Real Estate / Houses

Gorgeous Houston Houses Draw National Attention

Prominent Home Tour Loves Spotlighting the Bayou City

BY Faith Nguyen // 09.21.15

The Modern Home Tour is back in Houston. PaperCity spoke with Ken Shallcross, vice president of Modern Home Tours (the organization behind the tours), and Mark Atkins of MASA Studio Architects for insights about the event, which takes place Saturday, September 26.

Shallcross says his organization’s goal is to “showcase this work for the benefit of the architect and for the people who don’t get to see it all the time.” While touring the homes, participants will have the opportunity to ask architects and homeowners questions about the residences. The tour is held in eight to 10 cities per year, including Denver, Los Angeles and Vancouver. What draws the tour back to Houston, Shallcross says, is the enthusiasm of the community and the unique qualities of the homes.

Atkins (whose firm designed a home that is part of the tour) says that architecture is “born and bred from the culture that’s there in the city. In general, Houston’s architecture is a little more laid-back … We have a diverse culture, and we don’t have many zoning laws, which is peculiar for a large city.”

With modern, less is more. What sets these homes apart from traditional structures is minimalism: clean lines, open spaces, and natural lighting. It’s dynamic, and in the past few years, homes have been “heavily incorporating energy efficiency and reuse of building materials,” Shallcross says.

Modern architecture, Atkins notes, “is always fresh ideas and rethinking old ideas. It’s more challenging because you don’t have a good reference point to work off of; it’s never the same.” Each modern home is unique because it’s a collaboration between the client and the architect. “They come to us with ideas, and it’s our job to unify those things. Doing architecture without their involvement really lends itself to a space that can’t be lived in.”

Advance tickets for the Modern Home Tours can be purchased for $30 here. Tickets are $40 the day of the event; children 12 and younger can attend for free. The self-paced, self-driving tour takes place from 11 am to 5 pm, and proceeds will benefit the Lawndale Art Center.

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