This residence is firmly rooted in heritage. Located in an otherwise predictable upscale suburban enclave, the nearly hidden house is dramatically approached by an exterior ramp extending into the interior, like a spine that links its two wings. The front wing is pierced by a tall, brick-faced cylindrical core alluding to a round torreón, or bastion. Found in defensive structures from the colonial era in the region, the rounded feature, in contemporary terms, “serves to resist the aggression of the subdivision,” as noted by Frank Rotnofsky and Viviana Frank, the husband-and-wife architectural team.
Nearby, Frank Architects also built the Dr. Judson J. Somerville House (2002), at 1523 Palmer Drive, composed of intersecting wings covered by wide, alternating bands of buff and rose-tinted overscaled bricks. Set within native plantings, the house, according to the architects, “turns in on itself like a cloister,” recalling the walled ranching compounds scattered about the rural landscape of South Texas.