Highlights from the 2019 AIA Tour

text and photos by Lynne Rostochil.

I know, I know, the AIA tour was a few weeks ago and I’m very late in getting this blog posted, but we’ve had a couple of great MCM homes that have hit the market recently and wanted to chat about them first.  BTW, we hear that both homes are under contract and have found buyers who love their mod goodness and plan to keep them looking great.  Good news!

As for this year’s AIA tour, you had to be a very brave soul, indeed, to venture out in torrential rains to sneak a peek at all of the architectural goodness.  Luckily, we have a lot of brave souls in OKC because it was, as always, a very well attended event, even though everyone was a bit waterlogged by the end of the day.

Let’s take a look back at all of the interesting and innovative spaces on this year’s tour….

First up is Orthodontic Arts at 421 NW 10th Street, which was designed by Bockus Payne Architecture.

The building is where Dust Bowl and Fassler Hall are located…

… and the wall of windows where patients sit provide a stunning view of downtown.  Hmm, maybe I wouldn’t mind braces again if I could lounge in one of these chairs every few weeks:

In addition to the view, owner David Birdwell has added all kinds of fun and colorful art around the space to make it even more extraordinary:

In addition, the large conference room has garage doors that open up to the main waiting room to create a much larger space for parties, conferences, or other activities:

There’s also all kinds of good storage in the office, which means that Dr. Birdwell can grow into the space over time:

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much when I saw this clinic in the brochure, but I was blown away by the creative and expert use of space and all of the color everywhere.  It ended up being one of my favorites of all of the stops.  Good work, Bockus Payne!

Our second stop was the Urban Beach House located in the heart of the SOSA district:

Designed by Fitzsimmons Architects for the Cobb family, this home is a true oasis in the middle of the city.  The first level is a formal living room and guest area — my favorite part of the space is this stunning wood art piece in the living room:

A dramatic staircase…

… leads to the open plan living, dining, and cooking spaces:

The architects have put a window everywhere there could possibly be one, and I love it.  The day of the tour was extremely gray and drab, but the house still looked bright and fresh with all of the natural light coming in everywhere.  On a bright and sunny day, the house must literally feel aglow inside.  Love it!

How cool is this plexiglass-covered walkway looking to the lower level?

Nice touch!

There’s a kid’s room and bathroom on this level that is a place I wouldn’t mind calling home, especially with that fun wall of art:

If you think that’s nice, check out the master suite with sweeping views of the pool area and downtown beyond:

And talk about an oasis of a bathroom — this is surely it.  Even architect Brian Fitzsimmons found the surrounds so soothing that I spied him camped out there during the tour:

A couple of days before the tour when the weather was much nicer, I snapped this shot of the Urban Beach House — I mean, wow!!

And here’s the house next to its mod sisters:

This has to be one of the best architecture views in all of OKC, don’t you think?

Our next stop was the Price House, also in the SOSA area and designed by Gardner Architects.

Not many homes in the neighborhood have actual yards, but this one has a great one with a pool and lounge area, too:

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the obligatory view of downtown that most SOSA homes have:

And how great is the covered entrance/entertaining area that was perfect on this very wet and blustery day:

I can see many a party happening in this space.  Inside on the first level is a cabana/lounge/small kitchen that opens onto the pool area — so practical!

One of the home’s biggest thrills is in the smallest of spaces, the bathroom just off of the lounge.  Have a look at the wallpaper and you’ll see why everyone was oohing and ahhing when they went in:

I love it that the Price family is definitely not afraid of pattern and color!

Up a flight of stairs is the main house.  I really like how the stairway divides the living and eating spaces to create separation while keeping them open at the same time:

More of the bright living room, which is anchored by a fireplace and darker wall:

I always love a good reading nook, and this one qualifies as a great spot to camp out and read and enjoy the views:

The kitchen and dining area on the other side of the stairway is pretty amazing, too:

Just off of the kitchen is a huge terrace that is perfect for outdoor entertaining:

I’m always a sucker for blueprints and models and was thrilled to see this study of the house on display:

The bedrooms are up a flight of stairs:

The master suite:

There’s a celebration of color throughout the house, from the exuberant wallpaper in the kid’s bathroom…

… to the vibrant art on nearly every wall:

So much fun!

Next up was a real treat — the opportunity to view three spaces in the recently completed 701 Hudson building designed by Gardner Architects for Brent Swift.  My personal favorite was the shotgun-style, ground-level, one bedroom unit:

The bonus to this unit is that it comes with an attached commercial space:

I don’t often feel like I could live downtown because so many apartments seem too confining or sterile, but I could definitely call this unit home thanks to the easy entry/exit, all of the windows, and the warm, natural wood accents — I really love it:

The other two units were upstairs.  Here’s the spacious one bedroom we toured:

That fireplace!  Those windows!  Yes, please!

There’s a little office area off to the right and, turning around, you’ll find the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom:

The two bedroom unit is quite a bit larger and boasts doors to a small outdoor patio space:

The kitchen flows with the living space:

How great are those cabinets?  I mean, really, the finishes in all of these units are pretty top notch, in my opinion.

The laundry, bathrooms, and two bedrooms are at the back of the unit:

Very nice!

From 701 Hudson, we made our way to Level Urban Apartments in Deep Deuce, which was designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris for City Center Development.  The common areas of the building are very friendly, and I’m sure tenants find all kinds of excuses to gather and mingle here:

The 228 one- and two-bedroom units surround a central courtyard and pool that I didn’t photograph because it was pouring rain by this time, but trust me, it’s really nice.  We toured a compact but friendly one bedroom unit with an open kitchen/living area…

… and a surprisingly nice sized bedroom.

We visited one other apartment building, the Mosaic, which is also in the Deep Deuce area.  This complex was also designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris:

We walked through a two bedroom/one bath unit with open plan kitchen/living:

Our last stop of the day was the cottage series homes in the burgeoning Wheeler District, which were designed by Sam Day.  We toured three homes of varying sizes, beginning with the largest, which was a two bedroom/one bath space with a loft:

The second home was a smaller two bedroom gem:

And the third unit is a small one bedroom with a giant loft:

Yeah, I could see myself in that little one with the loft for sure.  Very cute.  When completed, the Wheeler District will boast over 600 homes of all sizes and price ranges, 1,500 condos and apartments, and 300,000 sf of retail and restaurant space — it’s going to be a real gem in the heart of the city.

Well, that’s it for our belated recap of the AIA tour!  Next week, we’re going to recap another recent tour that occurred recently — the always fun Quail Creek Home Tour.