Living it up downtown: Architecture tour home features stacked spaces
The Price family lives life on the move in Oklahoma City’s urban core, mostly on foot or by bike, generally with their two children in tow, son Nolan, 5, and daughter Penelope, 3.
“I love being able to raise our kids downtown,” said Leighann Price, who grew up near Broken Arrow. “I grew up in a country setting, and I just love that we’re exposing them to so much culture.”
Husband Brett Price, a Yukon native, nodded in agreement.
“We get to go the Myriad Gardens, the art museum — we just feel like they’re getting a lot more culture at their age than we did,” he said.
When the adventures are done, though, they retreat to their three-story family home, where carefully placed windows and wide sliding doors frame the rapidly changing cityscape outside. The Price Residence, 511 N Dewey Ave., designed by Gardner Architects, is one of seven stops on the 18th annual AIA Central Oklahoma Architecture Tour, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The American Institute of Architects Central Oklahoma Chapter organizes the tour. Advance tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at aiacoc.org, where a tour brochure is available for download. Tickets are $25 on tour day and can be purchased at any stop on the tour. Booties will be required at some sites to protect the floors.
This year’s tour centers largely on the city’s core. Along with the Price Residence, it includes the the Urban Beach House, 819 NW 7; 701 Hudson condos, 701 Hudson Ave.; LEVEL Urban Apartments, 123 NE 2; Mosaic Apartments, 321 N Oklahoma Ave.; the Cottage Series homes in the Wheeler District, 900 Pedaler’s Lane; and the Orthodontic Arts Building, 421 NW 10, Suite 201-E.
AIA Central Oklahoma goes through a nomination and vetting process to select stops for each year’s tour, so some years the locations may be concentrated in certain areas and some years they’re not, said Melissa Hunt, executive director. This year, they just happened to all be in the center of the city, she said.
“All the homes have to be designed or renovated by architects, which makes it a little unique from other home tours,” she said. “We want to show the community what having an architect involved in the project does.”
For the Price family, it meant bringing Jeremy Gardner and company in to design a 2,500-square-foot space that manages to offer both views and privacy. That proved to be a balancing act, said Sara Hanna, an AIA associate who works with Gardner Architects.
“We knew they wanted a yard space, but because of the urban conditions, we’d have to plan for security, plan for privacy,” she said. “So I think the nature of the building was to elevate the living spaces and bedroom spaces to the highest level not only for views but for security purposes.”
The small lot ruled out traditional outdoor spaces such as a yard, Gardner said.
“We wanted to put the garage on the ground floor, obviously, and just to be able to park the cars securely,” he said. “So that meant we had to take the outdoor living spaces up and stack it, part of it down and part of it up.”
The result are outdoor terraces that offer a small swimming pool at ground level and a place to play higher up. The children love those outdoor spaces, Brett Price said. “Our kids are probably out there every day riding their bikes on the second-floor patio.”