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Wabi Sabi House : Texas Residence

Residential Building in Texas design by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, WA, USA

Jun 23, 2008

Wabi Sabi House Houston home

Date built: 2008

Design: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

Wabi Sabi House: Houston home, Texas
photo from architecture studio

Houston House

SEATTLE: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects (OSKA) have designed the Wabi Sabi house in Houston, Texas for developer Carol Isaak Barden + Company. The house represents a singular commingling of Eastern and Western aesthetics and the sensual use of natural materials. Rick Sundberg was the lead architect on the project, his first in Texas.

Wabi Sabi House Wabi Sabi House Houston Houston House
photos from architect studio

‘It was exciting to work in a city like Houston,’ says Rick Sundberg. ‘The climate is so different from ours, and it raises unique challenges. Working on a spec house has its own challenges ‘ creating a home that can accommodate a wide range of lifestyles and families; from active young families to empty-nesters.’

‘Wabi Sabi is a Japanese expression that implies the restrained expression of the humble and the simple. In Japan and China, Zen implies an emphasis on simplicity and sobriety, and Zen temples are sublimely refined and restrained.’ The monks have always been aware that a well-designed room or garden could have a positive effect on one’s well being. Wabi Sabi is not solely the work done by nature, nor it is solely the work done by man; it is the synthesis of the two ‘understated beauty, free of embellishment. The philosophy of Wabi Sabi includes serenity and calm and a great love and respect for nature.’

Set in a traditional residential neighborhood of Houston, close to Rice University and near the cultural center of the city, the 3-bedroom, 3-‘ baths, 3750 square-foot wooden house, combines the beauty of natural materials and simple modern forms. Old-growth trees on the site were not only preserved, but Sundberg’s design takes advantage of their presence with strategically placed windows, and in one case, decking that flows around a pecan tree.

The warmth of naturally aged cedar siding is echoed inside the home with the use of salvaged wood, bamboo and reclaimed teak.’ Skylights in the middle of the building, operable windows, and an expansive roof deck allow for natural light and ventilation ‘making a sustainable statement in the most air-conditioned city in the U.S. Exemplary craftsmanship, particularly in the use of the exotic hardwood, ipe, and mahogany millwork, bear witness to the skill invested in this project.

Wabi Sabi House Wabi Sabi House Wabi Sabi House Wabi Sabi House
photos from architect

Carol Isaak Barden + Company plan to build a series of Wabi Sabi Houses in Houston.

About Carol Isaak Barden + Company

Houstonian Carol Isaak Barden worked as a journalist for over two decades, covering travel, architecture, and design before starting Carol Isaak Barden + Company in 2002. Since then, she has built thirteen spec homes.’

As a part time resident of New York City for the past twenty years, Carol has been influenced by what she calls the ‘currents and creative trends of Manhattan,’ especially the way New Yorkers make use of every inch of their small apartments.’ Her company collaborates with gifted architects and builds spec homes that are distinctly different.’ She recently completed two homes designed by Francois de Menil and has collaborated with architects Allen Bianchi and Strasser Ragni.’

Houston residence images / information from Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

Olson Kundig Architects

Location: Houston, Texas, United States of America

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