Max Levy Designed Modern Home in Greenway Parks
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Max Levy, FAIA, designed this home to embrace nature. He did this by designing the home to fully enjoy the five large live oak trees on the property. Max Levy said that by respecting the trees, he was able to orchestrate a floorplan so that views from the home would be centered on the five live oak trees. The rooftop screen porch in the center of the home creates a treehouse space that enjoys a fireplace and view of the pool and the green of the garden.
Architect – Max Levy
The architectural significance and pedigree of this home is self-evident just by it being designed by architect Max Levy, who has won more Dallas and Texas AIA Awards for homes than any other living architect.
Dallas Morning News architecture Critic Mark Lamster called Max Levy:
The Poet Laureate of Dallas Architecture.-Mark Lamster
A home with this architectural pedigree and architectural significance is obviously special and desired. We are also increasingly realizing the desirability of a home filled with sunlight, the joy that comes from living in a neighborhood where one can say hello to neighbors walking along a greenway or parkway, the happiness generated by a home relating to nature, and the satisfaction of living in a home that is an aesthetic achievement. This 2017 Max Levy-designed five-bedroom, seven and one half-bath modern home in Greenway Parks expresses all of these characteristics.
Natural Materials Inside the Home Reflect Surrounding Nature
Natural materials inside the home play off the emphasis of nature surrounding the home. You will find white oak floors, white oak ceilings, white oak handcrafted cabinetry, and honed limestone in the combined light-filled kitchen, living room, and dining room, surrounded by two walls of windows and glass doors, establishing a visual connection to the outside and many other rooms in the home. The white oak floors and cabinetry and the honed stone floors, along with Venetian plaster is seen throughout the home.
Graceful and Exalted Details
Rather than conspicuous modern ornamentation, the detail and craftsmanship in this Max Levy designed modern home permeates every bit of the home. Since it is sleek, understated and warm, it blends into the modern design, but then on a closer look, you will notice architectural elements like a wall of cabinets, or another pivot door, or the sliding frosted glass door revealing a 16-foot window seat and library wall.
Interior Design – Wendy Konradi
The architectural significance of this home is further boosted by the work of interior designer Wendy Konradi. In 2021, Wendy Konradi received the PaperCity First Place Residential Interior Design Award and the DHome Best Designers Award.
Landscape Architecture – David Hocker
National award-winning landscape architect David Hocker framed the home with the landscape lighting of five magnificent live oak trees and natural Texas plants.
Contractor – Stephen Hardy
Almost every top modern architect will accept a commission to design a home based on the availability of an extraordinary contractor to construct it. Architects and their projects are in a queue to have the precise and talented Stephen Hardy build the modern home they have designed. Exquisite design comes to the surface by the quality of the contractor, which is another reason this Greenway Parks modern home is such a success.
Geothermal – 10 Wells
Maybe the most underrated attribute of a luxury home is geothermal heating and cooling. This modern home has 10 geothermal wells that keep the heating and cooling expense closer to what you would expect from a small condominium rather than a five-bedroom, seven-and-one-half-bathroom home. Further, you will enjoy not having the noise of outdoor compressors associated with conventional central air and heat systems.
Materials – Specifically Sourced and Selected
The materials used for 5543 Drane accentuate the design and further connect the home to the neighborhood, Dallas and architectural precedent. All three of the designers for this modern home, Max Levy, Wendy Konradi and David Hocker, are sensitive to the neighborhood and the regional setting of the home which they express in their use of exterior material, interior material and plant material.
Exposed St. Joe Brick
St. Joe brick has an important history in Dallas as it has been selected by esteemed Dallas architects for their Texas Modern homes that have received national attention. At 5543 Drane, architect Max Levy selected a color that blended with the neighborhood, both its nature and its architecture. This brick is equally pleasing when found on continuous walls from the exterior to interior rooms such as the study.
Wood – White Oak
White oak floors are found on the first floor. White oak is also used for the vaulted kitchen ceiling. Also, you will find that the custom woodworking by Geronimo through the first and second floors including shelves, desks, built-in banquettes, kitchen cabinets, and custom cabinetry is made of white oak. The continuity of materials and surfaces enhance the sense of openness in this modern home. Kansas City limestone on the first floor also contributes to the openness, look and feel of this modern home, as does the soapstone countertops.
Windows and Glass Sliding Doors
In a modern home windows are important not just for sunlight, but also for fresh air. Here, Santiago Iron Works created the steel-framed windows with handcrafted screens to maximize the flow of fresh air on the many beautiful days in Dallas. Three massive glass sliding doors also have screen doors to allow the fresh air from the outside to fill the home.
Warmth and refinement are expressed in this home by the surfaces. The wood floors and ceilings convey warmth. The Venetian Marmorino plastered walls throughout the first floor and on many of the ceilings add sleek elegance to the spaces. The art lighting and art hanging system highlight and illuminate the walls and the art. Motorized and programmable shades have been installed in the first-floor master bedroom, guest room and kitchen.
