Two courtyards open to the sky and the living areas open to a private garden filled with sunlight

Two courtyards open to the sky and the living areas open to a private garden filled with sunlight

Architects: Norman D. Ward architect
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Year: 2013
Area: 2.100 ft²/ 195 m²
Photo courtesy: Charles Davis Smith, AIA

“An undeveloped sixty-foot wide parcel of land, extending three blocks is a result of two residential developments merging in the 1930’s. In time, houses were built on each end of the three blocks. Moretti’s house began with the purchase of one of these 60’ x 300’ lots, the only lot without an existing house.


The street elevation gives an appearance of solid. Once past the green entry gate, the courtyards open to the sky and the living areas open to a private garden filled with sunlight.


The main volume of the house is clad in CMU. The two courtyards and porch are clad in paint-grip metal. The studio in the garden is clad with Douglas fir. A glass bridge connects the main house to the studio.


Two cubic courtyards are inserted within the main house composition. The courtyards serve as “light wells” filling the interiors with ambient light. The north walls of the courtyards are composed of a steel frame with white translucent panels. The sunlight is cast on the white fiberglass panels and the sunlight is constantly in motion within these courtyards. The movement of sunlight is cast onto the white translucent panels through the roof portal, reflecting the passage of the day.


The deep overhang above the south-facing porch prevents direct sunlight from reaching the window wall; even in winter when the sun’s arc of movement is lowest. The porch runs the length of the garden and serves as a threshold between the interiors and the landscape.


A rain chain is designed with eight strands, one for each grandchild. An aluminum pipe collects the chains, representing their grandmother’s embrace.”

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