The Dallas Architecture Forum will present its annual 365 Modern Living Cocktail Parties receptions in June with three great evenings at some of the most significant modern homes in Dallas. Two of them, The Rock Cliff and Surrey Circle Residences on June 11, and June 19 are located in Preston Hollow.
The third house is in the Urban Reserve, which is loosely considered to be in Lake Highlands.
Each evening will include a cocktail reception with hors-d’oeuvres, and the chance to see the residence and hear from some members of the design team while enjoying the company of fellow design enthusiasts.
Each cocktail party will be from 6 to 8 p.m. with remarks by the design teams at approximately 6:45 p.m. Attendance is limited, and early purchase of admission is recommended.
Tickets are available online at dallasarchitectureforum.org.
Urban Reserve Residence
Urban Reserve Residence, situated at the entrance of its neighborhood of fifty sustainably designed contemporary homes in North Dallas, has been described by its architect, Billie Tsien, as having the plan of a private city condominium sited in the woods.
It incorporates both urban and natural edges and exemplifies the stringent sustainable design standards set by the developer for this community, who with her husband is also the owner of the residence. Tsien and partner Tod Williams, whose many high-profile projects include the Obama Presidential Library, were engaged to design the home after the owners learned more about their deep mutual respect for design when Billie and Tod spoke for The Dallas Architecture Forum.
The first level of the residence, which contains two guest rooms, is clad in a sand-blasted concrete block and anchors the house to the site. Guests are treated to views of the wooded ravine and are able to enjoy a koi pond and Japanese garden.
A second-level terrace functions to entertain guests and provide the owners with an outdoor kitchen, lap pool, and connection to the tree canopy that surrounds them. An expansive metal screen wraps the south and east sides of the house and shades the home and the exterior stair.
The owners’ love of cooking drove the placement of the kitchen at the center of the third level. Living and dining rooms flow to the north, while the office, library and master bedroom are located to the south. The entire floor is linked by a circulation corridor that displays the owners’ exciting contemporary art collection.
Interior Designer Joshua Rice collaborated with the owners to select furniture and design elements that complemented their relaxed but sophisticated lifestyle. A ‘Chat’ sofa by Carlo Colombo was chosen for its combination of comfort and design, and the dining table in custom fumed oak was designed by John Pawson. The living room lounge chairs are by Bassam + Fellows, and the custom leather headboard in the master was designed by Rice. Mario Bellini ‘Cab’ leather seating is used throughout the house to embody the combination of beautiful design with durability that exemplifies the owners’ way of living.
Rock Cliff Residence
Rock Cliff Residence was initially designed by renowned Dallas architect Harwood K. Smith, founder of the firm HKS. Built in 1952, Smith’s architecture was grounded in early modern Texas vernacular inspired by O’Neil Ford.
Set on a spacious one-acre site, the original one-story house was carefully located among lush topography with many floor-to-ceiling windows and a façade clad in historic St. Joe brick. The current owners purchased the property with a vision to maintain the heritage of the residence while carefully increasing its size. Renovation architect Josh Nimmo utilized a natural 30-foot slope in elevation to add a 1,500-square-foot bi-level wing that transitions seamlessly with the rest of house.
Architectural elements already present in the original design, including vaulted ceilings, skylights, and steel rafters were incorporated into the addition. Innovative interior spaces were redone with white walls suitable for hanging art, serene white-oak floors, and white marble slabs in the baths. The original monumental carved-wood front door designed by Harwood K. Smith was kept, and a massive pivoting door in white oak was intended to separate the master bedroom wing from the living areas.
Interior designer Brant McFarlain was commissioned to create interiors reflecting a clean and refined aesthetic to defer to the owners’ significant contemporary art collection that includes museum-worthy paintings by Damien Hirst, Maya Hayuk, Joseph Havel, Richard Phillips, Adam Ball, Marc Quinn, Dan Rees, and Kai & Sunny.
A custom white Hollywood Regency credenza and Schonbek crystal chandelier in the dining room are balanced with a sculptural dining table designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Norman Foster and classic Knoll Saarinen chairs covered in thick red mohair.
Sleek mid-century modern furnishings throughout the home including Minotti chairs and a gondola sofa from Emily Summers Studio complement cherished family antiques.
For the home’s exterior, Studio Outside designed a boardwalk that traverses the water and backyard steps to the garden below. A relaxing infinity pool can be viewed from glass window walls throughout the residence. Completing the landscape, a canopy of tall oaks shades the lushly terraced, rolling grounds where a soothing fountain bubbles from a modern Japanese-style courtyard.
Surrey Circle Residence
The Surrey Circle Residence has a secure connection between indoor spaces and outdoor living. The contemporary design includes sizeable moveable glass walls that open the main living areas to an 800 SF screened living room.
The screened living area, with a large stone fireplace, outdoor kitchen, dining area, and radiant ceiling heaters allow this active family to enjoy the outdoors most of the year. The contemporary design uses a simple palette of exterior materials, brick, smooth cut limestone, stucco and Resysta siding accents.
Throughout the landscape Silvermist stone was used for the hardscape material, gravel and cobble are in the entry courtyard, and a boulder wall encompasses the motor and entry courtyard. An ipe’ wood deck runs along one side of the pool, and a single allee’ elm tree emerges through the deck.
An organic path of bluestone slabs surround the remainder of the pool and wood deck and is carried through the spa at the end of the pool. The site consists of a landscape palette of only drought tolerant, low maintenance plants; no grass was used for this sustainably designed project.
Giant walls of glass allow the interiors to be washed with natural light and provide beautiful views from the second-floor playroom and deck. To complement the expanse of windows and light; earth and water were two primary elements driving the interior design and selection of materials and colors – wood, concrete, steel, and stone secure this natural palette.
The neutral furnishings add warmth with a large splash of black, blue and white in the custom family room rugs. One of the most impressive features is the family room fireplace which incorporates a single horizontal cold rolled steel slab that spans the full width of the room.
A significant part of the success of Surrey Circle was a result of the collaboration between the Bernbaum / Magadini architects, designer Robyn Menter and landscape architect David Hocker throughout the design process. This allowed for fluid teamwork with the contractor during construction and cohesive design that complimented the extraordinary architecture.