The architect and interior designer put great thought into the utility, function and visual appeal of the appliances in the kitchen. In the kitchen of this modern home, you will find two Miele dishwashers, two side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators and freezer drawers, a Gaggenau oven, a Gaggenau steam oven, a Gaggenau warming drawer, and a Gaggenau induction stovetop with a popup vent. The large sink has a separate water filter faucet and a Dornbracht faucet. For your convenience, there are also many electrical outlets and USB ports.
Below grade, you will enjoy the temperature-controlled storage for 1,100 bottles of wine.
Greenway Parks Neighborhood
Greenway Parks is the most popular neighborhood in the city of Dallas. The neighborhood enjoys a concentration of architect designed homes that have been designed through the decade. Engaging homeowners enjoy the greenbelts and parkways and proximity to both the Arts District and the finest private schools.
Private School Corridor
Greenway Parks is very convenient for the families of students attending the top private academies of Dallas.Greenway Parks maybe has the highest concentration of students enrolled in Hockaday, St. Marks, ESD, Greenhill, and the other top preparatory schools of any neighborhood in Dallas.
The greenways, greenbelts and boulevards allow these students to gather and play on them after school, on the weekends and on holidays.Exuberance and stability are seen across Greenway Parks as neighbors greet each other and children cheerfully interact.
Green Pathway and Easement
Some homes in Greenway Parks have shallow back yards that connect to a greenway.This Max Levy-designed home onDraneDrive has a large back yard and a greenway path in the green easement behind the home that will connect you to the greenways and boulevard parks.Here, you will have the best of both worlds – a private back yard, pool, gardens and terraces along with a green pathway that leads you to the neighborhood’s parks and greenways.This green easement is a perfect place for children to expand the area they play in and explore.
Greenway Parks Inspired Max Levy Designed Modern Home
Greenway Parks and Nature Inspired 5543 Drane
Architect Max Levy has always been inspired by nature to shape his ideas. His homes reflect his reverence for nature which makes the homes he designs even more relevant now. As I mentioned in my TEDxTalk four years ago, homes people love are immersed in nature and surrounded by vibrancy. I have seen a renewed focus on the characteristics of homes that make us happy. This modern home has all the characteristics of a home that would make a family happy.
There has been a pronounced shift from people emphasizing statistics and amenities and refocus on the characteristics of a home that people love living, working and playing in the home. Max was pandemically prescient with the design of this Greenway Parks modern home.
This is one of the best modern homes in Dallas because it is immersed in a neighborhood, Greenway Parks, that celebrates nature and a vibrant community with its shared greenway. This home becomes a lovely retreat or a place to comingle with neighbors. Further, the home is built around a second-floor screened room accessed from the courtyard garden.
This screened-in room becomes a refuge within this Greenway Parks residential retreat. From the outside, one ascends to this room surrounded by windows and is physically removed from the rest of the home but visually connected to nature, the neighborhood and the other rooms of the home through the lovely veil of trees.
5543 Drane – Max Levy Insights
“The setting for this house is a flat suburban lot distinguished by five eloquent oak trees. The design challenge was to fit a 7000 square foot house into the midst of these oaks without crowding them. Building too close would almost certainly threaten their wellbeing. Respecting these trees also meant orchestrating the floorplan so that the views out of the house would enjoy each tree. For example, the floor to ceiling glass wall of the second floor playroom is totally filled by a framed view of a tree canopy. The trick was to do all this, tree by tree, with an appearance of ease, without architectural contortion.
A rooftop screen porch crowns the house in the midst of the tree canopies. This porch, accessed only by an outside stairway, is both a psychological retreat and the heart of the house. Its meditative quality is increased by the presence of an outdoor fireplace and custom designed, built-in candle holders.
A series of “acoustic fountains”, crafted of bronze, are positioned around the site to soften the ambient background drone of the city.
The main room of the house, defined by rift-sawn white oak cabinetry and a matching oak ceiling, contain the living, dining, and kitchen. A sixteen foot long window seat contributes a sense of repose to this space. The walls throughout the house are smooth-troweled plaster and the floors are white oak or honed limestone. The exterior is finished in Saint Joe brick, hand made and soft in appearance, the favorite material of O’Neil Ford, Texas’ most renowned and legendary architect.
Another long window seat occurs in the hallway of the childrens’ wing upstairs. Large rolling oak doors can close off this window seat like the pullman compartment of a train, making it a popular place for sleep-overs.
Though large, this house conveys an intimacy by the way it is broken down into four distinct pavilions wrapping around a courtyard, pool, and limestone terrace. One of the pleasures of working on this project was the dream team of David Hocker landscape architect, Wendy Konradi interior designer, and Stephen Hardy general contractor……all three, virtuosos at their areas of expertise.”
Value of 5543 Drane
Much has been written, said, and talked about 5543 Drane as an extraordinary home of architectural significance and a home that would make a family happy. This modern home in Dallas’ most popular neighborhood, Greenway Parks, was designed and executed by talented architects, designers and contractors, using fine materials that also create a great value for the future homeowner. This modern home is priced below replacement cost and offers a homebuyer the convenience of being able to move into a fabulous home rather than having to wait two years or longer to have a new home designed and built.
School District: Dallas ISD
Elementary School: Polk
Middle School: Cary
High School: Jefferson
Square Feet: 6,577
Lot Size: 105 x 183