This is 5455 Northbrook Drive - a masterwork designed by the “godfather of modern architecture” in Texas, as Curbed calls the celebrated O’Neil Ford. Commissioned by a co-founder of Texas Instruments and completed in 1958, the long, low-slung home has earned widespread acclaim ever since for its timeless design, quality materials and supreme sense of place. Featured in books, magazines, newspapers and on websites, 5455 Northbrook Drive is one of the purest, most lovely expressions of Texas modernity in the state.
Brilliantly sited on a terraced, 1.77-acre lake lot in the Dentwood Addition of Old Preston Hollow, the house is intriguingly not visible from the street. Ford put the home at the bottom of the sloping site, for utmost privacy and for communing closer with nature. The one-level main house is nearly 6,800 square feet, exceedingly private from the front and thrillingly open across the back, thanks to walls of large windows. Its materials - inside and out - are a mix of the humble and the luxurious: handcrafted Mexican brick, Virginia bluestone, quarry stone, native woods, travertine, onyx and more. Hand-carved wooden doors and screens throughout the house are the work of artisan Lynn Ford, who often collaborated with his architect brother. Even the home’s hardware, doorknobs and hinges were designed in Ford’s studios. Topped with a standing-seam metal roof - another Texas hallmark - the whole composition is of one of refinement, serenity, craft and integrity.
There are four bedrooms in the main house, with the sybaritic master suite at one end, far from the other accommodations - an ideal plan for friends and guests. There are three full baths, a formal living room with fireplace, a formal dining room, a large island kitchen and a large, airy family room, complete with its own spectacular, metal-hooded fireplace.
The master suite boasts a sitting room/study, a large bath with separate tub and shower, large closets and a courtyard off the master bath.
An artful natatorium of approximately 2,600 square feet was added in 1970 by Ford protégé Duane Landry. Its indoor pool is enlivened by a whimsical mosaic-tile backdrop wall - and undersea creatures on the pool floor - by Thomas Stell, who was influenced by the artists Juan Mir and Wassily Kandinsky in his depiction of fish and other wild things. The natatorium includes its own bath and dressing room.
The lushly landscaped property also includes two separate guest or staff quarters: a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment and a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment/art studio. Ample parking is afforded by the four-car carport and a large motor court.
There will never be another home like 5455 Northbrook Drive. Sensitively updated and maintained by the current owner - a prominent collector of Texas art - since 1993, it is a work of art for living in. Awarded the prestigious Twenty-Five Year Award in 2002 by the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architecture, 5455 Northbrook Drive is a home of simplicity and sophistication, of elegance and exuberance.
It is, said one admiring architect, “O’Neil Ford at his best.”
O’Neil Ford was an American architect of the mid-20th century in Texas and a leading architect of the American Southwest. He is considered one of the nation’s best, with designs that merge the modernism of Europe with the indigenous qualities of early Texas architecture. Born in Texas, Ford worked with the great Texas architect David R. Williams before forming his own practice, in 1934. Ford helped launch Texas architecture on a new path by showing that its roots were deep and often beautiful. His well-crafted structures were composed of brick, glass and wood, and were intimately tied to their settings. Ford was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1974, Ford himself was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Council - the only individual to ever be given that title. Ford’s significant North Texas buildings include the landmark Semiconductor Building for Texas Instruments in Richardson, much of the University of Dallas campus in Irving and several in Denton: the Little Chapel in-the-Woods, the Denton Civic Center and the Denton City Hall.
Broker : Briggs Freeman Sotheby's Int'l
Agent : Jennifer Shindler
All information is from sources believed to be reliable and is subject to change of price, rental, commission or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information should be confirmed by customer.