Watonga Residence is a lovely two-story house in Houston, Texas, designed in 2021 by HR Design Dept.


A woman commissioned the Watonga residence with a big heart for animal fostering. She wanted a house that felt private from the street but visually and physically connected to the backyard. The house needed to consider the typology and scale of the existing neighborhood, and it needed durable materials to accommodate little paws. Finally, it had to support an environmentally conscientious life. The house was intentionally placed on the short end of an irregularly shaped lot, allowing the living spaces to open up to a large native landscape and an adjacent lot containing a significant tree grove. This siting allowed for a passive orientation where window walls face north and exposure to the south and west is minimal.

The interior is light-filled, capturing expansive landscape views of an established oak grove to the North and bayou views to the East. A carefully choreographed entry vestibule and screen shield create interior privacy from the street. A two-story volume fills the center of the home with warm, southern light. A palette of tile, Texas stone, and concrete is used for budget-friendly durability. The house is derived from a simple diagram with utilitarian functions placed in the stone box and living in a minimal gabled roof that supports solar panel orientation and rainwater collection.

At its core, this home is designed for family, foster dogs, well-curated music, and Aggie game days.

Photography courtesy of HR Design Dept

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