- Project Name
- Laman Residence
- A.Gruppo Architects
- Project Types
- Single Family
- Project Scope
- 3,900 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
- Project Status
2017 Residential Architect Design Awards
Renovation | Citation
A striking dual-towered addition to a single-family residence in San Marcos, Texas, provides a new entry sequence, an exhibition gallery, and a painting studio for the client, a retired professor of fiber arts and interior design at Texas State University. The new two-story, 2,100-square-foot addition to the Laman Residence is contiguous with 1,800 square feet of renovations to the modest 1970s ranch home.
Designed by local firm A.Gruppo Architects, the addition sits atop a dry creek bed, which necessitated the creation of two bridge structures—one outside, leading to the entrance, and one inside that connects new to existing spaces. The entry hall supports a second-floor library that overlooks the double-height studio and gallery. “It’s quite interesting in section,” Katherine Chia said. Bookcases cantilever into the taller sculptural volumes, connecting each of the new spaces in a rich interplay of space and light. The gambrel-roofed towers are clad in translucent polycarbonate that supplies filterd daylight, which is supplemented by skylights with ceiling baffles that modulate their illumination of the client’s art.
Metal roofing extends to the ground on the sides of two towers, with white stucco on the entry side façade to contrast the polycarbonate on the opposite end. The monolithic stucco walls nod to the original house’s exterior, and offer privacy from the street. Renovations to the existing structure include a master suite that extends into a private walled garden. A sculpture garden occupies the space between the new gallery and master bedroom, extending to the west and including a new bocce court. The complex is a study in contrasts—new and old, public and private, open and closed, which come together in a composition that David Baker called “quirky, but controlled.”
Visit ARCHITECT to see the rest of the winners of the 2017 Residential Architect Design Awards.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Upon retirement after 40 years of teaching Fibre-Arts and Interior Design at Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University), the Lamans desired a gallery and studio to compliment their modest 1970’s era modern home, taken from Heritage Homes plan books originally started by Henry D. Norris AIA. Clad in white stucco, the 1800 sq. ft. residence is characterized by a tripartite plan arrangement of two shed roof’s flanking a central core. The Lamans expertly sited the house amongst a dense canopy of live oak and cedar elm trees on a 1 acre, hill country lot in San Marcos, Texas. Over the past 30 years, they have carved out a series of outdoor rooms, a secret garden and sculpture courts around their home leaving only one logical area for an addition - the front yard. While in most situations an addition would supplement the operation of an existing structure, this situation presented an opportunity for the addition to supplant the home - completely transforming it’s identity and creating a new entry. The program called for an exhibition gallery, a painting studio, a library and a new master suite. Taking queues from the parti of the existing home’s massing, the addition is comprised of paired towers (gallery and studio) flanking a foyer and upper level library. The addition is located in a bowl-like depression at the head of a dry creek bed and so must be accessed via a series of bridges which allowing natural water runoff to flow around and between the existing and new structures. The atmosphere in the towers is animated through two distinct lighting strategies. Ambient light is filtered by the North facing translucent walls while carefully placed skylights project pools of light through a series of ceiling baffles throughout the day. Depending upon the location of the sun, the color temperature of the natural light provides a diverse reading to the Lamans’ art. The library is defined by shelves which cantilever into the voluminous modified-gambrel roof forms of the towers - linking the spaces through section. Perched atop the entry, views to the surrounding canopy of trees create an intimate gathering space for conversation and contemplation for the Lamans and their guests. The Lamans' appreciation for outdoor living is realized with the addition of a new sculpture garden and bocce court off of the gallery, ideal for large showings or family gatherings. While in a more intimate setting, the master bedroom and bathroom open directly into a private Zen garden.