Architects: Fitzsimmons Architects
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Architect in Charge: Brian Fitzsimmons AIA
Collaborators: Larry Pickering, Stan Lingo P.E.
Project Size: 223 sqm conditioned space, 395 sqm total floor area
Project year: 2007
Photographs: Joseph Mills Photography
Downtown Oklahoma City is in the midst of a rebirth and it bears little resemblance to the barren dry landscape that was the backdrop of Steinbeck’s great novel. In the setting of a bustling and revitalized Downtown, The OKasian House was the debut effort of a new architecture firm. Nestled in the heart of the city, it reinterprets the idea of home and downtown living, and serves as home, architectural office, and design workshop. The site, once home to 3 buildings demolished in the 80’s satisfied the owners’ enthusiasm for downtown living and the architect’s belief in urban in-fill.
The form is mathematically influenced by numerals important to the owners, and aesthetically expressive of their unique taste. It is enveloped in metal with large expanses of brick, glass and skylights, providing approximately 2400 sf of living space filled with art and furniture by the Owner/Architect as well as other local artists. One objective was to maximize the view of Oklahoma City’s growing skyline. Placing the building at the South end of the lot accomplished that and accommodates discreet alley garage and shop access on the South lower level. This placement also allows a future building to the north. Guest entry to the property utilizes a set of original concrete steps and takes the visitor through the site of a bamboo lined courtyard on the North side of the house. The North wall of all sliding glass panels mesh the interior with the courtyard, and invite one into spaces which flow and change to accommodate the owners’ needs. A sixteen foot high corner of glass, framing the downtown view, serves as a focus for nearly every point within. Whether one is in the galley kitchen, the balcony office or the two story volume living room, the outdoors is an inviting presence. Three outdoor spaces have been included, all of which allow interaction with the reviving neighborhood while maintaining a level of privacy. Foremost of these spaces is a sheltered roof top deck, perfect for catching one of Oklahoma’s panoramic sunsets or an evening’s view of the downtown skyline’s twinkling lights.