When Canadian home-design expert John Brown featured an oddly designed 2800-sq.-ft. 3-bedroom Houston highrise apartment on the “What’s Wrong with This House” video feature of his online Slow Home Design School last week, Swamplot readers naturally wanted to know where the place was. A new west-facing 17th-floor apartment . . . somewhere “Downtown.” Hmmm . . .
You came up with a lot of good guesses: One Park Place, the Turnberry Tower, the Cosmopolitan, the Legacy at Memorial, Mosaic, Orion, 2727 Kirby, Commerce Towers, the Shamrock Tower, the Four Seasons, Titan, the Regent Square tower, Park 8 Place, the Royalton, and Four Leaf Towers.
So what’s the answer?
John Brown writes that he doesn’t know:
We have a group of my architecture students who find floor plans and send them to us with only the barest amount of detail as to size and location. We redraw them all to a consistent format. It is not really important for our purposes to know where they are exactly – in fact as case studies in a design school setting it is really quite irrelevant except in so far as it gives an indication of climate.
The subject houses are drawn from across North America and we are not privy to all of the local situations and contexts in which these houses exist. We keep the projects anonymous to shift the emphasis away from the specifics and towards a more general discussion of design principles. We also don’t want any person or place to be unfairly affected.
Shucks. That doesn’t mean that some enterprising Swamplot reader won’t figure it out for sure one day, though!
If you missed the original videos, you can study them again here for clues:
What’s Brown, a Calgary architect, doing poking into Houston home and apartment floor plans, anyway? It’s just part of his own ridiculously well-integrated business plan. Brown’s Housebrand Design Store in Calgary’s Mission district sells modern furniture, accessories, design books and magazines to customers interested in simple and environmentally sensitive design. Then there’s Housebrand Real Estate (Brown is its broker). Once clients have found the right place to live and the furnishings for it, Housebrand’s in-house architecture firm can help with renovations or new construction. Did we mention the construction part? Brown is also a licensed contractor.
Brown runs all these businesses with two partners. In his spare time, he has a day job as architecture professor at the the University of Calgary.
To draw even more customers into the elaborate Housebrand web — and to combat what he considers the architectural equivalent of fast food (“a new cookie cutter suburban home [is] like a supersized hamburger and fries”) — Brown launched the Slow Home Design School, to “empower individuals to make better, more informed decisions about how and where they live.”
Appropriately, the school’s format is modeled after . . . yes, TV cooking shows. (“Save the
liver! Living Room!”) After a few years running local classes, Brown launched Slow Home on the web earlier this year. (Brown was nice enough to cook up a video feature about Swamplot for last week’s Slow Home Report.)
- 07.20. What’s Wrong With This House? [Slow Home]
- 07.21. What’s Wrong With This House? Part 2 – 2800 sqft High Rise Apartment, Texas [Slow Home]
- 07.24. Slow Home Report [Slow Home]
- What’s Wrong with This Highrise Apartment? [Swamplot]
- Slow Highrise Recognition School: Is This Place Really in Houston? [Swamplot]
Floor plan and videos: Slow Home