1. Home
  2. Sustainable Homes

Rancher Morphed into Sustainable 2-Storey House with Bridged Pool

The 4,000sqft Green Lantern Residence is located in Alamo Heights San Antonio, Texas, USA. Designed by John Grable Architects as a single family residence that blended with the historic qualities of the neighborhood it also embraces current sustainable technologies, Layered into the historic and high tech elements are creative moments such as the bridged walkway that travels from the front yard, up and over the pool before finally arriving at the social zone on the 2nd level.

Located on a corner lot, the original single storey bedroom section of the 1948 rancher has been incorporated into the new home, however the rest of the original building has been replaced. The new Green Lantern residence also reuses the existing foundation and some of the wood from the original building as well. The new home has photovoltaic panels a green roof system, grey water harvesting and LED lighting. Arbours and overhanging structures have been incorporated as passive cooling through shade and reduced solar gain. The construction of the home was also carried out with as little impact on the pre-existing heritage Oak trees as possible.
The site is higher then the street elevation and the home is approached via a short flight of concrete steps.
The concrete steps leads to a small landing deck clad in wood before continueing up another section of steps, leading up and along the bridge over the pool before arriving at the main entrance.
The pool runs parallel with the building and is accessed from the lower level. Another wood clad deck extends past the pool for a small outdoor lounge area.
A wall of glazings opens wide to expose the living area to the outdoor pool, creating an unhindered connectivity between the two zones.
The living area has a two level central fireplace with a flight of stairs to the left that leads to the kitchen and dining areas. Both zones are visible to the living area via open railings on either side of the fireplace and through the fireplace itself via the glass panels on both sides of the upper level.
The dining area not only overlooks the living room, but is also overlooks the backyard and has glimpses of the rooftop terrace via clerestory windows.
The fireplace between the dining and kitchen zones is glassed in on both sides, offering views through the living room’s windows to the landscape beyond.
The kitchen has no upper cabinets and is wrapped on two sides with glazings that open to a deck overlooking the Oak trees. The one solid wall in the kitchen features a contemporary oversized clock.
Just outside the kitchen and dining room is a spiral staircase that connects to the kitchen deck before continuing up to the rooftop terrace. The staircase seems to emulate the curvy forms within the Oak trunks.
Just below the dining room and down a short flight of stairs from the living room is a shower room.
The shower room is below grade, just at the base of the stairs. To allow as much light as possible to enter the room while maintaining privacy, the door features a semi-opaque glass panel.
The floor of the shower stall is polished concrete while the stall itself is clad in reflective glass tile; in direct contrast to the highly reflective surfaces is the exposed aggregate ceiling. A below grade bar features exposed wood joists.
The bar is tiny and consists only of a sink and below counter fridge.
A larger bar complete with bar seating and its own private powder room is located in the “party” section of the home on the second floor.
The bar is connected to a larger indoor lounging area facing a wall mounted TV with clerestory windows above on one side and overlooking a the large rooftop terrace on the other.
The party room is clad in horizontal wood panels for a cabin aesthetic and the seating is classic and comfortable.
Just outside the party room is the rooftop terrace. The outdoor space is huge and consists of both a lounge area and a dining area, but the most impressive element within the space is the fabulous fireplace.
The fireplace is suspended from its flue and consists of a trough filled with rocks. It’s a beautiful modern sculpture that just happens to produce heat.
At night the flames create a serine and picturesque dance against the canopies of the Oak trees.
The design of the fireplace is kept to a flue stack and an horizontal trough so that it does not interrupt the views of the Oak trees, but rather blends harmoniously with them.
Just below the fireplace is a grassy rooftop garden complete with hot tub.
After entertaining, a hot tub might be just the way to unwind before heading to the Master Suite.
The Master Suite leaves the classic furnishings of the party room behind in favour of a more retro look, complete with splashes of red.
The ensuite is neither classic nor retro, boasting a more industrial aesthetic.
The translucent glass vessel sinks are stunning
The shower is located behind clear glass panels and has its own window of translucent glass. It also has a seamless floor transition for easy access.
A second bedroom features a fun panel of fabric art in an abstracted landscape imagery above the headboard.
As beautiful and extravagant as the Green Lantern Residence appears, it also meets and exceeds standards for green certifications, such as Energy Star – Gold NAHB Green Building – Emerald, Build SA Green – Level 3 and LEED-Platinum
John Grable Architects
Photography by John J. Grable, Dror Baldinger


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *