Tour the Coolest House in Houston’s Museum District


When architect Karen Lantz set out to design and build this home in Houston’s desirable Museum District, she had in mind something utterly uncommon: creating a residence composed entirely of American materials.


To a great degree, she achieved her goal, incorporating various stones from Texas—chocolate-brown limestone from Lueders and terrazzo culled in Marble Falls—along with other components from across the nation—a skylight from South Carolina, fixtures and fittings from Alabama and Iowa, fencing from California, and baseboards from Georgia, among others.


Architectural style never took a backseat, though. The 4,156-square-foot residence is a bastion of mid-20th-century modern luxury, offering convivial entertaining spaces and three relaxing, intimate bedrooms in five bays of structural steel.

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A rolled-steel and terrazzo staircase connects all three levels of the home, from a top-floor landing finished in transparent light-admitting glass to the basement, a delightful entertaining space with a media room, a bar, a therapeutic tub with chromotherapy, and 3,000-bottle wine cellar with cool LED lighting.

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Other highlights include a master suite with a spalike bath and steamshower; a warm dining room with a backlit mica-paneled ceiling; a screened-in porch, where a spiral stairway winds gracefully to the lower level; and a sleek kitchen with Corian countertops, American appliances, and an extensive island lined with reclaimed sinker cypress.


The 460-square-foot roof terrace includes an impeccably appointed outdoor kitchen, making alfresco recreation and entertaining a breeze.

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Taking her dedication to sustainability further, Lantz ensured the environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency of the residence, which has been certified LEED Platinum. A photovoltaic array acts as a shady canopy but also produces as much as one third of the home’s electricity.


The carport offers two electric-vehicle charging stations and storage space for bicycles.


A roof-mounted solar collector heats water and warms the home’s 20-foot pebble-tiled lap pool in winter.


A 1,400-gallon underground cistern holds rainwater to irrigate the year-round vegetable, fruit, and herb garden.


1514 Banks Street, Houston, TX 77006 | $2,450,000