Multifamily Rental: Big House, Big Impact in Texas
Anyone can just put buildings on a site. We like to try to create a true neighborhood feel with every site plan and project we design.” That’s Michael Smith, studio director for Humphreys & Partners Architects, in Dallas, talking about Hermosa Village, a 238-unit apartment community in Leander, Texas, near Austin, that breaks the mold of high-density multifamily rental design and amenities.
The firm’s Big House approach—a moniker it trademarked—is unique in making the 10 to 14 stacked flats per building look more like attached townhomes or even a single-family home, with individual entries into the ground-floor units. “For the density, the developer wanted, [this design approach] made sense right off the bat,” Smith says.
Along the back of the Big House buildings, two housing types feature single-car garages with direct access to their living units, while the third type omits the garage, making space for an additional four units per building. Just five of the 22 buildings on the 19.29-acre site are of the latter type. The apartments themselves average almost 1,000 square feet, the largest being 1,450 square feet on one level—footprints that exceed the local norm.