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Having lost our connection to poetry in this visually saturated media age, we might be reluctant to think of carefully crafted verse as a source of aesthetic inspiration for conjuring up images for our built environment. It’s easy to feel snide about someone putting forth an idea in lyric poetry as the basis and guide for art, even more so architecture, but very hard to ignore that idea when it is so clearly present in the making of an exceptional building. The notion of a second home as a place of retreat from the crushing travails of the world may be the worst possible cliché, but still the one so many architects embrace when explaining the design efforts for a house placed accessible to nature. The discourse explaining the design is often limited to how “natural materials” (wood, stone, etc.) and romantic notions of composition create a frame for urban man to escape into nature and become a part of it with the goal of cynically restoring his soul so he can return to the real world and carry on. Houses such as these are at their very best when interweaving the lives of the inhabitants into communion with their sites, with the unique landscape, and the act of dwelling, not visiting. The idea of interweaving a house (and a life) into its site is hardly new, but it’s often an idea better stated than executed. Max Levy’s House at Wind Point is clearly an exception. Paired with thoughtful clients in love with a wooded lake-front site and eager not to force their house within that rustic context, Levy had the opportunity to literally explode the program of the lake house and artfully insert the component parts reassembled as a coherent plan into the slope and trees. Consistent with Levy’s much-recognized work, thoughtfully crafted in service to an optimistic humanism, Wind Point provided a place worthy of his best efforts. A raised path of ipe decking overarched by tree branches and sun-cast leaf patterns, connects the gabled, single-volume cabins into a plan of coherent circulation where each small building is a study in miniaturized space rich in detail. Set among

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Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...