Ted Flato: Lake/Flato Houses: Embracing the Landscape

Pick up a copy of Lake/Flato Houses: Embracing the Landscape, a 300-page photography book showing some of the group’s spectacular environmentally friendly home designs, and it’s easy to sigh and say, “Well, if I had a million dollars, I could have a beautiful house like that, too.” That’s missing the point, says Ted Flato, in town to sign copies of the book. “The book is about encouraging people, everyone from architects to clients, to do architecture that…is building smartly, building simply and creating outdoor spaces that allow you to appreciate the outdoors and use less energy. A lot of the houses in the book are expensive, yes, but they’re not good because they’re expensive. The reality is that sometimes people have all the money in the world and they do absolutely horrible things. Lots of the elements that we use on these houses can apply to other, more modest houses.”

Lake/Flato Architects, based in San Antonio, was started 30 years ago. At the time, many of the houses the firm designed were for country living, with large outdoor spaces and walls of windows that let in the views. Now the company has a number of high--density urban projects as well. Among its newer projects are Porch Houses, prefabricated rooms that can be arranged in any number of combinations with porches and breezeways connecting the different areas. The Porch Houses, some of which are seen in Lake/Flato Houses, don’t cost as much as the impressive homes, but they are every bit as striking and comfortable.

7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. Formation, call 713‑523‑0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free.
Thu., Nov. 13, 7 p.m., 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez