John Staub Awards Gala and Reception

October 23, 2015

The 2015 John Staub Awards events were kicked off this weekend with a Friday evening cocktail reception in the home of Glen Gonzalez and Steve Summers. Mingling about the backyard porch and pool and the elegant interiors of the John Staub-designed home, award winners and The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Texas Chapter members alike enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, catered by Claire Smith of Canopy.

On Saturday, members and award winners were hosted at La Colombe d’Or Hotel and Restaurant for a luncheon where the awards were presented by ICAA Texas board members. Hosted this year in Houston by the Texas Chapter of the ICAA, the 2015 John Staub Award events were planned and coordinated by our own Megaran Morris and Austin Wilson of Curtis & Windham Architects along with ICAA Texas Chapter Coordinator Valerie Wood. Many thanks to these individuals and our generous sponsors for a memorable pair of events!


Opening Day at Flores Hall

October 01, 2015

Opening Day for the St. John’s School marked the first day of Flores Hall in the service of the St. John’s Community.  On August 19th, students and faculty were served breakfast in the new 10,000 square foot Dining Hall.  Together with  building contractor  W.S. Bellows Construction and project architect Kendall/Heaton Associates, a building of superior craftsmanship met both schedule and budgetary targets.

Original campus buildings by architect Hiram A. Salisbury were designed in a gentle Collegiate Gothic style, of cut Texas limestone and scaled to the surrounding residences in the neighborhood.  Limestone for the new building was sourced from the same Texas quarry as the existing buildings and carved by W. W. Bartlett Inc.   The clay tile roof was salvaged in part from Winston Hall before it was demolished to make way for the new campus center, and also from a nearby building that coincidentally had the same tile roof.  Circa Lighting Inc. fabricated the custom-designed, six-foot diameter brass chandeliers, along with the sconces and ceiling pendants in the dining hall.  Also on the project were longtime Curtis & Windham collaborators Texas Timber Frames, Berger Ironworks Inc., and Hayes Carpentry.

A video of opening day in Flores hall shows the new dining hall filled with students and faculty exploring the space for the first time.  For fast facts about the project, see St. John’s School news page.

Long Awaited, Soane Museum Opens Private Apartments

June 17, 2015

An endless source of design inspiration for today’s traditional architects, the London townhouse of Sir John Soane which houses the Soane Museum, has for the first time in 160 years opened the private apartments of the architect to the public. Painstakingly restored to the state in which it was left after Soane’s death, the opening of the apartments, which include the historic model room and a private bath, is the Stage II of Opening Up The Soane project (OUTS) that aims to restore and refurbish the enduring legacy of this great architect.

A master of light, space, and texture, Sir John Soane used variation in the building volume to sculpt dynamic spaces.  Strategically injected with natural light and often enhanced with convex mirrors, rooms form dramatic backdrops for the obsessively designed vignettes of his vast collection of sculptures,  architectural models, and a multitude of decorative objects.

In Soane’s spaces we often find inspiration for our own.  Below are renderings of several rooms of an unbuilt residence in Houston. The house was to have a succession of volumetrically diverse spaces awash in natural light.

The dish room shown below for a residence currently under construction on Meadow Lake in Houston also looks to Soane’s breakfast parlor.

Dish Room no mirrors_noTB

Garden Architecture Exhibition Explores Green Spaces for Space City

May 16, 2014

Four Curtis & Windham Gardens were featured in “Garden Architecture,” an exhibition of private and public garden spaces at the AIA Houston.

The Houston Chronicle posted this article by Kathy Huber on the exhibition:  “Exhibit traces Houston’s History through its Gardens.”

Among the Curtis & Windham gardens included are Bonney Brier Gardens, West Lane Gardens, South Boulevard Gardens, and Del Monte Courtyard Gardens. South Boulevard and West Lane both create new garden spaces with respect to their historic pasts while Del Monte and Bonney Brier offer contrast in scale, context, language, and formality. The exhibit runs through July 18.

Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tour

March 10, 2014

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program will be held this year on Saturday, March 29 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Two gardens and houses by Curtis & Windham will be featured on the tour along with others representing the great variety of garden design happening in Houston today. 18 West Lane is a contemporary garden whose design showcases a wonderful modern sculpture collection and a renovated 1950s era Bolton and Barnstone house. The house and gardens at 3965 Del Monte are representative of a more formal French influence with fanciful menagerie of animal sculptures and garden rooms.

The Garden Conservancy’s mission is to preserve America’s exceptional gardens for public enjoyment and education. The money raised by the 2014 Houston Open Day goes to benefit Peckerwood Gardens in Hempstead. Peckerwood is one of a select few gardens to be a preservation project of the Garden Conservancy and is known as “a living laboratory of plants in the heart of Texas”.