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House Three Cast Concrete Volumes

This Dallas residence is called Preston Hollow Home and was designed by American studio Specht Architects, who was influenced by the texture and shape of modern Dallas, Texas homes built in the 1950s and 1960s. The architecture is brutalist and the volumes of long cast concrete cover 820 square meters.

Specht Architects oriented each of the orthogonal structures so that they wrapped themselves around courtyards, grassy areas and stone-covered terraces. Large windows and steel columns are combined with corrugated concrete walls, made using specially made formwork. The structured material gives the residence its brutalist appearance, while the thin window frames and metal pillars are intended to soften its heaviness. In contrast to the brutalist works from this period, the heavy walls are contrasted with sensitive steel columns, thin window frames and the floating, self-supporting roof edges.

Concrete steps and gravel paths surrounding the volume are shaded by a flat overhang that spans part of the home. A rectangular opening is cut into the roof structure over an inner courtyard in the middle of the house. The cutout, an impluvium modeled on traditional Roman houses, is intended to bring rainwater and sunlight to the row of plants in the central garden area.

A stream that lights up at night meanders around the edge of the residence and cuts into the partially open courtyard. The water flows into the rectangular swimming pool that runs next to one of the concrete volumes.

Inside, the studio painted the walls bright white and covered the floors in the main living rooms with light hardwood. Some of the precast concrete elements remain free inside. Corrugated concrete covers a fireplace in one of the light-flooded living rooms, while dark wooden planks are used to cover an additional fireplace in the master bedroom.

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