Taking as its point of departure the iconic Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe, our design for the Kyle Residence rethinks the modernist concept of transparency according to the constraints of the contemporary American suburb. Unlike the glass house, a solitary object set in an expansive rural setting, the Kyle House is located on a constricted suburban site surrounded by neighboring houses in Houston, Texas.
Our design extrudes the analogue of Mies’ utility core as a protective appliance wall that follows the set back lines of the site. Viewed from the outside, this high-tech fence establishes visual privacy by shielding the house from the prying eyes of neighbors. But seen from the interior, both the Astro-turf roof that shelters the master bedroom and the reflective surface of the glass enclosed lap-pool raise the perceptual level of the horizon, replacing the unsightly views of neighboring properties, with a series of constructed views of a synthetic “nature.” Lawn and water meet open sky.