The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Residential Architecture Projects

MM31 | Architect: Freese Architecture

Photography by: Nathan Harmon


The program was to design a thoughtfully-crafted, well-appointed modern home, reflective of the neighborhood and region. The muscular base of Oklahoma-sourced stone, detailed with recessed horizontal courses, approximates the proportions and horizontality of the neighboring single-story Ranch Style homes. The garage and light stucco second level are set back from the first-level base to reduce apparent building mass. The entry is a vertical slice in the stone, with a cantilevered plate steel canopy and a louvered wood gate. Through the gate, one enters a tranquil entry court with a trickling central water feature. A timber trellis overhead creates a sense of enclosure, while allowing interplay of sunlight, shadows, and reflections below. Elevated functional details include elongated metal roof scuppers, cantilevered plate steel canopies, and tight-grained wood trellises, while exterior materials of indigenous stone, plate steel, and solid timber provide an added connection to local and regional culture. Interior spaces are painted white to visually increase their volume, and are arranged for abundant natural light, with prominent views that create a connection to nature. A second floor bridge, joining the two upper level wings, offers a central overlook into the main public space, with large windows providing natural light below.


Lakeside | Architect: Freese Architecture

Photography by: Nathan Harmon


This 1960’s Ranch Style house offered a lakeside setting in midtown, but lacked any real connection to the neighborhood lake. The program called for improvements to the home supportive of the client’s lifestyles, a bold modern design respectful of the neighborhood, and a meaningful relationship to the lake, facilitating indoor/outdoor living and entertaining. The expansion maintains the low profile and deep overhangs of the original structure, adding updated materials and refinements. Details include knife-edge metal eaves, water-shedding metal ledges at roof caps, and metal panels replacing wood siding. Original stone was replaced with buff-colored king-sized brick, echoing the masonry commonly used in the neighborhood. The main roof, the new spine of the home, extends from the front porch through the public space to the rear patio, creating both a voluminous interior and generous covered spaces outside. Interior partitions were removed, and many outside walls were replaced with glass, opening the home up with expansive lake views. The bright interior palette allows natural light to visually expand the interior spaces. Exterior masonry inside public spaces separates and defines interior functions. The warm brick and natural wood cabinets compliment the white walls and soften the interior, representing an updated Ranch Style modernism.



Prairie Pavilions | Architect: Freese Architecture

Photography by: Nathan Harmon


The owners desired a resort-like ambiance for entertaining, a layout taking full advantage of the wooded property, and a highly detailed design befitting the Midwest landscape. The home is a series of pavilions with pyramidal roofs. Deep overhangs and strong horizontal compositions reference Prairie architecture. The saw-toothed organization features open glass corners, framing views to the forested property and a central area with a swimming pool and sunning decks. A concrete plinth forms a striking datum line, mitigating the steeply sloping land. Exterior materials include stucco, cedar siding, timber posts and beams, and cedar shingles. Detail refinements include knife-edge roof fascias, louvered metal roof caps concealing unsightly vent pipes, and articulated steel knife-plate timber connections. Covered corner decks provide generous protected outdoor spaces with expansive views. A broad border of river rock surrounds the home, providing an attractive, invisible drainage system. A timber trellis extends from the main entry, through the center pavilion, to the fireplace. Timber frames and trellises in other areas define pathways and provide open ceiling elements inside the voluminous main space. Spaces throughout the home share a simple unifying color palette, while expansive glass openings provide abundant natural light and panoramic views to the surrounding nature.


Moring House | Architect: Alan Moring

Photography by: Mel Willis


A modest tree house pushing the limits of what people expect in residential design.


The Fletcher | Architect: Studio Architecture

Photography by: Rachel Shingleton 


Located in scenic Carlton Landing, this home was designed with the town’s “Oklahoma Land Run farmhouse” aesthetic in mind. The Carpenter Gothic architecture of the house uses simple, modest forms and locally-available materials to dramatic effect. Design elements, such as wide plank oak floors and whitewashed pine accent walls lend a rustic, yet refined quality to the space. The private spaces, including two master bedrooms and a bunk room are clustered toward the rear of the house. The public spaces, including an open plan kitchen/dining/living area are clustered toward the front of the house. Designed to interact with the neighborhood, the house includes a Carolina side porch where the residents can enjoy al fresco dining or chatting with their neighbors. An exterior tower element provides views of Lake Eufaula with a screened dining porch.


Squirrel Park | Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Photography by: Tim Soar


Responding in a sensitive and sustainable way to Oklahoma City’s imperative to increase density in existing residential neighbourhoods, Squirrel Park makes innovative use of modified shipping containers to create four single-family homes. The unconventional interior layout contrasts with the modern, industrial exterior aesthetic. The design reinterprets the components of a traditional neighborhood street on a smaller scale, encouraging outdoor living and interaction. The unique nature of the site as a park-like environment is enhanced through retention of existing mature trees, provision of shared outdoor spaces and new planting to assist energy efficiency and biodiversity.


