Seeing the way other people live is a natural curiosity for most, especially when those people live in well-thought-out homes designed by premier architects.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Antonio is hosting its 18th annual Homes Tour from noon-6 p.m this Saturday, Oct. 17. AIA San Antonio chose six residential homes that exemplify some of the best architecture in town, including new construction, adaptive reuse, and remodeled homes. The Rivard Report is giving away a pair of tickets for the home tour to one, randomly selected person who comments below with the name of their favorite architect.
The tour includes two homes in the King William Historic District. The first home, which sits along a bend in the San Antonio River across from the Blue Star Arts Complex at 102 Constance St., was designed by Charles Schubert. The new home incorporates an existing structure built in the '40s which was later transformed into a master suite. The exterior of the home, equipped with back porches that face the San Antonio River, is composed of limestone veneer and solid rock corners. Visitors enter the front door and step upon mission tiles that soon make way to reclaimed wood floors, leading to a two-story kitchen, a living room with a stone fireplace, a dining room that overlooks the river, and multiple bedrooms.
The other King William home at 303 Cedar St. is a remodeled 1910 structure complete with a new addition at the rear of the house, including a screen porch. The home's interior has been remodeled numerous times during the course of its life. Architect Jim Poteet held on to original designs when possible, including a long and wide central hallway and large public rooms, but changed the rooms that had been extensively remodeled over time, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, to suit a contemporary lifestyle. Local and statewide artwork is displayed throughout the home, and visitors can pick up a room-by-room guide of features upon entrance.
Two other homes on the tour are located in Alamo Heights. One at 221 Alta Ave. is a new, four-bedroom home on a 50 ft.-wide lot in the Alamo Heights Cottage District. Architect E.C. Parker designed the exterior of the home after a 1906 Atlee Ayres home in the Monte Vista Historic District. A generous entryway opens to a large dining room, and a sunlit living room connects to the kitchen. The master suite on the ground floor views a backyard garden, and the upstairs "attic" bedrooms provide an intimate experience.
Participants can leave Alta Avenue for 119 Lafayette Ave. to a house designed by architect Tobin Smith. The original one-story house built in 1954 underwent a clumsy add-on in the '70s that left the house without an adequate source of outside light. Smith broke apart the unsuccessful add-on to create a fluid design that allowed for more natural lighting. Original redwood siding painted red at some point was taken out and flipped to expose the natural wood. Other practical and sustainable adjustments were made to the home to create a space that was both stylish and efficient.
Architect Joseph Smith designed a 4,200 sq. ft. home at 11 Tilbury Ln. in Inverness, a prestigious neighborhood on the Northside. The narrow lot is bordered by two-story homes on each side, so Smith's challenge was to design a home with an open connection to the outdoors but guarded enough to maintain privacy from the overarching neighbors. The front façade shields the home from the street, but opens to a U-shaped design with interior rooms that open to covered exterior spaces, and rooms with large windows that overlook the pool. The contemporary home uses industrial materials such as native stone, cement plaster walls, flat metal panels, and steel framing.
A Mexican-inspired home in the Cresta Bella neighborhood at 7003 Bella Crown in Northwest San Antonio was designed by Architect Dick Clark as a gathering place for extended family and as a personal retreat. The home, which is shielded from the street by a limestone wall, is complete with multiple bedrooms and a master suite with wood walls to match the wood floors throughout the house. Warm colors are used throughout the house, and stone and marble slab countertops are placed where convenient. The living room is supported by Texas limestone walls, and an open kitchen and dining room overlooks a double-level pool deck.
Wristbands for the tour are available for $30 in advance and $35 the day of the tour at any H-E-B location, the Twig Book Shop, and at the featured homes on the day of the tour. Those interested also can buy tickets by calling AIA San Antonio, 210-226-4979, or online at www.aiasa.org. Individual home tickets are $10 on the day of the tour. Participants drive themselves to each tour stop at their own pace – as long as its between noon and 6 p.m.
*Top image: An inside view of the home at 11 Tilbury Ln. Photo courtesy of AIA San Antonio.