A secluded family retreat in the Piney Woods of rural East Texas is anchored by a 1951 vintage house designed by modernist J.V. Neuhaus III. One of several houses built around a large pond by the children of a lumber businessman, the compound is used today by the children and grandchildren of the original owners. Accommodating their growing families required an addition and remodel work to the main house, a new guesthouse, pool, and canoe shed. The main priority for the project was to incorporate a combined kitchen/dining/family room space into a house that was originally planned for a family with full-time help.
The floating gables and pinwheel plan of the original house are evidence of the original architect’s modernism. The new design seeks to follow these cues by continuing the floating gables and bracketing the central lawn on opposite corners, rather than on a central frontal axis. The main addition to the original house is the new kitchen/dining/living space with a fireplace as its focal point. Plentiful glass opens to views of the surrounding spaces. The guesthouse, a separate structure, has two guest rooms, which are connected to each other by a screened porch.