Beyond the Blueprint

For the founders of lntexure

Architects, lighting, landscaping, and

even graphic design are all part of an

architect's job description

 

For Rame and Russell Hruska, architecture

spans many fields-so when the duo teamed

up to create Intexure Architects in 2001, they

did so with a unique vision. "The word 'intexure'

means to weave or interweave, which

was important to us because we wanted to

integrate all facets of the profession, including

architecture, interior design , lighting design ,

landscaping, art and furniture selection, and

even graphic design," Rame says. "For example,

in a recent restaurant project, we designed

the logo and large-scale wall graphics, which

reinforce the architectural space." In keeping

with the concept of interweaving, in 2006 the

Hruskas founded Mod-Fab LLC, a construction

firm. "We'd always been a design-focused

firm," Rame says. "Increasing our involvement

in construction has reinforced that. It

gives us more control, as well as the ability to

manage quality and costs."

Southmore Terrace was one of the first

projects that Intexure Architects and ModFab

completed together. The development

of four residences is adjacent to Intexure's

offices in the Museum Park neighborhood of

Houston. "We see a need for urban housing,"

Russell says. "A lot of young professionals

want to move back into the loop, so we're

working to create good design with a

community atmosphere-but still meet

people's budgets. We think we accomplished

that with South more Terrace." The homes

in the development sold quickly. "We did

things in an unconventional way, but it

worked," Russell says. "Basically, we knew

what we wanted to achieve, so we just started

promoting it. People were hungry for it."

The first four homes (currently undergoing

LEED certification) were so successful that

the Hruskas bought more property adjacent to

South more Terrace for another development

called Palm Terrace. "We've just now poured

our tenth foundation in the area," Russell

says. All of the homes incorporate the Hruskas'

unique approach to sustainability, which

goes beyond LEED requirements. "We are

seeking to balance the need for urban density

with appropriate green space, access to light,

views, and nature," Rame says. "We want to

create a sense of community and connection

to the neighborhood, which will lead to a

more fulfilling living experience and enrich

people's lives."

Living in an urban environment has many

perks beyond the short commute. "We need

a walkable environment where people can

access retail, commercial, and cultural institutions

without getting in a car," Rame says.

"So we're doing our part to transform this

urban neighborhood to accommodate those

needs." The Hruskas also note that land

costs are driving denser and more vertical

structures-but Intexure's developments are

well-balanced. "[Our work] is denser than

that ofa single-family suburban home but less

dense than that ofa typical urban townhome

gbdmagazine.cam

In 2006, the Hruskas

founded Mod-Fob LLC,

a construction firm,

to round out lntexure

Architects' design work

with building expertise including modular and prefab.

details

or patio-home development," Rame says. "We

preserve more green space, give people access

to views and light and air, and incorporate

elements like community gardens and gathering

spaces. It's a unique balance between

individual and community space."

Intexure Architects' emphasis on sustainability

is also evident in the LEED Gold-certified

Green Building Resource Center, which the

firm completed for the City of Houston in

  1. 2009. "The city wanted a center to promote

green design and offer consulting services to

people who want to green their projects, but

need help getting started," Russell says. The

firm worked with an existing structure-a

municipal space where the city houses its

building permits office-to create a space

that instructs on green material resources.

In keeping with the Intexure's concept of

holistic design, the project wasn't limited

to architecture; the team also worked with

product suppliers to select materials to feature.

"The space showcases a variety of green

products to help people see the possibilities

of sustainable design," Russell says. "The

space includes multiple carpet types, different

wall finishes, lighting, countertops-and we

coordinated it to look cohesive, which was a

unique challenge."

Looking ahead, the Hruskas hope to streamline

the construction process, eliminate

waste, and consider modular prefab options.

As Rame sees it, "I think there's a real need in

American housing for something more sustainable."

- Julie Schaeffer

 

For the lntexure team,

architecture is about all aspects

of design, including construction,

landscaping, and graphics.

 

 

The idea of community is

constantly at the center of

lntexure Architects' vision for

more sustainable homes.

 

Built on top of a former garbage dump, planned with

multiple green elements, and then surrounded with

additional environmentally conscious residences,

Houston-based lntexure Architects' home studio

represents a full commitment to renewal, revitalization,

and sustainability. Inside, natural ventilation, extensive

daylighting, and a compact design keep the home

energy-efficient, even as it's spacious enough to

accommodate up to 14 guests. The husband and wife

behind the firm work to not only build green structures

but also a sense of community, and they incorporated

a neighborhood pavilion outside their home with

vegetable and butterfly gardens, a children's sandbox,

and modular prefab elements and an in-ground pond filled by captured rainwater.

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