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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Project size: 1,970 square feet

Program: Tucked in a historic neighborhood, this primary residence for a family of four abounds with daylight and layered transparencies.

Design Solution: Susan’s House is located in Lavaca, one of the oldest existing neighborhoods in San Antonio, where architects must adhere to Historic Design Guidelines that require a front porch as well as specific roof profiles, window proportions, and materials. Here, traditional houses only connect to the exterior at the front and at the rear, but this dwelling—comprising four linked volumes separated by “rooms without roofs”—embraces the outdoors. A longer bar knits each of the enclosed and open-air spaces together.

With two porches (one at the front, as required, and another screened at the heart of the house), a dining room, and a kitchen, there is plenty of space for Susan’s family. Just beyond the main entry, ample storage space for bikes keeps downtown San Antonio just a short ride away.

Structure and Materials: Susan’s House has a spare material palette of white stucco, aluminum windows, concrete floors, a metal roof, and solid wood entry doors.

Additional Information
Completion date: July 2022
Site size in acres: .202 acres
Total construction cost: Withheld
Client/Owner: Susan English

Susan's House interior, living sapce.


house interior living space.


interior living space.


Photo © Timothy Hursley

Susan's House plan.


Susan's House plan.


Susan's House plan.


Images courtesy the firm


Mary English and Xavier Vendrell Architects
544 Forest Park Circle
Auburn AL 36830

Personnel, including principals, in the firm who should receive special credit:
Principals: Mary English, Xavier Vendrell
Project team: Andreas Förnemark

Structural: GE Reaves Engineering

Landscape: Hillworks, David Hill

General contractor:
Long House Builders

Timothy Hursley


Metal: Standing Seam Metal Roof

Metal frame: Aluminum single hung windows by Milgard

Entrances: Pair of custom Douglas fir entry doors built by Long House Builders
Sliding doors: Large glass sliding doors surrounding courtyards by Fleetwood Doors