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Castillo House

Location: Fisher Texas

2,400 SF

Under Construction 2023 

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The single-level, single-family residence is situated on a steeply sloping site with a previously excavated embankment, presenting a unique opportunity to create a home that blends harmoniously with its natural surroundings. The architectural design of this residence is a testament to the conscious approach taken towards the environment, as it was meticulously planned to minimize any adverse impact on the existing vegetation, with a strong emphasis on preserving the surrounding trees and greenery.

The architectural program is centered around meeting the specific needs of a small Latino family, consisting of two parents who are deeply involved in the construction finishing business, and their three children, all of whom are students. Understanding the family's desire for social coexistence and a connection with nature, the design seamlessly integrates bioclimatic strategies that not only enhance energy efficiency but also create open, inviting indoor and outdoor living areas, making the most of the space throughout the year.

The architectural design of this single-level, single-family residence in Texas takes into account the extreme weather conditions that prevail in the region, with soaring temperatures reaching as high as 42°C (108 F) during summers and plummeting to -10°C (14 F) in winter. In response to these challenging climate conditions, the design places a strong emphasis on effective bioclimatic solutions to ensure optimal indoor comfort while minimizing energy consumption.

  • Self-Shading: A key element in the design is the incorporation of self-shading strategies. Thoughtfully placed roof overhangs, awnings, and sunshades provide much-needed protection from the intense summer sun. By strategically positioning these shading elements, the residence can reduce direct solar heat gain, keeping the interior spaces cooler and more comfortable during hot days.

  • Use of Thermal Mass: The architectural design includes the intelligent use of thermal mass to help regulate indoor temperatures. High-density materials, such as concrete, stone, or brick, are integrated into the building's construction. These materials act as heat sinks, absorbing excess heat during the day and gradually releasing it during cooler evenings, creating a more stable and comfortable indoor environment.

  • Proper Siting: The orientation and siting of the residence play a critical role in optimizing energy efficiency. The design considers the prevailing wind patterns and solar angles to position the building strategically. By maximizing exposure to the warming sun during winter and minimizing direct solar exposure during the scorching summer months, the residence can naturally harness solar energy for heating in winter and reduce unwanted heat gain in summer.

  • Stack Effect Utilization: The architectural design thoughtfully takes advantage of interior heights to generate the stack effect, facilitating natural ventilation. By creating openings at different levels, warm air naturally rises and escapes through higher openings, drawing in cooler air from lower openings. This promotes natural airflow throughout the home, providing cooling benefits without solely relying on energy-intensive mechanical ventilation systems.

  • High Thermal Insulation: The building envelope is designed with a focus on high thermal insulation to minimize heat transfer. Well-insulated walls, ceilings, and floors help retain the indoor climate, preventing heat loss during winters and heat gain during summers. This insulation significantly contributes to indoor comfort and reduces the reliance on heating and cooling systems.

  • Energy-Efficient Windows and Glazing: Careful selection of windows with energy-efficient glazing and low-E coatings enhances the thermal performance of the residence. These windows reduce heat transfer, glare, and UV radiation while allowing natural light to brighten the interior spaces. Properly sealed and insulated windows play a vital role in maintaining indoor comfort and energy efficiency.

  • Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems: To cope with extreme temperatures, the architectural design incorporates energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. Heat pumps and high-efficiency air conditioners are employed to efficiently cool the home during hot summers and provide effective heating during cold winters, contributing to reduced energy consumption.

The amalgamation of these bioclimatic solutions ensures that the single-family residence in Texas offers a sustainable and comfortable living environment for the small Latino family throughout the year. The design not only minimizes the impact of extreme weather conditions but also promotes energy efficiency, highlighting a thoughtful and responsible approach to architecture that harmonizes with the natural environment.

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The project showcases a contemporary and well-thought-out design, composed of three interconnected volumes that form a cohesive and functional family residence. The integration of walkways provides easy circulation between the different spaces, enhancing the overall flow and accessibility.

Upon entering the residence, a main walkway serves as the focal point, branching out to various destinations within the home. To the left, one can access the master bedroom, offering a private and serene retreat for the homeowners. To the right, the walkway leads to the heart of the home, the social area. This central body of the building hosts the living room, dining room, and kitchen, thoughtfully positioned to encourage interaction and create a dynamic gathering space for the family.

The seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living is evident as one continues along the main walkway. From the social area, an inviting outdoor deck awaits, featuring a pool that complements the residence's leisure and entertainment aspects. This outdoor space serves as a refreshing extension of the living areas, allowing the family to enjoy the warm Texan climate and beautiful surroundings.

A separate side volume houses the children's bedrooms, providing a dedicated space for their comfort and privacy. Additionally, the interior laundry is conveniently located in this wing, making household tasks more efficient. The design carefully considers the family's needs, creating a functional and organized layout that supports their daily activities.

One remarkable feature of the architectural design is the communication corridor. This corridor offers an alternative route to the front yard without having to pass through the kitchen or living room. This thoughtful arrangement enhances privacy in the main living areas while providing direct access to the exterior, adding convenience and flexibility to the dwelling.

The design is characterized by clean lines, modern aesthetics, and a harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor elements. Large windows and glass doors are strategically placed to allow natural light to permeate the interiors, creating a bright and inviting atmosphere throughout the residence. The use of quality materials and finishes enhances the overall sense of luxury and sophistication.

Overall, the project exhibits a well-balanced and functional architectural design, catering to the needs of a modern family. The interconnected volumes, circulation walkways, and thoughtful space allocation create an enjoyable and comfortable living environment, fostering social interaction, relaxation, and a seamless connection with the outdoors. This thoughtfully crafted home exemplifies the integration of form and function, making it a standout residence in the Texas landscape.

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