STRETTO HOUSE

TX, United States, 1989 - 1991
PROGRAM: private residence for art collectors
CLIENT: withheld
SIZE: 7,500 sq ft
STATUS: completed
Sited adjacent to three ponds with existing dams, the house projects the character of the site through a series of concrete "spatial dams" with metal framed "aqueous space" flowing through them. Pouring over the dams, like the overlapping stretto in music, water reflects the landscape outside and the spaces overlapping inside. Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste has a materiality in instrumentation which the architecture approaches in light and space. Formed in four sections, the building consists of two modes: heavy orthogonal masonry and light, curvilinear metal. The main house is aqueous space: floor planes pull one space to the next, roof planes pull space over walls and an arched wall pulls light from a skylight. Materials continue the concept in poured concrete, cast glass in fluid shapes, slumped glass and liquid terrazzo.
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'Taking off from modernism’s form-follows-function constraints, the architect Steven Holl embraces minimalism that is open to the imagination. Neither historical models nor practical demands triggered the creative impulse behind this 7,000-square-foot Texas house. Instead, Holl’s inspiration was a score by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste.” The result is a symphony of interconnected masonry and limestone pavilions whose arched roofs rise like musical crescendos, then dip with the undulating landscape'.
– Julie Iovine, New York Times Magazine, April 10, 1994
'A house surrounded by green becomes intensely articulate writing. In the style of a musical score, Holl composes a many-voiced dialogue between water and light, spaces and materials, nature and construction. A design but also a manifesto, in which the most abstract thought and professional craftsmanship meet beyond the limits of academy or hollow provocations'.
– Domus 744, December, 1992
'Steven Holl Architects’ Texas Stretto House responds to its creekside site with four disciplined modules under soaring, sail-like roofs'.
– Texas Architect, December, 1992
'The experiential ideas behind Steven Holl’s Stretto House are backed up by rigorous detailing'.
– Progressive Architecture, November, 1992
'All the polishing, shaping, and framing recedes into a kind of visual white noise, eluding definition instead of demanding attention, and giving the clients the freedom to enjoy the masterful evocation of dwelling and creek that provides the house's basic diagram'.
– Progressive Architecture, November, 1992

AWARDS

  • AIA National Honor Award, USA, 1993
  • CREDITS

    • architect
      • – Steven Holl Architects
        • Steven Holl (design architect)
        • Adam Yarinsky (project architect)
        • Peter Lynch, Bryan Bell, Mathias Karlen, William Wilson, Stephen Cassell, Kent Hikida, Florian Schmidt, Tom Jenkinson, Lucinda Knox, Terry Surjan (project team)
    • local architect
      • – Max Levy
        • Max Levy
    • structural consultant
      • – Datum Engineering
    • mechanical consultant
      • – Interfield Engineering
    • general contractor
      • – Thomas S. Byrne Construction
    • landscape consultant
      • – Kings Creek Landscaping
    Press Contact

    Original Copy
    t + 1 718 386-8643
    press@stevenholl.com