Where Those 14 $400k-ish Artist Houses Will Fit Into Acres Homes

Rendering of NoLo Studios

Here’s a rendering of the 3-acre strip of property currently being rebranded as NoLo Studios. Per the drawings released earlier this month, the land (which touches the south side of Mansfield Rd. at the intersection with Midgeley St.) will be split up into lots for 14 new residences; that’s up a bit from the 9 mentioned in mid-2015 by Catherine Anspon (by which point 6 of the homes were reportedly already reserved.) The houses, marketed toward mid-career artists and priced between $300,000 and $450,000, are being designed and developed by Francois de Menil, the New-York-based architect son of Menil Collection founders Dominique and John. De Menil bought the land for the project in Acres Homes (which, after World War I, was reportedly the largest unincorporated African-American community in the South) back in April of 2015.

The view above appears to show the 4 houses planned closest to Mansfield, per the subdivision map:


Rendering of NoLo Studios

The houses will be artfully staggered across the lots further south:

Rendering of NoLo Studios

Here’s a shot of the interior of one of the structures, also intended for use as studio space: 

Rendering of NoLo Studios

Rendering of NoLo Studios

Images: FdM:Arch (renderings), KRE&S (layout)

Art House Review

14 Comment

  • …mid-career artists…between $300,000 and $450,000.

    Ha ha ha ha.

  • $300k – $450k for “artists”!?!??? What’s the difference between an art degree and a large pizza? The large pizza can feed a family of four.

  • I don’t think they want you there.

  • While I understand that the internal private streets are named after colors, I’d be wary of using “Color Lane” as one of the names, given its association with an outdated term (colored) in a heavily African-American area. .
    Since they used French words for “white” and “gray”, maybe they could use “rouge”, “vert”, or “aubergine” for that third private street. I’d say that “aubergine” would appeal to those mid-career artists (whatever that is).

  • I”m with scarlet fever, we definitely don’t want to trigger the thought police.

  • Oddly enough, my husband and have been thinking about building a house shape liked these on our vacant lot. But it would be surrounded by houses that look different than it. This just looks like some commune type thing. Definitely going to get the volume discount on building supplies at Home Depot.

  • Oh good lawd those are ugly.

  • Thanks for the humorous reality checks, commonsense & Uh-huh!

  • “Color Lane?” WTF? Cue X and his posse in 3, 2….no but really.

  • Even though his mom had a huge effect on the art community (I know because she mentored my art classes at UST) I don’t feel Francois has lived much in Houston. The designs look great but contemporary is a hard sell here and the prices are outrageous.

  • 300-450k for a home on a tiny 5000 square foot lot on the middle of a ghetto? No thanks…

  • This project seems misguided in a number of ways.
    All the homes appear to “interlock” with each other’s small lots so there’s no private back yards. Hope you get along with all your neighbors and no one keep unsightly junk or kid’s playthings laying around outside.
    Also, those nice pine trees will grow into much larger trees that easily fall down during hurricanes and high winds. A falling pine tree can literally slice a home in two. Pines are also NOT drought resistant — there are so many dead pine trees in Waller County from the 2011 drought.
    The homes also seem small for what they are. And I’m not so sure it’s good to live in your art studio where you are breathing paint and chemical fumes all the time. Unless, of course, you’re a rich artist who can afford both a home AND an art studio.

  • I recently toured an eldercare assisted living facility as a potential residence for my aging mother. It had an “art room” that was taller than it was wide and painted white, just like these things. But at least it had windows near the roof to let the diffuse sky light in, and those windows were on the north wall. These don’t have roofline windows and are oriented every which way — looks like most of them will have glare and shadows making them useless as studios. Francois de Menil needs to have a chat with Renzo Piano.

    But does Houston have any real artists who can afford them anyway? Maybe The Art Guys(tm), but who else? Or are the de Menil Foundation and other foundations going to buy them and loan them to artists at no cost? That would be cool.

  • Trailer park…