Structural Engineer:  Hurley Michael
Canal Street Residence

The Canal Street Residence embraces a dialogue between old and new in Houston’s rapidly changing East Downtown neighborhood. The site contains an existing building which previously housed both a hair salon and an auto shop. Instead of clearing the site and starting with a clean slate, the design asks what parts of the existing building can be preserved and given new purpose. While the majority of the ceiling and interior structure require replacing, the existing block wall that wraps the perimeter provides a stable element that separates the public and private realms while also maintaining an aspect of the neighborhood’s existing context and scale.

The perimeter wall serves as a threshold between the public realm and the home within while the rotated grids that form the site generate dynamic spatial relationships in the plans. On the ground floor, kitchen and living spaces connect to interior courtyards. Living walls that fill the periemeter wall’s openings screen views and provide privacy. At the upper levels, windows and balconies frame views of the surrounding neighborhood of East Downtown and the Houston skyline beyond.