Murphy Mears Architects and Ram Windows Create a Carlton Woods Showstopper
The Woodlands, Texas

Murphy Mears Architects and Ram Windows and Doors does it again. Approaching the 36-foot wide cul-de-sac street-front, perimeter trees frame a narrow view into a site that dramatically expands to a 240-foot wide rear open space, surrounded by dense woods.

The home spans across the center of the site, in a mostly one-room deep configuration, preserving open space in front and back.  Exterior openings align across the open first floor plan, visually bridging the outdoor space and providing balanced natural light within.  An open covered terrace, and a two-story wing on the East project into the backyard.  The two-story projection helps limit site views of the neighbor to the East and provides unique views West, across the longest part of the site, from within each floor.

The front walk is centered on a section of the front façade that is pulled towards the street, and framed by trees.  The two large windows on center open into stacked living spaces, central to each floor’s circulation.  A jog in the walk re-orients guests to a transparent inset entry, offering a passage straight through the house, to the backyard beyond.

Exposed steel members express craft and function with a visual thinness that maximizes sight-lines.  The application of a linear wood motif ranges in use from floating stair treads, to suspended trellis members, to tongue-and-groove ceilings and soffits, to open-joint decks with drainage below.

A simple shed roof design, sloping South, is pre-wired for solar panels and provides enough solar access for the house to produce more energy that it uses.