Cumberland Court | Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Photography by: Tim Soar


This private home for a family of four in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, is part of a new development in a historical residential neighborhood. Accordingly, the gabled exterior is nominally in the ‘Tudor Revival style’, but it conceals a contrastingly modern interior. The white brick plays on the traditional forms with projecting, screening and recessed texture that serves as a unifying language throughout. Starting with the maximum permitted volume and working inwards, the rooms of the house are arrayed around exterior courtyards, each approached differently to accommodate varying uses, and connected through large glazed windows and doors. This allows for the removal of the traditional barriers to the outside extending the liveable area.


East Edmond Residence | 

Architect: Hornbeek Blatt Architects

Photography by: Simon Hurst Photography 


This residential project with its low sloped hip roof and long cantilevered projections is a stunning contemporary interpretation of the “Prairie Style” home. Newly constructed in northeast Edmond, Oklahoma, this design incorporates long, gracious, cantilevered wood soffits that announce the entry, define the rear outdoor entertainment area and protect the floor to ceiling windows that are column-less as they wrap the exterior corners from solar heat gain. The Bermuda style metal roof and stone linear ashlar coursed exterior walls accent the horizontal flow of the house. The porte-cochere that is created by the roof connection to a detached triple car garage and work/hobby area, accentuates the horizontal aspect of the design. The steel that was required to create the incredible cantilevers and projections is articulated and revealed in the columns and the gables of the covered arrival and entertainment areas of the residence.


The Drive-In Loft | Architect: GH2 Architects

Photography: Yellow Dog Design Works


In the heart of the SoBo District of downtown Tulsa, this private, 5,000-square-foot, drive-in loft

residence is designed to meet the client’s unique needs. Contemporary architectural elements

mixed with industrial materials such as brick, reclaimed wood, concrete and steel reflect the

revitalization of the neighborhood and the history and textures of the automobile industry. Luxe

furniture and finishings for the space soften the feel of the contemporary, masculine design. This

upscale residence includes a game room, bar and kitchen, a bedroom that overlooks the 6-car

garage below and a second floor patio with a view of our vibrant city.


Huskins Residence | Architect: W Design

Photography by: Ben Chau


The Huskins Residence was designed for a music lover and his family who appreciate clean lines and simple materials. The plan responded to the need to separate the musical spaces from the living spaces of the residence. A centrally located entry and thin foyer serve to connect the two wings of the home. The structure was sited further back on the lot than typical preserving trees in the front yard to maintain privacy while still allowing for a transparent design. Views through the entry to the reflecting pool in the courtyard help accomplish this feeling of transparency and connection to the outside. As an aspiring architect, the client’s son was present during the design process giving him an in-depth understanding of the important decisions that were made along the way.


Urban Beach House | Architect: Fitzsimmons Architects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography


The Urban Beach House is in a re-developing single-family neighborhood in downtown OKC. This site is unique in its steep incline from street to building pad, which allows for both an elegant approach up to the house and an opportunity to capture an expansive view of the downtown skyline. The owners wanted the home to take advantage of this view from the main living areas and the private pool. However, with the view being from the front of the home, maintaining privacy of these areas was contradictory. The solution was to elevate the living areas and pool to the second floor, offering privacy from the street while keeping both spaces open and connected to downtown. The design of the residence relates to the eclectic style of the surrounding neighborhood, which includes several modern houses and a modern condominium. Several elements, such as the alignment of the front porch, the stair up the incline from street to entry, the alley-accessed garage, and the scale of the home are shared by its immediate neighbors, providing a sense of cohesion within the area without sacrificing individuality.


Urban Cabin | Architect: Fitzsimmons Architects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography


The Urban Cabin was designed for a couple with passions for local art and cooking. The design of the home reconciles the homeowners’ desire to be part of the urban lifestyle within a single-family enclave of downtown Oklahoma City, with their love of the idea of a cozy cabin in the mountains of Colorado. Using warm and rustic materials in a refined pallet of rust wall panel cladding, buff brick veneer, weathered steel bar grate, horizontal cedar siding, and natural finished woods, the home becomes a mountain retreat atop its elevated urban site, with expansive downtown views replacing mountain views. Within the private entry courtyard and downstairs office, one can become immersed in art and nature, with expanses of native Oklahoma landscaping viewable through the lower level glass doors. Tucked in the back of the first level is the 2½ car garage, invisible from the front. This garage was designed as a high-lift garage, to house the owners’ cars and scooters, as well as a car lift to accommodate the owners’ hobby of hot rod cars, making it, in essence, a 3½ car garage. The upstairs takes advantage of the expansive views and is refined as entertainment space, from a well-appointed kitchen to the outdoor deck designed for grilling and enjoying the downtown skyline.

