In one of San Antonio’s, oldest neighborhoods, architect and developer John Grable, FAIA, salvaged 45 percent of a 1948 house because of his client’s commitment to conservation and green building. At the same time, a contemporary home was the aim. The team developed a program that met the challenges posed by the site challenges and client requirments. They saved the original kitchen at the center of the house but remodeled it. They reused wood where possible, stepped new rooms down the slope to save its heritage oaks, and maintain the scale of the neighborhood. They showcased views through big modern glass panes, opened interior rooms to one another and the outdoors, and constructed a new small second level with party space and two outdoor entertainment areas—one with a wood deck with fireplace and a second with a green-roof deck and hot tub.
To respect the size of area homes yet make the house fresh looking, Grable’s firm kept the home mostly one story, and added a bit of edge with steel arbors and overhangs that shade big windows to reduce solar gain. Judges liked the home’s clean, simple palette inside, and outside, they appreciated all the spaces for the homeowners to relax outdoors. Grable calls this project his “Green Lantern. “With lights on at night,” he says, “it reads like a lantern in the landscape.”
On Site With water at a premium, pools need to serve multiple functions. Grable tucked one under a front-entry bridge that runs parallel with the façade and designed it for swimming, as a fountain, reflection pool, and grotto-style waterfall.