Highland Park Universal Design on the Katy Trail


From a viewing tower on the Katy Trail the owners can watch the busy pathway at the edge of Dallas’ Uptown nightlife and remain in a Zen-like garden, or retreat to the interior of this serene home. It’s the way the clients wanted it. Unruffled and composed. Their viewing deck is offset, steps away from a trail where they can exercise, and creates a private park between the calm within and the energetic urban fabric beyond.

In our architectural practice, we strive for this aesthetic: to produce clarity in simple, honest, and pure forms that perform complex functions. This is created by light, openness, asymmetry, understatement, authenticity in materials, sly reveals, transcendence of the conventional, efficiency, and flexibility.

Design Concept

The concept: to create a modern home, accessible by all people to the greatest extent possible and to enhance the quality of life for all, regardless of age or ability, while providing an urban garden setting.

Findings from The Stanford Center on Longevity

According to the newest research at the Longevity Center at Stanford, most of us will live a lot longer than we think. The Baby Boomer generation is redefining the limits of aging and have been called, The Zoomers! According to an article in The Economist, which the researchers refer to as the “U-bend” of life, we Zoomers become happier as we age. With careful planning and design, many people can enter a period of renewed harmony and joy after age 50.

Young people today, with reasonable certainty can anticipate very long lives. Families of all ages approach us and say, “I want this to be my forever home.” To accomplish this, we must keep in mind the Principles of Universal Design (see links below)

The factors that impact design of a “forever home” are the same ones that impact all good design: beautiful, functional, practical, accessible spaces on a human scale that relate to the way we live, while contributing to enhanced psycho-social well-being.

The Stanford Center on Longevity is asking the same questions that we, as architects pose to our clients, when we discuss their home design with them. Do you want to be able enjoy this home through all of the phases of your life? The answer from our clients is a universal: “Yes!”

Builder: Brad Ellerman, Ellerman Homes

Interior Design: Andra Maldovan, Keaton Interiors

Landscape Architect: Bill Bibb, Archiverde

Structural Engineer: Larry Kempke, Hennessey Engineering, Inc.

Lighting Design: Dennis Jones, Citilites

Photography: Nathan Schroder

For more details about Universal Design and Zen Principles go to the following links.





d home, dallas, best residential architect.