What Ron Wommack and his client realized was this rather dowdy spur of houses on very high ground adjacent to an abandoned railroad track would soon be a site overlooking the Santa Fe Trail, a running, walking, bicycling trail from White Rock Lake to Fair Park. What was a lesser street now became a very desirable hidden street relating to the Santa Fe Trail.
Often locations are overlooked. Just as often a commonplace home is designed and built on beautiful land that diminishes the site. I have seen houses built next to a ravine, creek or a small lake with the master bedroom closet or garage on the water side of the house because that is what the plans called for, anticipating a generic lot, or the architect designed using only the lot dimensions not taking into consideration the surroundings.
The Late Robert James, FAIA, former president of the Dallas Chapter, AIA, found a small irregular lot with difficult terrain rejected by all builders. James designed a modern home configured to the lot and still with vast views of green that gave one the sense that you were on a very large piece of property.
The old traditional homes are classically lined up facing the street, and the ones with balconies or porches are facing away from the railroad tracks at the bottom of the ravine. Now the Santa Fe tracks have been removed and the Santa Fe Trail is being constructed. The orientation of the house still has a front forward facade the street with full length corner window walls providing a view of the Santa Fe Trail and park, but the orientation of the home is towards the trail and surrounding wooded areas.
The front door opens to an exterior corridor paneled with the trail that leads past walls of glass to the front door on the side of the house. A first floor screened porch and balcony porches are also oriented towards the new Santa Fe Park and Trail. A wall for art and with a few windows is on the side of the house towards the residential cut-through street a few houses away.
Some successful architect designed modern homes stand alone in a one-off location. Other architect designed contemporary homes have the ability to transform an entire area.
People start thinking about architecture in a new way and the people start thinking about the location in a new way.
As interest in modern homes increases, an expanded audience drives ever increasing number of home tours emphasizing modern homes. The Dallas Chapter of AIA selects modern homes across the city which allows the public to learn about architecture and about Dallas neighborhoods. Most people did not even know this home existed before the Dallas AIA tour. Those on tour loved the home and loved the location. The word spreads, aspirations grow and we will soon discover many new great modern homes on the Santa Fe Trail.
The sophisticated client whose life has always revolved around art and architecture has accumulated many friends deeply involved in the arts and the city of Dallas. What better way to start the year than a New Year’s Day party in a fabulous modern home surrounded by the homeowner’s appreciative friends reveling in this architectural success and contribution to Dallas.
See additional photographs of this Ron Womack desined modern home on FaceBook.com/modernhomes.