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Vertical House

Vertical House


The detail was exquisite, and really integrated the land, the views, energy strategies, structure, and detailing. Everything was conceived together, and that’s where the strength of the design lies in that it was a total expression on a very unusual site.
— Marsha Maytum, FAIA


Located on one of the few lots in Dallas elevated enough to enjoy a view of the downtown skyline, the five-story Vertical House rises dramatically above the treetops to capture views of the surrounding gardens and the skyline beyond. Characterized by clean lines, sheer glass walls, and sculptural sun shades, this sharply-detailed house offers an intriguing counterpoint to the tropical ambiance of its forest-like setting.

Starting at the lowest level, two 60-foot-tall exterior screen walls surge upward on both sides of the house, providing the home’s primary structural support as well as offering shade and privacy to spaces within. The first floor of the residence—containing a carport and storage—is partially burrowed into the site and accessed via a spiraling driveway carved into the limestone bedrock. The main entrance to the house is located on the second floor (at natural grade), accessed via an exposed steel footbridge with glass handrails.

Moving vertically through the house from the entrance, every major space is immediately accessible from the glass-enclosed stairwell. Views outward become ever more impressive as the ground below falls away, and a palpable sense of suspension takes hold. The third floor hosts the master suite, while on the fourth floor the living room seems to hang in midair—a sensation reinforced by a hovering steel fireplace. The subdued material palette throughout the interior consists of white walls and polished concrete floors, with a continuous accent wall of bookmatched Carrara marble that runs the height of the stair connecting all the floors.

The progression terminates at an inviting open-air roof terrace, which offers breathtaking 360-degree views. A mechanical skylight provides access from inside, and the terrace is shaded from the afternoon sun by an extension of the screen wall, which turns 90 degrees to form an airy pergola.


Vertical House

Dallas, Texas

New Construction

Design Award, Texas Society of Architects
Honor Award, AIA Austin
National Award, AISC IDEAS² Awards
Honorable Mention, American Architecture Prize
Judges' Commendation, Barbara Cappochin Prize