Laman Residence in Texas was recently updated by A Gruppo Architects for a retired couple. After 40 years of teaching Fibre-Arts and Interior Design at Texas State University, the Lamans desired a gallery and studio to compliment their modest 1970’s era modern home.

The owners sited the initial house within a dense canopy of live oak and cedar elm trees on a hill country lot in San Marcos, Texas. Over the past 30 years, they have carved out a series of outdoor rooms, a secret garden and sculpture courts around their home leaving only one logical area for an addition – the front yard.

The new addition is located in a bowl-like depression at the head of a dry creek bed and so must be accessed via a series of bridges. This allows water to flow around and between the existing and new structures.

The program called for an exhibition gallery, a painting studio, a library and a new master suite. Its shape is defined by paired towers (gallery and studio) flanking a foyer and upper level library.

The atmosphere in the towers is animated through two distinct lighting strategies. Ambient light is filtered by the North facing translucent walls while skylights project light through a series of ceiling baffles throughout the day.

The owners’ appreciation for outdoor living is realized with the addition of a new sculpture garden and a sports field for fun  family gatherings. While in a more intimate setting, the master bedroom and bathroom open directly into a private Zen garden. [Information provided by A Gruppo Architects; photography; Dror Baldinger, Mark Menjivar]