Preston Hollow Residence / Specht Novak Architects

Architects: Specht Novak Architects
Area: 820 m² (8,826 ft²)
Year: 2020
Photography: Casey Dunn
Lead Architect: Scott Specht
Design Team: Scott Specht AIA – Founding Principal Jakeb Novak AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Project Architect Travis Power AIA, Senior Project Architect
Builder: Sebastian Construction
Landscape: Hocker Design Group
Lighting Designer: Douglas Architectural Lighting
Mechanical Engineer: E.D. Miller Service Company
Structural Engineer : Architectural Engineers Collaboration
Building Enclosure Engineer: Acton Partners, LLC
Interior Designer: Magni Kalman Design
City: Dallas
Country: United States

Preston Hollow Residence, designed by Specht Novak Architects and completed in 2020, is an 820 m² (8,826 ft²) home in Dallas, Texas, that merges indoor and outdoor spaces while ensuring privacy. Influenced by classic Dallas modern homes, the design features heavy cast-concrete walls, expansive glass walls, and a large floating pavilion roof, providing shade and a seamless connection with the landscape. The home incorporates sustainable design features such as passive shading, natural ventilation, and rainwater collection for irrigation.

Preston hollow residence / specht novak architects

The Preston Hollow home by Specht Novak Architects, with interiors by Magni Kalman, spans 800 square meter (8,000 square feet) and was designed to blur the lines between inside and outside while ensuring privacy from the street and neighborhood. Inspired by classic Dallas modern homes of the 1950s and 60s.

The design incorporates heavy cast-concrete walls that extend into the landscape, creating courtyards with bright, nature-filled views from every room. Large glass walls define each space, while a floating pavilion roof hovers over both interior and exterior rooms, further blurring the boundary between inside and outside. The roof’s shape and large cantilevered overhangs provide complete shading from the harsh Dallas sun throughout the day. An “Impluvium” in the center of the roof, modeled on traditional Roman houses, allows rainwater and light to reach the garden below. Flowing water is a key design element, starting at the entry and coursing through the site to the pool, with cascading terraces and a waterfall near the main entry. At night, water lighting casts patterns on adjacent textured concrete surfaces.

Preston hollow residence / specht novak architects

The concrete walls feature a corrugated appearance created using custom-fabricated formwork, a technique reminiscent of brutalist architecture from the 1960s and 70s. These heavy walls are countered by delicate steel columns, thin window frames, and the cantilevered roof edges, providing a contrast to the lightness of the spaces.

Preston hollow residence / specht novak architects

Dallas has a long tradition of modern architecture, now experiencing a resurgence. The Preston Hollow house draws on examples such as Edward Durell Stone’s Oak Court house and Philip Johnson’s Beck Residence, with shaded, screened living spaces and tree-filled inner courtyards.

Preston hollow residence / specht novak architects

Sustainability is a key focus of the design. The pavilion roof and cantilevered overhangs provide passive shading, eliminating direct solar gain while allowing expansive views. The west facade has no openings, and large operable glazing areas enable natural ventilation. The “Impluvium” directs rainwater to the courtyard garden and a collection area for irrigation and other non-potable uses.

Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Preston Hollow, Dallas, Texas, United States

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