Home Hangers

    Home is a collection based on research of Slovakian tradition. It uses language of traditional morphology and symbolical meaning subtly, but focuses on the baseline that puts the f...

  • Miniot

    Miniot

    When you get an expensive, beautiful device like an iPad, iPone or iPod you want to spoil it. A cheapo case feels wrong on it, and personally, I think Apple’s (Smart) Covers are ...