Never content to “follow the herd” Texas architects invented a unique architectural style dubbed Texas Modernism. An article in Architectural Digest highlights the origins of the style: “In the 1920s and ’30s, architects like David Williams and O’Neil Ford pioneered Texas modernism, a movement defined by steel, big windows, limestone, and a straightforward boxiness.”

Sebastian Construction Group built modern architecture, Watuaga, stone
[Photos: Watuaga Residence. Architect: Lake|Flato. Built by Sebastian Construction Group.]

Design aficionado Helen Thompson, Editor at Large for Luxury Interiors Texas, penned the intro for the new book, Texas Modern: Redefining Houses in the Lone Star State ($60, Images)

Tracing the roots of Texas Modern from its founding nearly a century ago to today’s finest examples of the style, this coffee table book highlights modern Texas homes by some of our favorite architectural firms.

Here are three firms whose work is featured in the book:

SmithArc

Early experience working with Texas architecture icons Dick Clark, FAIA and Emily Summers Design Associates shaped the principals’ interpretation of Texas Modern, but the result is uniquely their own. This husband and wife team designed three residences featured in Texas Modern: Brookview Residence, Caruth Residence and Southwestern Residence. All three homes exude Smitharc’s signature style: light-filled, inviting and functional.

Miro Rivera

The Texas Society of Architects named Miro Rivera Architects of Austin, the 2016 Texas Firm of the Year, saying “The firm has advanced the quality of the built environment and truly raised the bar for AIA and professional practice.” The Architectural Digest article featured Miro Rivera’s Vertical House, a 5-story Dallas residence.

Here’s a description of the Vertical House from ArchDaily.com:

“Located on one of the few lots in Dallas elevated enough to enjoy a view of the downtown skyline, the five-story Vertical House rises dramatically above the treetops to capture views of the surrounding gardens and the skyline beyond. Characterized by clean lines, sheer glass walls, and sculptural sun shades, this sharply-detailed house offers an intriguing counterpoint to the tropical ambiance of its forest-like setting.”

Lake | Flato

Modern Luxury Interiors of Texas named Lake | Flato Best Architecture Firm 2017. The San Antonio-based firm is known for “designing houses that resonate with the inherent nature of each site, respond to the region’s climate and connect its inhabitants to the natural environment.”

Sebastian Construction Group teamed with Lake|Flato on the Watuaga Residence, a home that is rooted in its surroundings and demonstrates the high quality construction and craftsmanship that both firms are known for.

Since the book was published in 2018, Sebastian has unveiled a few more modern residences worthy of the spotlight:

Bridge Hollow Residence

(The entire project description, below, is courtesy of the brilliant team at the Dallas Architecture Forum.)

The Bridge Hollow Residence pays homage to both the early Texas modern architecture of David R. Williams, O’Neil Ford, and Frank Welch and the classical Texas architecture of John Staub. The Texas Modernism of large overhangs, standing seam metal roof, steel windows and Texas Antique Lueders Limestone combine with the gracious and glamorous living of Texas Classicism like the Camp House at the Dallas Arboretum. All combine to create strong connections in this house’s courtyard plan, between the inner and outer living spaces directed towards the Texas sunset.

Miron Residence

This project was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal profile that lauded architect Scott Specht’s “new Brutalist” design, focusing on the use of structural elements to control environmental impacts. This sleek and open home exemplifies Specht’s ethos as “an innovative and creative firm with rigorous standards for modern design.”