Architect Julie Snow had accompanied the owners of B + W House on a visit to the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas, to see the live/work spaces of artist Donald Judd. The 15 industrial buildings in Marfa, which showcase the beauty of workaday materials, also captured the homeowners’ imagination, providing the inspiration for B + W House.
The lot was in an established neighborhood that’s walking distance from shops and restaurants, lakes, and parks. Here, 100-year-old wood and brick houses are the norm, with one or two- stories, front porches, and alley garages. But the owners wanted a house that looked and lived more like a loft. This doesn’t sound like it would mesh well with the neighbors, but B + W House does by duplicating the massing of its streetmates. Instead of a pitched roof, a flat one allowed for higher ceiling heights that still relate to the other homes, Snow points out. “The materials, though uncharacteristic, acknowledge the two-story precedent,” she says.