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Sum Of Modernist House Greater Than Its Parts

Sum Of Modernist House Greater Than Its Parts

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK JOHNSON

Never once in a recent soliloquy on modern design did architect Lionel Morrison ever utter any of the familiar maxims, like clean lines, boxy minimalism or sleek and chic. Instead, he soulfully expressed his admiration for a seamless interweaving of form and function; curiously, it’s the defining feature of a style that he claims has “almost no hard-and-fast rules, yet arises from pure problem solving and logic.”

So when a local businessman approached Morrison about building a contemporary bachelor pad in the prestigious Northern Hills district of Dallas, the challenge for the architect was not in creating those sun-filled austere spaces by which modern design is so often identified, but to gracefully achieve the required loftiness within the confines of a slender 20-foot width—a parameter dictated by a zoning ordinance on prized corner lots. The community’s lean parcels also mean that privacy is at a premium (hello, neighbor!), adding another wrinkle to the plight.

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