Bauhaus Custom Homes
The design of Bauhaus Custom Homes’ projects reflects the climate and neighborhoods in which they are located while also being responsive to clients’ needs.
By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
Bauhaus Custom Homes strives to balance form and function in its innovative custom home designs. “When it comes to the creative side, we try to design something that is appropriate for the neighborhood and the specific site,” Principal Designer/CEO Marc Kleinmann says. The Dallas based design/build firm specializes in building homes in the mid-century modern architecture style that can stand the test of time and reflect the region’s climate while meeting clients’ requests.
The company celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. “We try to create a modern look that functions well and has some warmth to it,” he adds. “We always try to preserve the indoor-outdoor relationship with our homes.” The company’s efforts have earned it multiple awards from the Dallas Builders Association including multiple nods for best architectural design and best interior design.
The Skyline Project
One of the company’s recent projects exemplifies its approach to home building. Bauhaus in spring 2017 completed The Skyline, a custom duplex located just steps from the Katy Trail, a popular 3.5-mile recreational trail located on a former railroad line. “In the past five to seven years, [the trail] has become a major attraction in Dallas that is always packed with cyclists and walkers,” Kleinmann says.
The Skyline is primarily a wood frame building on a concrete slab with stick frame exterior walls that features zip sheathing. The duplex also includes steel structures for overhangs and sheer walls, as well an exterior foam board encapsulation. The encapsulation, along with six inches of spray foam in its walls, gives the building an energy efficient and airtight envelope, he adds.
The duplex consists of a 3,600-square-foot front unit and a 3,000-square-foot back unit. Both units include three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. The front unit’s first story includes the master suite and a workout room/art studio with a small pool and hot tub. The master suite opens out into an outdoor living area. The top story of the unit includes a large combined kitchen/living/dining area and a large balcony. The unit also includes an elevator connecting both floors to a 600-square-foot rooftop deck. The deck includes an outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a gas fire pit and outdoor heating units.
Notable interior design features of the front unit include a central staircase built on a free-floating steel structure. To the side of the staircase is a wall with a stamped concrete overlay that mimics an architectural concrete wall. “Our concrete artist applied a thin layer of concrete to the wall, and we had custom stamps made that mimicked concrete form boards,” Kleinmann says.
Another unique feature in the unit is a marble slab wall in the powder bathroom. A Bauhaus designer and the homeowner found the slab at a stone gallery in Dallas early in the material selection process. During the restoration process, the slab cracked into two pieces, however, Bauhaus’ fabricator patched it back together and the crack is unnoticeable, he adds.
The three-story back unit of the Skyline differs in layout from the front. Two of the home’s three bedrooms and its laundry room are located on its first floor, and the second floor includes the main living/kitchen area. The master suite is located on the third floor. Like the front unit, the back unit also includes an elevator that goes up to a rooftop deck. The 300-square-foot deck includes an outdoor kitchen area.
The Skyline sits on a 50-foot-wide lot, which posed a design challenge for Bauhaus. The duplex is located close to multi-story buildings to its east, west and south. “The trick was finding a floor plan to accommodate front and back units that still has adequate width for rooms as well as travel space,” Kleinmann says. “We wanted to create a space that feels open and light while at the same time addressing privacy issues.”
The exterior of the first story of the front unit faces a stone wall, which blocks views of the outdoor area located just outside of the master suite. The second story of the front unit faces out to open green space, while the back unit faces a small backyard. The front unit features eyebrow-level windows and long slit windows that are glazed with privacy glass, Kleinmann says.
Bauhaus integrates the principles of art, craft and technology into the design/build process. This approach to the custom home design process brings builder, designers and architects, structural and mechanical engineers, and trade contractors and suppliers together early into the process. The company also uses building information modeling (BIM) to produce comprehensive 3-D models of its projects before construction.
This system combines the specifications and concepts of the engineers and designers to render early clash detection from structural to aesthetic and prevent errors in the field. Embracing information technology allows the company to create an environment that fits the client’s lifestyle, while also creating high-performance homes that are designed for comfort, low-maintenance, energy efficiency and to last for years.
Thanks to its focus on building intelligent homes, Bauhaus can provide clients with homes that do not waste space maximize the use of space and are constructed with sustainable materials. As an example, the company was the first builder in Dallas to use the BNC READY-FRAME pre-cut lumber system. “We try to be on the forefront when it comes to materials and construction methods,” Kleinmann says.