Farmer's No. 1


Designed as a prototype investment rental residence, Franke : Franke was tasked to design and test architectural models and elements for student housing development in historic neighborhoods surrounding Texas A&M University’s main campus in College Station.  Beginning with a comprehensive documentation and visual inventory of architectural elements found in those early neighborhoods, F:F began to craft a design solution for the initial prototype based on what we believed were the more important contextual and architectural sensibilities that had been woven into the historic fabric of these early neighborhoods.  We also considered photographic records of on-campus faculty housing of the early 20th Century, since razed, which included some of the more interesting examples of traditional housing built to serve the College.

Sympathetic to our firm's modern design sensibilities, and as a Design+Build work with a clearly defined budget, we explored the idea of “Modern Farmhouse” living.  Our intention was to create a project that represented the best of traditional design, including the critical value placed on passive heating and cooling architectural elements, and multi-use spaces.  The resulting design incorporates wide porches wrapping the south, west, and north faces of the residence, providing shade, and the illusion of a much larger home than the conditioned space of the modest 4 bedroom / 4 bath, 2,000 square foot house.   The thinness of the “main room” including an open kitchen, dining, and living space allows for efficient cross ventilation and opens to the porch with a wall of glass to visually link the interior, porch, and modest side yard landscape.  Cleanly articulated shed-roof dormers at the roof line of the upper floor provide light, ventilation, and a sense of full height spaces to the bedrooms and baths on that level, while also allowing the house to coexist comfortably within the smaller scale homes in the existing neighborhood.  Materials were selected for durability and ease of repair including: stained and finished concrete floors throughout the ground level interior, concrete plank siding used in a traditional board and batten installation, and a standing-seam metal roof.  Durable, solid surface material for countertops, full tile bathrooms, and hardwood flooring and trim selected for reduced maintenance costs were important considerations by F:F for interior finishes.  Required parking for residents was placed in the rear yard, with limited guest parking located in the front yard in order to protect the contextual integrity of the home within the neighborhood.