Mark Gunderson Designed Residence

Mark Gunderson Parker County Residence

Mark Gunderson Parker County Residence

This tripartite limestone construction is situated at the edge of a fifty-foot rock bluff overlooking the floodplain of the West Fork of the Trinity River. Its basic formal disposition and section derives from the distant view to the west and the adjacent wooded areas to the east as well as an architectural idea regarding the “refinement” of the bluff as it is engaged and then reconfigured and redefined by the house.

The central volume is two-story with living / public areas at the ground level and children’s bedrooms and upper living area above. Flanking this are two single-story volumes; with the Master suite to the south and the Guest bedroom, utility and garage areas to the north. Each side wing is displaced toward the bluff to create a central arcaded space as porch. A pool is located between the garage and the bluff and sits on a limestone plinth surfaced with flagstone.

The house is “snake” limestone ( the Mexican masons name for the stone which contains fossils reminiscent of rattlers ) on wood framing. The roof is standing seam, galvanized steel at the gabled center section and modified bitumen at the lower wings. A pair of stone chimneys anchor the center volume – one is the living room fireplace and the other is an outdoor grill opening beneath the arcade roof. A third chimney, at the south end of the house serves a fireplace in the owners private study.

Windows are clad wood sections with insulated clear glazing and have galvanized steel awnings suspended over them for protection from the harsh Texas sun. The majority of windows include operable lower sections and an upper fixed lite for view. A few smaller square windows provide daylight and a sky view in unexpected spaces such as closets. “Gunstock”-type, frame and panel mahogany doors with stainless steel thresholds are utilized at the front door and the arcade doors. Interior doors are painted wood with painted wood frames.

Millwork is of two types – frame and panel select maple with Russian granite tops and flush, painted construction in secondary areas. The floors at the lower level are sealed concrete with the 2′ by 2′ building grid scored in them and the upper level is carpet.

A small stone cube houses water-related equipment at the high point of the site and forms a focal object for the swimming pool. A water well on axis with this structure provides water for the house, pool and landscape irrigation.