Lake|Flato Houses: Embracing the Landscape
Lake|Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas, is nationally and internationally acclaimed for buildings that respond organically to the natural environment. The firm uses local materials and workmanship, as well as a deep knowledge of vernacular traditions, to design buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and crafted. Lake|Flato won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2013, and it has also received the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor, the National Firm Award. In all, Lake|Flato has won more than 150 national and state design awards. Residential architecture has always been a priority for the firm, and Lake|Flato Houses showcases an extensive selection of landmark homes built since 1999. Color photographs and architectural commentary create a memorable portrait of houses from Texas to Montana. Reflecting the firm’s emphasis on designing in harmony with the land, the houses are grouped by the habitats in which they’re rooted—brushland, desert, hillside, mountains, city, and water. These groupings reveal how Lake|Flato works with the natural environment to create houses that merge into the landscape, blurring boundaries between inside and outside and accommodating the climate through both traditional and cutting-edge technologies. The sections are opened by noted architect and educator Frederick Steiner, who discusses Lake|Flato’s unique responses to the forms and materials of the various landscapes. An introduction by journalist Guy Martin summarizes the history of Lake|Flato and its philosophy, and explores the impact of its work on sustainable architecture.