Nichols Hills Home | Architect: Bockus Payne 

Photography by: Justin Miers


Nestled in the heart of Nichols Hills, this recently completed home is forward thinking and at the same time, respectful of the neighborhood’s traditional context. This duality is realized in the design upon first glance. A challenging shaped angular lot, distinct grade changes, and careful preservation of existing trees made siting the residence the first design challenge to solve. Taking advantage of these challenges and capturing desired views while maintaining the Owners’ desire for privacy and sun control early in the process, led to the success of designing a modern home within a traditional neighborhood. The home was built with pitched face stone, complemented by smooth stone accent bands, and a slate roof. At key locations, the stone veneer extends into the landscape, further connecting the residence to its site. These “site anchors” are punctuated with rectangular punched openings to provide zen views of both building materiality and landscape. The entry followed suit with a characteristically modern appeal, featuring a carefully crafted roof overhang that appears to float above the main entry axis wall. Strategic, yet sculptural, vertical fins guide visitors to a large off-set pivoting glass door. The fins were angled precisely to provide an unobstructed yet private view from the front door across to a local park, also providing shade from the afternoon sun to the residence’s south facing front façade.

CIVIC | Architect: Butzer Architects and Urbanism

Photography by:Tim Hursley


CIVIC is the palindrome that occupies the former site of Oklahoma City’s Rock Island rail lines. The site was most recently owned by the city’s Urban Renewal Authority who decided it was time to invite redevelopment proposals. The location nests between the majestic Civic Center Music Hall and Bicentennial Park, and the apron of urban multi-family neighborhoods. The proposal defines two bars that hug and define the public realm. Their defining texture is inspired by the fluting of the Art Deco cultural center across the street, offering pedestrians an urban prospect of “folds” and “peels”.

The facades of the Civic are crisply folded in order to capture sun and shadow and the premiere views of Oklahoma City. The undulation of the building’s massing enhances its scaling, invites residents into the streetscape, and is adapted to respond to the differences of urban edges. The Couch Drive façade presents a modesty towards the Music Hall through its black and crème-colored brick and modulated massing and voids. The intentionality of its peels directs views from and towards the evolving context, and sets up a balcony for each south-facing residence. The Robert S. Kerr elevation recognizes the low-key qualities of more established multi-family development to the north. Here, the S-desk façade is folded to offer an undulating friend to pedestrians on their evening walk. Residents are afforded views down the street as the folds extend out over the sidewalk.


Hughbert | Architect: Butzer Architects and Urbanism

Photography by: Mel Willis


“Two Trains”, by Lowell George

“...There’ll be two trains a-runnin’ on down the line

One train took my friend, the other’s a friend of mine...” (Chorus)

Two by two, the dwellings affectionately named Hughbert comprise identical 710 square foot duplex apartments sited in a cul-de-sac nexus of regional, suburban, and neighborhood activity.

To the west is the active BNSF rail line that generates low rumblings on a daily schedule. Beyond the tracks is the newly constructed downtown Norman Public Library. To the east is a relatively quiet residential neighborhood known for its modesty and charming primal residential typologies.

The design reflects the duality of forces most critical to our goals for this design-build project: mitigating the hot, west, setting sun’s heat and the trains’ noise and vibrations, while fostering healthy social interactions amongst the newcomer residents. Hughbert is the product of a collaboration between students of the University of Oklahoma’s Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture, a local socially-minded developer and architects’ friend, and the Norman Housing Authority. Construction Science program students learned various phases of residential construction while observing professional construction crews build the eastern half. The arrangement made visceral for students the idea that architecture is a social act.


Birkes Residence | Michael Birkes Architect

Photography by: Melissa Lukenbaugh


A new two-story, urban residence is for a for an empty-nest couple wanting to modernize, downsize, and simplify, and at the same time move closer to the energy and momentum of downtown. The residence is one of three- an ensemble based on three infill “architect” lots in an early 2000’s “new urbanist” townhouse development on the east edge of downtown. They were purchased, designed and built simultaneously by three couples and two different architects that work in collaboration, yet independently to meet their owners’ custom criteria. The ensemble employs a common language, yet at the same time each clearly reflects the owners’ personality and program. This residence is on the west end of the three sites and is approximately half the size of the other two sites. The project maximizes the wedge-shaped site covering the entire site and features indoor/outdoor living space and views with covered outdoor decks on the first and second floors. The second floor, multi-level decks have commanding views of the downtown skyline and park adjacent home sites.